Cheap mods for better tone.

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by Tonespinner 2, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    You lose da fealz if you practice. LOL
     
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  2. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    You get what you pay for. Got a set of Righteous Sound pickups, they're incredible. Make Fender Vintage SCPs sound like poo. 285$, before postage. If you want to dance on the financial fault line, you pays your money, you takes your chances. It's an enjoyable hobby, for me, building pickguards, and I'm experimenting with a cheap set of ceramic SC PAFs next. Hold off purchasing, for a while, if this 38$ set of pickups sounds as great as I think they will, I'll PM you.
     
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  3. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    LOL
     
  4. Belltonenblues84

    Belltonenblues84 Strat-Talker

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    You're welcome
     
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  5. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    So, how did you reverse this "mod." ? I mean, get the neck back to the exact mounting as before doing it. Seems to me like once the neck shifts, even slightly, then " the damage is done " and there is no way you can get it back to it's previous "sweet spot". Perhaps all the years of sweat and grime in the neck cavity have now been disrupted. I've heard stories of guitars never sounding the same after a neck has been removed. Another plus for headstock truss rod adjustment.
     
  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Honestly @Tigre 's post is the first time I've heard of anyone not preferring a good tight connection between the neck and body. If the connection is loose, you'll have loss of vibrations, esp. the highs--and shorter sustain. So it does make sense someone might describe the change as "shrill" although my own experience is that the guitar gains body resonance and sustain. If asked to reverse that, I'd slack the strings, loosen the neck screws and re-tighten. It probably won't be back in it's original position at the micron level, but that's as close as you'll ever get it anyhow.
     
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  7. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    I don't typically try to disrespect an opinion, but the idea that tightening a neck could somehow make a guitar sound significantly more shrill... it's truly a groaner.

    people really ought to identically record their guitar sound before and after any mod, and they'd probably then see how little difference they really made.
     
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  8. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    At least some kind of quick a/b/a testing. Comparing what you're hearing now to what you remember from 20 minutes ago is something most people are really bad at, comparing to something you heard a few weeks ago is worse.

    Examples of good testing:

    run the wiring to the tone cap outside the guitar and hook up alligator clips so you can switch back and forth between two different tone caps.

    Tune the .013" B string up to e while leaving the .009 e string tuned to e, so you can switch instantly back and forth between a .009 and a .013 tuned to the same note.

    Use a switch to go back and forth between a 250k pot and a 500k pot. Or (crazy) use the pot itself to go from 250k to 500k and back again, and see if you hear the difference. Easier to judge 250 on a linear pot.

    Play a note, lower the pickup by 1 turn of the adjuster screw, play note again. Raise pickup back, play note again.

    Put 2 different style saddles on the guitar, with the same gauge string tuned to the same note and with the same intonation. Play them one after the other.

    Record something with your guitar. Make a modification. Record the same thing again, using the exact same everything. Switch back and forth between recordings to hear the difference.

    Examples of bad testing:

    Drop your guitar off for someone else to modify, get it back several days later. By now you don't remember what it really sounded like, plus it's only a/b testing, not a/b/a.

    Change anything--plus also change the strings at the same time. Come on, we all know new strings sound different from old strings. It's even worse if you're also changing string gauge and/or brand.

    Replace pickups without measuring the height. Some of us can hear a difference of 1/2 turn of the pickup height adjuster screw, I think those suckers are 48 threads per inch. So 1/96th of an inch, about the thickness of a high e string. How much of the difference you hear is from the different height?
     
  9. carver

    carver Gone strangling

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    Tone screws

    can’t be rocking those silly modern screws and expect to sound decent
     
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  10. Tigre

    Tigre Strat-Talk Member

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    Just saying, I was curious, tried it, plugged in with same settings, and didn't like what I heard. Slacked the strings, backed the screws out around 1/4 inch and re-tightened. The sound was then pleasant to my ears again. Maybe thats what I loved about my sound, was the mellow, creamy, round tones. I never experienced my bridge pickup to be unpleasant, as so many people complain about, and are always chasing a new pickup in this position.

    My take away here, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I should have known.
     
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  11. Tigre

    Tigre Strat-Talk Member

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    Groaner says you, happy with my guitar says I.
     
  12. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Vintage alligator clips? :D
     
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  13. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Callaham or Guitarfetish...now there is a dicotomy. If the two trem blocks are considered mutually acceptable/interchangeable, why even consider the more expensive Callaham ? Seems like asking for either a Pappy Van Winkle or an Evan Williams at the whiskey bar.
     
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  14. Tigre

    Tigre Strat-Talk Member

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    All four of them make everything better is my best guess!
     
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  15. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    How about a Bro'-tip on where that 3-4-$8 CTS w/free ship deal can be found.
     
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  16. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    I've had plastic nuts and pot metal hardware that sound fine. A plastic nut won't last long, however. They tend to get chewed up. I swapped a pot metal block for a steel one. Never heard a bit of difference in tone. As long as the saddles hold the strings and remain adjustable, they should be fine. Soooooo, imho, these upgrades wont change your tone.

    You could try lowering the pickups to the pickguard. This will change your tone. You can raise your pickups from the lowest point to hear differences. Keep them then, were you like them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  17. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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  18. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree completely with this. I would go straight for the pickups-that will make a HUGE difference. Then it’s all about setup. I had a 91 or 92 Korean strat as my first guitar, and I really liked it after a pickup swap. I never changed any hardware. Threw some graphite powder on the plastic nut and it stayed in tune. It had the trapezoid tuners, so they had to go, but otherwise a solid, decent first guitar for me.
     
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  19. Belltonenblues84

    Belltonenblues84 Strat-Talker

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    Because i don't know everybody budget lol.... ive used both they're both very good.
     
  20. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    I didn't need a recording, when I changed the SSS pickups in my Strat, the difference was like night and day. Of course, it's hard to say how much of that was influenced by the pooch-job the last guy did on soldering the wiring to the pots, on the last pick-guard.

    I guess some folks should re-evaluate, if they really want to solder in their own gear, when the skill level is that low.