Got a Player Strat - any mods/quick fix to make it shine?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by piage84, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    95% of the setup can be done at home. It's a guitar, not the Starship Enterprise!

    Most "luthiers" are just techs who will charge $50 an hour and up for things you can do at home. You also get to know your own guitar far better, and get to tweak the setup to your, rather than the tech's, liking as you go.

    As for nuts, buy a Graph Tech Tusq or Tusq XL nut, ditch the plastic one Fender fits, and adjust string heights by filing or sanding the bottom of the nut first. Then tweak individual string grooves as you feel necessary, but remember it's a Player Strat so perfection isn't to be expected- or needed if you use the trem aggressively.
     
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  2. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Me too.

    Painters tape to protect the wood and a flat needle file with one smooth edge. Put the smooth edge against the wood while rounding the "vertical" faces of the frets.
     
  3. cbt1956

    cbt1956 Strat-Talk Member

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    Fit Free-way 5B5-01 ten position switch (www.freewayswitch.com) for SSS, or 5B5-02 for HSS and HSH. Fit Graphtech nut and stringtree, Switchcraft input jack, Fender Locking Tuners. Re-string with quality strings. Have set-up including fret dress from trusted luthier (if they have a PLEK machine so much the better). The Player pickups are OK but further down the line try other Strats with other pickups and see which you prefer soundwise and consider upgrading the pickups. If you ever want to move away from SSS (no reason you should, only if you want to) the Players are all routed HSH so dropping in humbuckers is easy, but you may need to change the pots from 250K to 500K. Big Bends nut lube for the nut. If all that is too daunting, the Players are fine as stock but a proper set up and restring is recommended.
     
  4. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Strings, yes, absolutely.

    Proper setup, yes, preferably DIY or get it done before you take it home.

    Frets need leveling? Ask to see /try a different unit.

    Fret ends? See above. Half an hour with some painters tape and a needle file.

    10-way switch, your choice. I prefer the standard 5-way, single volume, single tone, with a blender for the neck. You can add a push-pull or a push-push to phase invert the middle if you like. Too many switch options get confusing, however, and you probably won't use half of them anyway.

    For an HSS I would go for a 5-way superswitch, with an auto coil split in P-2 and the blender in P-1 and P-2, self defeating in P-3 and up.

    For an HH I went with a 5-way superswitch, auto coil splitting in P-2 and P-4, no blender, all out in P-3.

    Pickups, in time, maybe, but pick a set based on your ears and your musical genre.

    The rest is up to you.
     
  5. Joe R

    Joe R Strat-Talk Member

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    Hello Three Chord,
    That is the beauty of a Stratocaster (or Telecaster). Not so easy to do some of these repairs or mods to a Les Paul or any other guitar with difficult access to the neck and electronics. I found a VERY interesting fault in my Player Strat. The bridge was WAY too high and I still had fret buzz until I figured out why. I tried tightening down the neck but no change. Then I noticed a gap of about 1/16 inch close to the body. Fender did not drill the correct holes in the body. They used 1/8" instead of 3/16". This caused the gap no matter how much I tried to tighten it. So I re-drilled the four screw holes to 3/16" and it pulled the neck into perfect position. This guitar is HSS, and the 5-way switch had an intermittent short. Fairly easy to replace, but still time consuming. I love the GHS Rock and Roll flatwounds, and changed over. I also needed to add one spring to the tremolo. Frets are fine. Pickups are surprisingly good, after a height adjustment. I like the AlNiCo 2s. I also put on a set of Hipshot black locking tuners to match the black pickguard, and added a black Tusq nut and roller string tree. Although there are some quality issues, overall I rate the guitar as quite good. It's one of the few that Fender still makes that has medium-jumbo frets and a 9.5 radius. You have to spend top dollar for an Ultra or Luxe to get them, and that's on a compound-radius neck which I also don't like. For me, tall/narrow frets are like speed bumps, as I do a lot of sliding. Your electronic mods are interesting. I believe the Fender Player guitars are their best value by far. I got a flame-maple blue top that rivals many PRS 10 tops. However, you do have to tweak them a bit to bring them up to a high level.
     
  6. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    This one from GC?

    It's had a few mods - SD pickups, brass saddles, new pickguard, modded electronics as discussed, Fender locking tuners, etc. 16325002542393931651096964622396.jpg 16325002757346871826281425142922.jpg
     
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  7. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    The guitar will tell you if it needs anything. Go play it.
     
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  9. AndyF

    AndyF Strat-Talk Member

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    Congrats! I've never really been a fan of white, but that looks sharp. I might have to consider that next time.

    I ordered a Player HSS Plus Top in aged cherry burst. It should be here next week.

    Mine looks very close to this picture, on mine the flame is more apparent on the top half and below the glue line it is not as prevalent as in this picture. Once I get it I will post pictures. I am going to put locking tuners on mine. I prefer them on electric guitars.

    Player HSS Plus Top .PNG
     
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  10. mightyquinn

    mightyquinn Strat-Talk Member

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    Vega- Trem Bridge
    Fender Locking Tunres
    Duncan Antiquity Surfers

    all in gold of course
     
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  11. DoubleFatStrat

    DoubleFatStrat New Member!

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    Picked up this Player Strat in June.

    Out of the box I installed Fender locking tuners, Tusq String Tree, Fender bullet strings, and set it up to the best of my ability.

    I recently installed a Player Plus bridge (block saddle style) when those models came out to complete the modern style/design, which is purely for aesthetics.

    Other than that, I will take it to the best luthier in the city for a new bone nut and setup. After that, I can't imagine I'd need to do anything else.

    To me, this guitar is as good or better than the used American Standard that I played at Guitar Center circa late 2000s that I couldn't afford at the time. (It was $699)

    It was so worth the wait. All that's left to do now is play it and improve as a guitarist.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
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  12. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    **most** guitars can use a fret level a few weeks after they are delivered to a climate.

    With the frets properly leveled and fallaway applied, you know the action is as low as it can go

    The guitar plays effortlessly all the way across the fretboard
     
  13. Imtxn

    Imtxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Since you’ve time you might replace the saddle screws with the correct length ones. Seems cheeper than getting an new saddles or an entire bridge!
    How much upgrade do you want. Ask yourself if the added expense is justified? The parts will improve your playing experience, but not the guitars value…Maybe your money might be spent on something others than striving for perfectionism in equipment. Er, a set-up, amps, pedals, reading!!!
    }!€
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  14. Markbuffyfan

    Markbuffyfan Strat-Talk Member

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    I will give you mods to a player that I find make the difference

    1) Change the string tree to tusq xl
    2) change to lockers
    3) buy an nail emery board to take the fret ends down and the edge of the board rounding but only if it feels sharp
     
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  15. MickeyPicky

    MickeyPicky Strat-Talk Member

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    Quickest fix? Return and save up for a performer. When you said make it shine, I thought you were referring to the infamous player paint jobs.
     
  16. knh555

    knh555 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Not gonna read the whole thread.

    a good setup and keep fresh strings on it. And play it a lot. No need to overthink this.
     
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  17. Jim Carl

    Jim Carl Strat-Talk Member

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    What your new player strat needs most is a good distressing/ relicing done the proper way, sit down and play your a$$ off until you see the proper relic, then play some more.
     
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  18. piage84

    piage84 Strat-Talk Member

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    I was thinking exactly to do n.1 and n.3. the nut is binding the strings (and I think the string tree as well) and the frets are a little sharp.
     
  19. piage84

    piage84 Strat-Talk Member

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    Nice guitar
     
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  20. AndyF

    AndyF Strat-Talk Member

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    I received my Player Plus Top Strat early this week. Here are some pictures of this beauty. I love the flame maple top. The first pictures are as it came out of the box, the last two are after I pulled the plastic off the pickguard. The only mod that I made was to add locking tuners. I like them so I put them on all my electric guitars. While I had the strings off I rounded and buffed all the sharp fret edges to make them nice and smooth. It really feels good in my hands.

    IMG_2239.jpg IMG_2244.jpg IMG_2245.jpg IMG_2252.jpg IMG_2253.jpg IMG_2254.jpg IMG_2255.jpg IMG_2256.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021