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I Finally Got My Own "Blackie"!

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by AxemanVR, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    No, this is NOT another “Black Clapton Clone" thread, just a comparably unremarkable (but still cool to me) project I recently completed:

    IMG_0738.JPG
    IMG_0739.JPG

    Long story short:

    On an earlier project I put a Fender "Modern Player" Strat (Crafted in China) neck on a Squier SE Special body (also Crafted in China), mainly because I liked how the tinted headstock matched the sunburst body...

    IMG_0570.JPG

    ...but recently I decided to refinish the SE's original neck with an amber tinted lacquer and reunite it with the original body (still a "work in progress" obviously):

    IMG_0741.JPG

    That meant I suddenly had an extra neck, so I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it. I wasn't too keen about putting a Chinese neck on an American or Mexican body, which seems lame, so I began looking for another Squier SE body (since I've had good luck with a couple cheap-but-good SE bodies already), and that eventually led me to finding this one on eBay:

    s-l1600.jpg

    I never really considered owning a black Strat before, but all of a sudden the bug bit me and for some unknown reason I knew it was the right choice for my latest project!

    After thinking about what I wanted to do with it I started gathering a few parts, including a new pickguard and aged white plastic parts. I also ordered a Fender string tree and removed, filled and concealed the hole for the second one on the headstock. I then decided to swap out the SE tremolo unit in favor of a Standard Mexican one (since they have a higher mass block and the stamped steel saddles that I prefer). Besides, they’re actually made in Taiwan, so it’s okay...

    Last but not least I started to think about pickups and decided to take a chance on a set of 2004 Squier "Standard" alnico pickups I also found on eBay:

    s-l1600 (1).jpg

    These pickups produce a fairly bright top end and tight bass so I'm guessing they have Alnico V magnets.

    On a side note: Standard Fender branded pickup covers won't fit on these, so I decided to paint them (along with the other plastic parts and pickguard) with my favorite off-white color "Rustoleum Shell White for Plastic":

    2 Shell White.JPG
    2 painting plastic parts.JPG

    I'm also utilizing the original SE pots which I've read are 500k and might be adding to the perceived brightness of these pickups as well. I haven't decided whether I'm going to stick with the current electronics or not yet, since they do actually have a usable sound (especially when I start cranking the gain).

    I guess I just get a kick out of trying to see if I can make a decent guitar while spending the least amount of money (by using what many people would probably consider to be sorely inferior parts ;))

    Anyway, I'll probably use it as my "travel guitar" - not only because it's not really worth a whole lot, but because I actually rather quite like it after all...

    IMG_0740.JPG



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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  2. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Sweet!

    Couldn't be a clone since the real one doesn't have RW FB.

    And I dig the way you painted the plastics!!
     
  3. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I know, right?

    You'd think it'd be cheaper to make a maple fretboard, but even the low-end Squier SE has a nice thick slab of rosewood on it!

    Yeah, I've done this on several guitars and that plastic paint works great! Never flaking and has a cool vintage bakelite texture.


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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  4. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Basking 'neath the almighty yellow yolk Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Hey for what it's worth Fender was about to release the reissues in both maple and rosewood version as options. The first one belongs to a guy on this site who owns one of the few Blackies with rw and sec is Clapton playing a rw Blackie prototype.

    Congrats on your new guitar project!
    downloadfile.jpg
    1990-04-25-dallas-front.jpg
     
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  5. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Nice work!
     
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  6. Thunderhopkins8

    Thunderhopkins8 Strat-O-Master

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    You cannot go wrong, with a Blackie. One of the most influential, and legendary guitarist of all time would be proud.
     
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  7. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

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    I love the simple elegance of a black Strat with white pickguard and rosewood fretboard.Enjoy!!
     
  8. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster

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    That came out real nice. I always liked the look of a black strat with a rosewood next.
     
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  9. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Gotta love a black shiny Strat with RW

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. rich724

    rich724 Strat-Talker

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    Here's mine (see avatar) with an ebony fretboard.
     
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  11. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    That looks GREAT. Perfect, really. Great job.
     
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  12. arcticstrat

    arcticstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Congrats! Good job! It looks good and has its place. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    `
    Update...

    Despite being way better than the stock Squier SE pickups, the 2004 Squier Standard Strat pickups I replaced them with still aren’t doing it for me, so - sticking with my “all-Asian” theme - I decided to go with a set of Squier Classic Vibe 50s Alnico III Strat pickups that I found on eBay (loaded onto a non-CV pickguard):

    Squier CV Pickups C.jpg
    Squier CV Pickups E.jpg

    They are purportedly off a "first run" Squier Classic Vibe Strat, which is difficult for me to conclusively ascertain (any CV pickup experts are welcome to chime in).

    Included in this deal is a set of aged white plastic parts, which I consider to be an added bonus (since I can't seem to find the ones that fit the import pickup's pole spacing sold separately).

    Everything is mounted on a Squier "Affinity" pickguard, which also helps me stick with my "budget partscaster" theme as well ($65 for everything shipped).

    I'll provide further updates once I get things mounted and tested, so please stand by!




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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  14. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I finally got my CV pickup loaded Affinity pickguard but didn’t care for the appearance of the “aged white” plastic that came with it:

    9B41B341-F351-4E65-911C-1B3E23C76F8A (1) (1).jpeg

    I don’t know if you can tell but the pickup covers have an almost olive green tint to them and the knobs definitely lean more towards pink (something that definitely wasn't captured very well on the seller's picts). I have seen similar hues on other Classic Vibe Strats, so it must be a "thing" on some of them, but I sure wasn't thrilled upon first seeing it...

    Luckily the CV Strat pickups have the same pole spacing as the American and Mexican Fender single coils so I was able to use the set of aged white covers I was originally going to put on the Squier Standard pickups (before I discovered they wouldn’t fit). The knobs are from the same set:

    C47511C6-CD4E-4A0B-BFEA-06D1EB3C9CA3.jpeg

    The switch tip matches the pinkish knobs but is less noticeable since it's smaller, so I'm not as concerned about that. I also painted the pickguard with the same color as described earlier in this thread.

    So all I have left to do is swap the entire assembly with the one that’s mounted on the guitar now...

    Stay tuned!



     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  15. Badstratplayer

    Badstratplayer Strat-Talker

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    I think there was a Clapton strat made with a rosewood board.
     
  16. IsaiasO

    IsaiasO Strat-Talker

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    My Black Strat.
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Strat-Talker

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    very nice! im thinking of a similar blackie with a hard tail bullet as a second guitar to my white Fender mim
     
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  18. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Strat-Talker

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    I realized that most of my guitar heroes had a black Strat. I ended up finding a 2009 Squier bullet black, still in the plastic. In 2008 / 2009, the bullets had a full thickness body and a beefy neck. And I bought it with the intentions of changing out the electronics to suit my needs. I've given it the full Custom Shop neck treatment. And it's an excellent playing guitar. All that's left to do now is change out the tuners.
     
  19. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Okay, so my last post kind of left everyone hanging but rest assured I have made quite a few changes in that time, hence my long overdue update...

    The first thing I must do is to laud the amazing tones I'm hearing from the Squier Classic Vibe Alnico III 50s Strat pickups I installed! These may very well be the best classic sounding Strat pickups I've ever heard. I know that sounds a bit over the top, but I really love the tones coming out of this guitar and am finding myself picking it up more than my other previously favorite axes.

    Other than that, I also changed the pots and selector switch. All the chinese pots sounded scratchy and after the 5-way switch crapped out (twice) I finally decided it was time to replace them with high quality Fender parts for good!

    I added an “S-1 Switch Volume Pot” in place of the regular volume control and a “No-Load Tone Pot”, which is wired so as to add a tone control to the bridge pickup.

    All the S-1 switch does is provide a bridge+neck pickup option. When the S-1 switch is pressed, it is wired up so the B+N combination is “On” no matter what position the 5-way switch is in. Here is a diagram showing the wiring circuit:

    ~2019-07-16a Blackie S-1 Wiring.jpg

    Basically, when the S-1 switch is in the "Off" position, all the pickups are wired to the 5-way switch as you'd normally expect. But, when the S-1 switch is push in to the "On" position the middle pickup is completely removed from the circuit while the bridge and neck pickups are on all the time, no matter what position the 5-way switch is on.

    There are subtle differences in tone depending on which position the 5-way switch is in, since the tone controls interact slightly different depending on which one is effecting the circuit (especially when the "No-Load" tone pot is in its "bypass" position).

    Other than that, I also added a mint green fender pickguard.

    So here it is in its final incarnation:

    IMG_0993b.JPG
    IMG_0994.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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