MIM Roland-Ready Strat project

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by azlarry, Nov 20, 2020 at 5:55 PM.

  1. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Just received a used Roland-Ready MIM Strat (made in 2000 I believe). It is in great shape but I would like some suggestions/advice about how to potentially solve a few issues I have with it. Bear with me and thanks in advance for suffering through this post!

    A few bits of background in case it helps:
    • I have been playing a 2006 American Deluxe Strat with the GK-3 pickup mounted on top, so I know my way around the Roland system.
    • I wanted the Roland-Ready MIM Strat with the internal pickup because I don't like the look of the GK-3 and it does interfere with some of my playing
    • If I can get the MIM Strat to meet my needs, I may sell the MIA Strat (especially if I end up spending a bit to get the MIM where I want it) because I really don't need two guitars (I don't gig enough/am too lazy to bring a backup guitar)
    • I am willing to do basic swap-outs (have replaced pickups and am adventurous enough to try a nut replacement, but probably not comfortable with

    Coming from the American Strat (and I very nice one at that), here are the issues I have noticed immediately:
    • The standard pickups are not good at all and I will want to upgrade them
    • I don't like the neck either -- the frets are OK but the finish on the neck is awfully sticky, the nut seems very cheap, and I am now addicted to locking tuners. I would also like the 22nd fret but not a deal-breaker.
    • I haven't tried the vintage tremolo yet as the previous owner set it flat, but I suspect it it will not stay in tune as well as my two-post MIA Strat and would want to consider improving tuning stability somehow

    Wide open for advice and suggestions. One idea that came to mind was to get a newer MIM Strat with a good neck and better pickups and swap them over. Or I could use my current MIA Strat as a 'donor' guitar but I'm not sure if you can use MIA necks on MIM Strats?

    Looking forward to a bit of a project and hoping I'm not asking for the impossible. Thank you.
     
  2. NutBehindTheStrat

    NutBehindTheStrat New Member!

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    Yes you can use a MIA neck on a MIM body and vice versa. Check out the Warmoth guitar neck webpage videos for endless guitar neck & body information.

    Byw
     
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  3. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Strat-O-Master

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    US neck onto the MIM body.

    Sell the MIM neck and US body separately.

    Buy pickups.

    Enjoy.
     
  4. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Thanks -- no concerns about the outer strings not lining up with the fretboard edge properly? I know the nut width difference is small, but it seems like that difference could be a big deal along the neck? I'll be restringing this weekend and will 'simulate' the high/low E nut slots being a bit wider to see if I am over-thinking this (as usual).
     
  5. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    I always appreciated this video; there was some major tweaking of a Roland-Ready Stratocaster involved.

     
  6. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Thanks, great video! All of my prior searching led to Roland product demos so I somehow missed that one. I wish there was a video of the pickups and switch getting replaced, I’ve read that the Roland stuff is really cramped in there and that is likely something I will eventually do. Do not like the stock pickups so far and the switch is super noisy. My guitar is the earlier model (2000?) and the GC-1 came later so I assume it has better parts.

    I suppose the best part of the video is knowing that what I want is possible! Thanks again.
     
  7. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    I have been gigging Roland Ready Strats for over 10 years. The GK-3 pickup fails and has to be replaced... on normal guitars. I got tired of replacing them every few years. I have two RR’s with DiMarzo pickups, Calliham tremolo units, locking tuners... and one of them has Jascar Gold Frets installed. They get the job done.
     
  8. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Thanks for the comment ... you are making me feel better about my assumed upgrade priorities (pickups, tremolo, tuners ...)
     
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  9. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    @azlarry
    I got some old DiMarzio Virtual Vintage in one and I have some Areas in the other. I can’t be bothered with hum at the gig. They sound Straty enough by the time they are mic’d down and pumped into the house.

    The Calliham’s are very good also if your gonna use the bar.
     
  10. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Thanks ... I am looking at replacing the trem but probably further down the road. Did you do the work yourself or can you share any advice about the pup replacement? I haven't unscrewed the Pickguard yet but read somewhere that it is cramped with all of the Roland pup-related stuff. And did you replace the 5-way switch? I will definitely replace mine as it has a loud pop from setting to setting.
     
  11. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    I’ll admit to not being overly picky about some aspects of what is in those guitars. I just didn’t want them to hummm ... anywhere. But the DiMarzios sound good! Yes there is a rat’s nest of wires under the pick guard. I just paid attention to what I was disconnecting and what I was putting back. I didn’t change the 5 way switch but I did give them a squirt of Detox to clean them. That may solve your popping noise also. Just be careful and you should be able to swap them out with out any problem if you have experience doing that type of thing. Maybe make a quick diagram of the 5 way switch showing which lugs the pickups go to will help when you put in the new ones. Little things like that can save you a lot of headaches down the road...
     
  12. azlarry

    azlarry New Member!

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    Good advice and appreciate the response. I plan on taking a ridiculous amount of pictures before I do anything!
     
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