New To Strats-2 Questions

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Highlonesomef5, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Highlonesomef5

    Highlonesomef5 Strat-Talk Member

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    Purchased a EC Strat last month. love everything about it, except it is battery powered.

    If I ever decide to change PUs can this be done without mods to the guitar? As I understand it, adding EC PUs to a standard Strat requires mods to the body.

    Second question, whats a good source for a replacement back plate, I would like to get something different.

    Thanks

    I had also purchased an American Standard Tele to compare against the Strat. The Tele is going back. I just could not get to like it anywhere near as much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  2. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

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    You can certainly swap pickups without changing anything cosmetic on the guitar.

    I have bought tremelo spring covers from Sweetwater and various eBay sellers. I usually google the color or material I'm looking for.

    Do you have something mind for the back plate?
     
  3. Highlonesomef5

    Highlonesomef5 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Not sure what is available for back plates in terms of materials or colors.
     
  4. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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  5. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m pretty sure the battery has to do with the dB boost, not the pickups.

    Curious, why are you looking to change the backplate?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes the battery drives the boost.
     
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  7. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    True, but the EC Strat does not function if the battery dies. It's my understanding that the boost is technically always on in the circuit whether it's dialed "off" or all the way up.

    That being said the boost can be used with any pickups, but it's always been recommended that noiseless pickups of some type be used to prevent the boost from, well, "boosting" any hum, but I know some folks have put in normal pickups so maybe they can comment on how the boost circuit interacts with regular pickups in terms of extraneous noise/hum.
     
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  8. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    The output jack acts as a switch. Always unplug it to make the batteries last longer. My EOB strat is the same way. Dead battery = no sound. I went though a half dozen 9V batteries before some one posted a schematic.
     
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  9. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    If EC was to apply his mod now it would prob involve a USB plug and some power bank like those used on phones nowadays.
     
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  10. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    Congrats, and welcome to the forum! EC Strats are fine guitars. I personally wouldn't spend money on a backplate--anyone you play for will never see it.
     
  11. Highlonesomef5

    Highlonesomef5 Strat-Talk Member

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    inexpensive way to customize my guitar.
     
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Get a new pickguard, load it up with your new pickups and pots and caps. Then remove the EC pickguard and controls in as much as one piece as possible. Put the EC system in a bag/box you can find someday when you decide to sell the guitar (because people do that). Then put the new loaded pickguard in there.

    You can get new pickguards and back plates together or separate on ebay or Amazon. Do a search. I got a new Tort pickguard with the Hendrix angle bridge for $12 or so. I wired it with the Armstrong Blender (stock SSS blends into HSH). The Tele H is run with a 4-way switch to get either coil alone, parallel Quack, or series humbucking.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Strat-Talker

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    If you love everything about it, except the battery, I guess I don't understand the problem. The battery is easy to change, and if you unplug the guitar when you're not playing it, there is no drain on the battery. The jack has 3 connections rather than 2, and the battery is switched off when unplugged. The preamp draws very little battery power even when it's on. I play my EC almost daily and it's my number 1 gigging guitar. I change the battery once a year and it's never even gotten to where it sounds different, let alone died. The mid boost and TBX make this guitar incredibly versatile. You've got to have the battery to get the benefit the mid boost preamp; and noiseless operation even with long cable runs is icing on the cake. If you change to passive pickups with this circuit, you will end up with a lot of amplified hum and noise. If you go further and take out the TBX and mid boost, what's the point of having an EC Strat? I would suggest working with it as is for awhile before making any changes. If you go ahead and change it, I would suggest what jvin248 said. Get a new pickguard with your new pickups and electronics and swap the whole thing. Save your EC stuff. If you want to go back, all you'll have to do is swap out the loaded pickguards and change out the jacks. The only soldering you'll have to do at that point is the two or three connections at the jack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  14. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    The EC strat doesn't have active pickups, it's just the mid-boost that's battery powered. You could re-wire it to bypass the mid-boost circuit--if I wanted to do that with one I'd use a push-pull pot for a switch--in one position sending the signal to the EC circuit board as-normal, and in the other position bypassing the circuit board and sending the signal to the volume pot. You could use a mini-toggle instead of a push-pull, but that would require drilling a hole in the pickguard, and I'd be reluctant to do that.

    On the schematic I found here: https://www.tdpri.com/attachments/ericclapton-20copy-jpg.61071/, the pickup signal TO the mid-boost circuit is a yellow wire that comes from the middle lug of the tone pot; the signal coming back from the mid-boost circuit is on the green wire that connects to the volume pot.


    I own one guitar with active pickups, when I first got it I left it plugged in 'cuz I didn't know any better. Dead battery next time I picked it up, v. frustrating. Once I figured out I need to unplug it when not in use, the battery lasts a year or more.
     
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  15. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Strat-Talker

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    Thanks for the correction about EC pickups being passive, dirocyn! They are stacked humbuckers, as opposed to active single coils, right? I was confused with my other Strat with EMG's and SPC mid boost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  16. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes, the Vintage Noiseless pickups are stacked humbucker type pickups. The early ECs of course had Lace Sensor pickups (1988-2000, maybe early 2001) which have a unique design.
     
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  17. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Depending what year, it's either Vintage Noiseless (stacked humbuckers) or lace sensors.

    Edit: I didn't see that @John C beat me to this. Ninja'd!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  18. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    Welcome and congrats on the EC. Sorry to hear you don't like the tele. I have both and the tele is my go to, but I love the strat tone sometimes and a tele won't quite do the same thing. Anywho... about the back plate, if you are referring to the tremolo spring cover, a lot of people just remove them entirely. Supposedly removing it improves tone. I don't know about that, but I prefer taking them off. If nothing else, changing strings and adjusting the springs is easier (of course you probably have the trem blocked on the EC). Personally, I'd remove it and put it in a bag with the screws and store it in the case. But if you do decide to change it, be aware that there are different screw patterns. I think the MIMs and MIAs are the same, but Squiers are different. Also, many music stores carry them, so you don't necessarily have to get one online. But even if you pay top dollar for a Fender back plate it might set you back $30 or so, so no need to "shop around" too much.
     
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  19. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    Congrats on your new EC Strat. I haven’t played one of those but I’ve read the specs and it sounds like it would be a comfortable guitar for my hands.

    I like the preamp too. I’ve got one in my Telecaster. I did a modification to the circuit so that I can bypass it if I want.

    You can run pretty much any set of pickups you like with it but I’d play it for a good long while before making any changes. You can get a lot of tonal variation simply by using the volume and tone controls and you can raise/lower the pickups too.
     
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  20. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Strat-Talker

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    +1 ^^^ Might I ask what preamp you have in your Tele? I've been wanting to do this. I looked at the Guitar Fetish Tele preamp/boost a while back, but it looks like it's no longer available.