Project Complete: Mercer

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Pisces One, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Pisces One

    Pisces One Strat-Talk Member

    Mar 17, 2015
    Name: Mercer

    Model: 2011 Squier Vintage Modified HSS Strat

    Finish: Gunmetal Gray

    Body: Indian Red Cedar

    Neck: Maple

    Fingerboard: Rosewood

    Hardware: Chrome

    Tuning: D Standard (D G C F A D)

    Strings: Ernie Ball Power Slinky (.11 – .48)

    Completion Date: 7 February 2020

    Setup: Neil Sargent, and “Neil 2”

    Let’s start from the top:

    - Chrome Sperzel locking tuners. This is my second set. They work great, as we’ll see later.


    - Bone nut, to replace synthetic, originally filed for EB Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms (.10 – .52). Nut later reground to accommodate thicker gauge.
    Nut & Frets.jpg

    - My playing dented original frets, so I upgraded to Dunlop SS6100, and increased neck radius from 9.5” to 12”. Fretwork was done by Neil Sargent in Houston, TX. He is one of the best guitar techs out there, and did initial setup (pickup height, Wilkinson, Dunlop Straplocks, string action).

    Frets 2.jpg

    - Teal blue strap from GuitarWorks; fitted with Dunlop Straplocks.

    Close Up.jpg

    - Custom blue mirror pickguard by @Stephen James of Atheris Innovations. This took 1.5 months. He worked with me from start to finish: CAD draft, prototyping—guiding me step-by-step. He asked me about things I didn’t know I needed: chamfered holes, pan-head screws, beveling-without-beveling. The pickguard is amazing, and looks 3D. @Stephen James – please feel free to elaborate.


    - Solid white pickup covers from Mojotone. This riddle was solved in another thread.

    - White knobs with black lettering. They are raised above the pickguard to prevent scratching.


    - Wilkinson VS100-N tremolo, set for up-down motions. Sperzels work great for keeping in tune.

    Now for electronics:

    - I kept the stock Duncan Designed SC-101 pickups for neck and middle. They’re stacked A5 single coils, with a dark and swampy tone. Strat-quack is very pronounced. For more info, see @Antigua's analysis here.

    - Upgraded bridge humbucker to Iron Gear Metal Machine. It is ceramic with 21kΩ resistance. Really distortion-friendly. All notes clear in chords. Currently searching for an amp setting that works with it.

    - Wiring:

    - 250k CTS pot, split-shaft -> N

    - 300k CTS pot, split-shaft -> V

    - 500k CTS pot, split-shaft -> M + B

    - CRL Lever Switch

    - Orange Drop Cap (0.047 μF)

    - Output Jack

    - Shielded Push-back wire

    - Single coil hookup wires

    Sounds loud, sharp, and pronounced. Pickup volume is balanced.

    Setup is really good for hard rock and metal, which is what I wanted. I will post clips of each switch position.

    Full Shot.jpg
    Stephen James and 3bolt79 like this.