Under the hood

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by boodysaspie, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. boodysaspie

    boodysaspie Strat-Talk Member

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    Each time I lift the scratchplate on a strat, my heart sinks at the sloppy wiring. I wonder why Fender haven't incorporated some kind of PCB on the underside of the plate, so that all contacts are made when the components are screwed in place.

    OK, I get the "vintage" thing, and the flexibility which some players enjoy when making their own mods. But these are arguments for wiring, not sloppy wiring.

    Am I asking too much from a £1500 guitar?
     
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  2. Sparque

    Sparque Strat-Talker

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    Best not to look under there, mate.
    I like for things under the covers and the scratchplate to be a complete mystery to me.

    "How's it work?"

    "I dunno. PFM, I reckon."

    "PFM??"

    "Pure F#%king Magic."

    "Fair enough then."

    :oops:
     
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  3. blasphemoustrat

    blasphemoustrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have either one of the old toneshapers pcb boards or an obsidian board in every guitar aside from my semi hollows right now. It's just better. Plus as a tinkerer, a huge time saver. I think I prefer the obsidian wire, it's just a better product, but I do enjoy all the options that are at your finger tips with the tone shaper unnamed (1).jpg il_794xN.1978459032_jsjo.jpg
     
  4. Isca

    Isca Strat-Talker

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    It's even worse for us lefties... not only are you treated to shoddy workmanship under the hood, but they don't even bother to use reverse audio taper pots, so your 'usable range' is all right at the other end of the knob's play...
     
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  5. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just think what you would see if you could look under your own hood
    and find out what THAT LOOKS LIKE.

    Best not to....
     
  6. Isca

    Isca Strat-Talker

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    Nope not at all....for that kind of dough especially for a solid body electric...it better be perfect.
     
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  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    You'll be wanting left handed scissors, can openers and corkscrews next...
     
  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    Fender seems a bit too tied to traditions to go the route of a 21st century all electronic control panel like a ToneShaper.
     
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  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Maybe they should fit robo-tuners too. It worked well for, now what was their name again?
     
  11. Isca

    Isca Strat-Talker

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    Personally I'm not expecting futuristic control panels, I just want neat, well-soldered connections and properly functioning pots! ;) Unless poor soldering is part of the time-honoured tradition? :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    None of my Fenders (or other guitars) have poor soldering, the factory work is quite neat.
     
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  13. Deebs3

    Deebs3 Strat-O-Master

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    I agree, I mean it's not rocket science, maybe all push on connectors would be nice? I just spent an hour changing pickups coz I couldn't get the wires to sit in the right place preventing the pick guard from sitting flat, but I guess I am learning... slowly..
     
  14. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

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    Sure, the nitro v. poly, ash v. alder, maple v. rosewood debates are getting old, let's add another point of contention where people think they can hear a difference.

    Seriously, it's a good idea, but be prepared for people to go batsh*t about it, even though there's no tonal difference - like the Gibson community did. Would be a boon for aftermarket makers of pots, caps & wiring, though...
     
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  15. boodysaspie

    boodysaspie Strat-Talk Member

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    LOL, I hadn't considered that! "PCBs suck tone, kid."
     
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  16. boodysaspie

    boodysaspie Strat-Talk Member

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    With OCD like mine it's like soldiers on parade, trust me.
     
  17. boodysaspie

    boodysaspie Strat-Talk Member

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    Yes! PCBs on Squier (and maybe Mex), Toneshaper on US, trad-but-pro wiring on Custom Shop Relic/NOS.
     
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  18. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yep, that's pretty much the reason in that PCB construction on Fenders and Gibsons. Fender tried it with those "American Deluxe Strat Plus" models from 2014-2015, but those also included those "Personality Card" that altered the wiring (changing from standard tone pots to a master tone and blender control and a few other options). But the point-to-point wiring should be nice and clean, not like what you found.

    It seems like less tradition-bound manufacturers like Ernie Ball Music Man can move to PCB construction without complaints - of course most of the EBMMs with circuit cards also have boost circuits, buffered outputs (that raise all switch positions to the same output) and "Silent Circuit" noise reduction for single coils. But their "legacy" models are still point-to-point wired - those being the Silhouette, Silhouette Special, Silhouette Baritone, Albert Lee, Steve Morse, Morse Y2D, Axis and Axis SuperSport. While the Silhouette Special and Albert Lee have an older "self contained" version of the Silent Circuit that is a battery powered dummy coil wired into the switch. The original John Petrucci/JP Maple Top are a hybrid - the magnetic pickups and switching are point-to-point wired but of course the piezo controls are a circuit card.
     
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  19. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Strat-Talker

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    Quit whining.
     
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  20. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Not sure that anyone's looking for some mystical tonal improvement, although there's always someone who will, but most seem more concerned with the quality of existing craftsmanship and/or improvements which make modding cleaner, faster and easier.

    As someone said, quick connects seem like the least, and most cost effective, that could be done. Would seem to jibe with the theory behind the bolt on neck, but I have to say, I'm colllecting parts, information and skills for a build and I would give serious thought to the tonerider setup.

    While I think I know what pickup setup I'm going to use, having the ability to quickly swap out different ones would be invaluable in assessing whether I'm getting what I want, or think I'm getting, once it's all together.
     
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