Vintage tuners & saddles on American Series?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by skyblue, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. skyblue

    skyblue Strat-Talk Member

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    Aside from my beloved MIM 60s Classic Strats, I also have a 2002 American Series Strat with the Delta Tone system. I love the look of 60s Strats and would like to change the tuners and saddles on the MIA to give it a vintage vibe. However, the choices are daunting for a newb like me. Can someone please let me know exactly what brands and/or model number to purchase that will be drop-in replacements, as I don't really want to do any other modifications to the guitar. I was looking at Fender's vintage style machine heads and saddles, but the descriptions didn't say if they'd fit my particular model....Thanks for any help you can give, guys!

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  2. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Regular Kluson style vintage tuners will fit, but you'll need to buy a set of adaptor bushings as the tuner holes will be bigger than needed for a vintage tuner. You won't be able to replace the saddles because they're offset. I'd imagine a new Trem' unit from a 2008 onwards Am Std will be your only option.
     
  3. Bucklander

    Bucklander Strat-Talk Member

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    Not 100% sure about saddles, but the Vintage style Fender bent steel ones should be simple screw-in replacements. Edit: the above got here while I was writing this and suggests not.

    As for tuners - genuine Fender Vintage style tuners (chrome or nickel... I always go for nickel) will fit, but you might need bushings to fill out the main 'post-hole' left by the ones you remove, if those holes are larger than the bushings on the vintage ones. Bushings are readily available too. The stock tuners will leave two little locating holes, but these will be covered up by the vintage tuners.

    Last time I looked, Stewmac had diagrams of these things, so you can see if the bushings are required (the tuners come with their own bushings, and if they do fit you obviously don't need them anyway). If you Google you should find more info on that.

    I'd start by buying the tuners and just see if the bushings are the same size... but someone might follow here and give you a definitive answer.
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  4. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would think the newer "Classic Gear" vintage-style tuners should fit and drop right in, since they have the 2-pin mounting configuration and the hex bushing - Fender part #0990802100. Agree with fenderkev about the bridge; you could also look at aftermarket suppliers like Callaham or GFS (both ends of the price spectrum).
     
  5. Tamarindo03

    Tamarindo03 Strat-Talker

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    If you don't like the look of the fat conversion bushings, here is what i dit.
    I made myself some conversion bushings out of an aluminium tube to put the original smaller ones in.

    53BA21B7-32A5-4332-8548-69925A828EF6.jpeg CE6A7576-6FD2-44A3-B697-D0618BA35E06.jpeg B1678CCD-BAA0-4EF2-9E6A-121FB6710751.jpeg

    Conversion bushings VS vintage style

    2C0D0315-1241-418D-8CD6-EA087290ECEC.jpeg

    All vintage style

    37336FDC-8861-4856-865F-3448551E1244.jpeg
     
  6. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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  7. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep
    ClassicGear tuners as used on the American Performer

    Strat_Am_Perf_hdstk_rear.jpg Fender_Classic_Gear02.jpg
     
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  8. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Agreed on the tuners - the Classicgear tuners are vintage looking but modern mounting. They are also the modern 18:1 ratio - more turns needed but provides for a bit finer tuning.

    Also agree on having to get bent steel saddles with offset screws from an aftermarket supplier. If your bridge has any issues you could always consider a complete bridge swap to either the 2008-2016 American Standard bridge, the 2016-present American Professional bridge (which has a snap-in arm) or a complete bridge unit from an aftermarket supplier.
     
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  9. skyblue

    skyblue Strat-Talk Member

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    Thank you, all! Your input is truly appreciated! It's a bummer about the Fender saddles, but:

    Nadzab, is the Callaham American Standard saddle set all I'll need to purchase in order to convert to a vintage look without having to do a complete bridge swap? I'd prefer not to do a complete swap, as I'm probably not skilled enough to do a good job of it. I'm providing the link to the Callaham set below for your convenience:

    https://www.callahamguitars.com/strat_trem_amstdsaddleset_catalog.htm

    Skinny Nitro, those Classic Gear tuners look like the way to go! Could you please post a picture of what they'd look like from the front?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  10. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Here we go, front view.
    Strat_Am_Performer_Headstock_front.jpg
     
  11. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes, you would need the "Offset Intonation Saddles: Pre 2008" set on that page for your American Series.
     
  12. skyblue

    skyblue Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks guys! One last question, I hope.... I just ordered the Classic Gear tuners as suggested. Will I also need to change the string guide or can I still use the one that's currently on the guitar?
     
  13. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    You can use the existing string guide; I would try it for a while before deciding if you need the 2nd string tree. Remember, the Classic Gear tuners do not have staggered-height posts; they are all the same height (i.e. same height as the 2 tall ones on your American Series).
     
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  14. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You could always put more wraps around the post on the strings that don’t have the string tree, d and g.