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View Full Version : MIM Strat mods-what to do?


GuitarsFromMars
09-10-2006, 11:57 PM
I have a 1954 50th Anniversary MIM Strat as a loaner with the option to buy and decided I am going to buy it.I just got it back from the luthier after having the tailpiece blocked,new bone nut,frets leveled and dressed,new strings and intonation set.I was wondering what you strat guys have done to MIM Strats to make them sound and play better than they do bone stock?

tfunster
09-11-2006, 12:23 AM
Sounds like you got the guitar all set up so hopefully it'll play great.

I'm guessing the most obvious and hopefully final step would be to put a set of great pickups in there, and there are a hell of a lot of pickup makers out there:
Jason Lollar
Lindy Fralin
BareKnuckle
Alan Hamel
and Fender Custom Shop makes some really nice pickups for half the price of those guys.

Good luck!

VintageToneGuy
09-11-2006, 03:35 AM
I put a set of EMG DG 20's (David Gilmour) active pup's in a Mexican Strat and it sounded Killer. Also, just put a set of Fralin Blues Specials in My American Strat which sounds killer also. Both are pricey though!

SFW
09-11-2006, 05:41 AM
Let's see... I always put locking tuners on them. From there, I usually wire the last tone knob to the bridge pickup (while replacing the pickups), new trem unit with a heavier block and a graphite nut.

It sounds like you're well on you way, as far as stock mods go. All you have left is to put some nice pups in there. Where are the pics? ;)

Guinness Lad
09-11-2006, 08:16 AM
Callaham bridge assembly. Personally, I never understood the point of locking tuners, if strung properly standard tuners work just fine. If the guitar goes out of tune a lot it's most likely the nut. If you like noiseless pu's the Kinmans are tough to beat. Other then these things there's not much else unless you want to put a bone nut on it and have it refretted, I'd play it for a while first.

c_mac
09-11-2006, 09:12 AM
Callaham bridge assembly. Personally, I never understood the point of locking tuners, if strung properly standard tuners work just fine. If the guitar goes out of tune a lot it's most likely the nut. If you like noiseless pu's the Kinmans are tough to beat. Other then these things there's not much else unless you want to put a bone nut on it and have it refretted, I'd play it for a while first.

Locking tuners are easier to string than standard tuners, not that standard tuners are hard though. I personally love locking tuners and put them on all of my guitars.

Keep GFS in mind for pickups. They have many different Strat pickups to choose from and they sound killer and are cheap.

One mod that I do on Strats or Strat-style guitar is to add a push/pull pot or mini-switch to turn the bridge pickup on and off. This allows you to get a few extra pickup combos like neck+bridge and all 3 pickups at once.

GuitarsFromMars
09-11-2006, 09:34 AM
Let's see... I always put locking tuners on them. From there, I usually wire the last tone knob to the bridge pickup (while replacing the pickups), new trem unit with a heavier block and a graphite nut.

It sounds like you're well on you way, as far as stock mods go. All you have left is to put some nice pups in there. Where are the pics? ;)

I don't have a camera...the guitar is all gold:shoreline gold paint,gold anodized aluminum pickguard,gold hardware including tuners,bridge,pickguard screws.The neck is very straight grained flat sawn maple with a 9 inch radius to the fret board.The pickup units that are in the guitar actually sound pretty righteous I'm thinking about getting the Callaham mexi-block as I am told by a buddy here in Florida it's the thing to do.I like the sound of a bone nut over graphite, although I sprinkle graphite dust liberally in the sting slots with each string change.

Jack The Riffer
09-11-2006, 09:43 AM
I don't have a camera...the guitar is all gold:shoreline gold paint,gold anodized aluminum pickguard,gold hardware including tuners,bridge,pickguard screws.The neck is very straight grained flat sawn maple with a 9 inch radius to the fret board.The pickup units that are in the guitar actually sound pretty righteous I'm thinking about getting the Callaham mexi-block as I am told by a buddy here in Florida it's the thing to do.I like the sound of a bone nut over graphite, although I sprinkle graphite dust liberally in the sting slots with each string change.

Got the same strat and concidering what you've done to it so far I'd say play it for a while as is. Agree about the stock p/u's, they do sound pretty good.

GuitarsFromMars
09-11-2006, 12:21 PM
Got the same strat and concidering what you've done to it so far I'd say play it for a while as is. Agree about the stock p/u's, they do sound pretty good.

Ah-I was wondering when you were going to show up:p I wasn't sure if you had seen one of these,but that you own one-excellent!:cool:

Jack The Riffer
09-11-2006, 12:35 PM
Ah-I was wondering when you were going to show up:p I wasn't sure if you had seen one of these,but that you own one-excellent!:cool:

:BEER

Also no need imho to buy a new mexi-block unless you just want to mod further, Fender's been doing this for over 50 years and I think they got it right.

Guinness Lad
09-11-2006, 01:28 PM
:BEER

Also no need imho to buy a new mexi-block unless you just want to mod further, Fender's been doing this for over 50 years and I think they got it right.

They had it right, but unless I missed something they have changed from hard steel to zinc a while back. Jap strats had zinc blocks. Also if you notice a lot of the strats hanging on the wall most of imports you will see will have thinner blocks. It's all about cost reducing a product, Fender is no different then any other manufacturer.

I hate to say it but it but changing from zinc to steel does make a difference.

Jack The Riffer
09-11-2006, 01:45 PM
They had it right, but unless I missed something they have changed from hard steel to zinc a while back. Jap strats had zinc blocks. Also if you notice a lot of the strats hanging on the wall most of imports you will see will have thinner blocks. It's all about cost reducing a product, Fender is no different then any other manufacturer.

I hate to say it but it but changing from zinc to steel does make a difference.
Here's my reasoning/logic/experience/voices in my head:

Ever have a day where everything just sounds soooo damn good you want to have sex with your gear right then and there? Then the next day, with the same amp settings, same guitar, same everything, for whatever reason it just doesn't sound the same, call it an off day.

We've all experienced this so I began to question a lot of the mods I've messed with and wondered if I really did hear a difference in some of the things I perceived as changed for the better.

Based on being a constant tinkerer and having several strats of each (MIM-USA-Custom Shop) the biggest and most pronounced changes in tone resulted from a proper setup, p/u's, string gauges and pick's (try a thin pick and a heavy back and forth and tell me your thoughts) The other stuff like different blocks, different bridges/saddles I WANTED to hear improvements but in the big picture never did.
Here's another point: what's the first thing a person does when they, for example, change the trem/block? Add new strings. Well the new strings are gonna sound better than the ones you just changed right?

Don't get me wrong, mod away and have fun (I do) I just think the internet has created too much folkelore and turned it into 'fact' and a lot of newbies read this thinking they have to spend a ton of money to get good tone and that's just not true.

leofenderbender
09-11-2006, 02:00 PM
They had it right, but unless I missed something they have changed from hard steel to zinc a while back. Jap strats had zinc blocks. Also if you notice a lot of the strats hanging on the wall most of imports you will see will have thinner blocks. It's all about cost reducing a product, Fender is no different then any other manufacturer.

I hate to say it but it but changing from zinc to steel does make a difference.

You missed the mark by not saying that it makes a tremendous, big-time, or huge difference. The difference in tone from the MIM block to a Callaham rolled steel block is definitely worth the cost/effort.

There are a number of features in a MIM strat that could be improved: the inertia block and the pickups being the most notable.

GuitarsFromMars
09-11-2006, 03:02 PM
This is now turning into the kind of discussion I had hoped for...

Go Cat Go!!
09-11-2006, 06:44 PM
I swapped the block and saddles on my 93 MIM standard for Callaham parts. It made a huge difference. The guitar sounds thicker and it has more body. (I sound like a shampoo commercial). It doesn't sound thin at all anymore. On my MIM 60's Classic and my Deluxe Player I swapped the bridge for a Wilkenson vintage 6 point. Again it made a difference for the better. I have become a believer in Wilkenson and Callaham products. My tin ear can hear the difference with the guitars unplugged.

Just my $0.02.

Redrum
09-12-2006, 11:11 AM
Switching to a Callaham tremolo block makes a HUGE difference. No kidding. I'm not the anal Eric Johnson tone type, but switching to the Callaham block definitely increased the sustain and ring in both Strats I put them in. For around 60 bucks it's one of the best mods you can do to your Strat.

Really.

Jack The Riffer
09-12-2006, 11:41 AM
Switching to a Callaham tremolo block makes a HUGE difference. No kidding. I'm not the anal Eric Johnson tone type, but switching to the Callaham block definitely increased the sustain and ring in both Strats I put them in. For around 60 bucks it's one of the best mods you can do to your Strat.

Really.

Do you use the whammy or block your trem? I'm starting to think that because I don't whammy (all mine are blocked) is why I never heard any difference.

mojocaster.com
09-12-2006, 12:26 PM
when it comes to pickups, let's not forget Pete Biltoft at www.VintageVibeGuitars.com (http://www.VintageVibeGuitars.com) :)

Redrum
09-12-2006, 02:36 PM
Jack The Riffer,
I play the wang bars in both Strats all the time, but the strings still seat into the tremolo blocks regardless of whether the trem is blocked or not.
Check-out the Callaham blocks at www.callahamguitars.com (http://www.callahamguitars.com) for details.

Tonequest also reviewed these superior blocks as well. It's one Strat upgrade you won't regret.

T. Caster
09-12-2006, 02:57 PM
You might try an electronics upgrade kit from RS guitars, go for the Super Pots" option. I just did this on my parts caster Tele/Strat and it made a SIGNIFICANT difference! Much fuller sound, more than I had expected.

If you are on a budget, there is quite a buzz going around over on the Tele forum about the new Bill Lawrence "Keystone" pups for Tele and Strat. These are not the noiseless series, but a brand new line. They are not on the Lawrence web site, are distributed by on of the forum mods I believe. They are very reasonably priced, I think under $80 for a set of three Strat pups. Here are a few links. I haven't tried these, but would have if I had heard about them sooner.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/just-pickups/49722-keystone-tele-pus.html

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/just-pickups/55161-keystones-here-2.html

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/just-pickups/56147-lawrence-keystone-vs-l280s.html


Another relatively unknown source for high grade pickups is Budz Guitars. I recently got a set for my Tele/Strat partscaster, and they sound really good, especially after the RS upgrade install. I got the Purebred Strat neck and middle, and the Mongrel Tele bridge. The Mongrel is a slightly hotter pickup, but retains the bite and overall Tele sound. Cliff, at Destroy All Guitars is his main distributor. For strats, if you have a flatter fingerboard radius, you might want to order them made flat rather than staggered.

http://www.destroyallguitars.com/pages/budz.html

I don't have any connection to any of the businesses mentioned, just passing along info.

Dan

GuitarsFromMars
09-12-2006, 04:36 PM
I have some consideration for the Callaham block-but my trem is currently blocked...if I plan on leaving it blocked will it still make a difference if I put it in?

Go Cat Go!!
09-12-2006, 06:44 PM
I have some consideration for the Callaham block-but my trem is currently blocked...if I plan on leaving it blocked will it still make a difference if I put it in?

I would say yes.

Tone_Terrific
09-12-2006, 08:58 PM
I have some consideration for the Callaham block-but my trem is currently blocked...if I plan on leaving it blocked will it still make a difference if I put it in?

Blocked tightly on both sides?
Hence, well coupled to the body?
Try the new block. Mark me down as surprised if you hear any difference.

chadd
09-12-2006, 09:21 PM
I would expect the steel block to make the biggest difference with a full floating bridge. I swapped the whole tremolo on my MIM Strat and didn't notice much of a difference, but then I discovered that my old block was steel in the first place.

I just replaced the pickups with Suhr V60LPs with blender wiring from Acme and a BPSSC system. That made a huge difference!

Jack The Riffer
09-12-2006, 09:32 PM
Blocked tightly on both sides?
Hence, well coupled to the body?
Try the new block. Mark me down as surprised if you hear any difference.

My thoughts exactly. With the bridge tight against the body and no whammying (is that a word?) what difference does the size/make of the block really matter? What the heck though, try it and see what happens.

what?
09-12-2006, 09:48 PM
man I was about to order a trem block for my 60's ri mexi strat. Now with all this discussion I'm starting to worry...I'm going to put a set of gotoh locking tuner on my strat and start using the whammy a bit. Would the trem block helps?

Jack The Riffer
09-12-2006, 10:07 PM
man I was about to order a trem block for my 60's ri mexi strat. Now with all this discussion I'm starting to worry...I'm going to put a set of gotoh locking tuner on my strat and start using the whammy a bit. Would the trem block helps?

Maybe:jo

:)

Seriously, I doubt it.

Just kidding!

Try one, bet it changes nothing.

OK, OK, just having fun with you (not really, it's a waste of money)

:crazy

Keep this in mind, has your strat been properly set up and intonated? If not then you'll want to do this after installing a new trem thingy otherwise you just might not get the full benefit of having a new fangled bridge block gizmo.

Go Cat Go!!
09-13-2006, 09:57 AM
Hi Guys,

On my MIM standard, I did not have the trem blocked. I did keep it tight and flat against the body using 4 springs. I heard a huge difference when I put the Callaham block and saddles on the guitar. I was surprised. The tone wasn't plinky and thin. It had more balls The guitar was noticbly louder unplugged. I think that even if you have the bridge blocked on both sides the trem block is still part of the equation and would make a difference.

What? - I have a Classic 60's MIM reissue. I dropped a Wilkenson vintage bridge in there after reading all the rave reviews on this forum. I prefer it to the Callaham unit. It's a drop in replacement and it's whammy action is much smoother. It has a steel block and steel saddles. John Suhr is now offering this bridge as an option. Best of all it is half the price of the Callaham Premium upgrade!

GuitarsFromMars
09-14-2006, 04:13 PM
Hi Guys,

On my MIM standard, I did not have the trem blocked. I did keep it tight and flat against the body using 4 springs. I heard a huge difference when I put the Callaham block and saddles on the guitar. I was surprised. The tone wasn't plinky and thin. It had more balls The guitar was noticbly louder unplugged. I think that even if you have the bridge blocked on both sides the trem block is still part of the equation and would make a difference.

What? - I have a Classic 60's MIM reissue. I dropped a Wilkenson vintage bridge in there after reading all the rave reviews on this forum. I prefer it to the Callaham unit. It's a drop in replacement and it's whammy action is much smoother. It has a steel block and steel saddles. John Suhr is now offering this bridge as an option. Best of all it is half the price of the Callaham Premium upgrade!

Where to get the Wilkinson at an excellent(read 60% of retail or so)price?

chadd
09-14-2006, 04:37 PM
I got mine at guitarfetish.com (http://store.guitarfetish.com/wivitrpoarst.html), but keep in mind that it has the American string and screw spacing, so it's not a drop-in replacement for most MIM strats. Measure before you buy! My strat is a 1991 MIM Standard, but it came with an American-sized steel-block tremolo for some reason.

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 04:50 PM
Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to start something, just asking.

I always read these post about modding a guitar and doing all kinds of after market parts on them. Makes me wonder, how many serious guitarist or famous guitar players, like Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughan, Buddy Guy, The 3 Kings, Page, Beck, any Jazz or Metal guys, play heavly modded guitars? How many of the Strat Gods did any of what you guys are into to their Strat's?

I'm not saying there's any thing wrong with modding, but why not save up your money and buy a better Strat or guitar?

mojocaster.com
09-14-2006, 06:23 PM
well, Clapton that you mention bought 12 strats, gave six away, and made blackie with the best parts of the remaining six... that's moddin' right there buddy :)

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 06:46 PM
I think your story is a little off Buddy. :rotflmao

From Eric's website:
But Steve Winwood had got me interested in them because he was playing a blonde-neck Stratocaster. It sounded great. Then I thought, "Well, yeah, Buddy Guy used to play one," and I thought of Johnny Guitar Watson playing one on the Gangster of Love album. So I bought a handful of them and brought them all back to England. I gave one to George Harrison, one to Steve Winwood and another to Pete Townshend. I kept three and out of them I made one - Blackie. I took the body from one, the neck from another, and so on. I have no idea what year the various parts are, so at the time it was not a good collectors’ guitar at all. It is now.

I wouldn't say it's the same kind of modding these guys are doing and not for the same reasons.

mojocaster.com
09-14-2006, 06:59 PM
not that far off... just the numbers are off, but the gist is there...

Look at the seventies, when those guys were modding their guitars like crazy - man, those guitars would be worth a fortune today if unmolested! And what about EVH? Yet another guitar hero who went ahead and modded the hell out of his guitars...

anyway, if you don't like modding guitars, that's your right... I do (www.mojocaster.com/mods). :D

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 07:26 PM
Hey, nice site and cool Tele. It looks like you really enjoy your modding, which is cool.

I rather buy a guitar that has what I want, when I buy it. I'm a Strat player and the last few years I have been a huge AV 62 fan and own a few. I just don't see the point of buying a cheap guitar to only spend more on other parts.

mojocaster.com
09-14-2006, 07:30 PM
Oh I do that too :) That's why I have the SRV strat, the Buddy Guy strat, the Robert Cray strat, the stratosonic, the telesonic, etc... but why one only one or the other?

I can still have this:

http://www.mojocaster.com/photos/tdl/mini-DSC06845.JPG


:)

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 07:45 PM
Nice flame job! I own a bunch of new and vintage guitars, but there all stock. When I got each one they were what I wanted in that guitar.

mojocaster.com
09-14-2006, 07:47 PM
...and there sure is a lot to be said about that!

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 07:54 PM
Since you like the SRV and other artist Strat's, maybe you'll dig this.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h311/Redhouse-Home-Theater/LipstickPic.jpg

My SRV Charley's.

mojocaster.com
09-14-2006, 08:02 PM
holy crap, what a beauty. Specs?

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 08:30 PM
This one was one of the first one's built and owned buy the owner of Charley's and played buy a whole bunch of famous guitar players while he owned it. It has a Alder body, ebony fingerboard, maple neck, 6150 frets and vintage Danelectro "lipstick" pickups which are shielded. It's a Hardtail with a single tone and volume control. White "trick" or "flip-flop" automotive paint which gives an irredescent blue tint depending on the light and angle of view. I also have a copy of the same Hula girl SRV had on his.

GuitarsFromMars
09-14-2006, 08:56 PM
Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to start something, just asking.

I always read these post about modding a guitar and doing all kinds of after market parts on them. Makes me wonder, how many serious guitarist or famous guitar players, like Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughan, Buddy Guy, The 3 Kings, Page, Beck, any Jazz or Metal guys, play heavly modded guitars? How many of the Strat Gods did any of what you guys are into to their Strat's?

I'm not saying there's any thing wrong with modding, but why not save up your money and buy a better Strat or guitar?

Because even with a top of the line Custom shop instrument,I have my tech set the guitar up so it's playable for me.Then there's the issue of the guys who find the stock Fender offerings (in this case)for pickups are not adequate or hardware is not satisfactory, or maybe,because this particular instrument is for a guy who has developed certain preferences over 35 years of performing and recording and is asking about the options he currently has that may not have been available the last time he owned a Strat(1976)..Do you understand now?One last thing-fit and finish vary a lot with MIM guitars-so you can end up with a very nice one that can conceiveably be cherry-picked out of a bunch that is as nice as a CS instrument with a bit of set-up and attention to detail for a substantial amount less than the cost of a CS guitar.BTW,the Charley Wirtz Strat is a lovely piece.

Redhouse-Blues
09-14-2006, 09:34 PM
Thanks and I understand what your doing and going for. In my humble opinion you'll never find a MIM that is as nice as a custom shop strat, especially if you compare the 54's. Even if you went all high end parts your still not going to get past the body, neck and finish.

Go Cat Go!!
09-14-2006, 09:46 PM
I am because I mod. I mod because I am.

But seriously, I mod because I find it just as much fun as playing. I have some expensive gear too. The guitars I play the most are the ones I have modded myself. They feel more personable to me.

Mojo and Redhouse - those are beautiful guitars. I remember that tele as your avatar on the other site. It's hot, no pun intended. The Charlie's strat is stratty-licious!

Jack The Riffer
09-14-2006, 10:13 PM
I am because I mod. I mod because I am.

But seriously, I mod because I find it just as much fun as playing. I have some expensive gear too. The guitars I play the most are the ones I have modded myself. They feel more personable to me.

Mojo and Redhouse - those are beautiful guitars. I remember that tele as your avatar on the other site. It's hot, no pun intended. The Charlie's strat is stratty-licious!

Yes it is :BEER

GuitarsFromMars
09-14-2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks and I understand what your doing and going for. In my humble opinion you'll never find a MIM that is as nice as a custom shop strat, especially if you compare the 54's. Even if you went all high end parts your still not going to get past the body, neck and finish.

To be candid,I have found an absolutely stellar instrument that is as nice as a CS strat and didn't set me back but a quarter of the price and a very well known luthier told me it would be a great guitar at 4 times the price and well worth the price of the set up and consideration for some of the other mods mentioned here...I did not solicit any praise for the guitar,I merely got it because it does have superior fit and finish,after set up,my tech offered his opinion.

(((echo)))
09-15-2006, 12:16 AM
You know the thing with mods is, you have to consider diminishing returns. No matter how many mods you make, the tone will only improve incrementally, and as usual it might not improve so much as just be different.

As for the callaham block debate, I upgraded a MIM strat with one and I thought it was well worth the money. When you actually hold both the original zinc block and the steel one in your hand its amazing, the callaham must be twice as heavy. For me, it improved the tone somewhat. It added some sustain and made it more bell like, but not drastically so. What made it worth it for me, is the extra mass really let me feel the vibrations of the guitar when I'm playing it, whereas before it felt like a lifeless piece of wood. Most people probably don't hear the difference, but it feels more alive to me and I enjoy playing it more. Let me add one more thing though: if the block on the guitar is already steel like most american strats, don't bother. But trust me if it's zinc, it's worth changing it.

Guinness Lad
09-15-2006, 07:17 AM
Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to start something, just asking.

I always read these post about modding a guitar and doing all kinds of after market parts on them. Makes me wonder, how many serious guitarist or famous guitar players, like Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughan, Buddy Guy, The 3 Kings, Page, Beck, any Jazz or Metal guys, play heavly modded guitars? How many of the Strat Gods did any of what you guys are into to their Strat's?

I'm not saying there's any thing wrong with modding, but why not save up your money and buy a better Strat or guitar?

Lets see, Buddy Guy uses Fender noiseless pu's, SRV put a left handed tremelo on his with Giant frets (non-standard) Clapton's guitar (Blacky) was made out of assorted parts...should I continue?

I have a 60's jap strat with Kinman pu's and a Callaham bridge assembly. This guitar was also refretted and a bone nut installed by Tim Schroder here in Chicago, I would put this guiat up against anything. I didn't do everything at once and the total cost to me has been $850.

Redhouse-Blues
09-15-2006, 09:03 AM
Stevie's mods on number one weren't for the reason you modders use. He put parts into number one as it needed repairs. The bigger fret's came when he needed a re-fret, the tremolo unit came after he broke one and he continuded to break them. He even had custom steel bars made and broke them. He didn't change pickups or necks untill they broke or got smashed. Number one, which he got in 74', pretty much stayed stock or as it came for many years into the 80's. Buddy Guy did use noiseless PU's, which were in the first polka dot artist series Strat and his number one 57 Strat, is still stock. Now, Buddy is playing Tele's with Strat necks, because he don't care for the Tele neck. I wouldn't call them modders, they added things as the years went buy and the guitar's needed it.

GuitarsFromMars
09-15-2006, 09:47 AM
Stevie's mods on number one weren't for the reason you modders use. He put parts into number one as it needed repairs. The bigger fret's came when he needed a re-fret, the tremolo unit came after he broke one and he continuded to break them. He even had custom steel bars made and broke them. He didn't change pickups or necks untill they broke or got smashed. Number one, which he got in 74', pretty much stayed stock or as it came for many years into the 80's. Buddy Guy did use noiseless PU's, which were in the first polka dot artist series Strat and his number one 57 Strat, is still stock. Now, Buddy is playing Tele's with Strat necks, because he don't care for the Tele neck. I wouldn't call them modders, they added things as the years went buy and the guitar's needed it.

We are glad you have an opinion about mods on guitars,now would you please quit and get back on topic or just go and start a thread about it-this was supposed to be about MIM Strats and options I have to improve my guitar's sound...

Texas_Blues
09-15-2006, 10:01 AM
I put Fralin Blues Special harness from acme in mine , love em. Im going to change the nut to tusq and buy some new graphtech saddles when I get money.

Go Cat Go!!
09-15-2006, 10:37 AM
Another cool mod I did last week was installing a Chromocaster switch from Deaf Eddie. It really gives you some great tones and the switch is very intuitive to use. I dropped it into a MIJ ESP strat I have that survived the 80's. The neck + bridge pickups in series sounds nice and thick, yet has some single coil bite to it. I have to admit I am having a grounding issue with my wiring. Everytime I touch the string or any of the steel parts I get a horrible hiss throught the amp. I am planning on redoing the wiring this weekend.

Here's the website. He has lots of cool ideas regarding wiring:

www.deaf-eddie.net

classicstrat
01-01-2011, 02:45 AM
1 pickups
2 callahan block
3 slab maple neck
4 two piece body

pennylink
01-01-2011, 04:27 AM
I have a 1954 50th Anniversary MIM Strat as a loaner with the option to buy and decided I am going to buy it.I just got it back from the luthier after having the tailpiece blocked,new bone nut,frets leveled and dressed,new strings and intonation set.I was wondering what you strat guys have done to MIM Strats to make them sound and play better than they do bone stock?
Free (if you do it yourself): wire the 2nd tone control to the bridge pickup for better tone versatility

Inexpensive: fit a better tone cap (Orange Drop, or PIO for a little more $) for a smoother, less harsh tone, especially if you use your tone controls

More money (but well worth it): replace the MIM zinc block with steel, such as Callaham, for better sustain and fatter, clearer tone

Sky is the limit: better pickups of your choice