Care and feeding of a Strat Plus. Any tips

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by bobmeredith, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    I've just bought myself a Fender Strat plus.

    It has Sperzals, Wilkinson, and TBX/Lace hardware. Is there a reason to replace the wilkinson with a LSR. I'll only ever use 9s or 10s max.

    Great sustain, plays and sounds really good. Played lots of Strats but never owned one. I chose a plus because it seemed to solve most of the problems I've associated with Strats in the past. I've no doubt that some of the vintage and reissue vintage will sound better but this seems to be a great allround gigging tool.

    Anyone Know what wood it's made from and approximate age.

    Serial No.E 472 808

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    Thanks in advance

    Bob
     
  2. angus99

    angus99 Member

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    Nice!

    Most of the plus's were alder unless they were natural. This http://www.xhefriguitars.com/page2.html has a ton of great info including, I believe, a way to date yours. And check out the linkage to Jeff Beck.

    I have a black '96 anniversary edition and I really like it. I did swap out the Lace Sensor's for Seymour Duncan Antiquity Surfers and a Texas Hot Custom in the bridge. Huge improvement and it now both rocks and rolls.

    Enjoy yours!!

    angus
     
  3. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    Thanks Angus,

    That was a great link.

    Looks like it's an 87-88 according to the serial no and the split Wilko nut.

    I'll replace the Wilko with a LSR. I believe they come with a mounting kit for older pluses.

    About the only other thing I'll do is have it Plekked. It has a couple of minor buzzes and I'd like the capablity of a lower action even if its not set up that way all the time.

    I might make one consession to cosmetics and buy it a white pearliod scratch plate.

    I love the tone and sustain, I'm going to try a set of Ernie Ball pure nickels (10s) and see if the existing nut will accept it. The 10s might even fix the buzzes without the need to adjust the neck.

    Thanks again for your interest

    Bob
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    I've done the LSR conversion on a two different strats over the years and while I think the LSR is super cool, it is very difficult to get the height correct (it comes with some assorted tiny metal shims) and it requires some fairly precise drilling. For what it's worth, I would recommend having your local tech add a small piece of maple and replace the Wilkinson with a bone nut...unless of course you are a dive-bomb trem-o-holic.

    Also, consider the Callaham trem block and vintage saddles. They really do add sustain and note clarity and give the instrument a more distinguished appearance IMHO.
     
  5. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    Someone has had something mounted on the headstock (previous owner has no idea). If you enlarge the headstock pic you can see the filled in holes. I wonder what what this may have been?

    String trees perhaps?
     
  6. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Nice score and it looks to be in great shape. I have 475 805, which I bought used in about '87. I had the Buzz Feiten tuning system installed, and put in a bone nut.
    The guitar has been through more than most...I dropped it and broke the body, took the finish off of it, and repaired it. It's been a Double Fat Strat with Duncans, has had several different single coil pups in it, and still plays like a dream even though it looks funky.
    I also blocked the trem because I never use it.

    A couple of pics:

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  7. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that definitely looks like a couple of failed attempts at mounting a string tree. Technically a string tree isn't necessary if you have the Schaller locking tuners since they have staggered post heights. Not sure if the early Sperzel model tuners have the same feature.
     
  8. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    I'm amazed how precious we all are about our instruments; seeing what yours has been thru is food for thought! The natural finish and TS scratch plate suit each other.

    I just put 10s on half an hour ago and am playing them in. Like you Brian I'll only be making very light or no use of the whammy (I've got an Ibanez USA custom for that stuff). I've left all 5 springs in and left the plate non floating.

    The 10s have lowered the action (was probably set up for 10s before being sold to the Collector I bought it off) and I managed to get the buzzes out.

    I'm not sure if it will need a LSR, the tuning seems fine at the moment, I'll take it to a few jams for a good test drive.

    The Lace sensors are sounding beautiful, I'm trying for the sound that Stuart Smith (sp) gets on "How do we stop" (Turbulent Indigo: Joni Mitchell). The Gold laces get close.
     
  9. justrc

    justrc Member

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    Bob,
    Your Strat Plus is an '84 model. Per the S/N, the first leter is the decade - E='80 and the first digit is year of decade which=4 - hence "Eighty 4".

    My '96 Deluxe Strat Plus came with Red/Silver/Blue Fender Lace Sensors. I felt they were too humbucky so I moved the Silver FLS to the Bridge and added 2 Gold FLS to the mid/neck pos. Now they sound like a Strat should and the Silver bridge adds a little more output and mids very similar to the CS54 set but without the hum.

    Along with the LSR upgrade I would also recomend the bluegutar.com TBX mod. Very simple change from the 82k series resistor, which was really designed for active circuits ala Eric Clapton, to a 220k series/parallel resistor which works perfect for passive circuits. Great mod for about $0.20 and makes the TBX much more usable. Here's a link:

    http://www.blueguitar.org/new/schem/_gtr/tbx-mods_and_details.pdf

    RC
     
  10. angus99

    angus99 Member

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    Ouch. According to http://www.xhefriguitars.com/page2.html (which I can't open for some reason at the moment) Fender didn't start making the Strat Plus until 1987. He notes there have been several fake Strat Plusses and that removed string trees are one sign.

    I'm not sayin' . . . . . . but you might want to check it out. Hope I'm wrong.

    angus
     
  11. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    Thanks for the interest Angus,

    I think it's a bitza. I think the neck is from 84 and the rest from 87+ It seems to be the right radius and has the medium/large frets.

    It has the later non split wilko, swimming pool route, and TBX. I took the wilko off and it all looks factory. I think the string trees may have been someones misguided mod as the website suggests. They dont seem to be in the right place to be factory. The collector I bought it from seemed to think it was 87-88.

    Here's a few more pic from the action for the experts. I'm not overly concerned if it's a fake; it's one of the best Strats I've played (for my purposes)

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  12. justrc

    justrc Member

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    Hmmm..according to Xhefriguitars the E4 was from left over parts and decals from the CBS factory runs but put together in '87 under new company.

    Regardless if it's a bitz-o-plus or a field upgraded AmStd, your neck is a USA w/biflex and body is USA swiming pool. With the wilko and Gold FLS pups it is the same as a plus. The main thing is if you like how it plays and sounds. Looks really nice from the pix.

    I do recommend the TBX mod.

    RC
     
  13. angus99

    angus99 Member

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    Glad it doesn't matter to you and that you like it as is. I feel the same way about "name" gear. I'm no collector and I really didn't pay attention to what I was buying a few years ago when I scored my Strat. I just like how it played and how it was fitted out. Only later did I learn about the Strat Plus and that was a nice bonus, but didn't change my enjoyment in the slightest. If mine proved to be a bitz, it would make zero difference at all in how I feel about it. Hope you play the frets off of yours. :BEER

    angus
     

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