Convert Stratocaster to Hardtail

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Infi-del, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Infi-del

    Infi-del Member

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    So I have two Strats with Trems that I want to convert to as close to a hardtail as possible. Before we go any further... yes I know I can block the trem. But I want to get rid of all that coil and claw garbage in the back... and I want to get rid of the metal tremolo block.

    That being said are their any well made kits out there to do this. I'm aware of the hipshot wooden block that fills in the trem cavity (and actually own one) but I'd like something made of mahogany if at all possible (One of my strats is mahogany). Also is there a jig available for drilling the surface ground hole so that I can ground the electronics to the bridge?
     
  2. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Don't know of any kit that would allow you fill the space. You may also need to drill your string holes through the body once you do, lest you go with a top-load bridge. Most people would probably just switch out the body with a hardtail body. It'd be easier than filling the hole and sanding & refinishing. Just my workbench opinion. I've never been asked to fill a strat trem cavity.
     
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  3. Infi-del

    Infi-del Member

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    Well I got two options once the trem block hole is filled. I can mount the original bridge plate to that and it will cover the arm hole. Or just attach a hardtail bridge and paint the top of the wooden block black. Shouldn't look bad. I like that option because I can use the bridge I want. A new body will cost like $250 to $350 easily. I can do this with a $25.00 block and a few dowels and wood glue.

    I was hoping there was something a little more prefab though.
     
  4. tommygunn1986

    tommygunn1986 Member

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    Wondering if anything ever became of this cause I was thinking about it myself. Maybe even just putting a top load bridge on it and not worrying about the trem cavity. Honestly, the cavity hole could just be weight relief
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  5. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    People who say "Just buy a new body" are people who have too much money.
    .
     
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  6. Hugo13

    Hugo13 Member

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    I think the type of bridge you get takes priority over how you deal with the trem-arm-hole because, looking at the hardtail bridges, the mounting holes are four points in each corner, or three points across the middle. You'll have that arm-hole gap covered up either way but it may be easier to deal with top-load.
     
  7. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    I know you're saying you want to get rid of all the extra strat junk but... It's honestly going to be a lot easier to just block the thing. I've been doing it for years and it works great. I do it like Fender did it in my old Clapton strat: A block of wood about the size of a 9v battery wrapped in masking tape and then hammered in there. Rock solid.
     
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  8. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

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    The Hipshot trem body wood block is still less than $30 I think.
    Would take some contouring probably

    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  9. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    Good investment. Nile Rodgers' hardtail Hitmaker Strat is responsible for two billion dollars of music according to The New Musical Express.
     
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  10. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

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    My Callaham trem bloc.and with a wood block, has helped nail stability and put it sound wise to a better zone, to my non-tinnitus ears.


    .
     
  11. starkd12

    starkd12 Member

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    I took the strings off and taped two rolls of pennies and lodged them in there... works perfectly. Don't go through the trouble of doing anything else
     
  12. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    You're talking about just disabling the wiggle machine. What hardtail people are looking for is the sound of wood instead of the sound of metal springs and stuff.
    .
     
  13. stonem

    stonem Member

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    If I can make a point to those that say its expensive to get a body. I would sell the old body to get most or all of my money back from the hardtail body I would be buying. So you really wouldn't be out much if anything. Plus all the time invested trying to rig a trem body fill, time is money as well.
     
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  14. BoringPostcards

    BoringPostcards Member

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    True, but what about the time it takes to find a body with the same finish and weight as the original? I'm guessing in most cases the person would want the same finish. Refinishing is big money too, unless you're able to do it yourself and don't mind adding more time to the project.

    To those suggesting to just block it... A hardtail strat with a string-through body sounds very different from a traditional strat. It's a totally different beast. Blocking a traditional body won't get you that sound. It just won't.
     
  15. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    I've blocked with actual wood.

    Know what's way easier and works just as well?

    Max out the springs and tighten the whole thing down all the way. Rock solid. I highly doubt there's any difference between this method and an actual hardtail Strat.
     
  16. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    LOL
     
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  17. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    Blocked trem Strats can play notes A through G.

    Hardtails can play notes A through J flat.
     
  18. BoringPostcards

    BoringPostcards Member

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    Nice preteen response bud. Try playing both side by side and then come back and debate me on it. Childish prick.

    I own one of each. I'm not just repeating **** I hear on TGP about "tone". Anyone who knows my post history would know I'm the last person to buy into that mumbo jumbo. I stay off this site most of the time because all the malarky drives me up the wall.
    In the case of the two Stratocasters, it's very true. The hardtail does not have the same zing and response as the vibrato models, and can get you some tele type tones you can't get with the vibrato model. I'm sure more strat guys (I'm not even a strat guy, I just want one of each Fender eventually) will come in here and verify it. Ones with experience and not immature brushoff responses like "LOL".
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  19. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    I've been playing Strat's for 30+ years.
    I currently own nine.
    Three are hardtails.
    I've never noticed a "totally different beast" sonic aspect between hardtail and vibrato-bridge equipped models.
     
  20. BoringPostcards

    BoringPostcards Member

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    Another child. You know what? Screw this toxic community. I've never seen such a mix of know-it-alls, cork sniffers and childish preteen minded people as on here. A shame because there are some truly gifted and honest people on here.
    I've already quit twice because of this since 2006 (this is my 3rd username).
    I'm going to stick to friendly mature communities like OSG, Shortscale and the canadian forums. Places that will ban guys like you and mr. LOL so fast it makes their heads spin, because you don't add to the conversation.

    I made a sensible post based on experience (and my very good ears) and I get two absolute pinheads laughing at me instead of posting a counter-argument.
     

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