Extensive strat mod w/soundclip

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MrNick, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. MrNick

    MrNick Member

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    Ok, so I have many butcherings of guitars under my belt, so I decided it was time to do penance and try and right some past wrongs. I have never been a strat player, and never cared for the sound of them except in a few exceptional players hands. So I decided to see if I could restore a completely butchered strat, and make it one I would enjoy playing in the process. I started with a beat to death, chunks and gouges missing CIJ 68 strat that I picked up very cheaply a few years ago. Someone had taken a chisel to it in order to install a humbucker (Ive done some nasty things to guitars in my day, but this was not my handiwork!). The guitar also had chunks missing from the contours, and some very deep scratches in the top. The poly had been stripped, and the guitar had been very badly finished in nitro.

    Time to see what I could do with this thing. The guitar had a really really bright thin tone, so my initial assumption was that I could really go to the extreme with this thing, and it wasnt going to sound any worse than it already did.

    Before I get into the detail, I apologize (and also regret myself) not taking more pictures of this process.

    I started out by stripping all the poly off the neck. I love the look of the big headstock fenders, but do not like the look of them with the transition logo, so I was happy to see that go. Once the neck was stripped, I removed all the frets, and re-planned the board to a 12 degree radius. The radius the guitar came with, in combination with the really narrow profile of the neck made bending a no go on this guitar, so I wanted to fix that first and foremost. After re-planning, I refretted with stew-mac medium/tall fretwire. I kept the original neck markings for reference.

    Then onto the body. I wanted to go to the extreme with this guitar, so I started out by routing out the entire trem cavity up to the edges of where the trem cover plate sites, and filling it with old growth mahogany. I then flipped the guitar over, and routed out underneath the pickguard all the way past the bridge, and filled that also with old growth mahogany.
    Here are a couple pics at this stage:
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    I then drilled string through holes, and inserted ferrules on the back side.

    Next, I repaired the gouges, and rerouted the roundovers using a 1/2" roundover to fix the problems that happened whenever the original owner stripped the poly of with a belt sander.

    Then I route out two p-90 cavities, with a small channel running the the control cavity. Then made a pickguard to match.

    I installed a bone nut, and dressed the frets, then onto finishing. I finished the whole guitar in qualalacq nitro which I have found to be much harder than the other nitros out there, and will check nicely with age. I went with a vintage white color, and a slightly ambered neck. I applied a w/sync trem big logo (which I think is the coolest fender logo out there).
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    I finally finished the guitar today. I was having trouble with my favorite set of p-90s being very microphonic, so I have a set of matchmaker p-90s (which IMO are hands down the best budget pickup out there) in there wired to two volume controls and one tone for the bridge PU. I moved the bridge pickup further from the bridge for a fatter tone. The bridge is just screwed directly into the wood, with the strings going through the body.
    Here is a soundclip I did this afternoon. I am really really happy with the sound of this guitar. It is 100x better than before, and I suspect that this may become my go to guitar:
    Click here for a soundclip
    It doesn't sound like a strat anymore, but that suits me just fine. The narrow neck with 12" radius is really nice to play on too.

    Here are some finished pics:
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  2. Lexridge

    Lexridge Member

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    Congratulations. The clip sounds great, and it looks awesome too. Fabulous tone there, and nice playing as well. Nice job!

    Lexridge
     
  3. U.S. Blues

    U.S. Blues Member

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    Absolutely outstanding! Not a butchery but a resurrection...
     
  4. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Member

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    Wow! You've done a wonderful job!!
     
  5. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Looks good. Sounds good. Truly, nice work.
    Never heard (or even saw) Matchmaker before.
    The Fender logo might be stretching the truth a tad.:)
     
  6. MrNick

    MrNick Member

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    Thanks for the comments. The matchmakers I found on ebay a few years ago. I think you can still get them. I bought 4 sets and really like them.

    The guitar is a genuine fender, and the logo is actually period correct opposed the the original logo which is the wrong logo for a 68 reissue.
     
  7. kangcore

    kangcore Member

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    oh wow. very very nice job, and a great sounding track. have you got it wired up with a 3-way, or did you keep the original 5-way?
     
  8. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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  9. MightyGuru

    MightyGuru Member

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    Jazz-O-Caster! Very nice looking guitar.
     
  10. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Way cool
    And fine playing man :)

    HJ
     

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