Has anyone modified a Strat pickguard to move the volume control?

Presc

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1,322
For the past 10 years I've played a G&L Legacy and recently picked up a Strat. I had never noticed it, but G&L actually subtly moved the volume knob a bit further away from the strings. My playing style has evolved on this guitar, 335s, and Teles, where this isn't an issue.

I'm fine with the Fender 90% of the time, but I do get cramped by that volume knob when palm muting on the high strings. Does anyone make a guard that shifts the positioning while keeping the 3-knobs setup and without looking totally "off"?
 

highrise

Member
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3,841
I’ve seen it.

And I’ve got a single hum Strat I’m considering replacing the pick guard on and I will move the volume control down and out a bit if/when I take the plunge.

I DID put a nice CTS pot in there and that helped a ton. I had a low friction alpha pot in there before and I would ALWAYS be turning my volume down accidentally by lightly touching the knob with my picking hand.
 

DonaldDemon

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8,835
You can always purchase another pickguard without pre-drilled control knobs and add your own holes, or pay for custom pickguard.
This is what I just did and I don't know why the hell it took me so long to do this. I had originally bought a new pickguard for changing to H-H pickups but I figured why not address that stupid volume knob I'm always turning down? I probably only moved it about a 1/4" but it makes all the difference.

Mine is now essentially set up like a LP layout; Neck volume, bridge volume, and master tone control w/ 3-way blade switch and push-pull on each volume.

Here it is with the new knob position:

 
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924
...without looking totally "off"?...
Maybe this fails the "off" test, but Warmoth do an altered volume pot position called DeLonge - check the box near the bottom - though $15 extra is rather steep given the $25 base price:
http://www.warmoth.com/Pickguard/StratPickguard.aspx

Or as previously suggested, get no control holes and drill them yourself.

On one guitar I went for Master Volume, Master Tone, and put them in Tone One, Tone Two position.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
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12,431
Yes, I've cut them with a compressed control layout, moving the volume further away from the strings.
 

Jim85IROC

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2,292
When I converted my strat copy to an HH guitar, I bought a 2 knob pickguard and drilled my own 3rd hole. This allowed me to put the volume farther away from the pickup.
 

danelectro

Silver Supporting Member
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2,066
The position of the volume knob drives me nuts on a Strat. I'm a Gibson guy and my usual style of playing is to rest the side of my right hand just behind the bridge and my pinky is resting on the pickguard below the pickup. This just doesn't work for me on a on a Strat because I'm constantly bumping the volume knob around. At one time I have a foam ring tucked under the knob so that it didn't turn as freely, but that was a pain in the ass because if I did want to change the volume, I had to grip the knob with two fingers.

The fix that worked for me was to make a new pickguard with the volume knob moved away from the strings. I shifted it as close to the switch as I could get it without routing the body. Even though the knob isnot moved very far, it makes a huge difference. Here are a couple of EJ Strats; the black one has the volume knob repositioned the sunburst has the stock guard:



I made the black guard about five years ago to give the guitar a Gilmour look, but recently I wanted to take the guitar back to a more traditional look so I made a new parchment guard with the knobs repositioned just like the black one:


 
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c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
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4,059
My main Strat has a custom pickguard with a master volume and tone. Plenty of space available to move the volume out of the way with that kind of setup.
 

Presc

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1,322
Thanks guys (and some nice looking guitars). The DeLonge is a bit too far off for me, so sounds like it's a "cut your own situation".
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,055
At one point, I plugged the Volume hole with a chrome, plumbing part. The Volume was moved to the first Tone spot, and wired for a master Tone control. I used to tell people that it was my Magic button. It did absolutely nothing.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
8,835
Thanks guys (and some nice looking guitars). The DeLonge is a bit too far off for me, so sounds like it's a "cut your own situation".
That was my decision about the Delonge location, plus I'm anal about things lining up so I ordered the PG undrilled and did it myself with a step bit.
 

David B

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,892
I use a standard PG, then remove the middle tone knob, and move the volume down to where the middle tone knob was. So I just have a master volume and master tone (which I like better on a strat). It leaves a hole in the PG where the volume knob was, but it works perfectly, and can go back to "stock" if I ever sell it.

And, I have an extra 250ka pot in case one of the original pots goes bad.
 

tresspassor

Member
Messages
1,130
I move mine just like the other posters have shown above. I just order my pick guard from warmoth with only the tone knobs drilled and drill out the volume hole myself. Easy peazy.
 

Nitrobattery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
458
I call it my idiot mod. From years of playing Les Pauls with the knobs out of the way, it's really uncomfortable for me to have the volume knob in the standard Strat position...and I just end up turning the volume off on myself. So I just have a master volume and tone in the traditional tone positions. The nice people at Suhr made this one for me, but I know Warmoth offers replacement pickguards that can do something similar.

 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,524
Yeah, similar to the three posts above, delete the first knob position.
I kept all 3 PU’s, used a 3-way Tele switch for neck and bridge and put the middle on it’s volume control.
So two volume knobs, no tone, every possible combination of pickups with blend for 1+2 and 2+3.
Bridge is RWRP, hum-canceling on neck and bridge and bridge and middle.
With the volumes wired “backwards” so they don’t master each other, backing off the volumes eats enough high end that I don’t miss the tone control at all.
 




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