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Overhauling a strat

CRAIG4FSU

Whatever...
Gold Supporting Member
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27,954
I'm looking to hop up an American standard strat without going the humbucker route.I'm going either SD hotrail/cool rail bridge/neck combo or Dimarzio super distortion,etc bridge/neck combo.I'm curious if you're suppose to go to 500K pots or stay with 250's?Also,should i change the cap for a hotrod application and what rating?


Any input is appreciated and i'd like to hear from anyone who's done this type mod as well.Thanks.
 

CRAIG4FSU

Whatever...
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,954
Nobody,huh?Well bummer.I hate to have to take it to a tech because i'm learning soldering and was gonna do it myself.I'll keep researching.Thanks anyway.
 

kleydj13

Member
Messages
1,607
500k pots would probably be a good choice with hotter pickups. Cap value is a little more subjective - how much treble do you want to roll off? I have an SD JB Jr. in the bridge of my strat and it sounds a little different than the full size JB humbucker that I had in another HSS strat. I like it - fatter and more crunch, also taps pretty well, but its not a full JB. Not bad, just different.
 

Yutaka

Member
Messages
148
I have installed Super Distortion + Cruiser neck (single coil size) in a Mustang once, and 500k pots and .022uf worked better than 250k pots and .047uF. It sounded too dark with 250k.
 

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,471
I did the exact thing you're contemplating to my '90 American Standard Strat. A Hot Rail in the Bridge and Cool Rails in the Neck and Middle. I changed the 5 position switch to get Neck + Middle in the center position, changed to one master tone control, swapped a rotary switch for the other tone control to gain coil splitting of all three pickups, and also added phase switches for the Middle and Bridge. I mounted it all in a spare pickguard and added quick connects at the cord jack so I could swap it back and forth with the stock setup. The result was a huge variety of useful tones, none of which sounded much like a Strat. The Duncan Rails were very punchy and did the Humbucker thing very well, but didn't sound at all like Fender single coils when split. It was a fun experiment but I wound up switching it back after a while.

If I were to do it again I'd throw some overwound P-90s in instead.
 

CRAIG4FSU

Whatever...
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,954
Great info guys,thanks.

Ok so 3 500K pots and a .022UF cap?Any brand suggestions?Also,what are the thoughts on audio vs linear pots?

Im a green horn when it comes to the wiring soldering stuff.Im learning a bit from research,but,personal experience is usually a better guide imo.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,320
Well, a standard strat does not have a tone control connected to the bridge PU, which gives it the same 250K load as a traditional Les Paul with a 500k tone + 500k volume (250k load) ... so keep it stock to equal a Les Paul and go from there.

If you disconnect the tone pots on the neck and middle, just for a test, they too will equal the traditional Les Paul load. If you like the sound, you can replace both with 500k pots and get your tone control back at the same load.
 




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