Refinished and heavily modded my Squier Standard Strat

bancika

Member
Messages
68
This Squier Strat is my first guitar I got 15-16 years ago and over years I've done quite a few things to improve it. It's more of an emotional thing, I could've bought a MIM Strat for the money invested, but it's my first guitar and I plan to keep and play it forever. One of the first things I've done is get rid of the horrid pickups it had. Replaced them with two Kinamns (AVn-62 for middle and AVn-56 for neck) and one Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Blues in the bridge. Then I replaced the bridge with GFS brass block, replaced fretwire with medium jumbo, re-radiused the fingerboard to 12" (Eric Johnson style), scalloped the fretboard asymmetrically a'la Ritchie Blackmore and swapped the tuners for Grovers.

Few weeks ago I finally decided to refinish the body as I always hated the metallic purple finish and took the body to a local car paint shop to respray it in sonic blue (used the PPG code 11475). It's finally done and assembled back. I'm pretty happy with the results. Over years, the pickguard has aged a lot, so I used some coffee to age kinman pickups and bought a dimarzio aged white pickup for the dimarzio, as it didn't take any stain I tried. Knobs were also resisting, but I managed to age them a bit using stewmac vintage amber liquid wood dye.
for more information, photos and some clips visit http://diy-fever.com/guitars/squier-upgrade/

Cheers

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treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,649
Looks good. I am surprised that with all that work, you never refinished the headstock and installed a Fender logo.
 

bancika

Member
Messages
68
Thanks! I hated the original color so much that I didn't play this guitar at at for a couple of years after I got some other guitars...but these days it gets played as much as my other two electrics which are higher end models.

@treeofpain I actually bought a fender logo some 15 years ago (my first ebay purchase), but I'm glad I never installed it. I'm sure I'll never sell this guitar but world really doesn't need another relabeled Squier :) If I ever refinish the headstock I'll just put my name, like we did on my custom guitar.

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Doom Man

Senior Member
Messages
632
I love it OP, enjoyed the write up in the full post!
That said, I'd love to see more pics of the scallop job

I am surprised that with all that work, you never refinished the headstock and installed a Fender logo.

Next Fender Strat I buy, I'll modify heavily and be sure to replace the logo with a Squier logo :D

Full scallop!?! :eek:

Full scallop r00lz.
Beyond the obvious high string benefits, I love being able to pinch harmonic on the 4th and 5 strings on like the 5th fret or around there and just shake the string like a mother ****er in between heavy riffing. Can be done on a 'normal' neck I suppose, but I'm not Zakk Wylde with muscle hands :D so the extra grip the scalloping affords you makes it way easier
 

bancika

Member
Messages
68
Thank you, sir!

Yes, I don't understand partial scallop done on Vai's Jem...the last 4 frets are so tiny that I can't even get to the wood without the scallop. For me it's the most beneficial between the 3rd and 12th fret, you can really dig in.

Now, you can either do a symmetrical scallop like Malmsteen or Blackmore style with deep scallop on treble side and with bass side of the fingerboard almost left intact. I guess that the former is easier to do and has no obvious drawbacks, but I did it like this mostly for the love of Blackmore :)

I'll take more pics of the fretboard.
 

Kinucs

Member
Messages
93
This Squier Strat is my first guitar I got 15-16 years ago and over years I've done quite a few things to improve it. It's more of an emotional thing, I could've bought a MIM Strat for the money invested, but it's my first guitar and I plan to keep and play it forever. One of the first things I've done is get rid of the horrid pickups it had. Replaced them with two Kinamns (AVn-62 for middle and AVn-56 for neck) and one Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Blues in the bridge. Then I replaced the bridge with GFS brass block, replaced fretwire with medium jumbo, re-radiused the fingerboard to 12" (Eric Johnson style), scalloped the fretboard asymmetrically a'la Ritchie Blackmore and swapped the tuners for Grovers.

Few weeks ago I finally decided to refinish the body as I always hated the metallic purple finish and took the body to a local car paint shop to respray it in sonic blue (used the PPG code 11475). It's finally done and assembled back. I'm pretty happy with the results. Over years, the pickguard has aged a lot, so I used some coffee to age kinman pickups and bought a dimarzio aged white pickup for the dimarzio, as it didn't take any stain I tried. Knobs were also resisting, but I managed to age them a bit using stewmac vintage amber liquid wood dye.
for more information, photos and some clips visit http://diy-fever.com/guitars/squier-upgrade/

Cheers

SAM_3928.jpg


SAM_3909.jpg


SAM_3938.jpg


SAM_3920.jpg
 

Kinucs

Member
Messages
93
Can you describe the character of the Kinman avn 56 and avn 62 (what year?)? I'm interested in replacing lollar vintage blackface single coils in the neck and middle of a mcinturff spitfire, great pickups but the hum is significant when pushed. I have kinman p90's in a hamer and think they are fantastic and absolutely dead quiet and will most likely put a kinman p90 in the bridge of the spitfire, replacing the lollar 50's wind p90 which again is a great pickup but really noisy when pushed.
 

bancika

Member
Messages
68
I love it OP, enjoyed the write up in the full post!
That said, I'd love to see more pics of the scallop job

here's one more, it's tough to photograph, needs really good lighting to show. I think this one shows exactly how the scallop is done. Relatively deep (1.5-2mm) at the high E side, gradually shallower towards the bass side and virtually non-existent on the other end, as you can see a straight line at the low E side of the neck.

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Can you describe the character of the Kinman avn 56 and avn 62 (what year?)?

I'm no expert when it comes to strat pickups, most of the time I play humbuckers. One of my primary requirements is the noiseless operation. To me, these two are typical strat pickups, low output (maaaybe slightly hotter than true strat, but still low output), very clear, tight low end, pretty bright and zero hum. You can get that piano clean tone with them. I bought them first and intended to use them for bridge and neck (rarely use middle), but I learned that I'm not a huge fan of a true strat bridge pickup as it can get very harsh when overdriven, so I moved the bridge pickup to the middle position and got a DiMarzio VV Blues which is a slightly hotter and warmer strat pickup that goes well with the kinmans (but doesn't mix well in position 2 because of the different magnet polarity) and doesn't have harsh top end. I'm not a pickup snob, I'd be happy with Dimarzio Injectors or something similar, but the deal on these kinmans was just too good to pass (IIRC I paid 50 bucks for the pair). I'm not sure which year they were made, got them used in 2008. They do not have the same baseplate as the current production ones that have printed model number and specs. Mine have hand written base-plate like below. The only thing I can think of that I don't like about them is that you need to be super-extra careful when removing the cover. Two hair-thin wires are running along both sides of the coil and you can easily break them. If they at least put a piece cloth tape around the coil like other manufacturers it add some protection.

I hope that helped a little...

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Cheers
 

Fatboy666

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,012
nice work!! That scalloping is ridiculously amazing!

don't those saddle height adjustment screws chew up your hand?
 

John Hurtt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
20,015
Looks great! One question, did you strip the body prior to the respray, or just clean it up?
 

bancika

Member
Messages
68
I didn't do anything other than removing the hardware. The guy at the paint shop said that they will remove some of the original paint, but not all..they kept white base coat at a minimum and some of the original paint I'd say.
 




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