replacement vol & saddle for strat.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Guitarplayerdan, Dec 18, 2009.


  1. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a mexican strat from 2000 or so, this guitar is a gem, it will never leave my side (its a mexi i know but it has become my favorite guitar).

    The volume pot is scratchy now, i mean you can move the thing with out it scratching, also I have to leave it at ten because it jumps in volume as your roll it up and down. And now my tremelo bar wont stay in, I think i striped the saddel... because no trem bar will stay in.

    Im thinking i want to just upgrade all the hardware... tunners and saddels vol and tone pots. Whats some great stuff at a decent price. Im looking callaham parts. Eventually i want to upgrade pickups as well.

    And recomendations. And are pots really easy to solder and instal?
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    There are several options for 6-string tremolos that are under $100, check Stewart McDonald, Warmoth, or Allparts. Be sure to measure the distance between the two outer saddle slots (string spread) and find a unit that matches it.

    Most volume pots require removing three wires from the old pot by heating them with a soldering iron, soldering the wires on the new pot, and soldering the ground terminal to the back of the pot. By the time you buy a 40-watt iron, solder, and a new pot, you will probably spend as much or more than if you took it to a tech, not to mention the chances of a botched repair.

    If you intend to start doing your own repairs and mods like pickup swaps, then go for it, otherwise I would take it to someone who is willing to quote you a price on the repair up front.
     
  3. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    i mean i have solder stuff to pedals before and some stuff with loudspeakers. So I have decent soldering skills.
     
  4. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  5. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    If you've soldered speakers to speaker wires before, then soldering leads and grounds to the volume pot is not that much more difficult. It's really difficult to mess up a pot from soldering...the only two ways I can think of is if you are using a really hot iron (beyond conventional electronic soldering irons) or you are trying to bend the lugs and bend too hard. But even then, you have to bend REAL hard on a new pot to rip off the lug.

    As for upgrading your hardware, it's something most players will do at some point in playing...especially with those who use the whammy on strats. I'm more of an original-Fender kind of guy when it comes to strat hardware. Aftermarket stuff is great...especially if you go through the Callaham route. But to keep things original, I'd go for a Fender trem and RI stamped saddles. The only thing I may consider for an aftermarket change is the trem block but that's about it.
     
  6. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    As for the pots, if you replace any of them I find that the Fender CTS pots are fine.

    Al
     
  7. xntrick

    xntrick Member

    Messages:
    3,626
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    chicago area
  8. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
  9. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  10. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,566
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Under a stack of textbooks
    If that Mexi were mine, I'd do this:

    Step 1: Callaham Mexi Standard Premium upgrade trem kit (~$125 or less if used)
    Step 2: RS Premium Vintage Strat upgrade kit (~$65)
    Step 3: Fender CS, or at minimum AVRI, pickups to suit tone need ($100-$150 used)

    As hugo said, soldering these parts require minimal skill. Patience is a virtue here, and ability to read simple schematics or savvy to copy the original wiring point by point.

    You saved on your initial investment by going MIM, and as it turns out you cop'd a gem in terms of fit. Now, drop some premium parts in there to enhance the tone. You'll have a keeper that won't keep you wondering how much better its tone could be.
     
  11. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    I'm going to get the upgrade Guitar Fetish steel block trem for my Mexi Strat, I've had the more expensive Callaham and while it was an improvement sonically, I didn't like his "improved" arm mounting system. I found that the arm sat too low for my trem technique, and hit the volume knob unless you only caught one thread of the arm in the threads, then the arm was wobbly. Sold it and I'm going for the $35 GFS one as soon as they get them back in stock.

    Al
     

Share This Page