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Strats - Risk in Replacing Body?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TowMater, May 19, 2011.

  1. TowMater

    TowMater Member

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    I'm considering replacing the body of a strat I love for another body, for no reason other than I'm tired of the color. Is it as simple as unscrewing the four screws and screwing on the new body? Or do I need to worry about shimming it or something like that? Any risk to doing this?
     
  2. dazco

    dazco Member

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    There are many considerations. But before you worry about things like you mentioned, consider this....the tone is very likely to change, and theres a good chance it may change a lot. Whether for the better or worse you can't know till you do it. But beware that it's 50/50 that it could turn out to be a huge mistake, especially if you are now happy with the tone. You'd be better off getting it painted the color you like, which may affect tone too, but i will likely be a small change if at all and won't likely change it to a totally different sounding guitar like a body swap might.
     
  3. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    4 screws? Did you forget about the pickguard/electronics, jack, bridge, backplate, claw, ground wire, and strap buttons? Otherwise, it sounds like you're not replacing the body on your Strat, you're replacing the neck on some other Strat using the neck from your Strat.
     
  4. mannish

    mannish Member

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    anytime a guitar plays well and sounds well LEAVE IT ALONE that is my motto anyway - too many times I have made a small change and wish I had nott

    YMMV
     
  5. TowMater

    TowMater Member

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    The focus of my question was on the neck-body connection. You are right, though, obviously there are more than four screws total.
     
  6. 3a2t

    3a2t Member

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    A refin would make more sense imho;)
     
  7. TresGatos

    TresGatos Member

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    You are getting some good "don't do it" advice. (because you say you love it, the risk is too great.)
     
  8. Nork

    Nork Member

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    i wouldn't do it. much easier to respray a guitar, even if you wanted to completely strip it, and redo it instead of switching out the body. unless you have a body in mind that you've tried and like the tone of.

    otherwise, refin, don't replace.
     
  9. zarl

    zarl Member

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    It's as simple as four screws to take a neck off and put it on another body. Just be careful when you pull the neck off, as the paint on the body can tend to chip off around the neck pocket from sticking to the neck -- happens mostly with nitro finishes. If you find shims in your current guitar, just keep them handy in case you need them with the new body.

    The pickguard assembly and the trem require some soldering and resoldering, and you'll also need to do a complete setup on the guitar for saddle height, intonation, trem floating, etc afterwards. Not a big deal if you're comfortable doing that. I mix and match strat parts all the time. I say go for it and experiment. Just keep the old body until you know you're happy with the new one.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Supporting Member

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    No 2 neck pockets are the same. So the guitar may never play the same again. Or it may. It's really a crapshoot. It will certainly sound different.

    As someone who has messed up some really good playing guitars for no other reason than "what happens if I...", I advise to leave well enough alone. Especially if it plays/sounds really good now. It may not when your done.
     
  11. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

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    Change the light bulbs in the room to a diff color. Problem solved.
     
  12. cpricecpa

    cpricecpa Member

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    Unless it's a really nice custom shop guitar, I say go for it. There's pretty much an entire industry based on the interchangeability of Fender parts. Install some new pickups while you're at it. If you don't like the new project just go back to the original.
     
  13. StratmanGeorge

    StratmanGeorge Member

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    There are quite a few good aftermarket bodies out there that I have had great results with. I do all of my bodies in Nitro and they always sound better than any factory poly finish, IMO.
     
  14. Guitar Whiskey

    Guitar Whiskey Member

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    I presume this is not a vintage piece or expensive custom shop guitar. Based on that I see no reason not to get a new body. It can always be brought back to present condition if you are not happy with it. You may want to consider a different type of wood while you are at it. Pine is an interesting choice since it has good tone characteristics and is light. You could always get the body made and have the neck pocket routed specifically for your neck or do it yourself if you are handy. I've made many; it's not as hard as you think. It's fun to experiment. Hell, Clapton made Blackie by messing around changing necks and bodies. After you're done, get a new neck for your existing body. Go for it.
     
  15. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

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    4 screws and proper angle and alignment. Not as bad as it sounds, and usually worth the effort if for nothing else than to learn how to do it.

    Don't discard/sell your old body until you're satisfied the new body is to your liking. The neck to body connection is critical for energy transfer, but not impossible to achieve stellar results - even for a first-timer.

    Do research on the internet for tips on neck replacement. Keep in mind much of the info could be crap.

    Bottom line - do it. Look for nitro sprayed bodies, and best bets/blue chips are Licensed by Fender bodies.
     
  16. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Wisconsin
    I wouldn't worry about it. Feel free to do it. Keep all the parts. If you don't like the change, you can put it back together as it originally was. Don't stress over the neck pocket. Any Fender or Fender licensed strat body with a neck pocket CNC'd to Fender spec or cut using a Fender-spec jig is going to work. Before you disassemble, remember to measure the amount of neck relief and action height. Also make note of how many trem springs you have, how they're arranged and how far the screws are turned into the body - both pivot screws on top and spring claw screws in the back. Have fun!
     
  17. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    I have a 2000 and a 2004 American Series, one has rosewood neck, the other maple. For a whole bunch of reasons, I really wanted to swap the necks. Happily, it was a great move. I did this years ago, and still play 'em both. I'm comfortable enough doing setups and maintenance, it was pretty easy to get them both in great playing shape.

    I knew I could always undo the change if it didn't work out. If color is your only issue...just get a new guitar. ;)
     

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