Strat Mods!

bigswifty

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
363
Location
British Columbia
I'm feelin' the itch to make a few mods to my strat, so I wanted to pick your collective brains about some ideas and things to look out for!

Also, feel free to post your strat mod pics and stories :D

The fiddle in question:

Strat.jpg

So, I barely ever use the bridge single coil on my SSS Strat..
I'm considering buying an HSS pickguard, a DiMarzio Fortitude bridge and dropping it in. What do you think?
What kind of wiring would I be looking at in order to keep the rest of the positions 2-5 as "strat-like" as possible? Maybe coil tap the bridge with middle on position 2?
Would I need a different pot for the bridge pickup?

It feels pretty blasphemous to mod an SSS strat to be an HSS strat..
but in reality, the HSS would be much more utilitarian than how it is right now. I just want to get those metal rhythms in addition to the rest of what this guitar can do!
Thanks for stopping by!
 

Adieu

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
3,762
Reaction score
3,151
Location
California
Satinized neck, shaved and oiled neck, roller nut, locking tuners, brass saddles, aftermarket trem or trem block, humbucker(s) and coil taps, three-way switch plus blend pot panning between 2 singles in HSS
 

Spaced Out Ace

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
10,150
Reaction score
5,556
Location
Indiana
If it has a thin block, REPLACE IT ASAP! One of my Strats came with a thin block and I replaced it with a more solid, adequate block. Doing so was the cheapest, most effective tonal upgrade I ever made.

HSS is a good option. HSH is also good if the body is routed for it, though I kind of prefer HSS, which is why I have three with HSS and one with HSH.

Not necessarily a mod/upgrade, but do not overlook the middle single coil. If it sounds good, use it. 2/4 positions are killer, and the neck single coils are also awesome.

If you want to try one of the "better" tremolos, like Blade or whatever, go for it, but I don't really use my trem on my Strats much, and I don't know if you do either.
 

bigswifty

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
363
Location
British Columbia
Satinized neck, shaved and oiled neck, roller nut, locking tuners, brass saddles, aftermarket trem or trem block, humbucker(s) and coil taps, three-way switch plus blend pot panning between 2 singles in HSS

Man.. pics!!!

If it has a thin block, REPLACE IT ASAP! One of my Strats came with a thin block and I replaced it with a more solid, adequate block. Doing so was the cheapest, most effective tonal upgrade I ever made.

HSS is a good option. HSH is also good if the body is routed for it, though I kind of prefer HSS, which is why I have three with HSS and one with HSH.

Not necessarily a mod/upgrade, but do not overlook the middle single coil. If it sounds good, use it. 2/4 positions are killer, and the neck single coils are also awesome.

If you want to try one of the "better" tremolos, like Blade or whatever, go for it, but I don't really use my trem on my Strats much, and I don't know if you do either.

Thanks for the tips!

I actually deck the trem on my strat, so transfer should be better than floating..
Do you think a block replacement would be worth it still? Mine looks like it'd be a thinner block.

I do love the other pickups, and the combinations, hence the desire to keep the rest as is!
 

High Plains Drifter

... drifting...
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,651
Reaction score
4,359
Location
Austin, Texas
This is my modded Am Std.

If you do wind up keeping yours SSS, the SSL-5 in the bridge really wakes it up. Fat 50's middle/ neck fwiw. I also replaced the stock trem with a Gotoh 510T and Fender locking tuners plus some other aesthetic mods. The 510T is a great upgrade imo... much nicer feeling than the original. Also the trem arm and its position is more comfortable and pleasing to use.





Before-



After-

 

Spaced Out Ace

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
10,150
Reaction score
5,556
Location
Indiana
Man.. pics!!!



Thanks for the tips!

I actually deck the trem on my strat, so transfer should be better than floating..
Do you think a block replacement would be worth it still? Mine looks like it'd be a thinner block.

I do love the other pickups, and the combinations, hence the desire to keep the rest as is!
Can you please take a pic of the block so I can give a more useful answer to the question?
 

Spaced Out Ace

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
10,150
Reaction score
5,556
Location
Indiana
Definitely. Junk it and replace it.

I may have to get some sort of trem block in my Strats, as I rarely ever use the trem. Occasionally, I may use my hand to to vibrato on the one or two that float about half a step. The two trem blocks I replaced didn't match the whammy bar cut out on the trem plate, but I don't really care as I do not use it.
 

Adieu

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
3,762
Reaction score
3,151
Location
California
Man.. pics!!!



Thanks for the tips!

I actually deck the trem on my strat, so transfer should be better than floating..
Do you think a block replacement would be worth it still? Mine looks like it'd be a thinner block.

I do love the other pickups, and the combinations, hence the desire to keep the rest as is!

I don't have it anymore, sold it for 400 bucks like a decade ago. Which actually says a lot since it was a no-decal neck partscaster. That guitar seriously rocked.

Charvel Model-something body (swimming pool rout), Fernandes Japan neck shaved bare and oiled with BLO, LSR roller nut, locking tuners, brass saddles, SD JB + two singles, 3-way switch between the humbucker and the pair of singles sitting on a blend pot, single tone

Singles on a blend (pan) pot is seriously cool, I'm surprised nobody seems to do that. I accidentally stumbled onto it because I couldn't find a 5-way switch in my parts bin lol
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
7,387
Reaction score
5,375
Location
... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar começa...
... I'll add the suggestion of a Freeway 5B5-01 pickup switch, it suits perfectly in and is compatible the the HSS pickup layout... why stay only with 5 sounds when you can double that?

If going with the Hum in the bridge position, you can also add 2 mini-switches to manage it's coils and bump those options a bit more.

Add a few more switches and get out of phase tones as well...?

... and since it's a 6 stringer, don't forget the single sized humbuckers in the market for easy swap and you'll keep both the guitar's look and pickguard, use the saved money for this switch...
 

mastapimp

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
1,846
Location
FL
I modded one of my Charvel's about 2 years ago. Opted to give all the hardware the antique copper look with a combination of schaller, floyd rose, parts from eBay, while hand painting the pickups and selector switch. I also upgraded the tone block on the floyd and installed a wrench holder behind the headstock for the floyd. Love everything about how this one turned out.

before:
1655957957883.jpeg

After:
1655958016158.jpeg
1655958061294.jpeg
1655958118513.jpeg
1655958153118.jpeg
 

mmr007

(anti)Social Influencer
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
1,871
Reaction score
3,733
Location
SoCal
thumbnail - 2022-05-18T121747.968.jpg

thumbnail - 2022-06-23T193309.715.jpg
My favorite strat MOD is an HxS or in the case of the one on the bottom that I haven't soldered yet, the HxH(mini)....which is also just me blatantly ripping off the Charvel SC1.

Just a thought if you're still looking for an idea
 

Lan

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
62
Reaction score
86
Location
Canada
... I'll add the suggestion of a Freeway 5B5-01 pickup switch, it suits perfectly in and is compatible the the HSS pickup layout... why stay only with 5 sounds when you can double that?

If going with the Hum in the bridge position, you can also add 2 mini-switches to manage it's coils and bump those options a bit more.

Add a few more switches and get out of phase tones as well...?

... and since it's a 6 stringer, don't forget the single sized humbuckers in the market for easy swap and you'll keep both the guitar's look and pickguard, use the saved money for this switch...
I’ll second this reccomendation. I wired a 10 way switch into my strat; and the neck + middle “humbucker” setting is one of the most satisfying strat tones for lead playing. That tone alone makes it worth it.

Also you keep your strat regular switching intact, so as long as your switch is toggled in the downward position; your switch will function like a regular strat, until you flip it upwards again and access the extra options.
 

Spaced Out Ace

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
10,150
Reaction score
5,556
Location
Indiana
I’ll second this reccomendation. I wired a 10 way switch into my strat; and the neck + middle “humbucker” setting is one of the most satisfying strat tones for lead playing. That tone alone makes it worth it.

Also you keep your strat regular switching intact, so as long as your switch is toggled in the downward position; your switch will function like a regular strat, until you flip it upwards again and access the extra options.
I wouldn't mind that for my Strats with EMGs. Unfortunately, I hate soldering.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lan


Top