Strat Mods!

bigswifty

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To keep it somewhat strat authentic looking, how about a coil sized bucker for the bridge? A Vega trem would be nice too so you can be crazy on the whammy.

I've definitely considered this. It would be by far the easiest solution..
But I hesitate because I don't know much about what's good by way of single-coil style humbuckers, and I figured a full sized HB would be better.

But, if you know of any suggestions, let me know! I wouldn't want a big jump in signal going from bridge to neck etc.
Also main styles would be for progressive rock/metal, and fusion style playing. I'm down with lower output stuff (the Fortitude is very PAF-like).
 

Spaced Out Ace

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I've definitely considered this. It would be by far the easiest solution..
But I hesitate because I don't know much about what's good by way of single-coil style humbuckers, and I figured a full sized HB would be better.

But, if you know of any suggestions, let me know! I wouldn't want a big jump in signal going from bridge to neck etc.
Also main styles would be for progressive rock/metal, and fusion style playing. I'm down with lower output stuff (the Fortitude is very PAF-like).
You can generally adjust for volume differences by adjusting the pickup heights. Might take a balancing act to do so, as well as possibly a bit of a sacrifice. Usually not a huge sacrifice, but there might be a scenario where one needs to be made.
 

littlebadboy

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I've definitely considered this. It would be by far the easiest solution..
But I hesitate because I don't know much about what's good by way of single-coil style humbuckers, and I figured a full sized HB would be better.

But, if you know of any suggestions, let me know! I wouldn't want a big jump in signal going from bridge to neck etc.
Also main styles would be for progressive rock/metal, and fusion style playing. I'm down with lower output stuff (the Fortitude is very PAF-like).

I heard good things about the SD JB jr on a strat type guitar. But, I loved the rail buckers on my ex tele eventhough they were an Artec. I would imagine that it would have been better if it was a branded one. Coil sized buckers don't sound like a full sized humbucker. They have a unique sound. But, they definitely can metal and everything that you mentioned.

 
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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 use this switch in 3 HH guitars and in 1 HSH. Adding a few miniswitches, the HSH guitar delivers 73 different combos.


I mean for single coils.
Active pickups cannot be wired in series, or so I've been told (and read somewhere?). The switche's upper bank features 3 or 4 positions with series connections between pickups, depending on the chosen schematic.

As far as pickups go, why not try the switch first and think about it later?...
 

littlebadboy

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I heard good things about the SD JB jr on a strat type guitar. But, I loved the rail buckers on my ex tele eventhough they were an Artec. I would imagine that it would have been better if it was a branded one. Coil sized buckers don't sound like a full sized humbucker. They have a unique sound. But, they definitely can metal and everything that you mentioned.


Forgot to mention, the rail buckers were i deed louder than the single pickups, so I opted to change my neck pup to an overwound for a closer balance than adjusting heights that may sacrifice the full potential of the rails being too far from the strings.
 

Heretick

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Here's my '96, heavily modified Mexican Squier Strat. I'm also a huge fan of HS configuration, but I love HSS as well. The only issue I have is with pot values when you're mixing humbuckers and singles. Humbuckers want 500k, singles want 250k, in general. You can always opt for a brighter humbucker and stick with 250k to keep the original single coil tone, or you can get some hotter, warmer singles and go for 500k, which is what I did, and I'm VERY happy with it. You can also try to mix your pot values and do some other wiring stuff to try to get the best of both, but that's above my paygrade, haha.

But I LOVE modding Strats. It's always a fun experience. Try some stuff out, and enjoy!
20220625_133633.jpg
 

Siggevaio

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Here's my '96, heavily modified Mexican Squier Strat. I'm also a huge fan of HS configuration, but I love HSS as well. The only issue I have is with pot values when you're mixing humbuckers and singles. Humbuckers want 500k, singles want 250k, in general. You can always opt for a brighter humbucker and stick with 250k to keep the original single coil tone, or you can get some hotter, warmer singles and go for 500k, which is what I did, and I'm VERY happy with it. You can also try to mix your pot values and do some other wiring stuff to try to get the best of both, but that's above my paygrade, haha.

But I LOVE modding Strats. It's always a fun experience. Try some stuff out, and enjoy!
View attachment 109704
It looks like you've done more to it than just change the pots. :p is it a custom neck as well? Looks really thin. Great looking guitar!
 

Heretick

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It looks like you've done more to it than just change the pots. :p is it a custom neck as well? Looks really thin. Great looking guitar!
Thank you! I hadn't noticed, but the angle of that picture does make the neck look thin! It's original, though, along with the body and nut. Very vintage-spec'd guitar originally, but it played so well and was so inspiring, I just had to forge it into a metal machine!
 

MFB

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Thank you! I hadn't noticed, but the angle of that picture does make the neck look thin! It's original, though, along with the body and nut. Very vintage-spec'd guitar originally, but it played so well and was so inspiring, I just had to forge it into a metal machine!

I think he means the fact that you can see what looks like hieroglyphic inlays as well, which no Fender/Squier/any production guitar besides Karl Sanders would come with?
 

Heretick

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I think he means the fact that you can see what looks like hieroglyphic inlays as well, which no Fender/Squier/any production guitar besides Karl Sanders would come with?
Ah yeah, that's a sticker/ fretboard cover thing made by a company called Neck Illusions. Heavy duty and pretty good quality. I have them on two guitars and I'm happy with 'em. They have a TON of designs.
 

DudeManBrother

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Why not just turn up the gain and play what you have? Single coils can work great for prog and fusion. Obviously it’s your guitar so do what you want, but don’t feel like you have to swap pickups just to play a particular genre.
 

AMOS

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I have an American Pro II with the V-Mod II pickups, I'm considering Lollar Black Face pickups for it but I'm not sure I want to attempt it myself with all the extra electronics in there. Will the push-push tone knob still work?
 

Adieu

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I have an American Pro II with the V-Mod II pickups, I'm considering Lollar Black Face pickups for it but I'm not sure I want to attempt it myself with all the extra electronics in there. Will the push-push tone knob still work?

In general, pretty much all 2-conductor pups can be swapped for other 2-conductor pups without changing wiring just by clipping existing leads and soldering to them

Same with 3/5-conductor pups

It's only different for wackily wired actives...and even then, MOST of those can be swapped for each other
 

bigswifty

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Why not just turn up the gain and play what you have? Single coils can work great for prog and fusion. Obviously it’s your guitar so do what you want, but don’t feel like you have to swap pickups just to play a particular genre.

Yeah, you're right. The voice of reason here in this thread :lol:

But even still, modding can be a fun time, with cool results. I am just curious about how much better I could make this guitar for suiting my needs.

But thank you for being pragmatic, because most other times I strive to have this same mindset.
 
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