Update on my Starfire strat...
So I cleaned her up pretty good, put her back together again, chucked on some new strings and she sounds pretty good.
I "fixed" the scratchy frets by running the side of my allen key up and down the neck. It took the jagged edges off and doesn't seem to have damaged the neck at all. So it's a lot more playable right now.
I'm not used to having so few frets though. That's throwing me off.
The pickup toggle switch seems to "cut out" at times. It's pretty rare and a jiggle fixes it. It's also "loud" when I switch pickups. Not super loud but audible enough to distract you from the playing.
The tone pots don't seem to have much of an effect on the pickup tones but I only tested them slightly this morning. I'll need to test 'em a bit more.
On a clean setting, the bridge pup is kinda harsh on the higher notes. But chuck some distortion on and it's a fun sound.
Over to your recommendations and help...
V8 Tuners - is there any slop (play when you tighten/loosen the winder?).
No complaints there! (So far)
V8 Not a bad pickup, but certainly not regarded as a classic sounding strat puckip, ceramic magnets tend to be a bit trebley/harsh, often slightly higher output and can handle a bit of gain - though these you have are probably microphonic (mine are!)
That totally checks out. Especially in the bridge position — they're harsh but sound good with the gain turned up.
V8 if you can find someone upgrading their Classic VIbe Squire, grab those pickups! See what alinco pups are floating sourng the 2nd hand market. I did find a source for Classic Vibe replacement pups via Paul Bothners - last I checked (2018?) was around R550/pup
Thanks! I'll try do that. So for a classic strat sound, I should be looking for alnico single coil pups?
V8 I'd get the guitar playable before this upgrade - A/B with a few of the GT'ers strats before deciding.
Very nice idea, I should definitely try that.
V8 they do look a bit worn below the 7th fret?
I haven't looked to be honest. I just about never look at those things but now's a good time to start! I'll check that out the next time I pick her up for a jam.
V8 Scratchy jack is often just a little cleanup & tighten in the socket.
Yep that did it! After a bit of tightening, no issues on the jack.
After a cleanup, I'm hemming and hawing about this. Seems like she plays OK as-is but... if I end up spending money on upgrades (like the pups) then I figure I might as well get the setup and fret dress done properly and at the same time.
studmissile I'd just hardtail it rather than mess around with tremolo system,
I'm so used to having guitars with floating bridges that this is an easy adjustment. Much less work, way faster to tune. And I like using it for a bit of vibrato. (That's about all I use the trem for on all my guitars. No divebombs here, even though I'm such a big Satch fan :-P)
studmissile Ideally you'd want to sit and play if for a while, even unplugged to see if you connect with it? If after a month you enjoy it drop in some vintage tone riders
I really like this idea and am already enjoying the guitar. Playability is pretty much fine and it feels cool to be able to play a guitar that I was only keeping around for sentimental reasons. Funny how we can make assumptions about cheap things that are actually half decent.
studmissile That switch is Japanese. You'll find it in MIJ Fenders and MIJ Tokais.
The pickup switch? Great! Hopefully I can get a decent replacement. Right now it's the one area of the guitar that is affecting my jamming.
modulator Nice guitar. Some switch cleaner into the switch and pots, and see.
I was quite lucky here, Brendan on the WA group suggested just turning them back and forth a few times. I did each one around 30 times and now — no scratchiness.
Might need to put switch cleaner into the pickup switch though. Definitely noisy.
modulator The pickups, I see the height adjusters screw through the baseplate? Is it possible to remove those metal baseplates at all? Will make a difference to the tone. I would be tempted to remove the plates. Different opinions on what they do, but with them you should expect a "harder" sound? A smoother, "wider", lower power sound without?
That's interesting and could be a very cheap fix for the harshness. Thanks! I'll take a look at that the next time I have her opened up.
modulator While you are at it, shield the cavities, and add aluminium foil all over the bottom of the scratch plate.
What does that do?
modulator Only spend dollops of money if you find the guitar playable and comfortable to play.
Luckily that's turning out to be true. I feel pretty blessed because, otherwise, it was just going to sit in a cupboard until I one day died 🤣