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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Strat project question

I'm contemplating a strat project as I have more than enough Floyd & humbucker equipped guitars. It's time for something new.

I have a line on an inexpensive MIJ lefty strat (I'm a sucker for reverse headstocks). I was going to take the neck and throw it on a righty strat body.

Is there significant differences between the MIJ, MIM, and American strat electronics? If I picked up a loaded MIM strat body, would I be disappointed with the pickups, pots, tremolo etc.? Another option would be to to take the electronics out of the donor lefty guitar as well, but that still leaves the tremolo as a question mark.

Any input from the Strat fans is welcome. Even Cid.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 07:46 PM
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Re: Strat project question

Since my input is reluctantly welcome, only you can say whether you like the MIM electronics and trem. I never had any problems with them personally. When I worked at a Fender dealer, the Fender rep gave us a bunch of paperwork about the different models and at least at that time, the pots and switches were the same in the MIM and the MIA, the pickups were different though, not necessarily better but different. I cant really comment on the MIJ stuff though. You can A/B the electronics in the MIM and MIJ pretty easily and decide which you like better.

I could be wrong, but the MIM bridge is probably a 6 screw, will the MIJ fit? On one of my project strats, I used a Wilkinson bridge (and a lefty neck) that I picked up relatively inexpensively and it was great. If money isnt too much of a concern, I'd grab a prewired EJ pickguard from the bay, the down side is they go for about $300, but the EJ was the best sounding Strat I ever had. If I do another project I will probably buy those for it.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Re: Strat project question

I would agree with El Cid on this one. I was thinking exactly the same thing with the Wilkinson and while the EJ set is not cheap IMO a prewired pickguard with a set of awesome pickups for $300 really isn't too bad. All you have to do is solder it to the jack and your good to go. You could also do the Gilmour set if you like EMG tone.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Re: Strat project question

Why is the tremolo a question mark? just use it lefty like SRV... lol, not sure if itd fit, but i dont see why not (at work right now, maybe im talking out of my ass)

Electronics should be ok on the MIJ, if its a Silver Series, pickups are pretty cool actually - i have one, swapped them for stacked dimarzios and put the originals back in cause i liked them more. Gotoh tuners will be a plus too.

Really, get a righty neck and pickguard and your only concern will be replacing the nut.

Then, once you have it put together, see whats lacking (if anything) and upgrade from there...
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 10:34 PM
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Re: Strat project question

I replaced the MIM 6 screw trem in mine with a USA 6 screw, and the USA had a brighter tone and better sustain, but wasn't a direct swap. I had my luthier fill the old holes and drill new ones. I also dropped 100 bucks on a Carvin prewired pickguard and love the AP-11 pickups. Great sound for the price, extremely hard to beat. I thought I'd try it for a week or three and go with Fralin, but the Carvins are sweet. Like bright Fender singles with actual usable and present low mids available everywhere.

If I was doing a project strat though, I would get a Warmoth neck and a Warmoth body, and not go with the MIM parts if at all possible. You should be able to get a non finished, non trem body for about 200, but while you've said you don't want another Floyd you haven't said if you're going for a hard tail or a vintage trem. I would guess, but since you haven't left your expert opinion on the upcoming Budweiser Ale in the beer thread I'm going to wait on that

If you can get the loaded Carvin pickguard used, it's definitely worth a listen, and should bring you back your investement if you don't like it.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strat project question

Thanks for the advice guys. Cid, I singled you out because you usually seem to know what the hell you are talking about, especially when it comes to strats and Gibsons.

That's a pretty cool idea about the EJ pickguard, but I don't think the funds will be there.

Jim, I was thinking of the traditional trem, simply because I assume it is more common, thereby less expensive. I wouldn't mind a hard tail though...
Your feedback on the MIM vs US trem was the kind of info that I was looking for. I'm really digging that traditional strat twang lately, and I would assume 'the brighter, the better'.

I haven't weighed in on the Bud ale thread yet because, to my knowledge, it won't even be released in Canada. I'm really looking forward to your feedback on it though. I think any deviation from that rice 'beer' atrocity is a step in the right direction.

I'm still watching to see what industry changes will occur due to the Interbrew acquisition of AB. Interbrew execs are notorious cutters and slashers, so I'm somewhat surprised with the AB ale release into an unproven market during the economic hard times the U.S. appears to be having now. Seems like a risky move on their part right now.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, a strat project. Keep the suggestions coming.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 12:50 AM
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Re: Strat project question

If you are considering going Warmoth, give USACG a look. Awesome guys to deal with.
What do you think you may or may not like about the MIJ electronics? I had a MIJ Tele and it was a great guitar, I'd imagine the Strat would be in the same ball park
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strat project question

I have no idea about the MIJ electronics, that's why I'm relying on you guys. I have only ever played 1 strat before, and that was about 16 years ago and it was a USA. I just wanted to be sure you can get that strat sound with the MIJ and MIM electronics.

From my very limited strat knowledge, you can't go wrong with the MIJ strats. This one that I'm eyeing (the lefty) has shown up in a local pawn shop a while ago. They have a $300 price on it, but they even state they are willing to entertain offers.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 01:40 PM
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Re: Strat project question

$300 for a MIJ? Sounds like a winner to me. My first project strat I picked up a lefty MIM for $175, kept the neck and hardshell case and sold the body, electronics and bridge for $150. If you can pick up the guitar for $300 or even less, you can probaly get $125 easily for the unloaded body, more if you include the electronics.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strat project question

Thanks Cid. I imagine that I could get it for $225-250. Considering how brutal the market for used guitars is where I live, it sounds like an even better deal.

There's also a loaded right hand MIJ strat body less tremolo on the bay right now that can probably be had for fairly cheap. The seller says the body looks like mahogany. Is he talking out his a**, or was mahogany available for MIJ strats. Wouldn't you want a brighter tone wood for the strat sound?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 10:39 AM
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Re: Strat project question

I don't think mahogany was ever available as a standard strat body wood. It probably just looks like mahogany to him
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strat project question

Thanks Jim. I didn't thing that mahogany was an option.

Btw, did you try the Bud Ale yet? I agreed with a lot of your opinions on beer so, if you say it's good, I might have to make a special trip down to the rockin' metropolis of Minot to give it a try.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 08:42 PM
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Re: Strat project question

Im with Jim, chances are he's crazy saying its mahogany. I suppose it's possible but usually Fenders are ash or alder.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 PM
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Re: Strat project question

I did recently see a Fender with a Koa body, but it was a limited thing. Pretty damn cool looking too, I might add. Anyway, keep an eye out for one of those pre-wired Carvin pickguards, and there's also a ton of pots and gizmos for Strat wiring on Torres Engineering's site as well worth looking into. GuitarPartsDepot (banner above) seems to have a TON of parts as well.

For the beer, I haven't seen the Bud Ale yet, but I've seen about 6 new Michelobs. I might get the mix 12 pack of that. I think the Bud Ale is out in October.
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