This is an old picture of me with first guitar (I must be about 16 here), which was absolutely beautiful before I butchered it. It's a Squier Hank Marvin signiture Strat, made by Fender Japan at some point between 1992 and 1994, and is one of 1500 produced. I love this guitar, and it would be the first guitar I'd grab if the house was burning down.
I replaced the stock pickups (which sounded good, despite having some feedback problems) with Duncan hotrails, wired through some push/pull pots and a few different capacitors for alot of different sounds. Tonally, it's still the most versatile guitar I own, but that isn't really what I want from a guitar anymore.
It needed a refret a few years ago (and I mean needed), and I specifically told the luthier that I wanted a refret with rounded jumbo frets and specifically told him not to relaquer the neck. The guitar was given back to me with very thin frets with very flat crowns, with absolutely awful fretwork. I have cut my fingers playing this guitar several times on the frets.
Worse still, he encased the neck in a thick glassy laquer. It doesn't feel like the guitar it once was. Every time I pick it up I feel like it's begging me to change it back to the way it once was.
Well, I can't change it back to how it was, but I'm hoping I can at least do it the justice it deserves. This summer I intend to fit new hardware from Callaham guitars (tremolo unit, strap buttons, string tree, scratchplate), have the neck laquer/fretwork redone by a luthier whose work I've seen and been very impressed by and switch the pickups to a set of Kinman HM signiture singlecoils, with a push/pull volume pot to engage the bridge pickup regardless of what's on the 5-way and the middle tone pot wired to the bridge instead. Maybe then it will se more playtime, instead of just staying in it's case.