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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / First Strat, finally

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HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Aug 31st, 2016 07:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been watching for a decent deal on a used, recent AmStd in black and maple just because. I'm primarily a bass player but really wanted a Strat in the house, and I like the feel of the AmStd necks.

I found a clean 2010 for reasonable money at GC and was able to talk them down a little (into MIM territory.)

Are there any must-do changes or mods I should be doing to an AmStd of this vintage?

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 31st, 2016 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just make sure it's fitted with an appropriate "dingle arm."

See Peegoo's embedded link (at 1:32)...

Viera
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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Aug 31st, 2016 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Welcome to Stratville! Amer Standards and previously "Series" are really nice Strats.

I'm assuming you got a SSS (3 single coil sized pickups) Strat. Other than setup type stuff, I would keep it as is for now. You might eventually want to have it wired so you could get the bridge with the neck pup, but save that for later if at all.

Some folks might suggest decking or blocking the trem. If this Strat is for home/studio play, consider leaving it set to float.

Peegoo
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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 31st, 2016 07:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Like Viera says, have a top-notch setup done. It will transform a good guitar into a really guitar.

The difference is noticable! It will play easier and sound better.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Aug 31st, 2016 08:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks! Yes, it's a bog standard S-S-S model.

All I plan to do at this point is change out the PG and trem cover with black, and the pickup covers and knobs with either black or aged white. That, and a set of Fender locking tuners like I have on my Tele (I hate stringing little cheese slicer strings.) After that, I'll send it off for a setup.

Nice to hear that it's pretty much OK as is.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 09:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just found a onboard N-Tune tuner that I forgot I had - this will probably make its way onboard, too.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Sep 1st, 2016 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Congrats on the Strat. Nice color choice and putting black plastic on it with aged white (cream) knobs and PU cover will look outstanding. Other than set up it should be just dandy. Modern American Strats are really well made guitars with no built in issues.

I built a Gilmour Strat out of a Black and Maple MIM FSR. I used a single ply black guard and trim as above and love the look. The only reason I built it was for the look. Anyway, pic below to fuel your need to modify.

Black on black w/aged white trim

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 10:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hammond, I find the Gilmour look to be *very* attractive - that looks great! I'm going with a B-W-B PG instead of a single ply, though.

What strings was this likely to have had originally? This is my first trem guitar in many years, and I think I've heard that Strats like strings with special ends.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Sep 1st, 2016 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Can use the Fender Bullets, or whatever you're comfortable with normally.

Honestly I've never seen a realistic difference attributable to the bullet vs ball end, and the bullets don't always go well in other guitars.

pombrio
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USA

Sep 1st, 2016 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

HD, you sure you didn't roll some skinny French guy on a moped in the GC parking lot and take his axe?

Viera
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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Sep 1st, 2016 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Strings with ball ends work fine with Strats.

LOL @ pombrio.


Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Sep 1st, 2016 11:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks HD. I use Ernie Ball hybrid 9s on most of my Strats. Most come shipped with a standard 9 set. The hybrid set uses the low E, A and D string from the 10 set. I like the heavier bottom.

I do have a couple of Strats set up with the full 10 sets that I use for surf music. Either should work well for you. You may find you might have to adjust the trem tension a bit when changing string guage if the guitar is set up to float the bridge. I like about a .020-.025" rise in the back of the bridge over the body. It give me just the right amount of rise in pitch if I pull back on the wang bar and good shimmer effects. Having it any higher seems to make the bridge too sensitive when palm muting.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fun stuff to learn - thanks, everyone!

Lol at pombrio.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 11:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh, forgot to ask...

The threaded trem bar is a PITA. Can I convert it to snap in, and do I want to?

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Sep 1st, 2016 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It'd be more hassle than it's worth.


Just play the dang thing.




HeavyDuty
Contributing Member
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 11:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The conversion would be? I noticed Calliham makes bars with shortened threads so you can mount it with a single turn, even that would be an improvement over the full threading and would be cheap.

pombrio
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USA

Sep 1st, 2016 12:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I believe Callaham's bars will only work with his replacement trem blocks. Is that correct?

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 1st, 2016 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

He implies they will work with the factory block, but that's a good question I should ask first.

Edit - crap, you're right. I'll live with it as-is.

(This message was last edited by HeavyDuty at 02:05 PM, Sep 1st, 2016)

Viera
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Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Sep 1st, 2016 01:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I prefer the Amer Deluxe pop in trem arm and the feel of the arm over the Amer Standards/Series. That said you might try the following:

Wrap the trem bar threads with a layer or 2 of plumbers tape. It helps keep the bar from flapping around.

You can bend the arm a little so that it lies closer to the guitar body/strings. For me this makes it easier to use the trem while simultaneously playing notes.

I almost never remove the trem bar on my Amer Series Strat. When in the case I position the bar so that the end points to the case corner...

Like this

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Sep 1st, 2016 04:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hammond,
As a general rule, I loathe black guitars, but I really like your DG look. Got me thinking now...

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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / First Strat, finally




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