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  • Prewired Strat Pickguard options

    Got a budget Strat clone a couple years ago, and eventually the stock wiring started to give me troubles, so I decided to attempt to fix it. Decided to slightly mod it to a neck/mid tone and a bridge tone.

    Didn't work so well. Ended up very noisy and the signal kept cutting out. So, I take it apart and decide to make some more mods. Had a couple Carvin Twinblades from a different project I was going to attempt and decided to try them out in this one first. Got new pickguard/pots/switch, and decided I was going to do a simple H/s/H config with V/T/T controls. No coil splitting/tapping, or any fancy phase switching.

    Didn't work, couldn't figure out where I particularly went wrong. All the joins seemed to be pretty solid.

    Took it apart and rewired it to what it is now. Neck and Bridge Twinblades, disconnected middle SC (from the original pickups), "5" way switch (but only neck/bridge positions do anything) and a volume pot. Bridge pickup doesn't like to always work, neck pickup seems fine.

    NOW, I just want to put it back to a basic, but versatile, basic Strat config. I also would like to do as little work to it as possible, as my doing anything more than soldering the output jack tends to make things worse. It's a solid base for modding (multi-piece alder body, straight and slightly chunky maple/rosewood neck. It's nice and resonant, better than some Squier and Mexi's I've tried).

    I'm looking right now at the GFS Handwired ( http://www.guitarfetish.com/Hand-Wired-Pickguards_c_113.html )or the Carvin ( http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=AG1W&cid=80 ). Yes/No to either? Suggestions for something else? DiMarzio put out one, but it's like $300+.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.guitarscanada.com" target="_blank">Guitars Canada</a> - Guitar Forum for Canadians</div>

  • #2
    Will you take a picture of your soldering work? Often beginners don't know how to wire grounds properly and end up with cold solder joints on potentiometers, where instead of solder covering and flowing nicely onto the pot's surface, you'll have a blob that seems to be stuck to the pot's surface but clearly hasn't flowed properly onto it. Instead of spending over $100 on a prewired pickguard, why don't you spend $15 on a multimeter? It will pay for itself many, many times over.

    To solder a ground, first scratch up the surface you're soldering to with some sandpaper or a flathead screwdriver or anything, you want to get below the finish. Then, heat up your soldering iron as hot as it will get, wipe it clean, tin it with some solder, and place the iron on the pot and as you're doing that, add some solder so that it flows. Once you've done one proper job, you'll know you've done it right because all of the solder will be melted and flowing freely on the surface of the pot, not pooled around it. Believe me.
    Electrics: Fender '73 Mustang RI, Epiphone Inspired by John Lennon Casino, Gibson 60s Tribute Les Paul Studio, Daisy Rock Retro-H Deluxe, Squier Hello Kitty Strat x2<br>Acoustics: Taylor 316CE-LTD, Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT<br>Basses: Squier Badtz Maru Bronco Bass, Aria CSB-300, Fender Mustang Bass RI<br>Amps: Vox TB18C1, Vox Pathfinder 210, Peavey Transtube Envoy, Ampeg Micro VR Stack<br>My Band: <a href="http://mittensband.com" target="_blank">http://mittensband.com</a>

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    • #3
      I'll see if I can borrow a camera from someone.

      I'm also going to need a new soldering iron, seems my old one got crushed by some misplaced storage items. Any suggestions for something decent (but not expensive)? I was just using a cheapo one from Radio Shack.

      My biggest problem was what wires were which. Every pickup manufacturer seems to use a different colour scheme and not every one of them puts out a wiring diagram to suit every need (Carvin didn't have any that didn't include coil-tapping/splitting or phase switching or any of the stuff I dont want, so it was a matter of using one of theirs to get the wire-colour scheme and using another diagram for the actual wiring). Even when everything looked "right" I'd end up with permanently split coils, or the tone control ended up being just another volume or it was all just noisy.

      Is there a particular type of solder to use/not use?

      Adding pictures:





      <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.guitarscanada.com" target="_blank">Guitars Canada</a> - Guitar Forum for Canadians</div>

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      • #4
        I've heard good things about the $50-ish GFS Alnico prewired guards. I'd imagine the upgraded ones with their quality pickups would be even better.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2">Guitar Rig: Musicman Silhouette -&gt; Cool Cat Transparent OD -&gt; Fender Mustang I (Twin model)<br />
        Drum Rig: Mapex Pro M's, Saluda Mists, Evans heads</font></div>

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        • #5
          Your grounds look a big dodgy. You see how it floats on top of the pot? It shouldn't be like that. Also, your hot leads should be shortened so that they don't stick out so much from the switch, which sometimes can cause shorting when wires can touch each other.

          I use a really cheap iron from Parts Express:

          http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=374-100

          Turned up to the max, this can handle volume pots with no problem.
          Electrics: Fender '73 Mustang RI, Epiphone Inspired by John Lennon Casino, Gibson 60s Tribute Les Paul Studio, Daisy Rock Retro-H Deluxe, Squier Hello Kitty Strat x2<br>Acoustics: Taylor 316CE-LTD, Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT<br>Basses: Squier Badtz Maru Bronco Bass, Aria CSB-300, Fender Mustang Bass RI<br>Amps: Vox TB18C1, Vox Pathfinder 210, Peavey Transtube Envoy, Ampeg Micro VR Stack<br>My Band: <a href="http://mittensband.com" target="_blank">http://mittensband.com</a>

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          • #6
            This is the iron I use
            http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Analog-Soldering-Station/dp/B000BRC2XU

            It isn't super cheap, but you can solder pretty much anything and it will most likely be the last iron you'll have to buy.

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            • #7
              The biggest mistake most beginners make is not tinning the tip. Rat shack makes a tip tinner/cleaner product that I swear by. I'll get link and post it. Your iron is fine and will serve you well.
              It's 4am woman make up your mind. EITHER SPIT IT OUT OR SWALLOW IT!!!

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              • #8
                http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062721
                This stuff has gone up in price, but it's well worth it. Also shop around for some ring terminals and a crimping tool. I like using these for grounding rather than soldering to the pots. These slip over the volume pot shaft and you can run your grounds to them. Much neater. Most Do It Best hardware stores have the 5/16" and 3/8" ones that you need.
                It's 4am woman make up your mind. EITHER SPIT IT OUT OR SWALLOW IT!!!

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                • #9
                  Thanks. Still debating which way will be best, since either way I'm going to have to buy new pickups and pots anyways.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.guitarscanada.com" target="_blank">Guitars Canada</a> - Guitar Forum for Canadians</div>

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