Lets Build Up a Squire
I found that if you give a basic Squire Strat style a Pro Set, new Tuning Keys, some new Pick Ups and a new Bridge & Saddle System (basically replace everything) then you will actually have a pretty decent little shredder. A properly set up Squire can really lay down some nice sounds with the right parts. A lot of us started out with a squire or something similar. Well since they are not worth much on a trade in or even to sell on your own, I thought I would give you a few ideas on how to trick one out and actually have a decent gutiar for under $500.00 including the guitar. Here are a few ideas for a starter pack if you do not already have a Squire.
Well the stock keys on a Squire leave a little to be desired as they say. They tend to lose tuning fairly quickly. If you like to stretch and squeal then you will throw a stock Squire out of tune in a short amount of time especially if you use the tremelo. If you decide to change the Tuning Keys, you can find drop in replacements. It’s not to hard to drill a slightly bigger hole if needed (remember it’s only a Squire so don’t be afraid to experiment). OK let’s see if we can find something decent at a good price. Here are a few option for Tuning Keys.
The Pick Ups will be the most expensive part of this project. But then again if you are doing this then you are looking for better sound and this is where you will get it. There are a few different way you can change your pick ups.
1) You can just replace the Pick Ups. You can find Geuine Fender replacement pickups that will just drop in with only a little bit of wiring.
2) You can replace the whole Pick Up and switch section with a new pre wired unit including a new 3 ply pick guard and all new Pick Ups and Electronics.
3) You can get really extreme and throw in a set of Dual Hummbuckers. You will have to do a little routing to get everything to fit right. You can also get this type of set up in a Pre Wired configuration as well. So go crazy and have some fun.
Bridge Saddle System
Now a lot of people will just disable the trem by locking down the bridge. You can tighten all the screws down and insert a small piece of wood behind the bar that the springs attach to (access thru the back cover). You can put a little nicer fixed bridge on if you choose. If you want to stay with a floating bridge system then I recommend one of these below. The more expensive Floyd Rose system also includes the locking nut by the headstock. If you are going to run a trem system then I highly recommend using the locks as they will save your tuning keys from the unwanted pressure of using the wammy. Make sure you float the bridge properly so your guitar will play at its best.
So with all or some of these parts you can build yourself one hell of a little Hot Rod Guitar. With the Proper Set Up, you can fly across the fret board of these guitars. Enjoy working on your new toy because half the fun is in building it.
Remember, If You build it, You Will Shred