My 2003 American Series Stratocaster has gotten some upgrades within the last 10 years…Strat Mods.
How many Stratocaster mods can one do to this wonderful instrument? In the words of the owl, “The world may never know.”
Here’s a list of the things that I’ve done to my current Strat over the past 11 years:
- From Killer Guitar Components: Brass Tremolo Block, 2-post Brass Bridge Plate, Brass Tremolo Claw
- From Raw Vintage: Tremolo Springs (All 5 springs used)
- From Callaham: Steel Saddles
Seymour Duncan: SSL-1, SSL-1,SSL-5 pickups
Klein: Jazzy Cats pickups
D. Allen: Voodoo Blues pickups
From Klein: 1959 pickups…here to stay.
- Sprague .047 orange drop cap
- New CTS 250k pots/5 way Switchcraft switch – heck just buy THIS assembly and pop it in!
- Vintage cloth wire 22 guage
- Aluminum Pickguard Shield came with my initial pickguard assembly from Klein Pickups.
- Removed the back plastic cover for mojo’s sake
- Bone Nut from Rasmussen
2 important things that get overlooked:
I used to use Graphtech Saddles, which up till last month, have muffled tone for years, yet put an end to string breakage. Callaham saddles brought life back to my strat. During my life with Graphtechs, I have also tried Klein Jazzy Cat’s and D. Allen VooDoo Blues. When A/B’ed with friends’ strats, one MIM with Klein 58’s and one Roadworn with Tex-Mex’s, I couldn’t figure out why mine sounded muffled. I’m convinced that the saddles were the singular factor that opened up ‘the bottleneck’ of tone for my guitar. Perhaps my reviews of those other pickups were not fair.
If you own a strat, use Steel saddles. Avoid Graphtech Saddles, for Strat’s sake.
2. Pickup height Adjustment
Here’s my guide to finding the correct height for the pickups in your guitar: Pickup Height Adjustment
This Strat is an incredibly versatile guitar. Plays solidly, very little buzz, if any at all. If you have any ideas on what else can be done easily and simply, share!