Yes It Is!
No matter what Strat style guitar you have. From a basic Squire to an upper end Fender they all use basic inexpensive components. Nothing against the manufacture. They build a Great Guitar that still can be improved.
Upgrading your Strat can be as simple as changing out a tone cap or a full re wire job with all new pickups. No matter how small of a change. You will hear a difference!
Tone Caps: This can be one of the best changes you can make. Normally the caps that come in your guitar are not the best. A capacitor is like a filter: They let the highest frequencies pass, but resist lower frequencies. The two most common upgrade caps are Orange Drops and Paper-In-Oil (PIO). I prefer the characteristics of the KY Series Vintage PIO caps. These caps will give you a very warm vintage tone. Plus they get better with time. Most common is a .047uf. Other options would be a .033uf or a .022uf. My personal favorite is a .1uf. It’s great for a good jazz / blues warm tone when you roll off the tone control. Same cap found in a Eric Johnson Stratocaster. A good rule to remember is the higher the cap value the more high frequencies are rolled off with the tone control. A warmer, darker tone. Let your own ear decide what cap is best for you.
Potentiometers: Almost all Strat's use 250K pots. I recommend to stay with that value. Brand wise I like Bourns. I have found them to be smooth and long lasting. You will need a short shaft pot.
Audio or Linear Taper Pots: I recommend Audio Taper pots. Without going into a lot of technical detail about the difference think of it this way. Audio taper are matched with what the human ear hears. Tone is what we hear. Our hearing is not linear.
Wiring: The characteristics of your wiring will effect the tone. Although you can leave the factory wiring I do recommend changing it to vintage 22 awg wax cloth push back wire through out. This is what you will find in most vintage 50’s and 60’s made guitars. It does effect the tone and you will hear a difference.
Switches: One of the best upgrades is to replace the 5 way with a new Oak Grigsby switch and a new Switchcraft out put jack. Both give you rock solid connections and last much longer.
There are other things that effect the tone. Pickups, type of wood the body of the guitar is made of and more. Including your own playing style.
I hope this covers the basics to help you with your Tone Improvement. Good luck and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us. Check out our eBay Store for more Guitar Tone Improvement Information.
Tone Man Guitar
7/23/2014 06:32:06 am
8/25/2014 07:36:53 am
Looking forward to upgrading my tone. Thanks!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.