Sunday, January 27, 2013

1990 Fender American Standard Strat (Project complete)

Hi all,

Hope you are having a good night :) I just finished practicing with my newly refurbished Strat, and thought I would just post some pics and tell you what I did with it.

First, here are some pics of the finished product.
Project complete - front photo 20130127_220805.jpg Project complete - back photo 20130127_220849.jpg

Looks pretty much like a Strat, no? It didn't start that way. I think it was a parts-caster that was sold to someone who didn't know better. I probably should have returned it myself, but instead, my son and I dubbed it 'The Project Guitar'.

The guitar came with :

  1. A purple pearloid pickguard
  2. black rear cavity cover
  3. 1980's Squier by Fender electronics (Japan)
  4. homemade tremolo claw (bent sheet metal)
  5. replacement springs (steel)
  6. mix-and-matched screws
I have also wondered about the body, since it had the Squier electronics, but it seems to checkout, as I have found examples of 1989-90 bodies with swimming pool routes and sunburst with black cavity paint. Apparently, the overspray on the black paint around the outside of the body was a new 'feature' to help hide deficiencies in the bodies. 

Crazy! I wouldn't have kept it, but I really like the feel and resonance of these late-80's-early-90's Fenders, and also have a desire to learn more about guitars and how to work on them, so this was a perfect fit. Here's what I did:
  1. Replaced the Squier electronics with 1993 Fender American pickups, and Genuine Fender tone and volume pots. (The 1993 electronics had original TBX tone pot, but the pots were pretty shot, so I just replaced them).
  2. Fender pickguard and back plate.
  3. Fender tremolo springs
  4. Aftermarket tremolo claw, (which made a big difference in the resonance of the guitar. I was surprised!).
  5. Fender tuning machines, (these also made a big difference, though the other tuning machines were ok. These are new, so they don't have any of the looseness that the originals had).
  6. Real Fender screws :)
This was a fun project, and I'm a bit sad to see it come to an end. I'm looking for more chances to work on guitars, so let me know if you have a guitar that needs to be worked on. I'm starting to connect with local luthiers, so have people who can handle refrets, wood work, and painting. I can do the rest!

Fix tinny strat pickups by replacing pots

These 1993 Fender American Standard pickups sounded tinny, and I didn't know why. It had the TBX tone control on the left, and a regular 250K tone pot for both tone and volume. I noticed the the neck tone pot didn't do anything, and the TBX tone control had some large tonal bumps throughout, so I decided to simplify and replace all of the pots with new 250K pots. It worked! Good learning experience for me.

Project guitar - replacing pots (Before shot)
 photo 20130126_082008.jpg

Project guitar - replacing pots (After shot)
 photo 20130126_220805.jpg

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waldron & Waldron wooden pickguard

Hi all,

I'm going to start posting interesting items that I see while buying and selling musical instruments. I've missed some things in the past, but this season seems to be pretty fruitful with interesting items.

I found this Waldron & Waldron wooden pickguard on a 2000 Fender American Stratocaster Texas Special:

This was on a Teal Green Metallic body. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Peavey ValveKing 112

I am trying to sell my like-new Peavey ValveKing 112 Combo. I've only had it a few months, but find that headphones work better for late night practice times.

The case is in great shape. I don't see any marking, and it is still clean, shiny, and black. Faceplates and all knobs are like-new and clean. There is no scratching when the knobs are turned. The sound of this amp beat out everything else in the store. I am a big Peavey fan, and this amp reinforces that feeling. It has the A/B knob which adds variety to the sound, but I just throw it into one position and leave it there. The amp doesn't come with a footswitch, but I use a Vox two button footswitch, and assume anything similar will work fine. 

Here are some specs:

Peavey ValveKing 112 Combo Features: 
50 watts (rms) into 16 ohms 
Two 6L6GC and three 12AX7 tubes 
Two independent footswitchable channels 
Separate EQ for each channel 
Footswitchable gain/volume boost on lead channel
External speaker capability 
12-inch ValveKing speaker 
Reverb with level control 
Buffered effects loop 
Resonance switch for "tight or loose" cabinet response 
New TEXTURE™ variable Class A simulation control (patent pending)

This amp needs to be played loud. I hope you can 'make it so'!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nut Lubrication

I was having tuning issues with my Fender American Standard Telecaster, and Felix from Groth Music in Bloomington recommended putting some 3-in-1 oil on there, and on the bridge to keep the strings from catching. I live in a small town, so couldn't find any 3-in-1 oil, so I settled for gun oil. So there, I said it, I can recommend gun oil for all of your nut and saddle lubrication needs :)

Yamaha BB425X

Big fan of the Yamaha BB425X!

I'm surprised that more people aren't picking these up!  It has 17mm string spacing (?), is made in Indonesia, and 34" scale (for the low B). Wow! throw your preconceived notions out the door. This thing is solid, the pickups are hot, the sound growls, (actually will probably still go back to the Jazz Bass for more sensitive tunes). Only problem so far: the B may waver a bit, and the first five frets on the low B show flat, while the rest of the B string shows in tune. Hope it just needs a new set of strings. (and, no, I'm not selling them :) )