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My latest project... FrankenStrat lives!
mmcquain is Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tarpon Springs, FL
Default My latest project... FrankenStrat lives! - 07-21-2013, 01:11 AM

A while back I picked up a cheap Squier ProTone series Strat - one of the old blue ones that had turned a dark green over the years. For those of you who don't know about the ProTone series you should check them out if you're looking for a nice guitar at a decent price. They were only made for a couple of years (96-97 I think) in Korea and they used hardware similar to what was coming on the MIM and some MIA Strats at the time. They were so nice that Fender finally shut down the line as it was cutting into sales of the higher end Fender-branded models at the time. In the past I've owned a couple of these ProTone Strats and a Thinline Tele, and all have were great guitars.

Anyway, this latest latest one was a little dinged up on the headstock and body but was otherwise a good guitar. I did pull the pickups as I just prefer the Vintage Noiseless (I had hum from single coils) and have used those pickups in all the Strats I've owned over the years.

I also decided to replace the pots with CTS 500K and put a new switch in. I found a couple of old (circa 1970s) ceramic caps (473) in my parts box and used those on the tone controls. I wired the first tone knob (next to the volume knob) for the bridge pickup only. The other tone control (down by the input jack) handles the middle and neck pickups.

Since these pickups and the higher pot values can make the guitar a little too bright sometimes I figured putting the brightest pickup (bridge) on its own tone control made sense. And I wanted that one within easy reach so I made it first. I tend to run the neck and middle pickup tone wide open so I made it the knob farther away as I don't reach for it as often.

I also threw on a black pickguard (the original was white pearloid) to match the pickups and knobs. And the backplate is now black too. Otherwise, the hardware is the stock gold ProTone (tuners, bridge, springs, etc.) and I think the overall look turned out pretty cool.

I still have to install the Dunlop straplocks and give it a good setup (the action needs lowered a little and the intonation needs a few minor tweaks) but overall I think I've got a decent guitar that is on par with ones like the Deluxe Players Strat (MIM) but I saved a couple hundred bucks by building my "FrankenStrat" myself

MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player *
Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals *
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