First I had to get the guitar in a working state, to make sure it would be playable, that I would enjoy playing it, and worth modifying it.
I’ve been around for a while, so luckly I had enough spares to quickly get the guitar to a decent and usable state. I replaced both the tuning machines and the bridge. I installed genuine Fender tuners and vintage tremolo bridges. I also polished the frets and cleaned the fingerboard, and….and immediately I had a usable guitar.
It is a Mexican Fender Blacktop Stratocaster, looks like a Fender, plays like a Fender, and sounds like a Fender.
A good starting point.
I always liked the American Standard bridge sadles, locking keys are a must, Piezo pickup not a bad idea, and love HH configuration on a Strat. So my plan is as follow (for now), not necessarily in this order:
- Replace synthetic bone nut with a Grapth Tech Black Tusq (PT-5000-00) nut.
- Replace pickguard with HH pickguard
- Replace standard Fender tuners with Fender® American Deluxe Locking Chrome Tuners Staggered Posts
- Replace pickups. While I like the I’ve Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Pickups, I think they are a bit too hot for what I intend to do. But single coils would be too tame. Besides, I already have another Blacktop Stratocaster, so why would I want two guitars to be the same?
- In the short term Replace the vintage standard fender bridge saddles, or even better, replace the whole bridge with Gotoh NS510TS bridge.
- Long term, replace bridge with Fishman VMV Powerbridge Pickup with the additional Powerchip. I have the same functionality on my Parker Fly Deluxe and I love it. It would require drilling a hole for the battery pack so I might leave that for a Warmoth Body.
- Maybe a blower switch, I have never used one, but I think is a neat feature.
That’s it for now…