The Best Ways to Improve and Mod Your Fender Stratocaster
The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most popular electric guitars in the world. Its unique design and versatile sound make it a favourite among guitarists of all genres. If you're looking to improve your Stratocaster, you can make a few modifications to boost its sound and playability.
Below are just a few tips that may help you along the way.
Block Your Tremolo
Some Stratocaster guitarists don't use the tremolo system that comes installed on the guitar. Although the design is good and the tremolo can be set up to not affect tuning stability, often this is overlooked, and the tuning becomes an issue. If you don't use the tremolo, you can try blocking it off.
When it comes to choosing the best type of wood for your guitar wedge, hardwood is the way to go. Not only does it offer the advantage of improved tuning, but if fitted correctly, it can also help improve sustain. Plus, it can be easily removed if you change your mind.
It's important to keep your Leo Fender tremolo in good working order to stay in tune. Regular maintenance, like lubricating the hardware, will keep it running smoothly.
Anywhere the string comes in contact with your guitar is an opportunity for friction and snagging, so use Big Bends Nutsauce, Music Nomad TUNE-IT, or a similar guitar lubricant on your nut and saddle.
This will help make tuning easier, as well as when the tremolo pulls the string through the grooves.
Fit a Treble Bleed
A treble bleed mod is a modification to a guitar's volume control that helps offset the treble loss that can occur when the volume is turned down. This is accomplished by adding a small capacitor to the guitar's circuitry that helps to keep the high frequencies from being attenuated as much as they otherwise would be.
You will need to buy a capacitor or resistor and a cap that is wired in parallel to the potentiometer (pot). Some circuits offer the option of wiring in series to preserve the taper of the volume control.
Some guitarists prefer different combinations of capacitors and resistors, depending on their personal taste and the pickups they use. Fender's Tone Saver offers a capacitor and resistor in one unit, making for an easy installation. You can find wiring diagrams online to help you with the installation, and make sure you are confident with a soldering iron before you begin.
Get Fresh Pots
If your guitar is in the lower to the mid-price range, it is likely that the electrical components could be improved. The standard wiring and potentiometers (pots) are a good place to start.
Cheaper pots have less consistent resistance values, which means that they can have a significant impact on the sound of a Strat. 250k pots are generally considered to be the ideal value for a Strat.
Get More Tone for Your Bridge Pickup
The Stratocaster bridge pickup is a very versatile and powerful pickup, but it is limited by the lack of tone control in Leo Fender's original design. However, this is an easy fix that many guitarists have been doing for years.
You'll need to find the wire connecting the second-tone pot to the pickup selector switch to do this mod. Unsolder it and move it one tag towards the middle of the switch, then solder it back up.
Give the Single-Bucker Sound a Go
If you have single-coil pickups but want to create a sound that imitates a "fat bucker" tone, you can do so by adding a lot of overdrive to your sound. This can be done using a mid-rich or two pedals if you prefer. It's important not to turn the treble down on your amp or pedals, as you want it to be around six to eight.
To get a humbucker sound from a Strat, turn the volume up to 10 and the tone control for the bridge pickup down to 5 or lower.
Overall, there are a few ways to improve and mod your Fender Stratocaster. You can improve the pickups, electronics, and hardware. You can also change the body and neck for better playability and comfort. With the right mods, your Strat can be the best guitar you've ever played.If you are looking for a great guitar shop in East Anglia, look no further than our amazing selections here at Musicstreet. We have a brick-and-mortar store with 100's of electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, amplifiers, effect pedals and other instruments and accessories. Check out our online store as well for more of our high-quality guitar collections and their prices.