Skip to content
Clear all

Strat Mod Question

4 Posts
4 Users
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 36
Topic starter  

Hey all!

I have a Mexican strat that I got a couple of years ago. It plays really nice, and I enjoy it. I even have a buddy who owns a Les Paul and and a MIA strat, and he agrees it plays very well. I've made some mods to it, including replacing a lot of the electronic components, stuck a Duncan JB jr in the bridge, blocked off the tremolo (I never use it) and it also has the heftier tremolo block (when did they start putting those in the MIMs? And making them all with medium-jumbo frets?) So far I've left the stock middle and neck pickups, though I've considered swapping them out for the noiseless single coil pickups when I save up a bit. I've also made some cosmetic changes.

Anyhow, when I did some of this work I was using a wiring diagram from Seymour Duncan, and it just occured to me that I do not have a tone capacitor wired into the pots, which I see on the diagram. What I've read is that tone caps tend to "roll off" high frequencies for a warmer, bassier tone. On the diagram, I see a .022 cap between the tone 1 and volume pots. If I put one of these in, which pickup combinations will it affect, and is there any other benefit or other information you guys could tell me about caps?

Also, while I'm on the subject of this guitar, what would be the next most effective upgrade I could make (besides the pickups) - tuners?

I am where my mind put me.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5840

Fender have used different wiring setups on various guitars. To check which pickups any particular tone pot affects, just select position 1 (which is, usually, just the bridge pickup), pick a note and roll the tone 1 knob from 1 to 10 a couple of times. Do this with positions 1, 3 & 5, which are bridge, middle and neck, respectively..

There is a website, whose name I can't remember right now (maybe another GNer can remember it) that has dozens of wiring diagrams for basically all the variants that Fender has produced.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 168

I highly recommend the noiseless single coils - I have the SCN versions on my mexi strat and they're very very nice. But I'm more of anti-hum purist than a Strat tone purist, so your mileage may vary.

I also put Fender/Schaller locking tuners on my Strat. They help it stay in tune so much that I haven't bothered to completely block the tremolo.

Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 406

On my MIA strat I have lindy fralin pickups:
I'm not sure which ones are in the strat because they were already installed when i bought it.
A graphtech nut and a callahan bridge.

All this was done by the previous owner but it sounds really good. I don't know how much these mods improved the sound because I never played the original but the pickups do sound great. I really only play humbucker guitars and these pickups are the only reason I still own a strat.