The Ash Stratocaster I built last year has become one of my “go-to” guitars. As one of my first builds – I’m especially fond of it. However, with a few key components left over from other projects, I’ve had the chance to upgrade the guitar into something really special.
With all the modifications in place, I can now restring the guitar, and make any necessary tweaks to the setup. The new setup is, ideally, going to unstop the tremolo again. That could make things interesting – but since it’s something I’ll have to do for the Black Strat too, I need to get acquainted with the theory and practice of properly floating a Stratocaster tremolo.
All the groundwork is now done to bring the guitar ready for the new pickups, and for wiring. I just need to check on the scratchplate fit at the bridge first. I’m looking forward to see what a change of hardware does to change the character of the guitar. But I need to get the pickups in first.
It starts as a relatively simple list of things to do. Neck off – new neck on. Scratchplate out – new scratchplate fitted. Thing is – there are always a few extra little bits that need picking up along the way. Little details that worked for the previous setup won’t necessarily work this time around, and as you begin to strip things back – there are often knock on effects elsewhere. Best thing to do is to strip the guitar down, and to pick up the extras one by one, as they become accessible.
I’ve had the Ash Strat finished for a year now. With other projects on the go, and other guitars to play – it’s been in and out of its’ case, as I’ve got to know it. Part of my approach to guitar building is to develop my own instruments, and to learn how to build and modify them as I go, in order to get the best out of both instrument and player. Building the Black Strat has left a few spare parts, which I certainly don’t want to see go to waste – and I also need to set up a Strat Tremolo, to properly understand how to get the balnce right. There are also a few bits on the Ash Strat I want to revisit. Time to upgrade.
I’ve had the Stratocaster finished and playable for about a month now. I did the project to build a new guitar, but also to learn a bit in the process. So what did I end up with? How well does it play? What do I want to change?
This is the real exciting bit. How is it going to play??