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Post subject: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:07 am
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Hello to you good people, this is my first post here :wink:

I'm wanting to give my (rarely played) 25 year old MIM HSS Strat a new lease of life and I'm looking for guidance and advice.

The Strat is currently all stock but a little unusual in that it has a Seymour Duncan '59 Bridge Humbucker with a splitter switch instead of a second tone pot. The tone and volume pots both need replacing as they are scratchy as hell.

I never use the split as the HB sounds much better full on. I'd like to swap out the switch for a second tone pot and rewire it in the conventional way as per my USA strat. The single tone pot as it is really doesn't work very effectively.

So my questions are:

1. Is it possible to even do this?
2. If so, can someone explain how to do it or point me to a video or wiring diagram somewhere?
3. Recommendations for new tone and volume pots/caps and appropriate k values?

Also any suggestions for other mods to improve tone etc would be really appreciated. I basically want to make it as good as I can (within reason) as it was my first guitar owned from new and I have an irrational attachment to it lol.

BIG Thanks

Paul


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:57 pm
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Consider this:

Drop in a new, loaded pickguard that's been pre-wired with a set of Fender's Fat 50's pickups and conventional V/T/T wiring then install a steel trem block at the bridge. The transformation will be both dramatic and pleasing.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:11 pm
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Thanks for the suggestion Arjay.

I actually already have a full set of Fat 50's that I removed from my USA Strat. The thing is I really like the '59 SD Humbucker that's already fitted (and routed) in the mexican strat. It gives me a solid rock vibe to counter the classic vibe of my USA Strat. I might use the middle and neck Fat 50's in the mim strat but not sure yet.

Will look for a steel trem block too.

Thanks Again


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:21 pm
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Hi Paul

What values are the POTs, and are they CTS POTs?
I concur with Arjay - a steel block would be beneficial, and I did this to my MiM Strat a good few years ago.

Just out of interest, what's the DCR of the 'bucker?
With it being a '59 I'd expect something from around 8K to 10K, which might go some way towards explaining your preference for the full fat switch position.
8K to 10K would indicate a lowish output 'bucker, just as PAFs are.

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:43 pm
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stratmangler wrote:
What values are the POTs, and are they CTS POTs?
I concur with Arjay - a steel block would be beneficial, and I did this to my MiM Strat a good few years ago.


+1

A Strat's "mechanicals" are just as important as its electronics.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:43 pm
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Paul_in_Somerset wrote:
I'd like to swap out the switch for a second tone pot and rewire it in the conventional way as per my USA strat.

1. Is it possible to even do this?
2. If so, can someone explain how to do it or point me to a video or wiring diagram somewhere?
3. Recommendations for new tone and volume pots/caps and appropriate k values?

1. Yes.
2. If you can and want to DIY, follow a diagram from an existing HSS Strat, there are plenty of variations on the support pages: https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/art ... e-Diagrams
3. My humble suggestion would be the Highway One HSS diagram 2005 version; it's got the regular 5way switch instead of the superswitch or S1. Greasebucket divides opinions, but ghive it a chance...
The tones are wired T1/neck and T2/bridge, middle pickup has no tone. All pots are 250k, but it's easy to change the T2 value to 500k if you want to - or to a 300k one like the G brand often does. (The same diagram was used on the AmSpecial HSS Strat 2009 but they didn't include it on that page so here's the colored version: https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... A_SISD.pdf )


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:18 am
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Thanks for the replies here.

@Stratmangler - The pots appear unbranded, just a number visible. No idea what the values are tbh but they need replacing regardless as they're scratchy and the roll off is all or nothing.

The SD '59 Bridge PUP is a vintage style PAF at around 8 DCR the last time it was checked. It sounds great full on, quite scooped and ballsy with a singing top end. Not your typical strat sound but that's why I like it.

@jmattis - Thank you for your thoughts and for the links to the diagrams, that's exactly what I wanted and will almost certainly rewire as per the Highway One as you suggest. Really helpful so thanks again.

Re. Pots - I read on the SD website that they recommend a 250k pot for the HB if it's being mixed with single coils. Can someone explain why this would be preferable to using a 500k on the HB? Is this why you suggested a 300k? A sort of happy compromise?

Thanks to you all :-)

Paul


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:53 am
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Paul_in_Somerset wrote:
The pots appear unbranded, just a number visible.


Those numbers reveal both the brand and the values of each pot.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:22 am
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The allround general principle is that 250k pots fit single coils because the pickups are bright sounding, but humbuckers benefit from higher value pots; 300-500k range, because humbuckers are by nature darker sounding. That G-brand, whose name shall not be münchened here, has used the 300k in many models, that's why my side remark.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg and FMIC breaks the rule both ways quite often; we just had a topic on the subject: https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=116725

For the new pots, the brands usually recommended are CTS, Bourns and Alpha.

About your guitar, I guess it's the 1994-1997 Strat® Special, model 013-5600/5602(-XXX for color). The specs are on this topic: https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=97229
It seems Fender has never published the wiring diagram for this model (there are many others missing, too), so if you want to thank for the help, take & post a couple of high-res pics from the stock wiring while you have the guitar opened, that would be very nice. I'll say thanks in advance... :wink:


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:45 am
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" The tone and volume pots both need replacing as they are scratchy as hell. "

You don't need to replace them, clean them with good contact cleaner like Deoxit or GC Chemical Products.
Other brand may not do the job.

Spray contact cleaner in the pot ( where are the 3 lugs, not by the shaft) . turn shaft at lest 10 times.
You will use it all of your life

https://www.parts-express.com/caig-deox ... w--341-200

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:13 am
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@Arjay - Fair point lol. As you've probably already guessed I don't have much experience with this stuff.

I'll get the numbers and post them up here when I get back home later.

@jmattis - Thanks for the info re. pots. I think I'll try a 300k for the humbucker and 250's on the single coils.

I think your guess at the model is spot on! The photos in the topic you linked are identical bar the HB on mine is a Seymour Duncan (it's branded on the front of the pick up in white lettering). Looking at the spec list I'm wondering if mine was a replacement for the stock HB, although I bought the guitar as 'new' from a local dealer back then.

I will definitely get some good shots of it all and post them up later today hopefully. Not sure where to host the photos though, any suggestions would be appreciated.

@Stratele52 - Thanks for the suggestion, If I wasn't rewiring and adding a second tone pot then I would try and salvage it but as it is I think I'd rather just replace the lot.

Cheers

Paul


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:57 am
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Paul_in_Somerset wrote:
If I wasn't rewiring and adding a second tone pot then I would try and salvage it but as it is I think I'd rather just replace the lot.


For an instrument that old I would definitely replace the output jack as well. Use a mil-spec Switchcraft type and don't forget to install the star washer between the retaining nut and the jack ferrule.

Also, if there's any doubt about the proper function of the selector switch, replace it too.

Arjay

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"Here's why reliability is job one: A great sounding amp that breaks down goes from being a favorite piece of gear to a useless piece of crap in less time than it takes to read this sentence." -- BRUCE ZINKY


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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:13 am
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For output jacks, I'm kinda' partial to these:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1
That is the type of jack that Sigler uses on the 920D prewired assemblies, and I like that it has two sets of contacts.

It's hard to go wrong with Switchcraft, and I still use them for switches and plugs, but there have been a lot of rumblings about quality dropping off these last few years, likely due to a change in country of origin.

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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:50 am
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Thanks for the suggestions Arjay & CB91710, I'll try and source one here in UK :-)

I have some pics taken with phone, hope they are of some use to you guys.

If anyone can identify the pots and values that'd be awesome too!

Image
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Post subject: Re: Advice Needed - MIM Strat Refurb
Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:29 am
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I'll get back to this later (pressed for time atm), but here's a start:

Thanks, those pics are great.

Your tone pot is the TBX system; stacked 250/1meg pot with a .022 cap and a 220k resistor. There should be a detent felt on the pot's middle - googling 'fender tbx' will tell you a lot more.
The vol pot is a "standard" 250.

And the guitar, although not a collector item (yet?) is quite rare. I'm starting to lean on the "new loaded pickguard" option, that way you could store the original for possible restoration later on.


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