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Post subject: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:21 pm
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Hi, I've been looking everywhere for this answer and can't find it. I'm thinking about buying a new American HSS Strat, but I want to make sure that they're free of any sort of printed circuit board nonsense first. I have a 96' Standard, which is just three pots, a pick up switch, wires and solder. Is that still how they're made? Because someone I know said otherwise.

Any help would be appreciated.


Last edited by Nintari on Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: Question about PCBs
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:09 pm
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Polychlorinated biphenyl

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlorinated_biphenyl

I'm not interested in this topic...but thought I'd leave a link for those that are.


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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:46 pm
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This is a picture inside my HSS Strat.

https://i.imgur.com/m6lSnem.jpg

It’s 2019 from the Mod Shop.
V-Mods & Shawbucker.


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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:22 pm
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Ya, Fender sometimes uses a small board for the treble bleed, but they have not gone the way Gibson has (on some models) where the pots are mounted to a board and the pickups plug in. It's all for the most part still point-to-point hand wired.
The HSS models sometimes have more complicated switching that can make a pickup swap tedious, but nothing that requires any special skills or connectors.

Some signature models may have active circuitry and a preamp, those will have PC Boards related to those.
The Asian import models generally have the metal box style selector switch which has the contacts wiping across a PC Board, but the US and MiM models still use the standard switch design that has been in use ever since the beginning. Even the "Superswitch" uses the same contact/wiper design.

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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:19 pm
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CB91710 wrote:
Ya, Fender sometimes uses a small board for the treble bleed, but they have not gone the way Gibson has (on some models) where the pots are mounted to a board and the pickups plug in. It's all for the most part still point-to-point hand wired.
The HSS models sometimes have more complicated switching that can make a pickup swap tedious, but nothing that requires any special skills or connectors.

Some signature models may have active circuitry and a preamp, those will have PC Boards related to those.
The Asian import models generally have the metal box style selector switch which has the contacts wiping across a PC Board, but the US and MiM models still use the standard switch design that has been in use ever since the beginning. Even the "Superswitch" uses the same contact/wiper design.


In the above photo (thanks ScroogeMcDucc), I see what looks like a red PC board. Is that pretty much standard now? Like I said, I really only ever worked on, or went under the hood of my 96 Standard and back then, there was only solder, a switch and pots. I don't know jack about PCBs, and really don't want to have to mess with them if I can avoid it. Are there any models that don't use them?


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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:44 pm
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Nintari, I hope I’m not hijacking your thread... but I’m interested in this as well. I’m currently trying to replace my Shawbucker bridge with a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat (P-90).

There are actually 2 chips, a red one and a blue/green one underneath it. It seems much more complicated than replacing a normal pickup. I’m wondering if I should keep the chips and work the Phat Cat into the Shawbucker wiring, or just wire the Phat Cat directly to the switch as instructed.

It seems like I’ll have to do quite a bit more soldering either way.

I did just replace the V-Mod neck single coil with a Custom Shop 69 and that was straightforward. 2 soldier points, 1 on the ground and 1 on the 5 way switch.

I have a thread I recently posted here:
https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=118496

I assume you’re worried about the chips for the same reason? Swapping pickups?


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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:40 am
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Here's the horse's mouth: https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... 9-2018.pdf

On the pickups changing difficulties, there's always the prewired pickguard option; those usually need very little (jack/grounds) soldering.

PS: It's a constant battle between cutting costs and keeping the tradionally minded customers...


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Post subject: Re: Question about printed circuit boards in Strats
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:55 pm
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Nintari wrote:
CB91710 wrote:
Ya, Fender sometimes uses a small board for the treble bleed, but they have not gone the way Gibson has (on some models) where the pots are mounted to a board and the pickups plug in. It's all for the most part still point-to-point hand wired.
The HSS models sometimes have more complicated switching that can make a pickup swap tedious, but nothing that requires any special skills or connectors.

Some signature models may have active circuitry and a preamp, those will have PC Boards related to those.
The Asian import models generally have the metal box style selector switch which has the contacts wiping across a PC Board, but the US and MiM models still use the standard switch design that has been in use ever since the beginning. Even the "Superswitch" uses the same contact/wiper design.


In the above photo (thanks ScroogeMcDucc), I see what looks like a red PC board. Is that pretty much standard now? Like I said, I really only ever worked on, or went under the hood of my 96 Standard and back then, there was only solder, a switch and pots. I don't know jack about PCBs, and really don't want to have to mess with them if I can avoid it. Are there any models that don't use them?

Those are just a treble bleed.
Those are not complete PC board systems like Gibson uses on some models. It's just a capacitor and a couple of resistors configured for easy mounting to the volume pot.
https://reverb.com/item/17097100-fender ... eble-bleed
Fender used to sell them on their site, but I don't see them anymore.

I'm curious what the issue is with PC boards. I sincerely hope that you are not confusing the initials PCB Printed Circuit Board with the toxic chemical PolyChlorinated Biphenyl... which is not contained in ANY modern guitar.
There is no physical hazard related to PC Boards that is not present in normal wiring.
You have copper, lead free solder, and a few components.

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