Sunday, February 05, 2012

Squier Strat Upgrade: Finishing Touches

The upgrade job on my Squier California Series Strat is nearing completion. These are the completed mods at the time of writing:
1. Aluminium foil shielding.
2. 3 CTS 250K pots.
3. Fender 5-way selector switch.
4. .022µF and .047µF capacitors.
7. Additional ground lug from volume pot to body cavity shielding.
8. Vaughan-Wacker Strat Wiring Mod.
9. 5 tremolo springs.
10. Tremolo Block.

The Vaughan-Wacker Strat Wiring Mod incorporates two wiring schemes: the Fender Jimmie Vaughan Stratocaster and "Gibson ‘50s wiring on a Stratocaster," the brainchild of guitar guru Dirk Wacker. To view an image of the Wacker mod, please click this link, courtesy of Roger Eberlin. By the way, I'm going with a .022µF cap for the neck pup tone pot and a .047µF cap for the bridge pup tone pot. Now, on to the pics.

Here's a rendition of the Vaughan-Wacker Strat Wiring Mod, as it exists on my Squier.

Just before putting in the Fender Tex-Mex pickups.

Closer view of the switch and pots.

After wiring in the pickups.

Closer view of the Fender Tex-Mex pickups.

Closer view of the pickguard wiring.

Wiring for ground lug, tremolo claw ground and output jack completed. Time to put this baby back together.

5 tremolo springs and a tremolo block.

No volume or tone knobs yet as the original Squier knobs simply do not fit. Aged White Fender knobs are on the way, thanks to Kenny of Bentley Music.


YusTech said...

Excellent work.another guitar saved by cikgu.

bluesguy62 said...

Thank you for the positive feedback, sifu. This is only the 2nd time that I have not grounded the volume and tone pots' casings with a wire; thanks to your advice about ground loops :)

Anonymous said...


Hey, these might be some completely silly question but I am really confused.

1. It would seem to me that the jack, the volume pot and the common of the switch are all a big electrical common point. Is this intended? How does that work?

2. Aren't the tone pots wired to anything else? I imagine you isolated them from the shielding, but if that is the case, how do they perform their function? Or maybe they don't?

Obvs I don't know electronics enough.

Thanks for the clarifications!!

Cikgu Aziz said...

Dawncloak, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. I have sent you an email, hope it helps to clarify a few things. Have a nice day :)

Anonymous said...

Hey there!

Unfortunately I haven't received any message at all!

Could you please send it again to crissaegrim1 [x] ?


Cikgu Aziz said...

Have done so. Hope this one reaches you.