Red Strat v.2.0

This is actually more like version 4 or 5, but I haven't been documenting every single upgrade I've made to this guitar over the years with its own web page.  This is probably my most-experimented-upon instrument and it's also one of the ones I play the most often.  Those things aren't exclusive to one another.  The upgrades and fine-tuning have resulted in a guitar I really want to play because it sounds, looks, and feels like I want it to.

The original version of this one can be found here.




Simultaneous add-ins for neck and bridge pickups
Control: A push-pull under the volume pot.

Function: I've run across a number of copies of David Gilmour's guitar (both the red and black Strats) where people have included the "neck-on" switch to get the Tele sound (and "all three On" sound, incidentally).  I honestly don't know if Dave has ever added this or not.  I think the simultaneous add-in switch is more intuitive since it adds both the neck and bridge.  You don't even have to think about which pickup you've wired the switch to.


SPC preamp (by EMG)
Control: First tone knob.

Function: I leave this cranked up all the time.  It's part of Dave's signature sound (even though he already had that sound before this preamp was invented to give everyone else the same tone).  It's just a midrange booster.


Master tone control
Control: Potentiometer in the spot for the middle pickup tone control

Function: I originally had an EXG "Expander" preamp in this spot, but I removed it at one point when I was trouble-shooting (Everything was dead, so I needed to simplify in order to narrow down the problem; turned out to be a loose wire elsewhere).  Really though, I just hardly ever used this preamp, so it was just taking up a slot that something else more useful might occupy.  My first thought was to simply add a varitone to the guitar since I had two boosters and nothing to cut the highs, but after testing some caps with my jazz box, it occurred to me to simply add a conventional tone knob.  Normally I don't like a master tone control, but Strats are bright enough to warrant having one rather than just, say, a neck tone control.


Non-electronic modifications
New neck.  I replaced the neck with one from a Japanese '57 reissue because I love the glossy feel.  This is essentially what David Gilmour's guitar neck is.

New tremolo.  I replaced the original trem (which had very little movement for some reason) with one from a Mexican-made Strat, which is what my black Strat is, and I like that one a lot including the vintage look to it.

New pickguard screws.  I've lost just about every one of the originals over the years of working on this guitar.
Various other new parts.  So many things have gotten swapped out between experiments and upgrades that I can't list them all here.


See also the Evolution of a Guitar article that chronicles the history of my work on this instrument.





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