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Discussion Starter #1
Last night I tore apart my strat. I was not satisfied with the sustain in the uper fret range. After reading tons of strat threads on all kinds of topics regarding strats, one topic had me interested, namely poly vs nitro finishes.

I actually prefer poly because of it's durability, what I dont like is the amount aplied to my strat. It's almost 1 mm thick on the neck, the body has only about .5 mm but another .5 of paint.

I removed the neck marking the neck where it joins the pocket beforehand and removed the stickers and serials, I had previously noticed the factory had used the micro tilt adjustment wich I dont care for (it does not alow you to really tighten the neck joint) so I had made an old school shim from a piece of business card.

I decieded to get radical and I removed the shim and carefully blocksanded the neck pocket to the angle I wanted. Next was thining the neck finish and complete removal of finish at the joint. I used 220 grit sand paper all over the neck, headstock as well, againg carefully, then used the popular MicroMesh sanding kit through all it's grades.

The end result was stunning to me, my action is now 1mm lower with less buzz than before( It was already very low) the angle is perfect now, the neck vibrates more in my hand while playing and best of all a 100% improvement in sustain in the higher fret range, but still no where near as good as my PRS. Tonight I may try phase 2....thining the body finish everywhere, even in the cavity's.

Some may think me crazy for experimenting on a $1500 guitar, but in my case its for the better so far:tongue:
In retrospect I should have bought a Thin Skin strat, but I'd have to mess with that one too, unless it was one of those magic mojo strats, some people are lucky enough to get.

pics to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
turns out that this body seems to be intended for a Jeff beck strat, it also is a one piece body. In the pickup cavity there was 2mm of paint in some areas, including the shielding paint.

I sanded through the poly on the uper horn in one area but its not noticable, I didn't notice any improvement in thining the body finnish to my ears, however it doesn't feel like plastic anymore.

My guitar has increased sustaing now and better overtones, I'm also hearing mega reverb from the trem springs now, where before I never noticed it.

So basicaly the removal of finnish in the neck pocket is worthwhile and imediatly recognizable.




 

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That Strat looks and sounds fantastic. You did a heck of a job on it. I was quite impressed by it's tuning stability when I heard you play it on Sunday.

Great job all around (should have tried it when you offered me the chance).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Milkman said:
That Strat looks and sounds fantastic. You did a heck of a job on it. I was quite impressed by it's tuning stability when I heard you play it on Sunday.

Great job all around (should have tried it when you offered me the chance).
I think you would haved liked this one, it really does stay in tune perfectly, I rarely have to tune it and if i do, it's only because of strings streching...next time your in town check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Round deux!

I just finished some more work on my baby, I ordered a blue anodized aluminum pickguard and sanded it down to a flat bare metal finish, the original pickguard was too fancy with the highgloss silver paint, wich I dulled as well, I guess i dont like fancy shiney strats:tongue:

First I shielded the cavity, this pic is before i glued in the foil:


I left the overlap so it would contact the pickguard, this is the quietest guitar I have ever played now, much quieter than my prs cu22.

Next was getting rid of the string tree, although this guitar has staggered tuners, the high E was higher that the B string. I place a cardboard 1mm shim between the tuner and neck:


Nice and even now:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Here is a good trick to stabilize a stable tuned strat even further, get a B string and hand wind it as tight as possible(do not use plyers it will break the string) add more tention by angeling the string around the saddles. With this trick you can divebomb to floppy strings and be right back in tune like a Floyd:



Finally I increased the back angle of my neck pocket to about 2 degrees, with the 1st fret and 22nd fret depressed I have .012 relief at the 8th fret, that neck angle and .012 relief alows 1/8 th action from the 8th fret all the way to the 22nd fret beign only about .010 higher at 22 than at the 8th fret:confused-smiley-010 :


I like the new no frills look of it now, I think I added some mojo this axe was lacking:
 
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