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Fifty Quid Strats

You have got to love the Cheap Ones as well

From the Country Club Project, part of the game has been to knock up a couple of Strats. Culled from the pile of amassed bits, we came up with these two, and the challenge has been to make a pair of mangy mongrels play like thoroughbreds, so much fettling required. Both needed a fret level and polish and the necks shimmed in properly and the actions on both are starting to get up there with the best of them. Surprisingly the truss rods actually work.

Rummaging through the parts boxes in the shed, I managed to come up with a couple of brass Tremelo Blocks to give them that extra bit of weight, and with further rummaging I even managed to come up with a pair of bridge plates that they actually fitted, trem arm holes and all.

For the one on the left I added a black scratch plate and parts which came from China for less than a tenner and its even got black trem springs under a black plate on the back. It has got an incredibly light body which makes it a bitch to attach the hardware without pulling the bridge off, so the solution for that guitar was to hardtail the bridge by blocking it, which kind of suits me and gives a whole lot of stability to the guitar. To give it a slightly different flavour and a real black on black feel, I added some Gibson Knobs.

The right hand one has the donor body from a 20th Anniversary Squire and is very solid indeed, nothing moves and the trem works a treat and stays in tune - still needs a final fret dress but it has the potential so is well worth the effort of that little extra push.

They both have had a proper rewire - CRL switches, Orange Drop caps and CTS pots and decent screening, and the question now is whether to invest in them and add things like locking tuners and change out the pickups - they currently have fairly std cheap Squiers on them - I have got a set of Deluxe Drives and a set of Mexican Strat pickups in the drawer and it is very tempting to push this pair all the way but that sort of defeats the object of the exercise.

But a cheap Guitar needs love......................

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