Guitar tech how-to hints,repair stories,Cd reviews and more,from professional guitar tech/luthier,record collector and music fanatic Phil Clark.
Friday, October 28, 2011
The 3 P-90 Stratocaster - My favorite cheapo hotrod yet!
Here are some photos from a project I did for Dan,one of my favorite customers. He and I both enjoy hotrodding cheap guitars,turning them into one of a kind,gig-ready workhorses. You may remember Dan's EpiTurser Partsocaster from last year. Our latest "masterpiece" is our Squier Stratocaster with three P-90 style pickups. We used a pair of Seymour Duncan SP90-1's in the neck and middle and had the custom shop wind the middle pickup reverse wound/reverse polarity for hum cancelling in the two and four position! In the bridge,we used a SP90-2,a pickup with more winds and ceramic magnets in place of the Alnico V magnets for more output.
Here's where we started,a Squier Strat,three pickups and a pickguard outline from Allparts. This style of pickgaurd (part # PG 0992) is a favorite of mine because it gets me out of having to cut the outline of the pickgaurd and gives me free reign to add whatever I want to the inside.
Here's our "guts". The large,almost "bathtub" route means no additional routing necessary. Less cost to the customer,less time spent by me. Yeah!
I've got the spacing figured out and marked with white china marker. The pickgaurd is mounted on some scrap wood to give the router room to work.
Pickup holes done! Next,I did the slot for the five way switch. Dan prefers his volume control out of the way so we put it about where the first tone control would be. Instead of a tone pot,we add a switch connecting the neck and bridge pickup,allowing for all seven possible pickup combinations.
P90's aren't connected to the pickgaurd like traditional Strat pickups,they're screwed right into the body of the guitar. I did,however,use the pickgaurd as a kind of jig to hold the pickups in place while I did the soldering.
Next,being careful to get the spacing right,I screwed the pickups down. (...and yes,I did move that neck pickup wire. Oops!)
All done! It definitely turned some heads while it was on the bench. It sounds really great too. By the way,like many of the features they offer,the custom RW/RP winding Seymour Duncan did for the middle pickup was no extra charge.