Squier Bullet Strat upgrades. Tuners and Tremolo.

I'm teaching a young member of my Family to play.
They've got a Squier Bullet Strat which has so far been neglected and not played properly so we're going to clean it up, set it all back up again and I'm going to teach her to play properly.

The tuners and tremolo are not great so does anyone know which parts fit without too much work, to upgrade the tuners (Diamond back style) and the 6 screw tremolo?
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2016
    I'd be interested in the answer to this as my "car guitar" is a Squier Bullet Strat, that in fact @alnico helped me set up and lock down the trem on.

    They weigh nothing and actually play really well, and the pickups arent awful, but the tuners aren't great.


    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4219
    I'd be interested in the answer to this as my "car guitar" is a Squier Bullet Strat, that in fact @alnico helped me set up and lock down the trem on.

    They weigh nothing and actually play really well, and the pickups arent awful, but the tuners aren't great.


    I remember that guitar.

    All I want to do is improve it's tuning stability while she learns and then make it a guitar to grow into for her.
    It doesn't have to cost a lot so for example,...

    Will a MIM Std tremolo fit the screw hole spacing on the front, if it has a shallower block fitted?
    Are there Squier Tuners that are Diamond Back style but reliable, maybe CV range?

    Once I get these I'll pop it into her local tech and have the nut sorted last but these will improve it for her and make it feel less like the toy it's been so far.
    She's really keen but no one has shown her anything about it until now and when I saw the spark in her eye and the natural ability to pick up what I taught her there and then it was a no-brainer when she asked if I'd teach her how to play.

    If we can make her Strat play nicely she's got the potential to be a really good or at the very least, highly enthusiastic player.
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  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 490
    There's bound to be some Wilkinson hardware which fits.
    One day I'm going to make a guitar out of butter to experience just how well it actually plays.
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  • NomadNomad Frets: 508

    From what I can find out, the Bullet strat has the same spacings as a MIM strat, for both the strings and the six fixing screws. The best thing to do is check - it seems that Squiers can have odd spacings depending on where they were made.

    Good accuracy can be had using a digital calliper... For both the fixing screws and the saddle intonation screws, measure around the outside of the two outermost screw heads, and then measure the diameter of one screw head. Subtract the diameter of the one head from the overall measurement, and you have the centre-to-centre distance of the row of six screws.

    Failing that, use a ruler carefully - try to get to within 1mm or less, and measure several times to eliminate errors.

    For a MIM part to fit, both should be 2+1/16" or 52.39mm (or near as dammit given tolerances and small measuring errors).

    If the Bullet strat has these pitches, and if you can't find a drop-in part that has a short block, you're welcome to the original block and arm from my MIM strat. If I can find out the height difference, I'll mill off the excess and rework the holes so that it'll fit the body.

    If you want to fit this block to the existing bridge plate, the pitch of the three countersunk screws that hold the two parts together needs to match. End to end, this is 1+5/8" or 41.28mm. To measure, remove the block and refit the screws into the top of the block (nip them up finger tight so they don't rock in the threads) and proceed as above, or take your chances with a ruler (measuring a few times again).



    Nomad
    Nobody loves me but my mother... and she could be jivin' too...

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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1796
    Have a look at the Axesrus site too - they have full dimensioned drawings of all their offerings. 

     Just one thing, though.  The trem itself is probably low on the causes of any tuning instability.  It is much more likely to be the setup of the trem, the nut, the string trees or the machine heads.

    I'm assuming its a six screw trem fixing?
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4219
    Nomad said:

    From what I can find out, the Bullet strat has the same spacings as a MIM strat, for both the strings and the six fixing screws. The best thing to do is check - it seems that Squiers can have odd spacings depending on where they were made.

    Good accuracy can be had using a digital calliper... For both the fixing screws and the saddle intonation screws, measure around the outside of the two outermost screw heads, and then measure the diameter of one screw head. Subtract the diameter of the one head from the overall measurement, and you have the centre-to-centre distance of the row of six screws.

    Failing that, use a ruler carefully - try to get to within 1mm or less, and measure several times to eliminate errors.

    For a MIM part to fit, both should be 2+1/16" or 52.39mm (or near as dammit given tolerances and small measuring errors).

    If the Bullet strat has these pitches, and if you can't find a drop-in part that has a short block, you're welcome to the original block and arm from my MIM strat. If I can find out the height difference, I'll mill off the excess and rework the holes so that it'll fit the body.

    If you want to fit this block to the existing bridge plate, the pitch of the three countersunk screws that hold the two parts together needs to match. End to end, this is 1+5/8" or 41.28mm. To measure, remove the block and refit the screws into the top of the block (nip them up finger tight so they don't rock in the threads) and proceed as above, or take your chances with a ruler (measuring a few times again).



    Oh man that's amazing!

    Thanks.
    I'll do some measuring and get back to you.

    Many more than me will be really pleased about this.
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4219
    Have a look at the Axesrus site too - they have full dimensioned drawings of all their offerings. 

     Just one thing, though.  The trem itself is probably low on the causes of any tuning instability.  It is much more likely to be the setup of the trem, the nut, the string trees or the machine heads.

    I'm assuming its a six screw trem fixing?
    Yes it's a 6 screw.
    It's being done because what's there looks and feels cheap and if it's an easy swap it's worth doing for her.

    The tuners are definitely needed as is the nut.

    I'll have a look at axesrus too.
    Thanks man.
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  • NomadNomad Frets: 508

    My MIM block measures 1+9/16" or 39.69mm. It seems that Bullet bodies can be 1.75" or 1.5" thick. The block height needs to be such that there is room for the ends of the springs to clear the cover.

    The Axesrus one here...

    https://www.axesrus.co.uk/52-38mm-Tremolo-Shallow-Zinc-Block-p/bs050zinc.htm

    ...has a block height of 36mm or 1.42". If the screw pitches do match, then I reckon that would be a drop-in replacement for the thinner Bullet body.


    Nomad
    Nobody loves me but my mother... and she could be jivin' too...

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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4219
    Update...

    We think the block is the shallower type (I'm not in that part of the UK right now to check properly) and given that the unit in the link @Nomad posted above is such good value for a guitar like this and a beginner, we're going to buy her that one but we're keeping it back and string her Squire up with the existing unit for now.
    It will hold tune ok enough for her to learn her first chords and when she nails her first song, whatever it might be, We'll give her that as a reward.

    I've got a fully loaded scratchplate from my American Pro Strat which I've put away for her when she gets good enough to care about the actual sound.

    She's got that undeniable spark that musicians have and I'm dead proud to be teaching this young lady.
    She's going to be a star.

    Thanks from all of us for all your help so far and any further help that comes Ruby's way from this.
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  • AlexCAlexC Frets: 1340
    I’m not a technician so I’ve no comment about that (other than Bullets are better than their rep imo), bit I want to say good on ya for encouraging and helping a budding player, especially female. Great to see someone sharing their own skills. Which, in fairness, many on this forum do. Great job! :)
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1399
    I have a squier standard and one of the tuners is loose, still works but could do with a repair.  I replaced with a really nice aged vintage set from @gavin_axecaster ; Won't be an exact fit with the holes on the rear so may need some drilling and repair of the loose tuner, but you're welcome to them if they would be useful.- let me know.

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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4219
    So sorry guys, I've only just come back to this...
    I've just got the guitar at my place today and stripped it to clean it all up. We've had Ruby staying with us the whole weekend and she's mostly been playing my Strat while I worked on hers.
    I'll post some photos later when I retrieve my phone from my Mother in Laws house!

    The whole guitar has barely been used and it was more dirty than knackered, which has now been sorted and it looks quite nice now. The frets will polish up great and the board is already a nice shade, only soon to be much darker and nicer.

    The tuners almost fell to bits after the strings came off (Factory strings it came with 6 years ago!), so she instantly inherited my tuners that came off my 18 month old American Pro when I fitted locking type and also the tremolo rear cover, strap buttons and tremolo springs.

    This week we're looking for a new tremolo to replace the one she's got that's rusted and wasn't great to start with. it's 52.5mm string and screw spacing, 6 screw mounting. It's a 36mm block depth.

    After that it will play nice and work correctly and she's off and playing. The loaded scratchplate and a better amp are what she gets when she can sit me down and impress me with proper progress and looking at how she's picking it all up so far, I reckon that's about 6 months time.

    Over that time I'll be looking for a Fender Frontman 15 and some Wilkinson or similar pickups for her.

    Thanks for all the replies to this thread earlier and if anyone has a 52.5mm tremolo they don't want too much for, could you let me know?

    Thanks.
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