Fender/Squier Stratocaster, Sherwood Green, 2000 (ish)

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I thought I'd write some reviews, and given that this is my first review, I thought I'd write about my first guitar. 

This Strat started life in 2000 as a Squier Standard, and was given to me by my parents for Christmas that year. Everything was bone-stock for the first couple of years while I learned to play, then I got interested in modding and this became the test-bed for everything I could get my hands on. New nut, new tuners, new saddles, etc. I think it got 12s inflicted on it at some point when I read heavy strings were better. After all that it was in a bad state. Frets were knackered, and it still had the original ceramic pickups which sounded awful, so it sat under the bed for several years while I got on with playing other nicer guitars. 

Once I'd gone through uni and got  proper job the strat itch came around again and I decided to fix it up. Didn't have enough money to justify just doing it right first time, so we went on the merry-go-round of cheap pickups, necks, bridges, wiring, etc until I finally found a combination that clicked (FAR from the cheapest, I might add). As of about 2 weeks ago it's been 3 years since I last tweaked anything and it's still great, so high time for a review!

The body is the original Squier. Goodness knows what the wood is but I'd guess agathis or basswood maybe? It's light enough and resonates pretty well considering it's got at least 2 finishes on there - there's plenty of candy apple red under the green, goodness knows why. It's been hacked about a bit (you can still see the scars around the routing from a past change of bridge, and the control cavity is routed by hand-held Dremel to fit a Rothwell HLK. Anyway, it's 

The neck is a stock Fender Classic Player 60's, from a guitar I bought and parted out specifically to cannibalise the neck. It's the most Gibson-y Fender neck I've tried and I love it. 

Bridge is a regular Callaham unit (narrow spaced, iirc). I tried ALL the cheapies, but always had a feeling the Callaham was the one to try, and I wasn't wrong. Worth every penny and made the guitar absolutely come alive when fitted. This is probably my loudest electric, strummed acoustically.

Pickups are a Rio Grande Midbottom set, which are pretty vintage and neck and middle, but have wider pole pieces and slightly overwound in the bridge for a bit more output and fatness. Whatever the science, they're the best strat pickups I've had yet and are happy covering anything from SRV to jangly pop rhythm to U2 to Green Day. 

The wiring is a bit non-standard; the middle tone is now a Rothwell Hot Little Knob which puts the bridge & middle in series when engaged, and gives you some filter on the pot that changes the high-treble, or something. Anyway, it turns a SSS strat into an almost-HSS strat, which is a great option to have when trying to minimise guitar changes in a live set. One of these days I might try and re-create the circuit on a push-push (strat knobs aren't conducive to being pulled at the best of times), but I wouldn't be without it.

Not sure how to conclude beyond that this is a one-off and I'll never sell it (so you can't buy one!) but I thoroughly recommend getting on the carousel of endless modding, as long as you know when to say "yes" and jump off once everything clicks and the guitar speaks to you.

"Frankenstein" Stratocaster

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