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Red Squier is off to the luthier

My little guitar in Dakota Red is being reconditioned and modified.

There are 2 guitars that made me slightly e-famous on the internet. The 2010 Squier Bullet Strat in Arctic White (traded out a while ago,) and the 1989 Squier Stratocaster II.

Why did I keep the '89? Because it's my first guitar. Can't trade out or sell that one. 🙂

My first guitar, after all these years, is finally in the shop getting some repair, restoration and modifications done to it.

I mentioned some of what was going to be done, but this is the full list:


The top horn strap button hole is totally stripped; that's getting filled/re-drilled...

...and that is, in fact, the only restoration happening.


Entire neck is being refretted with stainless steel fret wire.

Nut may be replaced. Luthier's discretion there where it needs to be or not.

5-way selector is being replaced. On all Samick-build Squier Strats of this era such as mine is, the blade selector was notorious for being stiff even as a brand new instrument. Yes, I'm saying it's always been super-stiff.

Tuners are being replaced, but I'm unsure whether I'll get back vintage slotted style or sealed. I had sets of both and sent both to the luthier. The slotted (which most would know as Kluson style or just vintage tuners) is new, never used and manufactured by Gotoh Japan. The sealed tuners are a real-deal vintage set from my 1993 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (I'll talk more about that guitar later.) I'd prefer the slotted set installed, but of course, that set works "six on a plate" style, and at the moment it's unknown whether the spacing of the pegboard holes will allow it. If the spacing is good, the slotted set gets installed. If not, the Fender sealed tuners get installed.

Any bad wiring found under the pick guard is getting replaced.


The rear-only (as in bridge) pickup will be getting a tone control wired in. Rear will be dedicated to Tone 2 and Mid + Front will share Tone 1. I could have had Rear + Mid share Tone 2, but doing it the way I am separates out the tone controls better.

Last but not least, I might be getting not one but two "no-load" tone controls installed. These are tone controls where 0 through 9 is regular tone control, then you hit a detent, and 10 is a position where the tone capacitor filtration is completely bypassed.

What am I not certain I'm getting these? Because of the slim profile of the Squier Strat body.

Take a Fender TBX Tone Control for example. That absolutely will not fit in a Squier slim profile Strat body. It's just not happening. Way too tall.

Fender part number 0990833000 on the other hand, which is the no-load tone kit, has a pot that is much shorter and might fit in a Squier slim body.

If the no-load pots fit under the guard, I get no-loads for both controls. If not, I have to stay with the smaller pots that fit the Squier slim Strat body.

The idea for putting in a pair of no-loads came after my concern from adding the load of a tone control to the rear pickup possibly changing the overall sound of it (something I don't want happening.) The luthier said he had a few no-loads and could see if they fit. I'm hoping they do.

Tone wiring considerations aside, the big deal here are the frets, tuners and 5-way selector. Having these 3 things actually all work correct will make the guitar truly a joy to play, and make the guitar feel and play just as good as American Standard Strat if not better.


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