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Thread: Upgrading Pickups and Control Panel ST-1M

  1. #1

    Upgrading Pickups and Control Panel ST-1M

    I am currently in the process of finishing my ST-1M kit (Tru Oil on the neck and fretboard and a solid spray can colour on the body). This is going to take some time, especially the body because I'm really taking my time in the light of past experiences. This is my second Strat type kit and I'm now getting quite comfortable with the finishing process.
    I had planned to fit the kit pickups and electronics first and then upgrade them later (Tonerider pickups and the Pitbull ST control panel upgrade kit) but again from past experience, I have decided to upgrade everything before I do the final assembly. My theory is that this gives less chance of damaging the paint when removing and replacing the pickguard and soldering the output jack.
    I am fairly new to soldering, guitar electronics and wiring diagrams and I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of any Strat specific tutorials that might help?
    Many thanks
    Chris

  2. #2
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    ...I have decided to upgrade everything before I do the final assembly. My theory is that this gives less chance of damaging the paint when removing and replacing the pickguard and soldering the output jack.
    Good plan. I do as much or all of my routing, drilling etc before I apply any finish. This is a point of contention with some, but it's my preferred method. I can expound this later if you're interested.

    Upgrading the pickups and pots shouldn't be an issue with the factory routing. They should all fit. However, if you're also changing the switch from the kit provided "import" switch to a CRL or similar, the routing may be too shallow to accommodate the difference in height and require deepening.

    If you don't have a router or other clean method of routing, you can certainly use the import switch. They are not the work of the devil as many would have you believe. They do the exact same job albeit slightly differently, and it makes absolutely zero difference in tone.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #3
    Many thanks for your help.
    The switch in the upgrade kit is a CRL switch but I've managed to find the dimensions on line and it will (probably!) fit in the factory routing which is 35mm deep. If not I have some very sharp chisels which should do the job.
    Since asking my original question, I have found two or three excellent YouTube tutorials that cover how to wire up a Strat pick guard from original parts so, as long as I take my time, I should be OK.
    Once again, many thanks.

  4. #4
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    A 35mm cavity will theoretically accommodate that switch, but I like a couple mm clearance, especially if you're going to shield the cavity (even with shielding paint).

    It only takes one little short to ground to ruin your day .
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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