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Thread: Artist Strat Copy Rewire

  1. #1
    Member ILRGuitars's Avatar
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    Artist Strat Copy Rewire

    I bought an Artist Strat Copy Pack with 10w amp on Ebay. It was second hand but in mint condition. Candy Apple Red, HSS Wilkinson Ceramic Pickups, even a set of strings, Basswood body and surprisingly good construction. I was very pleased that the humbucker even had 4 core wiring.

    Now, normally these packs are worth over $220 but I had an Ebay discount, no one else bid and the young guy lived local. I picked it up and saved on delivery. I got it for $40! It felt like I was stealing it from the kid.

    I thought with the money I saved, I can splurge put and mod this one like crazy! A massive $50 later I bought a new black pickguard, white knobs, an A500k push-push pot, roller tree strings and locking machine heads from Aliexpress. Ok, so I'm cheap! It's the Scottish blood in me.

    I've now rewired the the bridge humbucker so that the inner coil is cancelled when the coil is cut. I've also rewired the switch and pots using the Dan Armstrong circuit to create a master volume, master tone and blend pots.

    Instead of the normal 5 tone options, this baby has 22 tone options! It's taking a while to see what setting work best with clean, over driven and distorted amp settings but it sure is fun.

    When I have some spare change, I will replace the pickups with something better quality but for now it's fine. Any suggestions on replacement pickups would be greatly appreciated as this is my first strat. I'll want to keep a basic vintage tone but what humbucker to use??

    Here is a like for the Dan Armstrong Mod for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWF1L7GBYfU

    Try it out if you have the chance. It's easy, cheap and hours of fun for the whole family.

    I'll post a pic later.

  2. Liked by: OliSam

  3. #2
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Useful video and provides lots more tone options.

    As for pickups, I would keep the Wilkinsons as I have a set in a Tele and also a pair of P90's in my Artist Grungemaster and they sound great. In fact, Tele ones are close enough to the Toneriders in my other Tele which reminds me that I should get around to doing a back to back sound demo of them both at some stage.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

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  5. #3
    Member ILRGuitars's Avatar
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    Thanks Waz. That's interesting about the pickups as I thought the Wilkinsons sounded a bit 'ice picky'. But that might just save me save more money. Yes, I now I'm tight. I do have a Tonerider Hot Classic Neck in my other Tele and it does sound sweet. If I get some spare change, I'll probably think "What the hell?" and try the Toneriders.

    Am I alone in deciding about pickups and what to choose?!?!?!? As Vinnie Barbarino used to say:" I'm so confused!"

  6. #4
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's very easy to stick with what you know, but then you do get very similar sounding guitars. But if you go too far off your known path, you can then become very disappointed, or end up with a guitar that's only good for one particular sound - and it may be a sound that you'd never actually use in anger.

    And all those multi-configuration pickup switching options often give you a couple of extra useable tones, and the rest are normally very thin or phasey and tones you are unlikely to use unless creating an experimental music album.

    Of the 21 combinations available on my Jimmy Page model Les Paul, I only use 7.

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Of the 21 combinations available on my Jimmy Page model Les Paul, I only use 7.
    In reality that was probably the same number Jimmy used also.

    cheers Mark.

  8. Liked by: OliSam

  9. #6
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILRGuitars View Post
    That's interesting about the pickups as I thought the Wilkinsons sounded a bit 'ice picky'.
    I wouldn't recommend Entwistle Humbuckers then as they are more skewed towards ice-pick tones compared to Tonerider Alnico II or IV.

    Maybe different value pots or tone caps (or better quality ones) could tame the brightness.

    Simon is right with some of the weirdo sound combinations on offer. Good if you are into Red Hot Chilli Peppers sounding stuff but otherwise rather useless for most mainstream genres.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  10. #7
    Member ILRGuitars's Avatar
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    Agreed. Some of the combinations are sounding thin. I;m running it through a 100w Boss Katana. The distortion settings on the amp add a bit more bass so they don't actually sound too bad. Run through the clean settings with some tweaks and quite usable funk sounds are found. Still, we always gravitate back to our favourite sounds, as Simon said. But it was a fun exercise in wiring.

    The good thing with all the different settings is that the standard settings are always available.

    I'm thinking Tonerider Pure Vintage for the neck and middle and Tonerider Rocksong in the bridge (if I ever do it).

    So next question: What have you guys found to be a good cap and pot combination for an HSS?

  11. Liked by: OliSam

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