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Author Topic: They were meant for the skip!  (Read 3149 times)

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Offline martyn

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They were meant for the skip!
« on: Sep 18, 2010, 09:19:50 PM »
I've been helping a friend move house over the last two days. Outside the old house is a skip full of rubbish and old unwanted furniture that has been smashed up. In the hallway there was a black Squire Strat in fairly good condition apart from a few dings on the body. I asked my mate where he wanted the guitar putting. "In the skip" he said, "I've been using it to smash up the old furniture."  :o

He told me I could have it if I wanted it, so I took it  :). Then he told me that if I was interested in guitars, he had another one to get rid of and I could have that as well.

He brought out a filthy guitar case covered in mildew and grot. The logo on the case said Charvel, but since the catches were rusty and seized I couldn't get it open. He also gave me an amp, Line 6 Spider III 30 watt; says he bought it a couple of years ago with the intention of learning to play but lost interest. It still has the promotional stickers on top and on the speaker grille, so I accepted it in payment for the time and fuel I've used up on him this week.

Got home and managed to prize open the guitar case with a screwdriver.  Inside is a lovely black Charvel Strat type guitar, model 5 I think. Straight through neck / body, 24 frets on a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, twin humbuckers, 2 tone & 1 volume control, 5 way selector switch (dunno what that's supposed to do), locking nut and Floyd Rose tremelo. One of the locking screws is missing out of the nut and the Floyd Rose trem looks far too high, as if one or more of the springs have broken. It's a lovely looking guitar and I'm excited about getting it back into playing shape again.

And to think, this was going into a skip  :'(

Offline natnot

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #1 on: Sep 18, 2010, 09:29:49 PM »
Congratulations on the new acquisition - it's amazing what people chuck in skips (or try to!) sometimes, isn't it! :o

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #2 on: Sep 18, 2010, 09:36:21 PM »

The Squire Strat


..... used as an axe


The Charvel case after a wipe down with the dish cloth


I think I'm going to enjoy this

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #3 on: Sep 18, 2010, 09:42:18 PM »
..... and things just get better; I found a pair of Technic headphones in the back of the amp  ;D


Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #4 on: Sep 18, 2010, 09:57:32 PM »
Well done! I used to have one of them, but sold it in hard times .. wish I'd kept it!

Jim

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #5 on: Sep 18, 2010, 10:02:00 PM »
OMG! He just pulled up outside and knocked on the door. I thought to myself, "he's changed his mind and wants his stuff back"

Said he was most grateful for my help and support in a very stressful period, then gave me a prezzy  :)  :P


Offline Pete Hartley

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #6 on: Sep 18, 2010, 10:24:00 PM »
Amazing!!!!!!

I wish that happened to me!

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #7 on: Sep 18, 2010, 11:08:35 PM »
OMG! He just pulled up outside and knocked on the door. I thought to myself, "he's changed his mind and wants his stuff back"

Geez! Drink that down, fire up that Chavel, and you'll think you're Satch! (Joe Satriani.)

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline beeswing

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #8 on: Sep 19, 2010, 01:10:23 AM »
Nasty stuff, that turn-of-the-century Islay. I've "got a friend" who will tolerate it, but its best use is killing microbes inside fiddle bodies, and imparting an antique seaside aroma.

I suppose it would be hardly worth the postage to send it to the States. Like I said, I know a fella that likes the stuff.
I want to be a musician when I grow up.
Sorry, son, you can't do both.

Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #9 on: Sep 19, 2010, 03:24:16 PM »
Good job!  Check that Squire out carefully - they're not all cheap junk.  I've got a "Pro Tone" model that is quite awesome - I wouldn't trade it for a modern basic American.  Can't quite tell from the pictures what model it is.....  I'd like to see a good close up of the headstock......

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #10 on: Sep 19, 2010, 05:18:20 PM »
I'm afraid that's the best I can do atm, the serial number reads P017360. It feels nice to play but the electrics are a mess. One tone pot is smashed and the other pots crackle like mad. Could make a nice project if I ever get finished around the house  ::)


Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #11 on: Sep 19, 2010, 05:38:52 PM »
Ok, I'm guessing somewhat here but it looks like it has "Made in Japan" with a 6 digit serial number, indicating made in Japan in 1993 - 1994, too bad it's banged up because this is likely a really nice guitar (ie. for it's brand/price).  You could take off the cover off the pots and spray a little silicone lubricant in there or replace the damaged one. 

Whatever you do, Martyn, don't just throw it away, this is a keeper imho.

Don't know anything about that other one, Ben

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #12 on: Sep 19, 2010, 06:35:38 PM »
No, I won't be throwing it away!

Can't decide whether to give it a full overhaul (all parts are cheap enough on Ebay) and give it a respray, or go for the Rory Gallagher look.


Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #13 on: Sep 19, 2010, 06:59:00 PM »
Huh?  What are these?  Doesn't look like the same guitar????  Yeah, go for the distressed look, you'll sound much cooler!

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #14 on: Sep 20, 2010, 03:36:35 PM »
Wow Martyn you have been truly blessed - and I'm sure you helped your friend out big time, which is why he was so grateful! Hasn't any squeezeboxes he doesn't want has he?
 :D

Offline madmat

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #15 on: Sep 20, 2010, 06:30:16 PM »
Geez! Drink that down, fire up that Chavel, and you'll think you're Satch! (Joe Satriani.)
Except... Wayne Charvel sold out to Fender, and Satriani has played Ibanez since I've followed him ("Surfing with the Alien" era). I've got a couple of the MiK Joe Satriani signature models... nice axes.
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline madmat

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #16 on: Sep 20, 2010, 06:41:04 PM »
Got home and managed to prize open the guitar case with a screwdriver.  Inside is a lovely black Charvel Strat type guitar, model 5 I think. Straight through neck / body, 24 frets on a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, twin humbuckers, 2 tone & 1 volume control, 5 way selector switch (dunno what that's supposed to do), locking nut and Floyd Rose tremelo. One of the locking screws is missing out of the nut and the Floyd Rose trem looks far too high, as if one or more of the springs have broken. It's a lovely looking guitar and I'm excited about getting it back into playing shape again.
Usually what happens to those is that the spring claw needs tightening. If you pull the spring cover on the back of the guitar (6-8 screws), towards the neck end of the cavity there is a metal claw that holds the end of the springs that isn't attached to the bridge... tightening the two screws that hold this into the wood increases the spring tension and brings the tailpiece down. The two hex screws that the tailpiece pivots on sets the action at the high end of the neck. If you've never re-strung a Floyd, I suggest you take it to a music store and have someone that knows how show you... it's literally possible to injure the guitar and yourself if you don't know what you're doing, those springs store a lot of energy.

The Model 5 had an interesting wiring, positions 1, 3 and 5 are what you'd expect (like a Les Paul, bridge pickup, both pickups in series, neck pickup), but 2 and 4 combine both the inside and outside coils of both pickups to make a "wide aperture" humbucker.... thus all the switch positions are hum-cancelling. The fact that this is a 24 fret neck-thru indicates to me this has some value... ;) It's a shredder axe.

Squier Strats are great for wiring experiments. I wouldn't hassle the stock electronics if you intend on playing it, you can find all kinds of interesting "loaded" pickguards on eBay with alternative pickup, tone and switching arrangements. Once you've removed the strings and all the pickguard screws the whole thing comes away from the guitar as a unit, and you only have to de-solder the jack and string ground connections to completely remove it from the guitar.

I'm rather partial to the Dragonfire/TnT Guitars David Gilmour "EMG clone" set... with active pickups and tone controls.

Nice score, pal! ;D
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #17 on: Sep 20, 2010, 07:25:34 PM »
Yeah, I took the back plate off the Charvel. The two screws were very long so I tightened up the tension and the action came right down. There are loads if vids on Youtube showing the Floyd Rose setup procedure, some better than others.

I see what you mean about loaded scratch plates on Ebay Matt, I'm spoilt for choice  :).

I plugged both guitars into the Line 6 Spider last night; made lots of loud noises, echos, flanges and phases. I love the Tap Delay Time feature  8).

I must say though, as much as the Charvel is a quality instrument, I really prefer the playability of the Squire with it's narrower neck and overall lightness.

Offline martyn

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #18 on: Sep 20, 2010, 07:33:18 PM »
This guy seems to know what he's talking about!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEyg_sEACdE#

Offline madmat

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #19 on: Sep 20, 2010, 07:59:41 PM »
I must say though, as much as the Charvel is a quality instrument, I really prefer the playability of the Squire with it's narrower neck and overall lightness.
With the local economy really down, it's easy to find used Squier Strats and Bullets for $50-$60 US, and they are pretty easy to re-wire and upgrade, the only really junky thing about them is the electrical parts, which can be had cheaply enough. I find that they play pretty well after a setup and new strings.

If you're not horribly concerned about appearance and a brand name on the headstock, you can have a pretty good sounding and playing guitar for quite a bit less than genuine "Fender".
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #20 on: Sep 20, 2010, 08:42:14 PM »
Be careful, Martyn, be very careful, once you shred you'll never be happy playing Keswick Bonnie Lasses again!

Offline swarbrules

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #21 on: Sep 21, 2010, 12:57:09 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squier_Stratocaster

I had to buy my Squier Strat. The five position thingy is a type of tone control that varies the balancve between the pick-ups (I think).

If it's cheaper, send that throat ripping rubbish to me and I'll try to get it to the states.

Offline Ben Armatto

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #22 on: Sep 21, 2010, 01:48:12 AM »
As you know, Fender (Squier) put out one really nice guitar for a limited time - found that it was too good - people were buying them instead of the American Strats.  I mean the Pro Tone - quality wood, electronics, pickups, gold plated hardware blah blah blah.  I bought one in '95 or so, now I see discussions on the net about are they really worth $500.  So, soon, it's getting recognized as vintage chic any day now and I'll have to protect it instead of bashing furniture.  Go figure!

http://www.21frets.com/squier_jv/theprotonepage.htm

Yes, swarbr, the position thing relates to which combination of the pickups are "picking up" at any one time, don't really know the order, I'm sure it's on the website somewhere, I just know I like the bottom for lead and the top for rhythm!

Offline madmat

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Re: They were meant for the skip!
« Reply #23 on: Sep 21, 2010, 02:13:41 AM »
I see discussions on the net about are they really worth $500.  So, soon, it's getting recognized as vintage chic any day now and I'll have to protect it instead of bashing furniture.
I think you're in for a rough ride if you are going to ask for $500 for anything that says "Squier" on the headstock. I tend to look at it pretty much as an image/labeling thing. (I care very little for image and labels!)
Quote
Yes, swarbr, the position thing relates to which combination of the pickups are "picking up" at any one time, don't really know the order, I'm sure it's on the website somewhere, I just know I like the bottom for lead and the top for rhythm!
Five way switches on Strats select each of the pickups individually, and in two pairs, whereas the older 3-way switches selected only one of the 3 pickups at once.

On a five-way, positions 1-3-5 select the bridge, middle and neck pickups individually. (1 is when the switch is flipped towards the bridge, 5 when all the way towards the neck). Position 2 selects both the bridge and middle pickups together in parallel, and position 4 selects the middle and neck pickups together in parallel. If your middle pickup is reverse-wound/reverse-polarity (RWRP), positions 2 and 4 are hum cancelling ("humbucking"). 

Stock Strat tone controls are wired kinda funny, the one next to the volume knob acts on the neck pickup, and the one next to the jack acts on the middle pickup... so there is no tone control on the bridge pickup... so that's usually one of the first things I do in a re-wire, is use one of the tone controls as a master tone.

I like to put a pot with a push-pull switch on the volume control, so I can turn on the bridge pickup regardless of where the 5-way is... that way, if you have the 5-way in position 5, you can have bridge and neck pickups together, and if it's in position 4, all 3 pickups on at once. You can put another push-pull switch on one of the tone pots and do phase reversals on one of the pickups for thinner, jangly out-of-phase sounds.

I done a couple up with three, six and nine toggle switches where the five way used to be... you can have on-off switches for each pickup, an on-off and phase switch for each pickup (that's how Brian May wired his Red Special with Burns Bison pickups in it) and for the parallel/coaxial-humbucker strat pickups you can have another set of three series/parallel switches, one for each pickup. The combinations are mind-boggling... though not all musically useful.

There are some really interesting Strat wiring mods on the Deaf Eddie pages that could keep a guy busy for years... I have a clear acrylic Strat copy that's got one of his Chromacaster switches in it... which can make all kinds of sounds, you just can't change from one to another really fast:
http://www.deaf-eddie.net/

When you start getting into active pickups and onboard active tone controls, things can get really crazy! ;D
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

 




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