Monday, December 28, 2009

How to make your cheap Squier Strat play and sound better


How to make your cheap Squier Strat play and sound better

A lot of us start of on beginner or entry level guitars or get them as a backup and then realize that these are pretty nice and comfortable to play for example my made in China Affinity Strat is a very comfortable and good looking strat in Metallic Blue.
The rose wood fretboard and maple neck has a very comfortable grip and the finish is top notch.I liked it so much that i decided to start to use it live and that is when i realized the difference between a pro level strat and an entry level strat.I was getting horrible feedback and the tuning stability was way off and i had to retune after every song.
Back home after the gig this got me thinking as to why my American strat does not have these problems and on investigation i found that the US Strat has 5 springs in the tremelo cavity and the Squier has only 3 therfore the bridge was moving about too much and causing tuning problems,i had a spare spring lying around from an unfinished project which i promptly installed in the tremelo cavity and that immidiately gave the bridge a firmer feel and it reduced the tuning problems.The floating bridge thing is a sure shot disaster for Squier type strats and one should tighten the tremelo claw spring so that there is very little rocking motion upwards a la Steve Vai on the bridge.

The squealing pickups and feedback were really irritating at the gig so i promptly threw out the bridge and the neck pickup but wait i kept the middle pickup because it is reverse wound for noise cancellation in positions 2 and 4 on the 5 way switch-cool!
I had a good stash of pickups from the last Guitar Centre sale i went to and i chose the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for strat in the bridge and put the Fender Hot Alnico 3 American Single coil pickup in the bridge.On soldering all these parts together i did the Eric Johnson trick that is wiring the bridge pickup to the lower tone control pot and the bridge pickup to the higher tone pot so that i can control the shrillness of the bridge pickup.

The guitar sounded like a classy beast and i was feeling really stupid for having shelled out loads of money on the US Strat though i really love it the way it comes ready out of the box.

The last thing i did was put a graphtech nut and graphtek bridge saddles on the Squier and it was ready for world domination all it needed was a decal on the neck/head stock that said The Best Strat in the world in bold italics.The graphtek nut has micoscopic teflon-more slippery than graphite,rolls the strings back into tune.The graphtek saddles/string savers-super slick string savers help stop premature breakage .Microscopic ball bearing lube action makes them even more slippery than graphite.

This guitar has become my main touring axe and i plan to actually rub the Squier deacal off and write something stupid or maybe get Eric Johnson to autograph the Head stock with a sharpie cause a lot of the ideas came from studying what he does to his Fender's!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The KROSSWINDZ USA Tour 2009 itinerary

Show dates-
19th September Sacramento
20th September Sacramento
24th Sep Austin Texas(COPA PUB) - Chief Guest ERIC JOHNSON !!!!!!!
25th Sep Fort Worth Texas
26th Sep Boston
27th Sep Delaware
3rd Oct San Diego
4th Oct Tampa Florida
9th San Fransisco
10th San Fransisco
17th Oct San Fransisco
24th Oct New York

Eric Johnson at the Krosswindz gig in Austin City


Krosswindz played a great pub gig at Copa Bar and Grill Austin City Texas on 24th September 2009 and were honoured to have one of the worlds greatest Guitar players drop in to listen-Eric Johnson.The living legend walked in and watched Krosswindz play a set of Fusion including Guitar instrumentals and one special song dedicated especially to him.He hung out with the band in between the 2 sets for almost 45 minutes and had a special one on one guitar talk with me and graciously answered all my questions.

Before Krosswindz reached Austin Mr Park Street close friend and associate of Eric for years was in touch with me and he surprised me when he offered to help the band out with on stage equipment as we were not traveling with our guitar amplifiers and drum kit.He went and had a chat with Eric Johnson and hey presto Eric sent his very own vintage Fender twin reverb amp hand tweaked by Eric himself and Eric's drummer Billy Maddox lent his own drum set complete with all cymbals and hardware!!!
We were speechless when Park walked in with all this gear.