Other Guitars

Quick project - mini-Strat upgrades

1

Did a quick project this weekend that some of you might find interesting.

When my daughter was just starting to play guitar, I got her this mini Strat which was good for her 8 year old hands. Now a teen, she'd been playing my full scale guitars but still has issues with some chords. So I decided to upgrade her old mini to some more playable specs - re-crowned the frets, replaced the tuners and installed some GFS alnico pickups. Still, it was missing the essential - a vibrato! There isn't enough room for a Bigsby and a proper Strat vibrato involves major routing, so I figured I'd go with the student guitar vibe and use a Mustang vibrato.

Not much body routing involved, though I did have to take a little bit off the pickguard and the jack cup. All in all, it's now a fun little guitar. I may have to borrow it from her sometimes!

2

Really cool! What's the scale length on that guitar? And what's with the intonation?

3

That's a cool little guitar but shouldn't a teen be taking the next step? Just sayin', not judging.

4

Personally, I like everything about the Mustang (I've had 3) but I hated the vibrato system. I've tried all of the "fixes" they put online and I have yet to find a way to use it and to keep it in tune when using it like any other vibrato.

But then I found a different tactic I heard about on the web.

With my current Mustang, I took the Whammy stick off and use the palm of my hand to rub and wiggle the big round cylinder giving me a nice gentle vibrato and doesn't mess up the tuning. It's a technique I had to get used to and now feels natural. Not like a Bigsby or a dive bombing Floyd Rose, it has it's own charm, lovely and gentle.

5

Otter - scale is 22.75" I still have to set the intonation.

Razzer10_4 - She's been playing a 24.75" scale guitar, but the stretch for barre chords near the nut is tough, even when using her pinky instead of her ring finger. I'd rather she get good with technique on a short scale guitar than get frustrated. Besides, a Rick 325 has a shorter scale and that worked for John Lennon and John Fogerty.

Bob Howard - I've heard the bad things about Mustang trems. It seems a good nut makes a difference, and I refiled the slots for this.

6

Weren't there Mustangs that had a scale of about that long? 22 1/2" scale maybe?

7

I'm not sure about Mustangs, but definitely Duo-Sonics and Musicmasters. I think they'd cost a bit more than what I've got into this one (about $200).

8

Great idea, looks like it turned out great.

9

Otter - scale is 22.75" I still have to set the intonation.

Razzer10_4 - She's been playing a 24.75" scale guitar, but the stretch for barre chords near the nut is tough, even when using her pinky instead of her ring finger. I'd rather she get good with technique on a short scale guitar than get frustrated. Besides, a Rick 325 has a shorter scale and that worked for John Lennon and John Fogerty.

Bob Howard - I've heard the bad things about Mustang trems. It seems a good nut makes a difference, and I refiled the slots for this.

– Mel Waldorf

The nut is always the first thing I fix on any new guitar. That is often the problem with all other tremolos. Not the problem I'm talking about with the Mustang term.


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