I was getting kind of bored of my strat (its a Fender MIJ 1968 reissue) as I found that the tone and volume knobs weren’t really providing me with many options. The volume didn’t get very quiet until about 3 on the knob, and the when the tone was lower than 6, it became quite muddy. What was I to do?
I read a bunch of articles about how MIJ strats are great instruments, though the electronics can be a bit shotty in quality. So I decided to pick up a Vintage Strat Electronics Upgrade Kit from RS Guitarworks for around $50. This included 2 vintage style pots for the volume and tone, and a paper and oil guitar cap by Jensen.
Even though this is an easy install, I decided to have my guitar tech do the work for me to ensure it was done the best possible. When I got the guitar back and plugged into my amp, boy was I surprised by the difference! The volume became way more useable, and the tone allowed for so many different “sweet spots”. Just a tiny turn on the tone knob provided new arrays of sound. Best part is that when I adjusted the volume knob, it kept the tone in tact from the tone knob! Never have I had this luxury before. This made my guitar more vintage-sounding as well.
Now when I play live, I feel like I have more tone palettes to work with, and am inspired to play much longer than before.
If you are feeling like your strat needs more usability, try upgrading the pots and cap, and you’ll definitely be surprised by the difference.