Shop Build Ep.3: $99 Squier Sleeper Build
In preparation for our new Metric Strat Wiring launch we need to build a demo guitar. And in our general rhetoric we are going to have fun. We are going to take a $99 Squier and upgrade the squire bullet to be as good as a high end fender
Demo Build Part 1- The Guitar:
Squier Bullet Strat with Tremolo $99
Now that we live in a world where affordable CNC machines dominate the manufacturing world, you can get a well built, super playable guitar for what only recently was a unplayable price range. We picked up this Squier on sale at a Local Guitar Shop for $99. Truthfully we were impressed for what you get. The Surf Green is alittle dark compared to its original big brother but we can mellow it out by tricking your eye with "relic'd" parts
- Body: Basswood (42mm)
- Neck: Maple
- Fingerboard: Rosewood 9.5" Radius (241mm)
- Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo
- Pickups: 3 Single-Coil Strat Pickups
- Controls: Master Volume, Tone, Tone
- Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade:
- Position 1. Bridge Pickup
- Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
- Position 3. Middle Pickup
- Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup
- Position 5. Neck Pickup
- Bridge: Synchronous Tremolo with Cast Saddles
- Machine Heads: Covered Tuners
- Hardware: Chrome
- Pickguard: 1-Ply White
- Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm)
- Width at Nut: 1.65" (42 mm)
- Unique Features: Slim (42mm) Body Profile,
- Traditional Strat® Headstock Shape,
- White Dot Position Inlays
Again it wasn't that long ago where a new $100 guitar was a dangerous choice and you were better off saving your money for a older used guitar. Fender took their time when they designed this series. the thinner body feels nice against your body, the neck isn't tooth pick thin and is comfortable in your hands, the action and fret job is impressive. the pickups sound distinctly fender and are better then some we've heard from a guitar 4x this price. Again for a $100 guitar this is a great deal.
Here's where the price range starts to show. Tuners. This guitar is equipped with the generic covered tuners that you find on all guitars under $300. They are garbage, having had to tune this guitar twice while writing this review. The finish is not bad per se but on the body there are "finish drips" and spots where there is dirt specs deep in the finish. The neck finish is super thin which will wear quick on loved guitars. Lastly this guitar has a super thin tremolo base which is a sustain killer. Truthfully, all things where you have to remind yourself it was only $99!
Manufacturing our new metric harnesses.
We understand that in most cases we are messing with your baby, the last thing we want to do is damage it in anyway. So, we take a lot of time when we produce any of our harnesses. Over the years we have researched, tested, and perfected our manufacturing process. Our competitors can not come close to our overall product quality. Here is a sample of how we do it, minus some trade secrets!
Manufacturing Part 1: Raw Parts
Before we start to build our harnesses, our techs have to go through every part by hand. Why? Our quality is paramount and this single stage stops a majority of future failures.
Demo Build Part 2-Deconstruction
Now its time to take this whole guitar apart. This is another cool way to see how this thing was manufactured. Even with it being a budget guitar you can see how many people it takes to bring this guitar to life!
All our harnesses are back by our 30day Promise
Manufacturing Part 2: Sub-Assembly
During this stage we take our time combining all those raw parts into sub-assemblies. First building, then inspecting every single wire, joint, ground, you name it, before moving onto our next stage.
Win this Harness
Build Part 3: New Hardware: Tuners
In order to install our new tuners we had to do two things. First enlarge the stock holes to fit the new standard sized tuners, then fill the old screw holes with some wooden dowels and cut everything flush
Kluson Nickel 6 Inline White Button Tuners
We were able to find some used Klusons on Ebay that had an amazing aging to them. add the fact that they were only $34 including shipping we couldnt be happier.
Manufacturing Part 3: Combining Sub-assemblies
This is where you start to see our strat harnesses coming to life. We combine both assemblies and add the Output Wires inspecting it one more time before sending it to our Top Secret Testing Phase where we test our harnesses well beyond the market standard.
Build Part 3: New Hardware: Bridge
continuing the vintage strat theme, we pickup up a used vintage style tremolo from a mim strat.
one of the most critical component of a strat is the bridge block. this metal block, connected to the bridge plate, helps create that strat resonances that defined this guitars history. If you compare the made in Mexico vs the bullets, this piece is so cut down to save on money that you have to realize how much string vibration is lost. Since the body is thinner then your average start the bridge just barely fit. But, with how important it is to the tone, we kept it on the guitar.
Manufacturing Part 4: Testing
Where we would love to flex our manufacturing expertise and show you how we test each harness. Instead we have to hide it out. Why? At its current state. The Guitar Wiring Market is overly dominated by Predatory Techs. These Techs are merely average joes who's only experience with guitar wiring and more importantly product production is using the products on their guitars. We would love to go into more depth about the dangers of supporting these styles of Techs to the overall market but we will save that for a later Tech Talk episode but for now lets get back on track and enjoy this build!
Part 4: New Hardware: Electronics and Aged Parts
With this build we will be pairing our new metric oem harness with our first strat prototype pickups that we just got in. We asked the master winders to design us a set that embodies that raw 1950s attitude, one moment they are June Clever the next, Betty Page.
For little money we were able to make a guitar that is truly unique and that sounds and plays like a high end strat.