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Non ADA Gear => Guitars => Topic started by: Dante on December 31, 2020, 08:48:08 AM

Title: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on December 31, 2020, 08:48:08 AM
Well, I sold an amp I wasn't using for $500. The next day, I gave that same $500 to a local guy selling his beautiful MIM Fender Fat Strat.

I had a Telecaster that looked very much like it, and I miss looking at that guitar. I do not miss playing it - lol - which is why I no longer have it. Well, I enjoy playing this new girl, lemme tell ya. I can't put her down, keep grabbing her off the wall several times a day. I'm sitting on 3 fat strats now...this is the only Fender.

Somebody already put a Seymour Duncan in the bridge for me (thanks!). It came with a plain white pickguard, which did not give her the bling she justly deserves. So, I ordered a pickguard online, swapped it out (found out the Duncan is a SH-5 Custom), and moved the volume knob where I like it. I set it up with a master volume, master tone. I plan on installing a kill switch in the hole where the volume pot goes.  :metal:

My sister wanted me to name her Ginger, I am leaning towards Candy - like the ol' Montrose song; she's Rock Candy..... Hard, Sweet & Sticky
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: bunkyloo on December 31, 2020, 03:59:54 PM
Nice guitar Dante. Like the pick guard :thumb-up:
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Iperfungus on January 10, 2021, 03:47:36 PM
Gorgeous, awesome looking Strat! 
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: rabidgerry on January 20, 2021, 02:02:28 AM
That's a nice guitar Dante, I bet you it plays really nice and has a great smooth neck??

Some of you guys might laugh (yes I am a cheapscate  :facepalm: or perhaps just sensible with my money?)

but my MIM is like the most expensive guitar I have ever bought.  Personally I think it's excellent.  Apart from the solid white dots on the neck.  I should get them replaced.  I see yous is just solid black dots Dante.  Doesn't look as bad as mine.

Here is my MIM, we are in the same club now!

( (

Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 20, 2021, 07:19:45 AM
Dang - that's a pretty guitar, Gerry. Love the mirrored pickguard and the floyd. Keep those white markers on the Rosewood neck. This Strat and my EVH Wolfgang are the only maple fretboards I have. Those are the only ones that look good with black dots, IMHO.

UPDATE: I finally finished up my Strat. Got a new badass killswitch for the empty volume pot hole, with a red light  O0

Also finally got my Vega-Trem bridge. MUCH better than that crappy Fender bridge. For all the money you spend on a Strat, and for all the years they've been built, you'd think Fender would make a better bridge.

I am totally smitten by this guitar, cannot keep my hands off her
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: rabidgerry on January 20, 2021, 09:01:44 AM
Superb looking guitar!

Yeah you are right about the black dots.  Keep the white ones on my axe?  Really?  I thought they look cheap.  Not really important I guess.  That floyd stays in tune as well and it's a lincensed PING version I believe they call it.  MIM's weren't as good about 20 years ago but I've had one from like 05 and then one from 09 and they were a world apart in quality.  The later being the better.

Fender have had a few different trems over the years and I have no idea why they never run with them.  Look into they exist!

Anyways I have never ever heard of the Vega-Trem you got.  I didn't really like what I saw but it looks real good on your axe.  Perhaps I need to see it in context as opposed to pictures of it by itself.  How effective for dive trem action?
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 20, 2021, 02:04:06 PM
It will dive like a Floyd, until your strings are loose. It also goes UP!! Full floating trem, like my Kahler and my other Floyd. I have one that is blocked for dive-only.
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Zilthy on January 20, 2021, 07:01:21 PM
Nice guitar! I almost have the itch for a strat or tele myself.
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: rabidgerry on January 21, 2021, 03:07:09 AM
It will dive like a Floyd, until your strings are loose. It also goes UP!! Full floating trem, like my Kahler and my other Floyd. I have one that is blocked for dive-only.

Really?  No locks on the nut?

And what about if you string bend?

Now I have had strat regular trems have the ability to dive b*mb and whammy all day long but then they will go out of tune with a string bend.  Or I've had it where you whammy all day long and it's out of tune but then you string bend and that brings it back into tune.  I'm curious as to how the Vega-Trem beats that issue?  If I'm honest I suppose I can kind live with the "string bend to fix it" technique but I just make sure I buy locking trems on guitars instead.  Unfortunately I have a Tokai Custom Edition and it's a great guitar but only single locking at the neck and then sort of a fast insert type string holder at the bottom (I have Westone similar to this with the same issue) and it has the same thing where you either tune it to allow for string bend or tune it to allow for dive b*mb and use the opposite manoeuvre to correct the tuning.  Know what I'm talking about here or doe I sound like I'm tripppin'?  :facepalm:

Nice guitar! I almost have the itch for a strat or tele myself.

Why haven't you got one already?   ;)  Why not grab yourself one then?  I vote you look out for a nice strat  :thumb-up:

What is your current axe list right now?
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 21, 2021, 08:29:00 AM
I feel your pain, Gerry. My standard Strat trems all suck. I had the stock one screwed down to the top of the body before I got the Vega-Trem. It was a stoptail.

TBH; I have no idea how the Vega gets around the tuning issue. It is remarkably stable and very smooth to use. I have .09s on it now, which I never use, so it feels especially slinky to me. I can bend for days - haha. Let's see if I start snapping high E strings...I'll go back to .10s. I used the low tension springs and it feels like a rubber band, not an industrial strength spring (like the Floyd). I took a spring out of my Floyd...I may remove another...and adjust the claw.

The Vega is way easier to string up and tune than a Floyd tho. I don't have locking tuners yet, but they are on my list fo sho. Maybe some rollers on the string trees too. I lubed up my nut (insert stupid nut joke here) with graphite and lithium grease. The grease just keeps the graphite in the grooves...or else it would blow away with the's a powder.

Zilthy: I've had lots of Strats, some were Fenders...this one's built better than most and just feels better to play. The neck is nothing like my other axes, it's thicker but it still feels great. YMMV

Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: rabidgerry on January 21, 2021, 09:59:41 AM
some of those trems I was talking about.  Sure Khaler made them for them but you know what I mean. (

There is a more modern one I can't find the name off as well that has the worst and ugliest looking top nut I have ever seen.  If I find it I will post it up here.
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: rnolan on January 21, 2021, 11:48:04 PM
I put a Wilkinson trem on my Squire bullet strat and a graphtech nut.  I don't have it floating but it works very well.  Also the 6 screw holes are slightly oval to ensure it fits your body screw holes.  Nice solid trem block and saddles all for $40 AUD  :whoohoo!: .  Trem bar has no thread to ware out, just pushes in and has a little grub screw to set the spin tension.
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 22, 2021, 07:27:08 AM

Mine is like that, 6-hole, and it wouldn't stay in tune for 1 song. Drove me nuts. Now, it wasn't an actual WIlkensen, but the same idea. I also had the 2-post variety with the same results, going out of tune with the slightest trem action. Mind you, I did install Tusq nuts on several guitars for this reason...all it did was help my tone, not my tuning.

Now, I'm using the stock nut (with some lube of course) and stock tuners. It stays in tune very well. Of course, I spent way too much...but I had a $600 stimulus check burning a hole in my pocket and decided to just splurge on an extravagance (for once).

Would I recommend the Vega-Trem? YES. In a heartbeat, without hesitation. The same price as a Floyd, without any additional routing. Actually, better action than a Floyd IMO.

Are there other options out there that work just as well for less money? YES. There are several, each one has it's strong suit and each has it's weaknesses. The Vega's only drawback was the price. It checked everything else on the list. If I didn't have the extra cash, I would have probably opted for the Hipshot...with those sharp little height adjustment screws - haha

This video really solidified what I was reading online, made up my mind to give the Vega a try;
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Harley Hexxe on January 22, 2021, 03:05:23 PM
Nice Axe Dante,

      Do you know what Duncan is in the Bridge?
      I like the Vega Trem, I've been thinking about one of those for the MIM Strat I bought a couple of years ago, but I haven't done anything with that guitar at all. I just bought a HSC for it and it's been there ever since. I do want to put new pups in it and the tremolo is definitely a dog, so that has to go. Locking tuners and a LSR nut for it if I get the Vega Trem.

     I know Strat tremolo bridges can be a pain in the A$$, but there are ways to set up a stock Strat to get it to perform better.
     For instance, and I'm not sure why this isn't more widely known, but with a six screw bridge, when you are setting it up, you start with the strings off. Let the springs pull the bridge all the way back to the body. Then, you tighten down the  screws to the point where the underside of the screw head just rests on the top of the bridge plate. It you tighten the screw even the slightest bit in this position, it will begin to raise the back of the bridge off the body. Do this with the top and bottom screw. The four screws in the middle, you bring them down to the same height, but back them off the bridge plate about 1/4 turn.
     After that you set up the bridge with your strings on and float it. This will give you the best tremolo action from a stock Strat bridge.
    A good nut with the proper grooves that will not pinch your strings, is a definite plus here!
     On the newer Strats, with Schaller type tuners, I'd definitely swap them out for locking tuners.
     On the vintage Strat style tuners, (split-shaft), these can work just as well as locking tuners if you string up your guitar the right way. I cut the string about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch past the post I want to wind it on, then shove the cut end into the hole in the center and tune up. The general idea is to have the least amount of wraps around the post with the string. With the wound strings, I can get away with 1/2 to one wind around the post. With the plain strings, I get around 1-1/2 to 2 winds on the post to compensate for slipping and string stretch.
      This is how I have a couple of my older Strats set up, and they work great.

   Of course, you have to take into account, the quality of the guitar build. the quality of the bridge you have on it, etc. If it's a cheaply built guitar that isn't quite measured right for the mounting holes, or the bridge is the cheapest pot-metal piece of junk they could put on it, yeah, you're going to have problems.

   Dante, have you noticed any loss of tone or sustain with the Vega trem? ( the small profile of the bridge block seems to be concern of most guitar players )

Harley 8)
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 22, 2021, 06:52:06 PM
That is good advice on the stock Strat trem setup  :thumb-up: I almost wish I had one to try it out....almost, hehe

Okay, coupla things;

1) The SD Pickup is an SH5 Custom and I like the way it sounds (when split coil) way better than my SH4 JB (which I have a few of). I'm gonna get another one for my Schecter Fat Strat (also gonna get some GFS single coils for that one)

2) The biggest fear I had about the Vega was the sustain issue. It seems thin to me in theory, but I notice absolutely nothing like that when playing (so far). I have been whammying like a fool. Just testing it out, running it through all the gears. It feels so much nicer than a Floyd, dare I say, closer to a Kahler. In the Dweezil Zappa clip, at the very end...he strums it without the volume. Listen to how acoustic sounding that bridge is. That's the true does it sound without the amp?

One bonus; the trem came set up with pretty close intonation. I only had to adjust a bit, which saved me a ton of time. I expected them to all be grounded to one side...starting from scratch.

Another bonus; the damn action was set up too low for the strings to even ring. Why is this a bonus? Because I just kept raising the strings until I could hear them without buzz and I ended up with some PRETTY LOW ACTION. Nice.

The damn thing still has those sharp little setscrews for saddle height adjustments... :hair-out: I am considering a bead of silicone on those
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Harley Hexxe on January 23, 2021, 03:14:05 AM
Hey Dante,

     Okay, the Duncan Custom. I've heard a couple of good things about those. The JB, (SH-4), was never intended to be used as a split coil. They were just supposed to be a full-on Humbucker with a lot of power.

    Yes, I'd been checking out the Vega-Trem for some time now. It seems to transfer the string vibration and wood resonance pretty well, but that starts with the guitar itself. A lively piece of wood is the difference between a good guitar and a great one! My Ibanez Strat copy that I modified eons ago is like that. That's why I kept it. I thought about replacing the neck with a 22-fret neck, but I don't want to change the way it sounds now.
    The blade of the Vega-Trem would make it feel smoother. I'm curious how that will feel and respond in a couple of years with heavy use. The Floyd felt very smooth when I first installed it, but I probably need to replace the posts, as I'm sure they are grooved after all these years. It's the same thing with the stock Fender Strat bridge, You have to replace the six screws after a while because they are not hardened and they will wear a groove from the fulcrum edge of the bridge plate.  I forgot to mention that in the last post.

    That's a good thing about the intonation, I'll look for some shorter setscrews when I get one :thumb-up:

Harley 8)
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 23, 2021, 05:43:41 PM
Man, we live in a small world, you and I.

I was thinking the same feels fantastic now, let's see what happens after a good year of abuse. I can't stop playing with it right now. I agree, good wood makes a good guitar, I like to try new guitars without the amp for that very reason. Heavy or light really doesn't seem to matter, which seems strange, but I find that to be true. My Korina Vee is very light, but has ringing tone, unplugged or with the amp. Strange...but I digress

The Vega transfers vibrations through that blade and right into the body, so yeah, it seems to get good resonance from that hunk of wood. The feel is smooooth and soft. I cut my teeth on a Kahler trem back in the day, it had very light tension on the springs too  - that was all I knew, until I got my first Floyd. Man, what a bunch of work that seemed like - haha - that first one was stiff, had all 5 springs on it (duh). That said, the Floyd stayed in tune much better than my Kahler, so I stuck with them.

Many years later, I figured out that I needed to rebuild my Kahler to get it back to working order. The roller saddles were not rolling at all...they're supposed to spin  :facepalm:. I bought all new bits for the trem and now she stays in tune really well. Smooth up and down on the bar too, I can get all crazy.

The Vega is fast becoming my favorite though, for the tiny size, ease of installation (no routing), and for not requiring a locking nut or fine tuners. That is a nice luxury. With locking tuners, I could easily change a broken string between sets. Can't do that with a Floyd...  :nono: ...bring another guitar
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Harley Hexxe on January 24, 2021, 04:03:47 AM
Hey Dante,

    I totally agree! That's a definite advantage the Vega-Trem would have over the Floyd. Still, I would think Locking tuners and some kind of nut that has no chance of pinching a string would be a must with it. I prefer the LSR because it does that, but it also gives me the same tonal response that I would get if I added a "Zero" fret, (additional harmonics down the neck), to the guitar.

    I am going to get a few things for the Floyd though. New posts, springs and a Trem stop to keep it centered if a string breaks, but mostly so I can put my D-tuna on it. The D-tuna is meant for a Floyd that will dive only and the strings do come out of tune slightly when the bridge floats. But you're right, bring another guitar anyway. I usually have a spare at a gig anyway.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Dante on January 26, 2021, 06:19:42 PM
Harley - I have a couple D-Tunas m'self  :thumb-up:
Title: Re: NGD! Mexican Strat Plus Top :0
Post by: Harley Hexxe on January 27, 2021, 01:33:57 PM
Harley - I have a couple D-Tunas m'self  :thumb-up:

They're nice when you can get your guitar to play with them. That eliminates the need of one extra guitar!

Harley 8)