Fleetwood strat

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laurie
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Fleetwood strat

Post by laurie » Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:15 pm

Over on this thread (viewtopic.php?f=14&t=541&p=4669) I talked about the Fleetwood guitar I picked up at the thrift store last year.

I've since done a bunch more work on it:
  • Filed the fret ends - as always, older guitars have this problem in Calgary because of the lack of humidity.
  • Filed the nut ends - they were protruding perhaps 0.25mm because of the fingerboard shrinkage.
  • Cleaned the gunk out of the rosewood fretboard. I thought it was clean, but no... Used "000" grade steel wool and isopropyl alcohol, then lemon oil to condition it. The rosewood grain is beautiful (can't really see that in the pic).
  • Cleaned everything while it was all apart.
  • Adjusted the trem springs a little so the back of the bridge plate was just touching the body. Holds tune adjusted like that.
  • Found that the Fleetwood pickups are too microphonic... They are the weak link in the guitar. So installed an old DiMarzio DP404 single-coil-sized humbucker in the bridge position, and a couple of American Standard pickups I had left over from another pickup swap in the middle and neck positions.
  • Replaced the saddle height screws with shorter ones that don't stick out of the saddles (no more fingers catching on them).
  • Redid the intonation now that I have the Turbo Tuner.
  • Ordered a new tremolo cover plate for the back of the guitar to replace the one that someone heavy-handed had cracked overtightening the screws sometime in the past.
It is now as good as any strat I've played. Better than a couple of the MIMs I've owned. I'm calling this my USA-Fender-strat-with-rosewood-fingerboard... even though it isn't a Fender and wasn't made in the USA.
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Fleetwood_guitar1.jpg
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The_Doc
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by The_Doc » Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:56 am

Great job Laurie! It must be very rewarding to put in all that effort and produce an excellent instrument.

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laurie
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by laurie » Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:29 pm

Thanks! It is particularly gratifying rescuing stuff... this one was unplayable. Not sure where it would have ended up. Back in someone's cupboard for another 20 years probably.

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Old_Iron
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by Old_Iron » Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:51 pm

laurie wrote:
Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:29 pm
Thanks! It is particularly gratifying rescuing stuff... this one was unplayable. Not sure where it would have ended up. Back in someone's cupboard for another 20 years probably.
Nice guitar Laurie, I like the color scheme, my strat had the same colors when I bought it, reminds me "blackie", Clapton's famous strat.

Today it is all black, with pick ups that "mimics" David Gilmour's black strat.

I share with you the same joy to fix and restore vintage gear, not that I am as productive as you are, but I like to modify and improve my guitars too.

Congrats, you have the capabilities to make any piece of gear better, I respect that.

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bigtone23
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by bigtone23 » Fri Feb 11, 2022 7:59 am

Nice!
It's always rewarding to give an 'affordable' instrument proper attention to make it play and perform at it's best.
Attention to the nut and frets is a major game changer.
I just gave a few of my 'bargain' instruments that I got in the last couple years a 2nd go-over. Had to re-file some fret sprout from this particularly dry winter. While at it, I rounded the fingerboard edges to give that little 'extra' to the feel.
So worth it!

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visserman
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by visserman » Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:30 pm

What I find fascinating is that they make those cheaper strats look like older strats, just look at how many screws there are on the scratch plate.
I have come across this many times.
Often the pick ups do have more volume compared to vintage instruments, how are yours on this one Laurie?
Detail is often lacking, and yes I noticed from your original post, you were also not impressed with the original pair of pick-ups.

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laurie
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by laurie » Sat Mar 26, 2022 2:40 pm

Original pickup output was higher than vintage. And tone was "thin".

Could have lived with that, but just touching the pickguard made a noise. They had to go...

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laurie
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by laurie » Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:56 am

One last tweak to this guitar...

Part of the unwanted noise is because of the flimsy single-ply pickguard. Any time a knob or the switch is touched the pickguard flexes a little and that turns into unwanted sound.

I've ordered a more substantial 3-ply replacement with a full set of plastics that will also change the look of the guitar (not sure if for the better, but I shall see :)).

(the one I ordered has the correct vintage number of screw-holes - this is the generic pic from the on-line ad)
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Pepe
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by Pepe » Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:44 pm

8-)
Pepe at YouTube and Instagram

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laurie
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Re: Fleetwood strat

Post by laurie » Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:57 pm

Pepe wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:44 pm
8-)
I confess that I am not actually sure what that emoji is meant to convey :?:

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