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SoundGround >> .Took apart a '93 Korean Squier Strat, Surprised


11/29/12 8:23 AM
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asbury
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Came across a Squier strat made in Korea in 1993, according to the serial #. It cost $5 at a garage sale.

Before opening it up, I was surprised at how nice it played, sounded and stayed in tune. Very thin neck. It had been played a lot judging by the fingerboard. Usually it seems people get one of these as a starter thing and either quit soon after or upgrade to something better after a year or two. This thing appears to have been played for years.

Took the neck off, found the body is plywood. Disappointing but not a huge problem.

Turns out that under that cheap one ply plastic pickguard was a Dimarzio HS-3, a Dimarzio HS-2, and a what I think is a Seymour Duncan classic stack? in the bridge. Apparently that's what they came with in that year. Interesting because a few years ago I was given a squier strat pack by a GF who was given it and never played it. The pickups were fucking awful, maybe the worst I've ever heard. And the gloss on the neck started to chip and peel off after about 6 months, among other issues. But that's kind of what I'd expected.

Anyway I didn't really know there were such playable, decent Korean Squiers out there until now. If you see one for sale on craigslist or whatever for cheap with a VN serial prefix followed by a low number (mine is 3), you might want to give it a look. This thing is a nice player.
12/12/12 3:26 AM
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Racer X
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No Korean Squiers came with USA DiMarzio pickups or the Duncan stack. Definately added aftermarket.

Four different companies made korean Squiers. Most were crap, but there are some jewels among the rocks. You probably have one made by Samick, one of the better Korean builders.

There are a couple of site that have serial number ID info, but be careful! I kept getting malware warnngs trying to find more info.

12/12/12 7:26 PM
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Racer X
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Frankly, I'd move the HS-3 to the bridge,the duncan to the middle,and the HS-2 to the neck. The HS-3 has the best mids and bottom. Putting it in the Bridge position will balance nicely with the others.

If you need a wiring chart to help get different brands wired in phase together, this is a cool spot:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/category/wiring_resources_guitar_wiring_diagrams.humbucker_wiring_color_codes/

 

12/12/12 9:15 PM
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Ali
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Give you $10 bucks for just the pickups. Double your money and leave you with most of your capital. What a deal, yeah?
12/12/12 11:26 PM
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sreiter
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es-335's, etc. were made of plywood, and they're some of the best sounding guitars on the planet
2/13/13 1:00 AM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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Edited: 02/13/13 9:04 AM
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craziest thing about those korean squiers. I got a 94 mexican and it was mediocre as you'd expect but my buddy had a korean strat from a few years earlier and it was practically built like an american std. amazing finish on the neck, better body, frets, etc.

 

3/13/13 10:23 AM
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YumYumPandaburger
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Who cares if it is plywood if it sounds nice?
3/13/13 12:51 PM
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Racer X
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The plywood vs. solid wood thing: Yes you can make a good sounding guitar from either. But I would have to say that when building a solid body guitar or semi hollow, the chances of making something with character defined by pleasing harmonic complexity and inspiring tone are higher with well chosen solid woods. 

3/15/13 8:18 AM
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sreiter
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racer, while i agree solid wood is better

how do you explain 335, 345, 355 as pretty much end all be all guitars.... more great players used them then late 50s LPs
3/22/13 1:07 PM
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Ponyboy
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I rank guitars by country this way.

USA and other known top quality countries that produce good stuff.

Japan

Mexico

Korea

China.

That said, if you are tecnically inclined and can spot easy fixes to a glaring defect that relegates an otherwise good guitar to "sucking", you can work with guitars made most anywhere.

One thing to realize is that a bad guitar rigger at a factory is country independent though the japanese quickly root out and get rid of underperforming builders on the assembly line.

Pictured below is an example of one issue that turned an surprisingly well made neck-thru Kramer "musicyo era" guitar into something unplayable.

If you don't immediately spot the problem, please stop discussing guitar quality.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8521/8580654098_9653505f64_b.jpg

Don't be a gear snob lest you someday find out your "primo strat or les paul" were made in korea on the same assembly line as a "no name" guitar.


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