One of the things I used to find frustrating about a Strat has now become my favourite feature. That is, the ability to remove the scratchplate and replace it with just a screwdriver and the soldering of two wires. It certainly makes it easier to work on the electrics and see all the wiring in one place.
But if you replace those two wires with a plug, you can have switchable scratchplates that don’t even require soldering. Each scratchplate can be loaded with any pickup or wiring configuration, as long as the pickups are mounted to the ‘plate.
All you have to do is loosen the strings, undo the neck, remove the screws holding the scratchplate in and unplug it. Swap the scratchplate and put it all back together.
Now imagine you have a selection of scratchplates, each with different pickups, switching and pots? Your vintage sounding SSS Strat can become a fire breathing high gain humbucker monster, or a modern HSS Strat in no time!
If you ever wanted to try different pickups in your strat without committing yourself, simply buy another scrathplate and wire it up. You won’t have to irreversibly modify anything just to find out what different wiring will sound like.
You’d love a new Strat, but aren’t sure about the wiring and pickups. With switchable scratchplates, you don’t have to decide – simply have all options available and switch at will.
Naturally, there’s no such thing as too many guitars, and having another guitar just to have different pickups available is perfectly okay, but sometimes space might not permit. With a selection of scratchplates, You can have one guitar and many options with no more extra space taken up than the box needed to house those new scratchplates.
Here are a few options I have for my silver Strat.
SSS – four way switch (including series and parallel sounds), volume, middle volume tone
SSH – three way switch with DPDT switch for middle pickup
HH – rails pickup in the neck, with parallel push-push on the volume, three way selector.
P90 – simplistic volume and tone.
What options are you thinking about for your beloved Strat? Prices for a custom made scratchplate start at £80 plus pickups.
Get in touch, let me know what you’re looking for, and I can wire some scratchplates that will fit your Strat and give you more choices without making permanent modifications.