This time out he wanted a bunch of things changed around, swapped, etc. And to make it more exciting, I had to pull parts from old scratch plates assemblies, incorporate assorted used switches and pickups, and generally fiddle with a load of 'ole rubbish! The final new configuration on each instrument was to, in essence, create a "fat strat" by replacing the single coils in the bridge with Dimarzio humbuckers.
In addition, he wanted a coil cut option so tone pot 2 had to be replaced with a push/pull. Finally, he wanted the tone to control the new bridge pup instead of the middle pup. All in all, not terribly difficult stuff, but buggering around with all his electronic castoff's and junk to do it was not amusing.
Jimmie, Meet Concord
When Leo Fender designed the Strat he decided to leave the bridge pup full out, with no tone control. I guess he had his reasons, but it's always been one of the things that I found odd, and somewhat annoying about Strats. Positions 5 and 4 are controlled by Tone 1, 3 and 4 by Tone 2, while position 1 (bridge) gets nuthin'. Seems to me that the lead pup should be the one to have a tone control.
One of the niftiest mod's for the Strat is usually referred to as the Jimmie Vaughan mod. It consists of simply moving the wire coming from the tone pot to the selector switch, to the next terminal lug (usually from 2 to 3). What this does is put the control on the bridge (position 1 and 2) and removes it from the centre completely.
The result is much more tonal variation out of the lead pick up while allowing full chime on the centre. Position 2 also sounds better to these old ears.
I liked the effect so much that I just did the same thing on my Concord II. I had recently changed the pups for a set of Warman Texas Hots and this little mod really enhanced them.
Worthwhile doing on your next string change!
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