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Mustang with weird mods?


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My brother gave me his mustang which he never uses, and the first thing I did was open it up to tighten the volume and tone pot and to fix one of the slide switches. But there were two things that were strange to me.

First, the tremolo bar didn't move much, so I took out the tailpiece to check it out and found two wood pieces holding the tremolo bars in place.

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I guess maybe this would be good to keep the guitar from going out of tune, but the tremolo is basically not functional. I'm think of buying the springs that are supposed to go there. (Hardware store? or Music Store?)

Secondly,

It had some strange hot rail pickups, which I don't really like the sound of. But two of the cables coming out of each rail pickup (red and white) were bound and set aside.

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Are these cables supposed to be attached to the switches to be able to manipulate the humbucker functionality? If I do use single coil size humbuckers, could I wire it to use the switches for adjusting humbucker functions, like series or parallel?

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That 'hard tail' using the wood inserts looks great. I'd keep it, flip the 'bar' so that you can feed the strings directly from the back and straight thru to the bridge. I did something very similiar (although I didn't use the original 'threaded spring post' or whatever it's called - used two 6mm stainless screws with lock washers (in 12mm length), lock washer goes at the head of the machine screw under the trem plate, add a drop of blue locktitle on the threads and tighten it down ! ) Easy to find at places like Home Depot (all parts together cost maybe $5, and took maybe 10 minutes to install).

You'll get MUCH better sustain, and the other obvious benefit would be that you'll stay in tune A LOT better/longer. Any use of a whammy on a 'stang usually results in immediate detuning anyway....!

Along with this do the '2-3 wraps of electrical tape on the bridge posts' to snug up the fit there, and you're all set. Enjoy it, with a good setup a 'stang is a great player. Q - you had a hot rails in the bridge and didn't like it? I'd imagine that p/up would make a 'stang a real tone monster!

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I have the tail peice on my stang fliped and screwed all the way down to the bridge plate. I left the springs but added washers underneath the plate, I figured this would give me a more resonate tone, am I right? I will post pics of it later. I have only seen pics on here with washers on top of the bridge plate, leaving about a 1/4" gap between the plate and tail peice; I have no gap under my tail peice.

Stick with the Hard Tail man, you can dig deeper.

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I bit the bullet yesterday and flipped mine over and locked it down... I must admit that I never really thought I had much in the way of stability issues, I just thought I'd give it a go to see what happened... Used some nice 6mm stainless Allen headed bolts and packed the excess distance with washers, a smidge of Loctite on the threads and then threw her back together with fresh strings...

I was not prepared for such an extensive improvement in tuning stability, tone or sustain... I, for one, will not be going back to to a conventional trem setup... Don't know why I have never done this simple mod before now... Hardtail all the way Baby... :grin: :grin: :grin:

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I bit the bullet yesterday and flipped mine over and locked it down... I must admit that I never really thought I had much in the way of stability issues, I just thought I'd give it a go to see what happened... Used some nice 6mm stainless Allen headed bolts and packed the excess distance with washers, a smidge of Loctite on the threads and then threw her back together with fresh strings...

I was not prepared for such an extensive improvement in tuning stability, tone or sustain... I, for one, will not be going back to to a conventional trem setup... Don't know why I have never done this simple mod before now... Hardtail all the way Baby... :grin: :grin: :grin:

Agreed. It was very easy to do and helps a lot. You don't have to worry about brushing the trem and detuning it as much.

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