Guitar Tech – Get The Cheap Guitar (part 2)

By Thad Shumaker 

Thad here from Shumaker Guitar Works for part 2 of making a cheap guitar awesome. This time I'm using a Squier Affinity Strat I picked up at a pawn shop for about 60 bucks. Squires are decent guitars right out of the box, as I discussed the last blog, but with a little time and a bit of money you can make them like no other.

Image: Shumaker Guitar Works

When I bought this guitar, it still had the original hang tags and everything with it, so it couldn't have been very old. I don't think it was ever played. I took it home, cleaned it up, put a good set of strings on it and played it for a bit. I decided it could be better than it already was. I got online and started looking for options as to what I could do to improve this guitar. I found Dragonfire pickups. They make a whole line of clone pickups, at about 1/3 the price of the big names. I chose their loaded Strat pickguard with 3 humbucker hot rails type pickups. This setup is unique in which it has individual pickup control and coil tapping. I can choose 1, 2 or all 3 pickups together running in or out of phase, for a myriad of sounds, and I can split the coils for that single coil sound as well. The whole setup, with the pick guard, cost me 69 bucks I believe.. 

Moving on to installation… First remove the strings, then unscrew the jack plate and the original pick guard. Squires have 2 screws inside that are ground screws for the shielding Faraday cage which also need removed. lastly, you have to remove the back cover to unsolder the bridge ground from the tremolo claw, and the 2 wires for the jack. You can then completely remove the stock pickguard with all the pickups attached.

Installing the new loaded pickguard is just the opposite of removal, but there's no ground screws for the shielding. Solder your jack wires, and your bridge ground to the tremolo claw. This will be the only soldering to do on the new loaded guard. Install the jack plate and new pick guard with the screws you took out of the old one. Next step, install a new set of strings, and set your pickup height. While I had the strings off I also installed a new tusq nut I had, and did a mild setup on the guitar.

Doing a side by side comparison of the guitar with the original all white pickguard and pickups and the new red pearloid guard, looks phenomenal! Now to plug it in. I play through my pedal board, and a 1977 peavey deuce tube amp. I set all eq's at noon with just a bit of reverb. My pedals of choice are my trusty 20 year old boss stereo chorus and a boss turbo overdrive. The sound difference from the stock single coils to the Dragonfires in single coil mode was huge. I then switched to humbucker mode, running the bridge only. Holy heavy metal bat man! These pickups sound great. Next I decided to run all 3 as humbuckers, and crank up the amp a bit. Talk about drive you out of the room raw power. I love these.

Image: Shumaker Guitar Works  

In conclusion, I have about 150 bucks into this Squire.  If you went to a shop and bought this guitar new you'd pay around 150 bucks for it. The Dragonfire pickups come not only in rails, but as single coils, p90's, H90's(p90 in humbucker size), regular humbuckers, high output humbuckers. Basically there's something for everyone and every style. If you're looking for a cheap but great upgrade to make your cheap guitar awesome, look them up on the web.  

Check out Dragon Guitars here!

47 Replies to “Guitar Tech – Get The Cheap Guitar (part 2)”

  1. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.

    Do you have any helpful hints for novice blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  2. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was a leisure account
    it. Look complex to more delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  3. I simply could not go away your site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the
    standard info a person supply for your guests? Is going
    to be back frequently to check up on new posts

  4. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I
    was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  5. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this superb blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  6. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to
    get the hang of it!

  7. Superb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to
    be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

  8. Pretty element of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to claim that I get
    in fact loved account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing
    for your augment or even I success you get admission to persistently fast.

  9. I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into
    any web browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  10. Definitely imagine that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the
    easiest thing to take into accout of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst folks
    consider issues that they just do not understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest
    as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people
    could take a signal. Will probably be again to get
    more. Thanks

  11. Attractive component of content. I just stumbled upon your
    web site and in accession capital to assert that I get
    actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment or
    even I achievement you get right of entry to persistently fast.

  12. Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world
    but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  13. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working
    with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a reasonable
    price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  14. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.

    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it.
    Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond?


  15. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding
    more. Thanks for great information I was looking for
    this info for my mission.

  16. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and
    even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  17. I just could not depart your web site before suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply for your guests?
    Is gonna be again frequently to check out new posts

  18. Hi there, I found your blog by means of Google while searching for a similar
    topic, your website came up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hello there, just was aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is
    really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate in case you continue this in future.

    Many other folks can be benefited from your writing.

  19. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one
    and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance
    is very much appreciated.

  20. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
    wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss
    feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  21. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your
    website and in depth information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Great read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.

  22. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems
    a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my
    authorization. Do you know any ways to help prevent content
    from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  23. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave
    it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She
    never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

r u a robot? *