Origin: Fender Standard Stratocaster body and neck
Rachel is a Fender partscaster. I bought the Midnight Wine Stratocaster body (the lighter metallic version of Midnite Wine) that I purchased on eBay with the idea that I would use it to replace the body on a ’94 Standard Squier Series Strat (MIM) (Morticia). However, I also planned to change the pick ups, controls, pickguard and tuners. The only thing original would be the one piece maple neck. Since it was a very nice playing guitar as it was, and pretty good sounding as well, I decided not to mess with it that much. Instead, I got another MIM one piece maple neck (also on eBay – shout out to Michael and Christine at The Stratosphere!), so Rachel is now a completely separate guitar.
- Body: Fender Standard Staratocaster, Midnight Wine. 2000 or 2006 (last digit of date stamp is unreadable but looks like a 0 or 6) (faqxroadie via eBay)
- Neck: Fender Standard Stratocaster, Maple with Maple fingerboard (thestratosphere via eBay)
- Tuners: Chrome Vintage style (not yet installed)
- Bridge/Trem: Trem-King TK-1 Nickel Tremolo
- Pickguard: White pearl (Guitar Parts Online (Via eBay))
- Pick Ups: GFS 60’s-70’s Grey Bottom Non Stagger Overwound Strat Set (Guitar Fetish)
- Controls: Fender full sized 500K pots (Guitar Parts Resource)
- Selector: Fender 5-way Superswitch (Guitar Parts Resource)
- Circuit: Undecided
- Output Jack: Switchcraft #11 (Stew-Mac)
- Spring Cover: White pearl (Angela Instruments)
- Neck Plate: Chrome F style (Angela Instruments)
- Pick up covers, knobs, and switch tip painted with Krylon indoor/outdoor Gloss Burgundy, and MinWax PolyUrethane Gloss clear (spray cans)
She is currently wired like this:
- Position 1: Bridge and Neck in series
- Position 2: Bridge and middle in parallel
- Position 3: Middle only
- Position 4: Neck and middle in parallel
- Position 5: Neck only
- Volume: Master volume
- Tone 1: Neck pick-up
- Tone 2: Middle Pick-up
This wiring scheme is from a superswitch wiring book from AllParts. I don’t really care for it though as I want to be able to use the bridge pickup by itself, so I’ll be trying a different circuit at some point.
Rachel’s name comes from the main character (Rachel Morgan) in Kim Harrison’s “Hollows” series of Urban Fantasy novels.
I tried something new on this guitar, a Trem King fixed bridge vibrato system. The main difference in this system is that the bridge and saddles are stationary. Only the block that holds the strings moves when it’s used. They claim that breaking a string will not put the others out of tune. I’m a bit skeptical about that, but I haven’t actually tested it yet. I haven’t used it enough to tell if I like it or not either. A bit of routing and drilling is required to install it, but does not keep you from putting a stock Strat trem back on if you don’t like it. There’s one screw hole that might show if you go back to stock.
Click here for pics of how I installed the Trem King.