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A fun Strat conversion

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Easy Rider, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Here's something I cooked up recently:
    Stratobass WEB.jpg
    It was once a Squier Bullet Strat, but now it's a Stratobass :)
    I drew up a new bridge which I then had lasercut (out of plain steel, hence the rust. I plan to nickel plate it at some point) after which I basically just had to set it. I had some leftover bridge parts of a Gotoh bridge which I luckily could turn to the correct width and presto! A vintage style bridge with a working tremolo.
    I filled up the holes for the original tuners with polyurethane resin and drilled some new holes for some Gotoh bass tuners. I turned and milled a simple string tree out of some brass and cut a GraphTech blank Strat nut to fit the bill.
    Then I unwound the BEAD D'Addario nickle strings to fit the new scale length and this baby was thumping!

    It sounds real cool and vintage, it has all the Strat sounds only a lot lower :cool:. I'm definitely going to put some decent pickups and electronics in this one, finish up the finishing and use it live.
    Oh and the frets need some work, because the fit and finish on a Squier Bullet Strat are pretty lousy. And I'll probably make a new pickguard, out of some blonde wood I think.
  2. I've seen a few of these recently and am quite impressed. Don't know if I could work with the super short scale. However I am amassing parts to do a tele with a 30" scale. Almost there!

  3. aronnes71


    Jan 4, 2010
    Alta, Norway
    Nice one!
    I also did a guitar to bass convertion. Put new tuners in, a new nut and made a new string holder. I kept the orginal bridge. A ok super stort scale bass:)

  4. As I also play guitar the scale length is no problem for me. And I'm already used to this setup because of an acoustic guitar conversion I did earlier.

    The main reason for doing this (besides getting some new sounds) is because I find the Strat an ergonomic wonder, it's a really brilliant design. Ofcourse the P and J bass are very smooth to play as well, but the Strat takes first prize in my opinion and I just wanted that level of comfort in a bass.

    As I said the frets need some work, then the action can be lowered to my liking (making it even smoother) and I think I'll be using it a lot!
  5. mid_life_crisis


    Jul 8, 2010
    The original fretting works? The intonation is correct for a bass? Somehow I though it would change, but that shows how much I still have to learn, I guess.

    I have one of those $99 knockoffs gathering dust. Maybe I'll defret it and do this conversion to it.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Very cool. I've been thinking about doing this do a Tele or hard-tail Strat for a while, and just finally found a company that will make a set of .130-.050 strings for tuning to E standard at this tiny scale length.

    Are you planning any wiring mods or a pickup swap? I'd want to be able to mix neck and bridge pickup, maybe just do the full-on 13 sound Superstrat wiring, or install a trio of blade humbuckers for nearly infinite tones.
  7. Yes, unwound. You have to unwind the outer layers of the B, E and A strings to the point that they can wind on the tuners with just one wrap layer around the core. Otherwise you get string breakage (found that out the hard way...). But mind you, it is a 'hit and miss' process. Sometimes the string takes the unwinding without any problems, sometimes it ends up 'dead', especially the B strings. You have to clamp the string on the point to which you want to unwind it to reduce the risk.

    The BEAD strings end up as EADG on a guitar scale.
  8. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    An Ibanez Mickro has a scale length of 28.5" but still fits in a strat case. I've had no problem using standard short scale string sets on it :) .
  9. Hard-tail... I find the tremolo to be very funny on a bass. I won't be using it a lot though, so this vintage setup does the job.

    My heart goes out to a lipstick Strat setup. I just love the sound in those things. Oh and the looks ofcourse :cool:
    But in the mean time just some good quality 'standard' electronics would be a great improvement. Because as with the fit and finish, the electronics this Squier Bullet Strat comes with is truly dismal. If I hadn't wanted that headstock shape, I'd have bought some south-east asian knock-off Strat, hands down.
  10. I have one as well that I use full scale strings on. DR Black Beauties. Sounds amazing.

  11. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I have one (Ibanez Mikro) strung with Rotosound RS88S tapewounds that I really like. They are actually roundwounds under a nylon tape overwrap and sound about like two week old nickel plated's - but like the coated keep the same sound for a loooooong time :) ...

    < Luthier content ;) >
    I had to open up the nut slots a bit for them to fit as the "E" is a .115 . I also lowered the nut slots a bit to match my low action. IMO the stock nut isn't cut low enough even for a regular action - pretty typical of any low cost mass produced bass I've seen. The intonation screws had to be cut to adjust back far enough also - even with the "stock" strings. Otherwise a nice well made bass, an exceptional value IMO :) .

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