This Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster, purchased new in approximately 2005, is very well-known to this Replay Guitar Exchange writer. I was its only owner for years, until trading it in to Replay in 2018 to help pay for the guitar of my dreams (you should try that sometime!). Holding my new guitar, I have no regrets — but I can personally attest to the surf-tastic history of this Squier.
It came stock with an attractive burst finish and tortoise pick guard. Despite loving its original tone, I took it to local guitar store legend Kent Sonenberg (now my esteemed colleague at Replay Guitar Exchange!) to have Fender's then-new Vintage Noiseless pickups installed — along with replacing the pots with Fender's recommended values to complement the pickups. At that time, I also replaced the original stark white knobs and switch/trem tips with off-white versions, for a more cohesive look.
I kept this guitar at home for use in my mad scientist-style studio, employing its vintage-flavored noiseless single coil tones to record roots reggae, emotional clean-chorded originals, sparse funk, raunchy alterna-sludge, Spaghetti Western soundscapes, and waves upon waves of sparkly, spanky, traditional and original surf. Thanks to all the surf, this Strat has had approximately 6.3 million 16th notes played on it — and perhaps those vibrations gave the body that much more mojo.
It's in Very Good condition, with minor scratches and dings, but nothing that detracts from playability. The upgraded electronics are still in perfect working order, and the neck has an estimated 90% remaining fret life (probably thanks to my stringing it with flatwounds since around 2009). This guitar is capable of anything, yet steeped in quirkiness, so for someone out there it might be a perfect fit. It's currently strung with roundwounds, but you should get experimental once in awhile and see what happens!
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