It’s not magically a great guitar yet, but it’s certainly more fun to play and look at!
I trashed on that cheap Glarry GST-3 pretty bad when I first reviewed it and the company was definitely not happy with me. When I took it apart for this project, I was even less impressed when I saw how much sawdust was trapped in every crevice…
But, in the sake of DIY mods and practicing my guitar tech skills I decided to see if I could do anything to make it more fun before it finds a new forever home. I didn’t have much money or time, but I thought I’d go with a bit a of a creative pickup combination, as well as a new black pickguard and some neck treatment.
Installing New Pickups & Wiring
What you see above is a lovely nameless lipstick pickup bought cheap on Reverb that will look cool and add some interesting sonic textures. I was hoping to add a bit more chime or jangle than that traditional fat Strat neck pickup tone.
In the middle is a more traditional MIM Strat middle pickup, partially because the white looks so good against the black and the blue, partially because I love Strat middle pickups!
Lastly, the bridge humbucker that originally came with my The Fretwire HH Thinline Tele kit has found a second life in the bridge of this Glarry. HSS Strats have a special place in my heart, as my first and favorite guitar was a MIM Fender HSS Stratocaster that I still hold as my most prized possession.
All the pots, wiring, and controls come from the Squier Affinity Strat I stripped to build that Retro’Tron equipped beauty I wrote about late last year.
Tweaking The Neck
Again, due to time and cost limitations I wasn’t able to slap a new neck on this guitar or even really install nice locking tuners. But I did make a few tweaks that will greatly upgrade this guitar’s performance.
First, the fretboard desperately needed some conditioning, something I did by rubbing some tung oil into the dark wood neck. You can’t condition a Maple neck this way, but darker woods like Rosewood, Pau Ferro, or Ebony should definitely get this treatment on cheaper guitars. I would recommend doing a little comparison shopping here for the best conditioner for your needs!
After that dried, I very gently sanded down the fretboard just to make sure there were no lumps or pockets of tung oil using very high grit sand paper.
Next, the forward bow in the neck was corrected using an Allen Wrench to bring the neck back towards a more flat shape. Then, a took a graphite mechanical pencil and lubricated the nut by rubbing the graphite into each slot. This should help prevent the strings from getting stuck on the poorly cut nut and being pulled out of tune.
Strings Are Going On & A Demo Is Coming
This guitar is getting stringed up and I’ll be recording a short demo of the new pickups and tones shortly! This guitar has been to work on and I just love the look of the black, white, and chrome on top of the blue body. One the demo is up, this guitar will be up for sale as I just have way too many guitars in my possession right now. Don’t worry, it’ll be super cheap! Hit me up if you’re interested in adding it your collection, or, if you want to build your own hit all the links in this article to shop where I do for parts!