Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 56

Thread: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    So I purchased a stock fender Mando Strat from Sam Ash and I made the following upgrades. The sound improvement is very noticeable and overall the mando is much more playable. Here is what I did.

    Moongazer Bridge with independent saddles - drop in replacement.
    Almuse S4 pickup for mando strat - available from Moongazer.
    RS Guitar Works pre-wired Modern Les Paul Jr. harness (volume, tone, and input jack)
    And a new set of fender strat knobs to match the pickup.

    Overall, the upgrades were roughly $165 and the improvement was night and day. I highly suggest making these upgrades. Maybe sometime I will get a recording out so you can listen to it. Keep on pickin!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00043-web.jpg 
Views:	2543 
Size:	185.4 KB 
ID:	109657

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TJe153 For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    victoria, canada
    Posts
    3,514

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    What is "Moongazer"? Got any links?

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat


  5. The following members say thank you to TJe153 for this post:


  6. #4
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Halfway, MO
    Posts
    2,116

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Looks great TJ.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  7. #5
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Timberville,Va
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Where did you get the knobs? I'm doing the same upgrades to mine.
    Hughes F-5 #1
    Hughes A model #1
    1922 Gibson A-2
    1958 Gibson A-5

  8. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Amazon - like $6 for two tones and a volume.

  9. The following members say thank you to TJe153 for this post:


  10. #7
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West of Chicago
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Mando-Strat looks cool.

    I've got a couple of questions on the Bridge:
    1)Improved intonation, & adjusting because of independent saddles?
    2)You mentioned "more playable"? Because of the bridge?
    3) The Moongazer fits right in place w/ no other adjustments?

    Thanx,
    Joe

  11. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Yeah, the bridge is a drop in replacement and it improves playability a ton. You can dial in string height and adjust intonation properly.

  12. The following members say thank you to TJe153 for this post:


  13. #9
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West of Chicago
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Hey TJe153,
    One last question, which Moongazer bridge did you use? They have a few.
    Thanx again,

    Joe

  14. #10

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Nice choice on upgrades. Those Mando-Strats are too cool.

  15. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Does the Moongazer bridge come with a teeny weeny allen wrench??? Is it adjustable the same way as the Stock Fender bridge? I am not a big Fender fan but they make several cool electric mandos.

  16. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    I did the Moongazer OFM4UP bridge upgrade and am also very pleased! Mine was $54.75 shipped USPS Priority Mail.

    You must use the screws (from the original bridge) to mount it and the hex key that comes with the Mando-Strat, to adjust the height screws.

    Mine rattled and Tom Morici advised me that the saddles have to be level/have both screws touching the bridge plate. As soon as I did that, the rattle went away. I am very pleased with the intonation now and the action.

    TJ - yours looks great! I think I will get the pickup, too.

    Has anyone found a source for a hardshell "Fender" type case?
    Michael

  17. The following members say thank you to mcintalker for this post:


  18. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    I think it was the 4 saddle bridge for the new mando strat, if you have any questions, just shoot an email to Tom at moongazer, he was quite helpful. So after checking the website, I'm going to go +1 for the OFM4UP since I can't find the email.

  19. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    YUP! That is the 4 saddle direct replacement bridge for the Fender Mando-Strat, that we both are using.

    TJ How would you describe the difference in the pickups? Did you rewire it at the same time? Did you have to adjust the pickup's pole pieces or could you hear the difference just by changing the pickup?

    Thanks Michael

  20. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Here is the link to Moongazer's bridge page.
    http://www.moongazermusic.com/bridges.html

    and the Almuse pickup page
    http://www.moongazermusic.com/mdeinpawilut.html

    I know I'm repeating it, but this makes it EZPZ
    Michael

    OOPS this is the Mando-Strat pickup replacement page

    http://www.moongazermusic.com/alvi50pi.html

  21. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Say TJ How did you get a white covered one? I didn't see that option on the Moongazer page. Did you get it from Almuse?

    Ah, nevermind. I hadn't clicked on the next link below the pickup. Nice to know there are 4 color options;
    Black, DK chocolate, cream, and white.

    So, now the next step is what to do with my old bridge and pickup, when I replace that! LOL

    Michael

  22. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    TJ How would you describe the difference in the pickups??

    The stock one was kinda flat and quacky on the high end, the Almuse is much more balanced over the four strings. Nothing sounds flat - it's hot across the board. I'll try to post a video or something soon so people can get a taste for it.

    Say TJ How did you get a white covered one?

    I went with the cream colored one, with the sunburst pickguard I thought it was the best choice. And it's easy to find the strat knobs to pull the whole thing together.

  23. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    @TJe153
    I like the look that you chose! Very nice.
    I haven't worked out which color yet, for the Almuse and the knobs. Thanks for the feedback on the pickup, too. I seem to remember a chrome dome knob in a smaller diameter and that might be interesting. The bigger question for me, is a case. I can't believe Fender isn't selling a "Fender" hardshell case for it, and no one else ? If anyone finds one, please post here.
    I am really enjoying my Mando-Strat! I look forward to getting the pickup and defining it's look.
    Michael

  24. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    I found out that my martin backpacker mandolin gig-bag is a little tight, but it works. Hopefully someone will come up with something soon.

    Good luck with your mando-strat!

  25. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    It seems remarkably odd that Fender or someone else hasn't recognized this need. I've been checking all kinds of places and am waiting to hear back from someone, a Fender rep, or Elderly Instruments or???? ...sooner or later!

    I like the saying "you will only find what you seek", so I am expecting to find/get a Fender type cream or tweed style case for it!

    Michael

  26. #21

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Just bought the Moongazer bridge and the Almuse pickup. The bridge is just perfect. Looking forward to insert the pickup.

    What effect does the "RS Guitar Works pre-wired Modern Les Paul Jr. harness" have?

    Thank you for helping me.
    Erik

  27. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    I would imagine the pots are much better and I suppose the wire and cap(s), too. I haven't pulled mine apart, yet, though I am going to swap out the pickup and check the wiring/pots/cap then. I am very pleased with the Moongazer bridge.

    It dawned on me, finally, (!?) that the Mando-Strat might fit in my F style hardshell case. It can be smushed in (the upper horn is too tight) and there would need to be a pad of some sort under the body to have it sit better and allow the headstock to lay flatter.

    I'm considering that, as I have a line on a used hardshell F case, though I would really prefer the Fender style case. You'd think with all the electric mandolin builders and electric ukes, too, that someone would make/sell a hardshell case. I checked out the Fender site thinking about their electric 5 string mandolin and that it's case might work, but that seems to be out of production.

    Michael

  28. #23

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    the RS works will have a different value than stock in both the pot and caps, and almost certainly a better quality pot too, the values translate simply to 'better' ie more pronounced trebles and, the modern harness refers to a 'bypass' of the capacitor resulting in no loss of treble when dialing back the volume. Sometimes a good thing. Especailly once the tone pots work. It is also likely there is a different 'taper' , that is some pots go from off to full between 1 and 3, and audio tapers use the entire range of 1-10, adjusted for human perception of volume. again sometimes a good thing, sometimes not, (if you like volume swells with the knobs this becomes much harder) otoh, you get finer control over both tone and volume.

    I looked at the site, wow, a 4 conductor pup, you get humbucker and single coil options, possibly even phase. bitchin!
    hot rodding instruments can be extremely fun and rewarding, often making the difference as does no salt with a meal versus , salt, pepper and whatever else to bring out subtleties and latent wonders. not at all unlike messing with nuts, bridges, pins , saddles , tuners, etc for acoustics.

  29. #24
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Timberville,Va
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    I made all the same changes to mine and it kicks butt now!
    Hughes F-5 #1
    Hughes A model #1
    1922 Gibson A-2
    1958 Gibson A-5

  30. The following members say thank you to Vernon Hughes for this post:

    TJe153 

  31. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Honor, Michigan (northwest lower MI by Sleeping Bear Dunes)
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Upgraded Fender Mando Strat

    Well, I got a pretty good "temp" case; a Fender 099-6131-506, which is hardshell with nylon outer cover with a pouch the size of the top of the case. All 4 zipper "pulls" were missing, even though it is NOS, so I got a huge "clearance" mark down. This will work nicely, while I look for my "vintage flavor" case.
    Now it's time for the Almuse and harness, and some keyrings to pull the zippers! I'll post a pic, when I don't have a cat on my lap! LOL
    Michael

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •