Pre-Wired Guitar wiring harness | 5-way Stratocaster 'Vintage Modified' kit | Left handed
I usually make harnesses to order, due to the variety of spec options that could be chosen across the whole range. The current turnaround time for a harness orders is around 5-7 working days depending on quantity of orders in at the time and your order will be updated accordingly when it is dispatched. This turnaround time doesn't include the transit time. Thanks for your patience whilst I get your harness made!
I have spent my guitar playing life around Stratocasters. I first become interested in them at the age of 5, seeing the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, SRV and Gilmour playing them on concert VHS tapes that my parents would put on whilst growing up. Although I was young, I soon noticed that all these people were playing the same type of guitar, and that really caught my eye. On my 6th birthday I asked for a guitar, and was incredibly lucky enough to have received a Squier Strat, and the Strat in general was pretty much all I played right up until my 30s. So needless to say, the Strat harness range is close to my heart and something I wanted to ensure is the best quality product I could offer to help bring out the best in your Strat too.
This is the 'vintage modified' harness which I have decided to now offer alongside the longstanding and really popular ‘Modern’ strat harness.
Back when the strat was introduced, it was popular for electric guitars to have a ‘lead’ position, something that would cut through in big bands and soar for solos. Or perhaps to help bring some clarity from some of the darker sounding amps available to most players at the time. Let’s also not forget that at the time, much bigger gauges of strings were more commonly used and in a lot of examples too, flatwounds. Before the days of drive and boost pedals too really! So a lot of reasons as to why manufacturers made sure their models had a bright tone, and certainly think it’s pretty safe to say this may have been one of the reasons why when Leo released the Strat. It originally only featured 2 tone controls (one for neck pickup, one for the middle pickup and usually a 0.1uF cap) whereas the bridge pickup’s signal didn’t pass through a tone pot or cap, only the volume pot’s resistance was effecting it’s signal. Resulting in a bright, cutting, and bold ‘lead’ position.
Fast forward and you would have heard countless iconic strat players making the most of this aggressive pickup sound with many of them also modifying the original 3 way to a 5 way selector also for additional sounds. Most notably for me personally was Stevie Ray Vaughan. So this ‘vintage’ harness is for me perhaps most inspired by Stevie, I watched the El Mocambo video countless times and particularly loved the rhythm tones sounding clearer and bell like, with the bridge pickup absolutely soaring above everything. It’s relatively widely agreed upon that Stevie had a .022uF value tone cap wired onto his tone pots, this is also what is spec'd on his Fender Signature model that was designed shortly before his passing. This cap value choice may also help explain the fuller, chimey neck and middle position tones. I suppose you could call this a ‘vintage modified’ schematic, so I have named it just that. But it is very much SRV inspired for me due to my upbringing listening to his music.
In summary -
Master Volume control
Tone 1 - Neck pickup adjustment only
Tone 2 - Middle pickup adjustment
Position 1 - Bridge pickup with volume adjustment only
Position 2 - Bridge pickup with middle pickup in parallel with volume and tone adjustment
Position 3 - Middle pickup with volume and tone adjustment
Position 4 - Middle pickup with neck pickup in parallel with volume and tone adjustment
Position 5 - Neck pickup with volume and tone adjustment
Left handed choices
Not sure whether Left Handed/Reverse audio taper pots are 'right' for you? Check out this article I put together addressing the subject, and hopefully it will help you find the correct choice for your playing. HERE
I have intended for my wiring harnesses to be as simple as possible to install to your Stratocaster, as well as writing in depth fitting guides, how-to instructions documenting the step by step process as well as a simple to follow wiring diagram.
The parts I use, in particular the pots, are CTS branded pots which are imperial measurements. If you're fitting this harness to a far east built variant for example such as a Squier or similar, then you may have to widen the holes in the pickguard to accommodate for these imperial measurement pots. Or alternatively, purchase a new pickguard that is already suited to the US spec components.
For reference, the CTS pots I use in this harness have a shaft diameter of 9.52mm.
You may also require new control knobs to fit the CTS pot 'split shaft' 24 spline diameter of 5.95mm.
If you do require a US spec control plate or control knobs, we do carry a selection of popular options in stock and they can be viewed in the hardware & plastic hardware categories on the store.
Centre to centre measurements between components are -
Centre of Switch to volume pot - 48mm
Centre of volume pot to centre of tone pot 1 - 45mm
Centre of tone pot 1 to tone pot 2 - 45mm
These measurements for my templates were taken from a USA Fender Stratocaster pickguard.
Righty or Southpaw, the choice is there to suit however your play!
Alongside the usual right handed replacement wiring harnesses I also make these in left handed orientation. After a lot of research and customer orders over the years it seems 90% of Lefty players are used to using guitars with traditional RH taper pots. This is mainly because many guitar manufacturers simply fitted RH taper pots in LH guitars. But some LH players do of course prefer using LH taper pots, whatever your preference as a Left handed Strat player, I offer the spec to suit.
- CTS '450' Series +/-10% Tolerance short shaft pots - 250k, split shaft pots as standard on Strat kits.
- For Left handed kits with LH taper pots - CTS short shaft 250k LH taper
- .022uF 'Yellow Mustard' type tone capacitor (If you'd prefer a different value capacitor, do please get in touch and I'd be more than happy to help)
- Pure Tone multi contact jack socket
- CRL spring loaded 5 way lever switch
- Gavitt USA made cloth covered 22AWG wire
- 20AWG Tinned copper ground
- Soldered using Rapid 22SWG lead-free solder