Recent project. Changing the look of my Bullet Strat

So I wanted to change up the look of my Bullet strat.

The pickguard used to be white and has yellowed quite a bit as, you can tell. At first I looked into replacing the pickguard. But research showed that it was going to be difficult finding a guard with the holes put in the right places. I wasn’t keen on the idea of drilling a few extra holes in my guitar body, so I kept thinking about options. I realized I actually prefer the yellowed color of the pickguard over bright white anyway, I liked it against the black body. It ties in with the color of the headstock. I decided I wanted to keep it.

So then it became apparent that I would need to change the color of the knobs, switch, and pickup covers instead. That seemed like a cheaper route anyway. As it turns out, there is no such thing as a humbucker cover in a rounded-corner shape as would fit my particular pickguard, that I could find anyway, they all have squared corners. So the options then became to paint it or replace it. I mulled it over for a few weeks and finally decided an upgrade was the way I’d go.

So I ordered pickup covers, switch cap, and knobs from Amazon, and bought a new humbucker at GC. Yes the pickup was a bit of a cost at $100. But I can always put the original Squier one back in and use the Seymour Duncan in any other project I might undertake in the future.

As I was taking the guitar apart, I decided I’d also unscrew the bridge/tremelo since it was slightly crooked, as you can see in the photos, and I thought I’d re-mount it straight. A couple of the holes were stripped, so I added a little wood glue to them hoping they’d create a more solid hold. Well, that was fruitless, because once everything was put back together the string tension pulled the bridge right back to its crooked state. The body wood is just too soft to keep tightening the bridge screws so I guess I’ll just have to start liking it being slightly angled, even though it really grates on my nerves every time I see it.

The switch cap I ordered didn’t fit, evidently there is a USA sized switch cap and an import sized cap. The blade it fits onto is what is different. But while I was at GC I talked to a salesman and he dug out a cap from the guitar tech’s stash and gave me the right sized cap for free. Score! Well, that should only cost like 50 cents but it was still free!

So back to the electronics, my hubby did the soldering. I put a string or two back on to test that all the wiring was correct because the original pickup was a two wire one and the new one was a four wire one. It took a bit to figure out the wiring pattern, even with a visual guide but he got it after a handful of minutes and soldered it up really nicely. He got a new fine-tipped soldering tool out of the whole deal which he had been wanting for awhile.

I still have to adjust the saddles and fix the intonation. Otherwise it tuned up really good, and I think it looks fantastic.


Awesome! How does that new SD humbucker sound vs the Squier one?


Looking good Stacy. Reminds me of my SSS to HSH Affinity upgrade a few years back. I did manage to get a pick guard on eBay and bar one screw that only just touches the edge of the cavity, everything lined up fine. Enjoy the new Pups they should be a lot better than stock.


Way better. It’s bassier and brighter at the same time.


Thanks! It may be better odds than I think that most holes would align. I read a couple of old forum posts out on the web and thought, well I don’t think I want to risk it. Funny enough I notice there aren’t many pickguards hanging on the racks at music stores where I live. I wonder if it’s so they aren’t constantly selling and taking them back as returns.

1 Like

I didn’t notice the angle of the bridge till you pointed it out :smiley: The colour of the pick guard looks good with the black hardware.


Very cool. I think keeping your pickguard and changing to black for the pickups, knobs, et cetera was the right decision. It looks great.


Nice transformation, looks much better now!
If you now have a 4 wire humbucker that means that you can coil split it, this can be done by using either a switch or a push/pull knob - there’s diagrams and explanations on the internet that show how to do it.