My perfect guitar was the result of modifying a prexisting guitar I owned to my exact preferences.
I took a 2001 American Stratocaster with maple neck and sunburst finish and had my luthier take off the poly paint on the body down to the bare wood. I then had it refinished in a thin surf green nitro lacquer. After that, I had him remove the satin urothane finish on the back of the neck down to the wood again and refinish it with oil. The neck is incredibly smooth and feels similar to the EVH guitar necks and has started to darken and age from me playing it so much.
I then replaced the entire stock tremolo kit with a Wudtone vintage model. This converted my strat from the traditional American Standard 2 post to a vintage 6 screw stainless steel bridge with vintage saddles and a full-sized stainless steel trem block. There are however, some minor differences to the string spacing: the vintage Fender string spacing is a bit too wide for me because the high E string would sometimes slip off the end of the neck. The string spacing on my bridge sits right between a vintage and modern spacing, so the strings are as far apart and even from one another as they can be without sliding off of the fretboard on either side. Wudtone products are comparable to Callaham if you don’t know about them. They are a great English company.
I then decided to have a master volume and master tone knob. I removed the volume knob because I was tired of hitting it while playing and accidentally turning the volume down. This is probably due to my downward pickslanting supinated wrist position and the fact that I play close to the bridge. It is, however, a complaint I’ve heard before about the strat.
I placed the volume knob where the tone knob was and then placed a master tone knob where the second tone knob was which controlled all three pickups. I also had a switch put in to turn on and off the neck pickup which gives me 7 positions instead of 5.
Fretboard radius is 9.5 with medium jumbo frets and rolled edges. When I get a refret down the line I would like to have jumbo stainless steel frets put in. I’m also interested in putting in locking tuners and possibly trying two humbuckers.
What I am left with is a custom, custom shop strat in a way. I’ve played many guitars over the 15 years I’ve been playing and I can honestly say I haven’t found one I liked betterin in terms of feel, regardless of price. I am a bit more privy to humbuckers in terms of sound though, which is why I want to throw some PAF style pickups in there and get that Jimmy Herring tone. I think once that happens I’ll be done.