Christmas 1998: Like all 15 year old lower-upper-middle class white males who don’t care for sports, I needed an electric guitar. I tried many low end starter guitars and settled on the Fender MIM sunburst Stratocaster. It not only played well (how would I know, I only started playing?!) but it was an actual “Fender.” Hacking my way through Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Metallica, I rocked it with this gem of a $250 guitar. I hope these posts will help you understand the possibilities and limits of guitar modifications.
Under the advise of an actual guitar player, I took my guitar to a guitar tech to do a proper setup. three major changes:
1) The tremolo really made tuning stability impossible. I rarely used it, so the tech put in extra springs to pull it down flat to the body
2a) Adjusting the action. Generally, it was lowered and contoured to the neck radius.
2b) INTONATION! I wasn’t a good player and understood very little about guitar physics, but I could tell that I somehow sounded better with good INTONATION!
3) The truss rod needed a tweak to level it out; less fret buzzing on the mid frets, symptom of a bowed neck.
I’ve since learned a few more licks and tips to make a guitar better. Every guitar needs to be setup properly, so try fiddling with these things before going nuts.