After fixing up my old Squier Stratocaster last Summer, it became my go to guitar when I sat down to play over my other Strat, a 2000 Lone Star. I started to wonder why, since the Lone Star is (or should be) the nicer of the two. I sat down and looked it over and tried to figure out what was wrong, and this is what I came up with. Note that “at some point below” could have been any point in the last 20 years:
Aside: when I bought this guitar I was debating between it and an Ibanez Jem. Looking back at the advertising for it, I wonder what part of it I found appealing. 🤔
I pulled the strings, cleaned and lubricated everything, installed locking tuners and a spring for the tremolo, and dropped the pickups down to lower than they were when I got it. I don’t love the Texas Special pickup in the neck but I do oddly love it in the middle, and I’m too lazy to muck around with changing just the neck pickup out.
Locking tuners. Why didn’t I do this years ago.
Of course, if you really want to test tuning stability, you give your guitar to your five year old and let her do her best Hendrix impersonation.