I checked out “The Fender Stratocaster Handbook” by Paul Balmer (with forward by Hank Marvin) from my local library. It is a quick read and a good reminder of how even the cheapest strat can be set up for decent play and good sound.
And if you’re not familiar with Hank Marvin, check out the Shadows or at least this commercial:
I’ll admit, this book gave me a little more hope for the Squier strat projects I have laying around. Especially the one I want to turn into a hard tail. I may just block it off instead of actually filling the entire bridge and spring areas.
However, the book struggles with its potentially large audience. It has to balance the most basic concepts of the electric guitar for new buyers and the nuances of the different variations in neck profile, pick up routing, wood, etc. for experts and long time fans. I think he focused on the beginner. Maybe not the beginner guitarist, but definitely the beginner tinkerer/wanna be luthier…such as myself!
Overall, the pictures are great. The descriptions of all the different things you can do to a strat are inspiring. It was a quick read and made me appreciate even more what I already love about strats!
If you are going to purchase this book, go with the second edition that just came out last month. I presume it is only getting better!