You have a cheap squier Strat or Tele laying around and you think that you are gonna save yourself a pile of money and do a baritone conversion.

You forget about the pickups sucking and probably having to get new tuners. Now that you are kind of building a custom, you think “I’m picking the best parts and this guitar is gonna be killer!” 

You end up in a spot like me.  

My situation 
I had a 2012 Squier 72 Vintage Modified Tele. It was cheap, like.. really cheap. One of the bridge saddles stripped out the very first time I tried to adjust the intonation. Pretty much from the start I knew I was gonna convert it.  

In 2016 I started buying parts. I was like.. “I’M GONNA DO THIS!” In the winter of 2019, I finally had all the parts.  

The Parts 
28-5/8” Baritone Conversion Neck 
Warmoth • http://bit.ly/2Wp1WbB 
$352.50 US 

Gotoh Locking Tuning Machine Set 
Philadelphia Luthier • http://bit.ly/2WqxQEs 
$91.00 US 

Gotoh Non-Tremolo Bridge 
AllParts • http://bit.ly/2Z9so5G 
$84.00 US 

Lace Alumitone Humbucker 
Lace Pickups • http://bit.ly/31n3b9O
Item # 1806-C  
$207.00 US 

Barrel Knob for Split Shaft 
Next Gen • http://bit.ly/2KucHlr 
$22.50 US 

Long & Mcquade • http://bit.ly/2WNgH7c 
CTS 550k Audio Taper Pot 
$12.00 US 

Switchcraft Short Frame Lever Switch 
Long & Mcquade • http://bit.ly/2wGuWfm 
$24.00 US 

Switchcraft Jack 1/4'' Mono 
Long & Mcquade • http://bit.ly/2KrETFP 
$3.00 US 

Terminator - Single Volume kit (didn't fit)
Mad Hatter • http://bit.ly/2WywKXo
$100.00 US 

$894.00 US 

Putting it together 
Mounting the neck and installing everything else was easy. The neck fit PERFECTLY. Getting it to play right though, has been a nightmare.  

The Snags - Neck Choice 
I went for the traditional tele neck. The truss-rod is in the heel of the neck.This means that you have to take the neck off for every truss-rod adjustment. 

Setting it up 
I’m ok with basic setups, but this setup is full of problems. 
Setting up a guitar that already has a foundational setup is really easy. Setting up a guitar from nothing takes experience and time.  

I initially went with the MadHatter wiring kit. It didn’t fit.  
The switch was too long and the leads were too short. I do not have hookup wire or a bunch of switches laying around.  

I took it to a tech to speed things up, the tech didn’t actually do the setup. So I brought it back, offered to pay ANY price, and still didn’t get a full setup which required some neck levelling that didn’t happen. 

Should you do a conversion?  
• If you have time and money 
• If you already have a decent collection of guitar specific tools and strong setup knowledge. 
• You'll need insight and planning. If you have a thorough ability to plan and forecast technical challenges, you should do ok.
• If you know an awesome tech. 

Chris' Channel 

Baritone Obsessed Group 

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