|Photograph by trunge (link)|
Why Do Squier's Have the Reputation That They Do?
Squier guitars are decent guitars. They may not have the best electronics, but their bodies are solid, good wood, and they're generally finished pretty nicely. Mostly they get their bad rap due to their quality control. It's not hard to Google "squier horror stories" and come up with a boatload of awful things to say about them. This is where actually seeing your guitar comes in handy before buying it. If you know what to look for, and how to spot imperfections, picking out a good Squier isn't all that hard. Taking it to a luthier afterwards and getting it set up will make things even better.
After Obtaining the Goods
Once you've got your guitar, and you want to actually start modding it, there are a few things to keep in mind. When replacing anything with wooden parts, keep in mind the type of wood you're getting. There are a huge range of tonal differences in each type of wood, and knowing them is crucial to getting the sounds you're looking for. If you're interested in the tonal qualities offered by each type of wood, check out the Wood Guide.
For pickups, and choosing between alloys, neodymium, and ceramic, check out the Pickup Guide
The Benefits of Just Looking Around
Just seeing what other people have done will give you a great idea of what you want on your guitar. There are a million possible combination out there, and you'd be a fool not to really look at what you can do. Aside from watching the videos on the site, get onto some community forums and check things out!