did you ever mod the heck out of a <$1k guitar to become a higher end guitar? Was it worth it?

RolandKorg

Silver Supporting Member
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6,068
The ship of Theseus, whereby after replacing every part of the ship it becomes a question as to whether it's even the same ship you set sail on.

I've also seen this framed as a hammer or a broom where you replace the handle and head and ask if you have the same hammer you started with.
Ah. Yeah, well, yes—that’s what happened. And, no, I don’t really regard it as what I started with. It’s kind of a joke in the context of this thread.
 
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650
Ah. Yeah, well, yes—that’s what happened. And, no, I don’t really regard it as what I started with. It’s kind of a joke in the context of this thread.

I got that you were joking. I thought it was humorous enough to respond with my own joke.

The fact that it was ambiguous that I was joking too is on me. After all, if you have to explain a joke, it's probably not very funny.
 

RolandKorg

Silver Supporting Member
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6,068
I got that you were joking. I thought it was humorous enough to respond with my own joke.

The fact that it was ambiguous that I was joking too is on me. After all, if you have to explain a joke, it's probably not very funny.
No, no, I appreciate the ’attempt.’ I had three years of HS Latin and didn’t remember the reference, and even googled it expecting/looking for that concept, but somehow didn’t find it….
 
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273
Last year I bought a used 2011 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro FX with the intention to do some upgrades to it. Here's everything I changed -
  • Replaced the worn out and subpar Floyd Rose Special with a Floyd Rose Pro and a big brass block. Kind of an odd tremolo that ended up requiring some additional routing of the tremolo cavity to get full motion.
  • Replaced stock tremolo posts with Sophia stainless locking risers and titanium inserts.
  • Replaced the Epiphone Probucker pickups (nickel covers) with a Schecter Sunset Strip (B) and a Seymour Duncan Jazz (N).
  • Replaced stock pots with CTS push/pull, orange drop capacitors and new knobs (50s style wiring).
  • Replaced nickel kidney tuner buttons with Hipshot Pearl Tulip buttons (Hipshot buttons fit on Grover tuners).
  • Upgraded plastic truss rod cover to metal pin up style.
  • Installed Schaller locking strap buttons.
Overall, turned out really nice. The guitar has a mahogany body with maple veneer (no maple cap) but sounds awesome and plays great. I actually bought a second one of these from Guitar Center at the same time but ended up returning it. This one that I kept had more wear on it but had that extra something... played and sounded so much better compared to the GC one.
 

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teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,036
Casino Coupe. Antiquity in the neck, Wolfetone mean in the bridge. Protone bridge, Kluson tuners with imitation ivory pegs.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,036
I have an EPI LP Standard. The suffocating finish was removed. Tone pros hardware. Electronics changed & Frailin Pure PAFs are the pickups. It changed it from a ho-hum EPI to a close call Les Paul.
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
7,847
I got a mij fender that I bought new in the 90s…the only original part left is the jack input and the bridge. H/s/h, coiltap, jumbo frets, locking tuners.
It’s still a nice guitar.

Would I do it again?…no way..there’s so much stuff on the market today..I’d pick one up to specs I want.

The key is in the word “might”.
es", this might be a keeper

If you cheap like me…or..and especially then: when your on a budget…be patient and look for a used one up to specs.
 

Beto

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,561
I heavily modded this $299 or so new Yamaha into ... drum roll! ... the Jackie-Jet! (Note that the 1st pic of a stock example isn't my guitar - I just pulled it off of the 'net for illustration). P.S. Always name at least one of your guitars after your woman (or man) - the benefits are incalculable. ;)

520.jpg


JJ-after-full-guitar.jpg

And what happens when your woman catches you playing and having joy with another one? :)
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,667
I've only had one experience of doing such a thing, and it didn't really work out. I purchased a Gretsch Electromatic expecting I could do some upgrades and it would be similar to a full priced Gretsch. It was a good guitar, but once I actually played a real premium Gretsch I realized it wasn't even close. So I bit the bullet and got the premium Gretsch and never looked back.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,590
i purchased a used Heritage 535 about 14 years ago now - it was a 2001, and in that era they were using these ugly Schaller roller bridges as well as Schaller pickups.

My first mod was swapping the bridge for a Tone Pros. Not much change tonally, just an aesthetic improvement. Then came OX4 low winds and an RS harness. Big improvement and now I’d place it on an equivalent tier to my R8 and Collings 290 from a tone and playability perspective especially after a recent fret crown and level.

XRa3SPq.jpg
 

WillC77

Member
Messages
139
My 2018 Player Tele was sounding anemic, and was a little boring with the stamper saddle bridge. A few weekends ago, I rummaged in the parts bin to see what would help. A set of Vineham Tele p'ups, "Classic T" in the bridge and an open "Texas Red" in the neck, Tone Shaper wiring harness with treble bleed and 4 way switch on a Fender switch plate. And to round things out, a Wilkinson 3 barrel bridge with compensated brass saddles. Not sure the $$ value of the parts, but they add some uniqueness to just another Tele.
 

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nasonm

Silver Supporting Member
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2,049
"Worth It" is always going to be subjective.

I've done the mod-overhaul to a few guitars and while I learned a lot (both about what I like/don't like AND how to do certain mods), in retrospect I wouldn't do it again given the chance.
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,553
Gretsch Electromatic G5120 got Schaller locking tuners, TV Jones pickups, and a new wiring harness with CTS pots and a B-Blender

Totally worth it.
 

DrewwerD

Member
Messages
4,032
"Worth it" depends on context.

Will you get a guitar that's uniquely yours, and set up to your specifications and have it be something special? Yes, quite possibly.

Will you get your money's worth if you try to flip it later on? No, definitely not. You'd need to revert your guitar back to stock (or as close as) and sell the parts to get even close to what you put in it.
 

Brettski

Member
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1,531
I have a 2000 American Standard Stratocaster. I think the only thing that’s original on it is the wood and the neck plate. I changed out everything. Pickups, tuners, bridge, frets, nut…

I did it over the course of several years though and only changed things when I felt they were necessary.

If I thought I was going to put another thousand dollars into a guitar after buying it, I’d be looking at a different guitar.
 

bluegrif

Member
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5,724
It makes perfect sense if you can't buy the guitar that has that exact combination of feel and features. Obviously parts swapping is always fine because you can sell the parts if you decide it didn't work out, but of course refrets, anything involving routing or finishing, etc. are the types of mods you really have to consider more carefully. The important thing is you're certain the guitar sounds and feels great and everything you do will only make it more personal or improve it's functionality for your music. It makes far less sense to take a turd and spend money trying to polish it into a diamond.

This subject falls into two camps. Musicians who have a particular vision and are willing to set out to realize that vision, actually knowing what the guitar needs to work better than stock, and those who will worry about never getting their money back when they inevitably sell it.
 




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