to upgrade a crappy guitar or buy a new one

Upgrade a crappy Guitar or sell it and buy a better one

  • Upgrade, dude. you have the makings of a great guitar!

  • NEVER! get rid of it and buy something you want.

  • shut-up and play. if it's working for you, don't mess with it.


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Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,158
i'm a Lefty, and good guitars are VERY hard to come by.
i've settled on a Fender Jaguar as my preferable style, scale length, and feel.

i have a REALLY nice MIJ Fender Jaguar with SD Jag-2 bridge and a AVRI neck pickup. it sounds great and its a keeper.

my other guitar is a franken-Jag that some idiot on ebay jacked up to make it "custom". he poorly routed it for a HSH pickup configuration, put stickers on it, got rid of the HIGHLY-sought-after lefty control plates, drilled all kinds of holes at the bridge to try different styles, drilled for a TOM bridge w/Gotoh (gibson-style) bridge piece, had pearloid control plates, TWO SD Pearly Gates BRIDGE pickups (one flipped upside down), and had some sort of hook anchor for strap locks.

i've since brought this around to proper specs, minus the bridge (which would require filling in the holes he drilled and redoing them for a Mustang/Jaguar bridge), and it sounds and plays pretty well. The neck is still beat up a bit, but is still straight and the frets are good...





but now i'm wondering about popping some new pickups in it are worth it? i have four that i just bought: Fralin Twangmaster set, Gibson '57 Classic, and a Novak Hum-WR bridge.
after it's all said and done, i'll have spend almost $800 on this guitar; the pickups being the biggest upgrade. yikes! is it worth upgrading or should i sell it and buy something like a KC Jaguar from Sweetwater?


PS: it's... okay to play, but i'm sure someone with more patience and skill could fine-tune this machine.
 
Last edited:

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,898
You will never recoup your investment, so if that is a deciding factor, stop now.
 

Amplite

Member
Messages
1,454
it sounds and plays pretty well. The neck is still beat up a bit, but is still straight and the frets are good...
Sounds like you're more than half way there -
If it sounds and plays well keep tweaking till you love it!
 
Messages
23,922
If you were way out in the country, I'd say keep plugging. Say, if you were in Jackson or Waverly County. Although your area was "country" when I lived there (Reynoldsburg) in the late 50s early 1960s and our explorations took us into Fairfield county, even those on foot (and I did my best to get hit crossing 256 one time).

But you're in Metro Columbus in my view, today, and so you have a fair shot at a lot of Lefty guitars changing hands. Nice ones, if you're patient.

Hey, question for you: You're almost within walking distance of Guitar Parts Resource. What's the scoop? Do you get to interact with real people that work there?
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,158
Hey, question for you: You're almost within walking distance of Guitar Parts Resource. What's the scoop? Do you get to interact with real people that work there?
it's right down the road, but i called the guy one time and asked if i could just pickup my order from GPR instead of paying $12 for shipping and he said something like, "No. i operate out of my home and don't do local pickup." it stunk because the part was just a bag of screws that cost $4.
 
Messages
23,922
it's right down the road, but i called the guy one time and asked if i could just pickup my order from GPR instead of paying $12 for shipping and he said something like, "No. i operate out of my home and don't do local pickup." it stunk because the part was just a bag of screws that cost $4.
I hear you.

I wanted to do business with a company from where I went to public school (by Graham Road) but if this guy is closed off from the local community I see no point in it. The one time I did blindly order from GPR I was able to make good use of everything that arrived but the order was kinda gummed up and it was just dumb luck I had enough projects in the pipeline to utilize what they sent me - they wouldn't acknowledge me once the order processed.

Back to our original subject. I've spent a good bit of time in these big boxes and every once in a while, they'll take in 3-4 nice lefties from some fellah and many a time my mouth has watered over a sweetly priced treasure trove that I could not access (but you could).
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,158
i guess one of my fears is that i'm making my HH Jaguar sound like my SS Jaguar that i love and already own. the Twangmasters sounds great, but not too far off from my Standard Jaguar.
one of the allures of the KC (Kurt Cobain) Jaguar is the 'rawk' factor. my HH Jaguar is almost always in Open D tuning anyway...
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,713
With as many builders we have around here who do a great take on the Jag, I'd do the math. If it costs close to a third of what you'd pay to have a Dano, K-Line, etc, ditch it and go with a pro.

However, this is easy for me to say, as it is your money, not mine. Either way, good luck.
 

joy-z

Member
Messages
248
Suggestion: since you already have a Jaguar, try a Kurt Cobain MUSTANG. Still short scale, available lefty, still 'rawks', but lighter than a Jaguar (the one thing I don't like about Jaguar is the weight).
 

cobrahead1030

Member
Messages
260
In my opinion, if a guitar is a keeper, you're gonna know it.

On the other hand, it sounds like the guitar in question isn't worth enough to sell...I'd probably upgrade the pickups, as I can't stand to play a guitar with pickups I don't like.
 
Messages
23,922
Suggestion: since you already have a Jaguar, try a Kurt Cobain MUSTANG. Still short scale, available lefty, still 'rawks', but lighter than a Jaguar (the one thing I don't like about Jaguar is the weight).
Don't buy one of these without trying a couple.

The last one I played was a total steaming pile. I got the feeling the assembler was told, don't worry because some sap will buy it - that it doesn't actually have to work well as a guitar.
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,158
well, i've played a Mustang and the bridge felt really obtrusive to me. i didn't realize how i rested my hand on the bridge until i dealt with the Mustang. i didn't like it, but it may involve a learning curve.

i'm also now wondering if i should get a different scale guitar.... something a little more stable like a tele?

(pics of the Jaguar in question are now posted in the OP)
 




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