What's a good guitar to start experimenting tech work with?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by RocknPop, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. RocknPop

    RocknPop Supporting Member

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    I'm considering an Epiphone Les Paul (Studio/Standard/Custom), an Epiphone SG400, and a Fender Strat Squier.

    I'm looking to learn how to work on these type of guitars and actually upgrade the pups, tuners, electronics, polish it, etc.
     
  2. ReginaldBisquet

    ReginaldBisquet Member

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    For your first real case of surgery, consider your local pawn shop and buy something for less than $50.
     
  3. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Start with a Fender type (more adjustability built in). You could even be brave & get one with a rosewood board & try some fretwork.
    Research each project/step before you dig in.
     
  4. RocknPop

    RocknPop Supporting Member

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    But will that actually sound good after I invest some $$ on it... I mean, some used Gibby pups are $70, tuners another $50-$75.... it adds up, if the neck is then too messed up or the intonation is impossible to get right, then I wasted $50 + $70 + $50 = $170.

    Thoughts?
     
  5. ReginaldBisquet

    ReginaldBisquet Member

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    Hardware and electronics can be installed and removed. If you've never

    drilled holes for tuning keys
    routed a pickup cavity
    changed a nut
    moved a bridge and/or stop tail
    drilled holes in the body for additional knobs

    ... then working on a cheap beater will have less impact on your confidence than trying to get it right the first time on a "nicer" instrument.

    Just saying... buy something cheap and used.
     
  6. The Kid

    The Kid Member

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    Other people's guitars.
     
  7. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    There are some very good guitars out there that have low price tags. Try Rondo Music's website for a really wide selection.

    One thing you'll probably discover early on is that simply throwing more expensive pickups on a guitar guarantees nothing sound-wise. Tuners rarely need to be replaced these days; even the cheapest guitars have tuners that will hold just fine (the chief cause of guitars' tuning problems is usually the nut). You should be able to tell almost immediately if the neck is "messed up" too badly to allow you to play it or get it into playable condition. The least expensive guitar I have was a "B" stock LP-type guitar from Rondo. It was a pretty decent player when I got it, but I noticed that a whole stop bend at the 16th fret would fret out. It went on a PLEK machine and had a really good initial setup done, and it's been an outstanding instrument ever since.
     
  8. RocknPop

    RocknPop Supporting Member

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    Nice, there aren't too many used Rondo guitars in Chicago though. I'll look around.

    I just emailed a guy who has a Squier with two broken tuners for $35. What do you think?
     
  9. larimar

    larimar Member

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    (imo) You could learn a lot from getting a cheap strat style, taking it apart, putting it back together and then setting it up. No real need at this point for buying "upgrades".
     
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Other people's. Or pawn shop pieces of crap.
     
  11. RocknPop

    RocknPop Supporting Member

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    Good point. I guess it's in my engineering nature of improving things.
     
  12. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    Personally, I think that's perfect.

    Of course, I'm foolish. I started with my American Telecaster and my EJ Strat. I have solder marks on the back of the Strat and I've changed the bridge pickup twice (original to SSL-5 and back). The Tele has had new saddles and new pickups installed.

    They're tools. If you have one you don't want to leave character marks on, find one you don't mind doing that to and have at it. I agree, Fenders are best. There's more you can do to them and they have a lot of intricacy. The flipside of that is there's more to mess up, especially with a Strat.
     
  13. peskypesky

    peskypesky Member

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    definitely start with cheap fender bolt-on types.
     
  14. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    My wife bought me a Squier Bullet Strat to learn how to mod. What a GREAT guitar it's turned out to be!
     
  15. peskypesky

    peskypesky Member

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    yep. i bought 2 bullets to learn modding on. love both of them. only thing left to do is a fret level. starting on that tonight.
     

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