Your opinion on irreversible mods - esp on Custom Shop instruments

Performing irreversible mods on instruments


  • Total voters
    106

ripgtr

Member
Messages
12,213
None of my guitars are untouched.
I don't do irreversible mods on my vintage stuff - now. I did some stuff on them when they weren't vintage.

Which brings up resale. For me it is like, how are you going to know the resale value in 50 years? Cause I got two that are coming up on that. I have only one guitar I have had less than 20 years. I buy stuff I like, and play it. Resale means zero to me. If you are going to sell it in a year or two, maybe it isn't the right guitar in the first place? I don't know, I buy them to get work done, and mod them to help me get work done. If they achieve that, there is no reason to replace them. I like playing guitars (and trying), but don't particularly like shopping for one (cause I would know what I wanted and that makes me particular and it takes a long time) or getting them up to speed.

But you do what you like, it is your guitar. So, my opinion means nothing. Cause I'd mod it, but probably never sell it.
 

NSDQRKR

Member
Messages
1,152
As I’ve pointed out repeatedly on this forum, to no avail, a Fender CS Tele is not truly custom in the way that you mean it. It is still limited in available customizations, some of which are important ones. Like, for example, what pickups you want. “You can have any color at all, so long as it’s Fender.”

What if you don’t WANT to be confined to the choice of Fender pickups? Do you add your own after the fact and reduce the supposed resale value by x percent over it?

Does the Fender CS offer a decent Tele jack, or just that crappy one they’ve been using since Leo Fender hacked it together from old toaster parts? No. So if you want an Electrosocket jack, you need to buy one ($15), rip out the old one, drill a couple holes in your My Precious, and lower it’s supposed resale value by x percent.

Etc.

In the end, a CS Tele is only worth the money stock if you are willing to put up with stock. No real gearhead would be interested in a 100 percent stock CS Tele because they are NOT available in all the flavors a gearhead would want. A gear head will have to mod, which lowers the supposed resale value, which makes it fairly pointless to START at 4k and go down 30 percent (for example) in value, when you could start at, say 1k, put everything you want on it for $250 max and drop 30 percent in value and still be ahead of the game with a perfect for you guitar.

The other people who buy CS Fenders are the “investors” who never really buy anything based on criteria other than resale value. They are the ones that post pictures of their CS guitars with all of the carefully preserved case candy, or post distraught threads about how they bought a CS Tele off Reverb and it was missing some silly certificate and the seller is being a dick about returns.

The only people with stock guitars are people who can’t solder or turn a screwdriver. They are to be pitied, not praised for paying 4-8k for a slab of wood that doesn’t meet all their desires.
So it seems you are really talking Fender Custom shop. I do all my own work so for me I’m OK modding off the shelf. Not sure I’m good enough to need custom shop when the off the shelf is pretty awesome these days and so many choices now. You can be a “gear head” and not mod…if it means you know your guitar components and can set it up. I just bought an ESP EC 1000 that came with SD pickups and SS frets. Did my research prior as the SS frets on that line are new this year. I know enough about the gear to know waiting to buy a this years model meant SS frets. The pickups and neck are the biggies for me…I have an off the shelf Les Paul I chose knowing the pickups stock were what I wanted and the neck profile is good for me. I also buy guitars I plan to keep long term with a few exceptions. I agree on the “investor” phenomenon…just drives prices up. If you are constantly buying and selling a lot of “modding“ does not seem wise to me. If you keep it for the long haul make it work for you.
 

iSeamas

Member
Messages
683
What’s baloney about the used market?
I think what is baloney about the used market is what is baloney about markets in general.
Specifically, the idea that markets have wisdom.
If you think markets are wise, I have a truckload of tulips and Beanie Babies to sell you.

The odd thing about the used market right now, is certain simple mods (like a capacitor, or replaced tone pot!) are considered problematic and decrease value (NOT VINTAGE!!! OMG!!), while something like a totally worn finish is considered desirable--regardless of the fact that the finish is one of the most costly parts of the guitar and the tone pot is one of the cheapest.
 

slide13

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,901
I think it's fine as long as you're good with the drop in value.

If you're a collector who flips instruments a lot then don't do it.

But if you love the guitar and just need a tweak or two to make it work better for you and you know you'll keep it long enough and use it enough that it'll be worth the cost of any resale hit then I say do it. Even if it knocks the value in half, if you play it and love it for 5 years after modding it then I'd say you got your moneys worth
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
44,667
I didn't vote. The two limited options lack refinement. Customize a custom shop instrument? Sure. An irreplaceable vintage instrument? To quote Poco, "You'd better think twice ... about what you're gonna do."
 

Mike Duncan

Staff member
Messages
7,917
2008 DGT all drilled and modded! Don’t tell anyone - it doesn’t even have DGT pickups in it anymore!
54C31712-2CA5-4F1A-A25A-691B69573C09.jpeg
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,124
If the mod improves the instrument from an objective point of view (meaning it's a real improvement, not just something you prefer), I say go for it. If you're concerned about resale, make sure you don't do anything permanent (like adding holes) and hang on to all the original parts.

I never buy a guitar thinking "Someday I'll try to sell this for more than I paid for it," so it's a non-issue for me. Any guitar I get is liable to get modded to make it better suit me. The only difference right now is my EJ Strat; not sure I'll truly bond with that soft-V neck and 12" fretboard radius, so I haven't changed the pickups or done anything beyond adding straplocks. I might put some locking tuners on, but if I do, I'll get ones that match the existing set-screw pattern.
 

YerKidd

Member
Messages
1,182
I've had only two modifications of that degree done to a guitar of mine ever, really.

When I was in high school, my Dad bought me a mid-80s Fender Stratocaster, through a family friend, for my sixteenth birthday. Great guitar, but I wanted it to be more of a super Strat.

Within a year or so of getting it, I'd had it routed for a humbucker and a Floyd Rose hastily installed. It improved the guitar in the meantime, but it definitely killed the resale of it. As I came to find out a few years later when I needed to sell it to fund another purchase.

I don't regret modding the guitar, but I do regret letting go of it!
 

clone17

Member
Messages
353
John Lennon stripped the finish, Dickey Betts re-stained his Les Paul red (so did Harrison)

The Les Paul was given to Harrison after a refin ´cus the original owner didn´t like the refin. Lennon sanded the guitar after he has painted the back of it Silver (and did not like that).
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
6,961
If the mod improves the instrument from an objective point of view (meaning it's a real improvement, not just something you prefer), I say go for it….

What on Earth does THAT mean? What is an “objective” improvement. It’s nonsense, that’s what it is.

The ONLY improvement that means anything is one that YOU as the player/owner thinks is an improvement and is more along what you prefer. Anything else is just “different.” There is no “objective” involved in any of this because there is no “best” of anything involved.

This is TGP thinking.
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,124
What on Earth does THAT mean? What is an “objective” improvement. It’s nonsense, that’s what it is.

The ONLY improvement that means anything is one that YOU as the player/owner thinks is an improvement and is more along what you prefer. Anything else is just “different.” There is no “objective” involved in any of this because there is no “best” of anything involved.

This is TGP thinking.
For example, putting locking tuners on a guitar with a trem bridge. We can all pretty much agree that's an improvement; in fact, most of us would consider it a no-brainer of an upgrade. I believe I even made that point a little farther down in my post, but I guess you got hung up on the "nonsense" and didn't keep reading.

Of course, you're welcome to be a jerk about it and call it "TGP thinking" instead of countering with a reasonable argument. I believe they call that "TGP bullying."
 

tracyk

Member
Messages
888
For example, putting locking tuners on a guitar with a trem bridge. We can all pretty much agree that's an improvement; in fact, most of us would consider it a no-brainer of an upgrade. I believe I even made that point a little farther down in my post, but I guess you got hung up on the "nonsense" and didn't keep reading.

Of course, you're welcome to be a jerk about it and call it "TGP thinking" instead of countering with a reasonable argument. I believe they call that "TGP bullying."
No way. If it didn't come from the factory that way before 1970 then it sucks.
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
6,961
For example, putting locking tuners on a guitar with a trem bridge. We can all pretty much agree that's an improvement; in fact, most of us would consider it a no-brainer of an upgrade. I believe I even made that point a little farther down in my post, but I guess you got hung up on the "nonsense" and didn't keep reading.

Of course, you're welcome to be a jerk about it and call it "TGP thinking" instead of countering with a reasonable argument. I believe they call that "TGP bullying."
Completely missing my point…

I don’t care anymore. Think what you like. Do what you like. Believe what you like. Leave me out of it.
 

coltonius

Señor Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,280
What on Earth does THAT mean? What is an “objective” improvement. It’s nonsense, that’s what it is.

..blah blah..

This is TGP thinking.
Well, this is TGP, soooo.. :dunno

Anyway, your posts are coming off as a bit rude. Normally I find them helpful and informative.

I hope your day gets better!
 

edubfromktown

Member
Messages
38
Personally, I don't do it.

I guess part of the reason has to do with resale maybe and possibly a fear of screwing up royally. I've bought some modded ones along the way that somehow captivated me and stock ones too.

Had one guitar for 25 years before selling it. The guy who bought it does crazy custom stuff for big name musicians and transformed it into a work of art that also sounded even more awesome. I'll leave that to the pros! :)
 

diogoguitar

Member
Messages
908
They most likely will lose value, but I buy a guitar to use according to my taste.

The only thing I do is to delay an irreversible change in case I don't bond with the guitar.
 




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