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a.thomas411

To Mod or Not to Mod

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I'm getting the itch to get another Les Paul. I currently have a Trad Pro II Goldtop and a Classic in Sea Foam. If I'm not mistaken they both have the same pickups. 57 classic and Super 57. I apologize if I'm incorrect on that. They both just played so well at GC that I bought them without checking out the hardware. I wanted to get some feedback on whether or not it is better to get a Studio and change out the pickups, tone knobs, etc... Or just mod one I already have? I don't know if I could bring myself to mod one of the two I already own.I don't gig, although I'd love too, but I'm a rhythmn guitarist that can't sing. I do record my own tunes and play with some buddies here and there. Since I dont gig, is it really necessary to mod in the first place? Is it sacreligious to mod out a LP? I also own a ES 335 Studio, but am hesitant to mess with that one too. I appreciate the feedback.

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what exactly are you thinking of modding mate? or are you thinking of just modding for modding's sake?

 

if you just want to experiment around, may I suggest buying something like an Epi LP Standard and use that as your Frankenstein test bed. far less painfull stuffing up a $600 git than a $6,000 git.

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what exactly are you thinking of modding mate? or are you thinking of just modding for modding's sake?

 

if you just want to experiment around, may I suggest buying something like an Epi LP Standard and use that as your Frankenstein test bed. far less painfull stuffing up a $600 git than a $6,000 git.

much better to stuff up a $600 guitar :rolleyes:

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Personally, I'll happily mod anything. But it really is up to you.

 

I got a Les Paul Traditional (2012, had been hiding in some stock room for a few years) just over a month ago. I love it, and I've just finished making it do what I want. It was wonderful as it was, but seeing as I'm keeping it, and it's mine, I'm happy to fiddle with it until it's spot-on.

 

I've replaced the speed knobs with bell knobs and pointers. That's easily reversible. I just prefer what the bell knobs feel like in my fingers, and the pointers are useful (and I prefer the look... not that anyone over 10 feet away would notice the difference!)

 

I've replaced the truss-rod cover with a blank one. That's easily reversible (except the original is split around its screw holes, where they'd tightened it too hard, hence the replacement - but I think it looks prettier, less cluttered, without the script anyway)

 

And I've replaced the 57 and 57+ Classic pickups (they'll get used in another guitar, probably an old Epi LP I have in the attic). That's easily reversible too.

 

I did actually have 500K pots and an assortment of capacitors on hand, but I discovered that the existing harness does the job nicely with the new pickups.

 

At some point, I might replace the bridge/tailpiece and the nut, but those are low priority at the moment. The guitar works, it tunes and intonates, and now it feels and sounds divine for the stuff I want to play.

 

******

 

If you're new to soldering irons and wotnot - yes, take it nice and slow, and I'd suggest starting out on a cheaper instrument. But it sounds to me like eventually you'll happily swap parts on anything, like I do... just seems natural to me to make a favourite instrument do exactly what you want it to do (or turn an ok instrument into a favourite).

 

If you're into resale value (I'm not really), make sure you consider this before making changes - best to stick to reversible changes and go careful with the screw-driver [biggrin] (I have some old - cheap - guitars that have various holes from my "learning" phase 20-30 years ago!)

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what exactly are you thinking of modding mate? or are you thinking of just modding for modding's sake?

 

if you just want to experiment around, may I suggest buying something like an Epi LP Standard and use that as your Frankenstein test bed. far less painfull stuffing up a $600 git than a $6,000 git.

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I went thru something similar recently. I ended up putting a new set of SD pups and 4 push/pull pots for jp wiring in a new '14 Studio Pro.

 

I love the result - and it's different from my Beauty now.

 

The problem with experimenting on a lesser guitar is that when you're done, you'll wish the results were in the guitar you really wanted to play to begin with.

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I think the pups in the trad are classic 57+ to my ears, these pickups are great.

 

What do you not like about them?

 

I like them fine. They sound great. It's the fact that I have two guitars with the same pickups. Completely my fault when I purchased them. But they both played too nicely and the price was right. Wouldn't mind something with Burstbuckers. I had a 12 Studio Deluxe II that had Burstbuckers. IMO they had a little less crunch than the 57's. As I noted earlier I love the sound of the 57's. I guess it just boils down to having options. Plus I am always looking for a reason to get a new axe, or anything git related really.

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Personally, I'll happily mod anything. But it really is up to you.

 

I got a Les Paul Traditional (2012, had been hiding in some stock room for a few years) just over a month ago. I love it, and I've just finished making it do what I want. It was wonderful as it was, but seeing as I'm keeping it, and it's mine, I'm happy to fiddle with it until it's spot-on.

 

I've replaced the speed knobs with bell knobs and pointers. That's easily reversible. I just prefer what the bell knobs feel like in my fingers, and the pointers are useful (and I prefer the look... not that anyone over 10 feet away would notice the difference!)

 

I've replaced the truss-rod cover with a blank one. That's easily reversible (except the original is split around its screw holes, where they'd tightened it too hard, hence the replacement - but I think it looks prettier, less cluttered, without the script anyway)

 

And I've replaced the 57 and 57+ Classic pickups (they'll get used in another guitar, probably an old Epi LP I have in the attic). That's easily reversible too.

 

I did actually have 500K pots and an assortment of capacitors on hand, but I discovered that the existing harness does the job nicely with the new pickups.

 

At some point, I might replace the bridge/tailpiece and the nut, but those are low priority at the moment. The guitar works, it tunes and intonates, and now it feels and sounds divine for the stuff I want to play.

 

******

 

If you're new to soldering irons and wotnot - yes, take it nice and slow, and I'd suggest starting out on a cheaper instrument. But it sounds to me like eventually you'll happily swap parts on anything, like I do... just seems natural to me to make a favourite instrument do exactly what you want it to do (or turn an ok instrument into a favourite).

 

If you're into resale value (I'm not really), make sure you consider this before making changes - best to stick to reversible changes and go careful with the screw-driver [biggrin] (I have some old - cheap - guitars that have various holes from my "learning" phase 20-30 years ago!)

 

Thanks for the insight. Not too worried about resale. I plan on giving all my guitars to my son if he decides to play. He is only one, so we got some time.

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I say go for it! Nothing like getting your git exactly the way you want it. I'm notorious for it, hence the bands nickname for me of 'Tinker' (lol). Just take it slow and careful. Make sure you don't do anything you can't back out of. And as my Dad used to say..."measure twice, cut once".

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Nothing permanent. Pickups, tone knobs and tuners.

idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found a first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

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Plus I am always looking for a reason to get a new axe, or anything git related really.

 

AH HA!! well Don't let us stop ya --- Carry on my wayward son!

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idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found an first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

Is that made to look like a Nintendo NES?

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idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found an first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

 

That's nuts. I wouldn't know where to begin. I lack the tools and the knowledge. But I do love to tinker!

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Is that made to look like a Nintendo NES?

 

it IS an NES. [biggrin]

 

That's nuts. I wouldn't know where to begin. I lack the tools and the knowledge. But I do love to tinker!

gotta start somewhere! i had no prior experience with this degree of modding but it was a great learning experience [smile]

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yeah, i remember catchin the 'mod' bug. first, it was taking my lp classic to the local custom shop for legit repairs like a broken jack and plastic plate or a fret dress. then, i started asking questions bout the after-market products in the display cases. next thing i know, my lp's got a bone nut, active pups, graphite saddles and all locking hardware. ultimately, i'm happy with the way my axe plays and sounds even if it ended up costing an arm and a leg....

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idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found a first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

 

That is awsome, you've managed to put two of my passions together. Good job.

 

In regards to modding, my american strat has tended to be my mod machine. It's pretty standard now but over the yrs it's gone full van halen Classic and back and the good thing with a strat is the mods are not only easily reversible but I can keep them on the scratch plate and swap and change plates as my mood takes.

 

Also considering swapping the g force tuner out on my 2015 junior ( a minor mod) and swapping my les Paul pickups out for some alnico pro 2 ( I'm a big slash fan)

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idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found a first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

 

Hahahahaha! Now this gives new meaning to the word improvisation!!!!!

 

You're not messing around with that bl**dy guitar again are you? No luv, just playing Nintendo dear!

 

And... some people are worried about the thought of replacing their stopbar with an aluminium one!

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idk, that kind of stuff is more of an upgrade than a mod in my opinion. mods should be more substantial and more fun! like adding or removing switches, different wiring, new paint, etc. i got into modding cheap guitars. nothing more fun than taking a super cheap or free guitar a modding the sheck out of it. most recently, i found a first act adam levigne guitar down the street at the top of the pile in a garbage can. i made this:

post-63341-079206200 1424093933_thumb.jpg

 

No way! I love the NES guitar! F***ing work of art.

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I'm getting the itch to get another Les Paul. I currently have a Trad Pro II Goldtop and a Classic in Sea Foam. If I'm not mistaken they both have the same pickups. 57 classic and Super 57. I apologize if I'm incorrect on that. They both just played so well at GC that I bought them without checking out the hardware. I wanted to get some feedback on whether or not it is better to get a Studio and change out the pickups, tone knobs, etc... Or just mod one I already have? I don't know if I could bring myself to mod one of the two I already own.I don't gig, although I'd love too, but I'm a rhythmn guitarist that can't sing. I do record my own tunes and play with some buddies here and there. Since I dont gig, is it really necessary to mod in the first place? Is it sacreligious to mod out a LP? I also own a ES 335 Studio, but am hesitant to mess with that one too. I appreciate the feedback.

 

I think you have a great opportunity here, if both guitars have the same hardware and electrics, my advice is to modify one of them, leaving the other original. I guess that you are like most of us and play for fun, if so, that's a very good reason to put time and money into general improvements in sustain and tone, and also personalise to your own style and needs. I agree with others who have said whatever changes you make, make sure that they can be reversed without leaving extra holes behind.

 

If you are not gifted in the do it yourself department like me, find a good guitar workshop, one you can trust and get them to do the work.

 

I wanted to buy a Les Paul Traditional specially to use it as a base to build 'my' own personal guitar; many people buy custom shop guitars and modify them! :)

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If you absolutely think it needs something changed to suit your needs then do so. Unless you bought it as an investment figuring a high return at a later date. Considering how many are out there and at the rate that they are being produced I would not hold my breath on that notion.

I bought my 72 Deluxe new and used it as my primary working guitar for the next 8 years. Changes at the time were a must. New pickups and a built-in preamp came right away. The original pups had no sustain and were rather weak. At the time I was using a Hiwatt over Marshall combo and the preamp gave it just the right scream when needed.

Do I regret the mods. Yes and no. No because that was what was needed at the time. Yes because I had no idea that the $300 (w/case) guitar I had bought in 72 would be worth what it is now. No biggie, I still play it, enjoy it and have no regrets.

 

So decide now, before you put it to the knife, what exactly do you want. Is this a truly one of a kind guitar that might better be left as is, and if it bothers you to mod it, then go buy a cheaper Epiphone version and mod away.

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That is awsome, you've managed to put two of my passions together. Good job.

 

 

Hahahahaha! Now this gives new meaning to the word improvisation!!!!!

 

You're not messing around with that bl**dy guitar again are you? No luv, just playing Nintendo dear!

 

And... some people are worried about the thought of replacing their stopbar with an aluminium one!

 

No way! I love the NES guitar! F***ing work of art.

 

:lol: thanks for all the comments guys! i had a blast making it and im quite proud that other people enjoy it.

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:lol: thanks for all the comments guys! i had a blast making it and im quite proud that other people enjoy it.

 

Dude I showed this pic to other's all non guitarist's and they love it.

I guess we are a bunch of nerd's. Lol!

You could even make money building stuff like that.

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