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Not modding?

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Do any of you buy a guitar because it is want you want and you have no desire to mod it? Setting up the guitar, changing the strings and adding a little graphite to the nut and saddles is about all the modding I do. That and discover all the tones I can get out of it.

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Yeah that's pretty much my attitude to guitars. I like to keep my guitars set up well and that's it.

 

If a guitar doesn't have what I require then I won't buy it. For the price of a set of high-end pickups I find there are good electric guitars to be had.

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I never buy guitars with the intent of modifying them. I have only modified 1 guitar and that was putting Gibson pickups and electronics in an Epiphone Explorer. The intent was to leave it as is when I bought it years ago but after acquiring 2 Gibson Explorers, I felt the need to upgrade the Epi to Gibson parts.

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I've only modded a couple of my guitars. First is the Dot, which after a year or so I replaced the p/u's, switches, wiring, etc. and added a Bigsby (thinking I have a Gibby ES335, without some bling, but at half the price, and knowing that I was never gonna sell this guitar). The other is my Elitist Casino, just added the Bigsby. Other than that, they are what they are and why I bought them in the first place.

 

Oops, forgot that I swapped out a tortoise p/g for the white one on my MIM Strat. Is that really a mod?

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I haven't bought any guitars with the initial intent to modify them, but will modify a guitar to make it more to my liking. For instance, I've made the following changes to my Epiphone Custom Riviera P93: replaced Chinese made electrical components (pots, caps, switch, jack and wires) with USA made components, replaced Tune-O-Matic bridge with a roller bridge, replaced plastic nut with a custom made bone nut and replaced the stock tuners with locking tuners. All of these changes made the guitar better, at least to me. I am saving for a new set of pickups. On the other hand, the only change I made to my Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar was to replace the corian nut with a custom bone nut. I couldn't take the strings getting caught up in the nut slot when tuning with the resulting "ping" when they broke free.

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roller bridge and or graphtech saddles on instruments wlth tremolo unit are he only mods ive done on my epiphones

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I'll only mod if it's a direct drop/fit without making any permanent changes to the guitar. So that is pretty limiting - changing machine heads (but not if I have to drill!), pickguards and so forth.

 

My reasoning is this: when I'm purchasing a guitar (and I'll go through buying binges every couple years!), if I know that it's been modified, I move on to the next.

 

I may not be correct in assuming this, but I think, generally, that mods negatively impact value (I know someone will cherry pick examples of the opposite - that's fine). But even if the value statement is not true, mods are still a problem for me, personally, and I assume that if I feel this way, then probably a lot of others do, too. Given that, if I ever want to sell my guitar, I think it will appeal to a larger audience than one that has been modded.

 

Further, I've never felt the need to mod. I have a couple USA Fenders, a MIM Fender, an Epiphone SG (Iommi ltd ed.), a Chinese Dean and a USA Les Paul. I have all the tones and playability varieties I need. The only mods I've made are changing the machine heads on the Epi (trying to mitigate the tuning issues that impact so many SG style guitars). But I kept the stock machine heads so that I can put them back should I ever decide to sell.

 

Everyone, I'm sure, has a different opinion on this. That's mine. :-)

 

Now get out there and play those guitars!

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I've added Bigsbys to a couple of guitars, and changed the tailpiece on my Korean Broadway, bridges on a couple, knobs on a few, and have one that I plan to add a Varitone switch to. I only do permanent mods to relatively inexpensive guitars.

 

I also have a Samick Artist Series SG that I got as a project guitar which I plan to completely strip and repaint in a psychedelic color scheme. Depending on how it turns out, I may replace the pickups and wiring harness.

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I haven't bought any guitars with the initial intent to modify them, but will modify a guitar to make it more to my liking. For instance, I've made the following changes to my Epiphone Custom Riviera P93: replaced Chinese made electrical components (pots, caps, switch, jack and wires) with USA made components, replaced Tune-O-Matic bridge with a roller bridge, replaced plastic nut with a custom made bone nut and replaced the stock tuners with locking tuners. All of these changes made the guitar better, at least to me. I am saving for a new set of pickups. On the other hand, the only change I made to my Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar was to replace the corian nut with a custom bone nut. I couldn't take the strings getting caught up in the nut slot when tuning with the resulting "ping" when they broke free.

 

I love my Riviera P93! The fact that it is so awesome as a stock guitar is what keeps me from modding anything. Keeping it original has a certain appeal to me.

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In my humble opinion most Epiphone instruments are perfect "as is" , straight out of the box. But , that's just me , maybe msp_smile.gif

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I don't own one guitar that hasn't had something done to it. All are natural finish, with black pickguards and knobs. All have aftermarket pickups. Most have replaced electronics. For me, "personalizing" the guitars is half the fun of owning and playing them. Do the mods decrease the value, somewhat probably. But I don't mind, I didn't buy them as investments, owning and modding them is a hobby. Looks and performance, looks and performance.......

 

The Reissue '62 models that I have are great modding platforms. They were both stamped "USED", so they were inexpensive, but very well built. Sold the SD replacement pickups and went to town. The Sorrento has DeArmond gold foils on it and is a hoot to crank up on a tube amp.

 

 

Like granddaddy used to say, if all the guys liked the same thing, they'd all be after your grandma....

 

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I love my Riviera P93! The fact that it is so awesome as a stock guitar is what keeps me from modding anything. Keeping it original has a certain appeal to me.

First off, I agree with you that the Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 is a wonderful guitar. It was the first electric guitar that I bought for myself, and although I own a few different guitars now, I probably play the Riviera the most. My goal was to teach myself to play guitar and for my son to use in his middle school jazz band. I bought it after setting a budget and then playing pretty much every guitar I could find in my price range. It really stood out in terms of tone and playability. Although I probably didn’t realize it back then, I was likely attracted to the sound of the P90 pickups.

 

Having said that, I think there could be quality control issues with the Chinese made Epi’s. Maybe for some they come out fine right out of the box, but this was not my experience. I am not trying to bash Epiphone. I just think that you get what you pay for.

 

The more I played and learned about guitars, the more I realized that my Epi rattled in places it shouldn’t rattle, the pots didn’t have any taper (more like on/off switches), the nut on the output jack wouldn’t stay tight (the jack once almost fell into the cavity of the guitar), strings would get caught in the nut slots and the guitar in general did not stay in tune as well as other guitars. The mods I made fixed these problems, increased my enjoyment with this instrument and I had fun learning about guitars along the way. There's still a few mods I am considering, such as a fret level to fix the guitar's uneven frets (came that way) and to change out the pickups, but there is no rush and I'll eventually probably do them as time and budget allows.

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Replacing nut is not a mod... It is necessary as these wear down. I suppose if you constitute nut replacement as mod, then string replacement is mod too? Repairs are not mods.

 

Anyhow, I agree don't buy guitar to modify design. Save your money and buy complete guitar that satisfies.

 

Specific to Epiphones - I have owned 3 in my lifetime - these come with some cheap components that wear down over regular use. I am referring to pots, switches, tuning machines, NUTS, etc. The finishes and wood used I never have had issues with, but the components are necessary to upgrade after use. Just depends WHEN they fail on you. Epiphone is great beginner to intermediate guitar. If you want it to be professional quality, you need to upgrade the thing where its shortcomings are. I am no way insinuating that Gibson guitars do not have these issues at times. Nothing in life is perfect, and guitars embody this concept - unfortunately msp_rolleyes.gif

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The only thing I've done is replaced the switch and jack on my Casino with Switchcraft and just recently, I added a Bigsby to it. The rest of it is just strings and setup which really isn't modding. That said, I've considered picking up a cheap Strat or Tele to fool around with.

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Like CB, everything I do is reversible.

 

For both LP's I've changed the metals to Faber ABR bridges and tailpieces; a drastic improvement in the acoustics and sustain of both.

 

I'm in a long-term argument with myself as to wether to change the plastics of my '14 Studio to something like CreamTone; I'm still unsure on how I feel about the toffee-coloured stuff they adorned those models with.

 

Due to the failing of two locking machine heads of my TP2 I replaced the lot with Schaller alternatives, which could be considered both a mod and replacement. Given that the thing already had 3 push-push pots for child splits and the active boost; I added a fourth which enables a phase reverse, so it's almost like a modern Standard with the taps, phase and blow switch.

 

Changed pickups a few times in my Squier a few times, and might do so again.

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Tweed2 - Woo Hoo! That is a pretty collection of blondes!Thanks for sharing your amazing collection.

 

As far as getting "picky" about what's a mod and what's routine repair or maintenance: From my perspective, any effort to upgrade a guitar from it's original specs is technically a mod. For example, changing out a broken plastic nut with a replacement plastic nut, I'd call that repair or maintenance. If you replace the plastic nut with a bone/Tusq nut, as an upgrade (not repair/maintenance), that is a modification from original specs. Bottom line is - who cares whether it's one or the other? The answer to that question is someone who is "picky", "picky", "picky." String changes are obviously routine maintenance. Having said that, how many of us continue using the same brand/gauge string set that was on the guitar when we bought it? Most of us have a preference for certain brands/gauges. If it ain't original specs - from a technical perspective, what would you call it?

 

Looking at an Epiphone Dot as a platform to economically own an ES-335, makes total sense to me. "Buy what you want" sounds like a company tag line to coax someone to purchase a $3,000. Gibson ES-335, rather than a $200 - $300 Epiphone which can be upgraded to Gibson-esque specs for well under $1000.00. For those to whom "money is no object", go get the expensive Gibson head stock inlay. For those of us with budget restrictions, I can mod the Epi and take personal pride in an instrument that I upgraded. I don't think most of us buy an Epi thinking that it might one day be a valuable relic (of course there are exceptions). Epiphone is a working man's/woman's brand , not meant to be a museum piece or part of an investment portfolio. Enjoy your guitar, do the mods/don't do the mods - it's your guitar! Do whatever makes you giggle. Most importantly don't let someone else determine what's right for you. Jack

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In my humble opinion most Epiphone instruments are perfect "as is" , straight out of the box. But , that's just me , maybe msp_smile.gif

With epiphones—Casady, Emperor—no mods. Remove a pickguard maybe but no major changes besides strings.

With Fender style, mod to no end.

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You all inspired me to try a mod. I bought one of the Epiphone Les Paul P90 on sale for $100. I also bought some $50 Grover tulip tuners to replace the stock ones, new strings, new torq nut. I had to enlarge the holes for the tuners, but that was easy. My guitar is so freaking kickass now, I’d want $300 minimim for it. Rock on!

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I'll play a guitar for a while as is and see where the journey will take me. If I feel I can enhance the sound or the performance of a guitar I will mod it. On my Gretsch G6128T-DSV Duo Jet I modded a few things on it. First, I can't believe guitar manufacturers feel it's OK to install any kind of plastic nut on a high end guitar. Also one of the slots, I think it was the B string was cut too deep. I replaced that with a brass nut to enhance the twang. The rest of the mods I did on this guitar were personal touches. This guitar has a floating bridge so I experimented with a few different bridges until I settled on an Aluminum Tru-Arc Serpentune bridge. I also heard the the original Duo Jets from the 1950s came with 1 meg pots. I loved the inherent tone of the guitar but after installing 1 meg pots on another guitar and hearing the difference I decided to do the same to my Duo Jet. I love the results. I also flipped the Dynasonic pickups 180 degrees so the poles are facing inside instead of outside. I noticed on the stock Gretsch Dynasonics in this guitar that the bridge pickup was a little thin and the neck pickup was a little boomy. Flipping the pickups solved that issue. I didn't want to replace pickups that I loved the sound of but was just about ready to splurge on some TV Jones pickups when I tried this as a last ditch effort. I'm glad I did!

 

For my 50th Anniversary Epiphone Casino I only made 2 mods. One was to install a Lollar P90 spacer under the bridge pickup to raise it up to balance the output of the neck pickup. It's perfect now. I left the original plastic nut in there until one of the slots got cut deeper from the string. Again, why would a guitar manufacturer place a cheap plastic nut of any kind on a quality electric guitar? It boggles my mind. I replaced the stock nut with a bone nut. I bought this guitar used and the previous owner threw away the pickguard which was OK with me because I would have removed it anyway.

 

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It is necessary to upgrade an Epiphone.

 

Tuners

 

Pickups

 

Potentiometers

 

wiring

 

Toggle switch

 

...

 

I am going to have to disagree with you.

And I think it really depends on what model Epi we are talking about. The basic "Student/Entry" level models, i would not mod, it is far less expensive to replace them with an upscale model.

My Les Paul Plus top pro already has better stuff in it, and the pick up sound wonderful.

The last guitar I "Upgraded" was a Mexican strat, buy the time I got the new pick ups and scratchplace and better cap in it, I could have bought and American standard.

 

My LP pro here has only two thing done to it, a screw on Dimarzio strap (So it won't fall) and a clear scatchplate so that beautiful top can be seen. I also changed the strings to Optima Gold strings.

 

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I called enhancements more then mods, as there all reversible and enhance it's playing.

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