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To mod or not to mod?


Tukinator

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A friend of mine and I have this ongoing discussion about modifying guitars. I tend to lean more towards keeping things all original, while he's always looking to tweak something. If you name a pickup, pot type, tuning keys, etc. he's got a few extra's in his cabinet.

 

What are your thoughts?

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Buy cheap.

 

Buy Gibson, replace all the wiring with 18AWG. Modify to taste. If the original stuff sounds good keep it. I would hope Gibsons ship with good pickups and pots but I know the wires are the thinnest crap you can find.

 

But I won't ever buy a Gibson probably. Even if I had a few thousand on hand WHY? I'd rather buy a good Epi, replace the pickups, redo the pots, rewire it, Sperzel locking tuners, MAYBE a vibrato arm but probably not. And I'm looking into the graphite nut thing too (the Slash has one; I noticed my strings stick when I bend behind the neck, the strings wind up holding a higher pitch until I yank on 'em).

 

It's a guitar, not a politician. You buy one that's got the right body, you keep what you like for electronics and hardware, you replace the rest. If it sounds great out of the box and there's nothing you want to change. keep it as-is.

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No clear answer here. Personally, I'll mod the heck out of an Epiphone or a Squeer, and won't worry too much about the original parts unless it's an Elitist. My Gibsons I tend to keep as original as possible, although I did change the tuners (from butterbeans to keystones) on my SG Classic but only because I can easily put the originals back since I did not have to make any physical modifications to the actual guitar. My '78 SG has been heavily modded but that's only because I was young and foolish at the time and also the guitar had already been butchered by a previous owner...

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it's epi forums so I speak of epis..

mod all you want.. aftermarket on parts is kinda low..

nicer sometimes for lesser projects, upgrading back up guitars..

not a lot of 'original' value to many models.. but sig models etc may be good to keep orig. parts.

 

for me each guitar is it's own best argument.. when it gets to likin' me I don't care where it's been.

TWANG

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I'd say it's a personal desicion. As long as you're talking about reversible, minor changes - why not? Just do it, if it makes you happy.

 

The irreversible is a different matter. I saw a really heavily reliced DW 2005 Epiphone LP Std today, on my trip to Sweden.

I think the monster must have been born as a neck repair job that sort of got out hand, it was totally insane! It truly looked like it had been played by a rabid Yngwie Malmsten with a chain for a pick every night for 50 years in a smoky bar, and shipped a few times around the globe without a box or a HSC... or maybe it was genuine, maybe we should ask Yngwie. Anyway it was totally effed.

 

I personally wouldn't dare to destroy the finish and top like that, not even if the guitar started with a broken neck.

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I guess I just need to stop being fickle about it. My take on it has really been about keeping it original just for the sake of keeping it original. For me personally, if I see something for sale and it's got some decent mods, (let's say pickups, tuners and pots) I'll generally ask if the original crud comes with the guitar. If not, I've generally passed on em.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Keep it comin.

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I voted mod and keep original parts.. but I really feel it depends on the guitar. My Black Beauty is going to get a complete work over, adding a Bigsby, push/pull pot, still looking for a 6way toggle(holding off on the 6 way rotary for now, as don't want to modify cavities).... but any parts I remove get put in the hardshell case whether they ever get put back on or not... my tele right now i can't think of anything to modify outside of pickups and even at that right now not sure I want to change them out...

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What are Epis for if not modding?? If you're talking about an Epiphone, then mod away! You're not going to destroy the resale value if the parts are not original.. Heck, some clowns sell their modded fiddles for more than they cost new... There's a lot of parts on Epi guitars that really NEED to be replaced... At least in my humble opinion... I wouldn't suffer with a buzzy bridge or bad tuners just for the sake of keeping it original... Nor would I tolerate weak, thin or otherwise crappy sounding pups just because they came with the guitar... But that's just me...

 

Higher end guitars, like Gibby's are a different story.. But the way I see it, if I pay $2,500 or so for a guitar, it BETTER not need any mods!

 

Oh, and I also either sell the old parts if someone's willing to buy 'em, or I just find a dumpster for it if it's utter crap.. Like the tuners on a bolt-on Junior... You can make enemies giving those thing away!

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With regard to Epi's and other asian imports....mod away indeed! There is little chance one of these mass produced "masterpieces" will go on to be worth big bucks in it's pristine original state. Don't do it if you expect a return on your investment,however....modded guitars are rarely worth more than original and usually the opposite is true. For this reason mod's which are easily reversed are recommended.

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I'll go along with bluefoxicy. I haven't started on my Dot yet, but I modded an '89 Strat with Graph Tech nut & saddles, locking tuners and Texas Special pups.

 

The Graph Tech stuff is great. I haven't broken a string since installing them, and I don't see or hear any downside to 'em.

 

I guess the fact that I got the guitar for only $199 helped!

 

I will probably change everything but the wood on my Dot. Eventually.

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I say to modify lightly, but keep the guitar's identity. You bought a LP because you wanted a LP, not some monster garage-looking thing like I've seen before. Just switch around little things to personalize it; pickups, tuners, pickguard, knobs, etc.

 

If I wanted to create my own crazy custom guitar, I would've bought some bland Ibanez or ESP.

 

I personally only upgrade to get closer to a Gibson.

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No clear answer here. Personally' date=' I'll mod the heck out of an Epiphone or a Squeer, and won't worry too much about the original parts unless it's an Elitist. My Gibsons I tend to keep as original as possible, although I did change the tuners (from butterbeans to keystones) on my SG Classic but only because I can easily put the originals back since I did not have to make any physical modifications to the actual guitar. My '78 SG has been heavily modded but that's only because I was young and foolish at the time and also the guitar had already been butchered by a previous owner...[/quote']

Ya know, it's funny, a friend of mine's got a 1964 SG Custom that he had some guy mod the dogsnots out of, all these toggles, half of 'em he doesn't even know what they do, brass scratchplate, 2 DiMarzio something-or-others, he basically ruined a VERY collectible guitar, really ruined it by installing a Kahler (!) took of the Lyre it came with, he still has it, I told him he should have it restored, he won't.

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I new a guy that had a pair of SGs, a seventies Standard in walnut and a sweet cherry '64 Special. He had a Kahler fitted to the Standard and then he ripped out the P-90s in the Special and routed it for a pair of SD Invaders. He also stripped it amd had it refinished in black... he offered to sell it to me but he was a bit miffed when I told him I wouldn't give him more than $300 for it, as he had basically ruined it. Anyway, at least he gave me the P-90s and the original pickguard.

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