Brand new guitar modifications

Discussion in 'General Music' started by Tobacco Worm, May 19, 2014.

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Do you modify brand new instruments?

Poll closed May 29, 2014.
  1. Always. I want it to be my own right from the start.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Never. The folks that made it knew what they were doing.

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  3. Depends if the factory parts are less than good.

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. Of course. Everyone knows factory stuff stinks!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I have to play it a while and then decide.

    12 vote(s)
    85.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    Your views on modifications to brand new instruments?
     
  2. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

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    It's fine if that's what you want, but maybe play it for a while first. I actually wasn't crazy about my P90s at first, so I experimented, different attack, using less pick, played with the amp, all sorts of things. Eventually came to really appreciate the tones I could get.

    Then one day there was a jackhammer in the street, so I cranked my amp up full. Oh, yea.

    So now I absolutely love my P90s, and all that playing around gave me new insight on every other guitar I play. My disappointment became a learning tool, in part because I knew it was me not the pickups. They're Gibson fking P90s after all.

    By all means mod away, but sometimes coaxing love from "meh" is a real sense of accomplishment. At least for me it's been. It opens your ears and forces your fingers out of their complacency. Then you go out and buy more guitars of course lol.
     
  3. Dorian

    Dorian Active Member

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    I don't have any concerns about modifying a new guitar, and have done it for about half of the guitars I purchased new. This includes both my SG faded specials.

    But I do it slowly, like LeadFinger.

    The first few days I have a guitar, I change strings and set it up to my liking. Then I play it for a while, maybe a week to a month. At this point I usually deepen the slots on the nut. I will change the tone capacitors if they are disk ceramic, which is the case for both my SGs. So far this is easy, fairly cheap and not really much of a modification.

    Adjusting the pickup height, amplifier settings, and pedals goes on for a long time. Maybe 6 months or more. Sometimes I change the pickups, sometimes not. The stock 490 pickups in the SG specials were okay, but I have changed all of them out over the years for P94, Classic 57+, and Seymour Duncan Jazz/JB pair. This took me a while to figure out, in part because it depends on what I want to do with the guitar. Is it for chords and chord melody or more for classic rock? One of my SGs is completely rewired, the other not at all. I don't want to accumulate too many guitars, so they all ought to do different things.

    I never felt bad about modifying the faded specials. On one of them, my rock guitar, I scalloped the fretboard. I even bought it new with the intention of doing this, and I really like the way it turned out for string bending.

    If someday I were to buy a new top end guitar like an SG historic or Supreme, I probably would not do anything to the pickups or electronics. I regularly try out guitars at the local Guitar Center, sometimes the "nice" ones in their "Vault". The funny thing is that I don't find them all that tempting. They look better than mine, and they sound different sometimes, but I have to imagine them with a setup that I would like. I try to listen to their voices and get comfortable with their neck. Obvioulsy I can't adjust them to my liking in the store, but this makes me wonder if I will like them as much as the ones I have at home.
     
  4. ghostwolf

    ghostwolf Well-Known Member

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    Beyond setting it up to my preferences, no. That said, i buy very few new guitars, most of them are used, with a project in mind before i hit the shops,
    searching for a platform or parts.
     
  5. michaelinokc

    michaelinokc Well-Known Member

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    I buy a guitar because I like it the way it is. After playing it for quite awhile, I might consider changes to it. I've got a couple I'm thinking about modding, but it hasn't happened yet.
     
  6. Kevy Nova

    Kevy Nova Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer because I don't buy new guitars. But the used ones I buy almost always get tinkered with.
     
    iblive likes this.
  7. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

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    I say go for it. Long as the mods are done right, I don't see a problem.

    Strangely enough though, over the years I've had about 40 different guitars, never did anything to any of them beyond a good setup.

    But I am gonna rewire my 2011 faded. Better pots and caps, some witch hat knobs and pickup covers. Then I'm gonna push play on Mountains Theme for an Imaginary Western, turn my guitar up really loud, and jam with Leslie West.
     
  8. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

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    "Then I'm gonna push play on Mountains Theme for an Imaginary Western, turn my guitar up really loud, and jam with Leslie West."

    :thumb:
     
  9. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    Haven't bought a new guitar since my acoustic in the 70s and my bass back in the 90s, so I gotto go with Kevy on this one.
     
  10. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't tell you the last new guitar I bought........wait, Squire Telecaster from GC 2 years ago.....since sold, but I did nothing to it. Got it as a scratch and dent closeout special (with an added coupon) sold it for a profit. It was fun while I had it. I didn't even change the strings on that one.
     
  11. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    I think the large manufacturers are missing a golden opportunity here.
    You should be able to order the guitar with the mods right from the factory.
    I'm not talking about the Gibson and Fender Custom shop models, but the
    "regular ones". You should be able to choose colors, pickups, etc. without
    paying 5 figures and waiting 8 months.
    A nominal upcharge would be reasonable. I mean, what is the big deal if you
    want a 500T instead of a 490, or a Texas special in the middle position of
    your brand new Stratocaster? This practice would enable you to mod the
    instrument without voiding the warrantee.
     
  12. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    I always have sanded the lacquer from the back of the neck and then oil it. I hate lacquered necks. Even when I built my "Freewood" I lacquered the neck then sanded it off!
    My Special Faded was the first guitar I've bought new. I was making payments on it and it felt like forever before I finally owned it and could "void the warranty" by sanding the neck!
    I then put Grover tuners on it as well because I like Grovers. They work well and they feel solid and stable to me.
    I loved my Faded from the get go but these little mods make the guitar perfect for me to play and enjoy.
     

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