cant think why the string tension would be higher. I have an ebony board sg and no difference as far as tension goes. Humm, no idea unless you changed string brands which definately can have a diff in string tension even when they are the exact same size. Re the mods, I'd say go for it! Part fo the fun of new guitars is tweaking them to make them fit your style. Only one I would question would be the saddles. Was there a problem with the stock ones? I don't see folks change out saddles on SGs very often unless there was a problem with string breakage.