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Buy an expensive guitar or mod a lower / mid range model?.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by thomo5150, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-Talker

    463
    Dec 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    I think the screws on the Squier might be the only original part left on it.

    Some of us enjoy tinkering with and fixing up cheapos and ugly ducklings. Others expect perfection out of the box. Neither is a right or wrong approach, just different. However, I'd question going to the extreme of unnecessary refrets and such to make an inexpensive guitar "better".
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    brians likes this.

  2. IronSchef

    IronSchef Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    May 17, 2012
    Flew Here On My Dragonfly
    I like modding/building -- I recently went through a "purge", where I sold off all of my "stock" guitars (except for my Les Paul, she is staying)

    Nothing wrong with shooting high and buying great guitars, either - I just really like creating unique and personalized guitars
     
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  3. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Apr 9, 2015
    Magrathea
    What I took from the video is: Don’t worry about a guitar just get a good amp as it can make stock Squier pickups and Fender Gray Bottoms sound equally good.
     
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  4. CephasG

    CephasG Strat-O-Master

    591
    Dec 13, 2017
    Land of Lincoln
    American Standard Stratocaster is the ultimate guitar for me. Not super expensive and there is not too much you need to mod. I only put locking tuners on mine and that was that. Then you just play it.
     

  5. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    this whole modding thing is old and out of date. its from the 70s when folks HAD to mod their guitars to get what they wanted.

    these days.. the folks that own the guitar companies are pretty savy to the mods that folks have done in the 70s, and 80s, and pretty much every manufacturer will have an option that will fit pretty much every need.

    so yeah. get what you want the first time. no need to go out and get something for the sake of getting something and wishing it was something else. not enough time on this planet of that kinda stuff. plus.. a modded guitar. is a modded guitar. not really worth much. you can go ahead and spend 400 bucks on pickups and stick them in your 500 dollar guitar. you still have a 500 dollar guitar...
     

  6. Hudman_1

    Hudman_1 Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    49
    363
    May 12, 2018
    Gibraltar Michigan
    I’ve done far more “buy low to mid and mod it” than buying expensive. I used to do it because it was less expensive and I enjoy working on guitars. I couldn’t justify spending more money. My situation changed over the past few years. I have more disposable income and less free time to work on guitars. I can afford to buy more expensive guitars that require no actual improvements and spend my limited free time playing guitar rather than working on them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    artgtr likes this.

  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-Talker

    463
    Dec 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    But they don't do this outside of very expensive special order or limited run custom shop models. That's why there is a huge demand for aftermarket parts. That's why companies like Seymour Duncan, Dunlop, Lollar and many others exist and make money.

    You can spend $50, maybe less, and realize an improvement or a different sound. I've also seen people who have taken $3000+ guitars and ruined/devalued them in their futile tone quest.

    I know some people are always looking for resell value in a guitar. I don't approach it that way. I don't think, "If I swap in this pickup set it will make the guitar worth more?" Instead, I think, "If I do this mod will it make this guitar more fun/interesting to play and will I learn something by doing it?"
     
    skypeace likes this.

  8. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    right on.

    happy we both have different opinions on the matter, kinda what makes this place interesting.

    no one is right, no one is wrong, we are all just sharing opinions. it gets sticky when folks dont realize their opinions are just that, an opinion. no facts when it comes to this crud. its all open.

    rock on, happy playing, mod away.
     
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  9. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Apr 9, 2015
    Magrathea
    Modding is a sickness and I’m trying to recover from it. Wish I had never started it. It gets in the way of my playing. I can’t look at a guitar anymore and not start thinking of some way to improve it. The irony is that many times I’m unhappy with a mod and then I spend more time getting it back to original condition. I’m trying to force myself to only make mods that are needed and when I think about modding a guitar, just pick it up and play it instead.
     
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  10. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    You don't have to be on one extreme or another. Buy down the middle.
     
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  11. golfnut

    golfnut Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    58
    87
    Feb 14, 2018
    Canada
    Many years ago I modded just about every guitar I owned looking for that ultimate tone. These weren't all low end guitars either. American standards or better.
    I once played a guys strat at a jam that was loaded with EMG's that I though sounded phenomenal. So off I go putting emg's in my strat. I was dissapointed in the result. Infact just about every pickup mod was not what I expected to a point with many being disappointing.
    Now when considering guitar purchases I judge the complete guitar and buy what sounds great to me. I got of the merry go round of improvements and buy what sounds good as is. The guitars I have now never let me down and are all mostly stock. I say mostly as 2 of my guitars have slight mods. My D-28 authentic I replaced the bridge pins with antique as the original factory pins started to bend and weren't great and my 52 tele benefited from Rutters saddles for better intonation. My masterbuilt nocaster didn't need upgraded saddles as the non intonated set on there perfectly intonate. My Wildwood 55 strat is perfect the way it is as well.
     
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  12. chicago slim

    chicago slim Strat-Talker

    474
    Aug 23, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I normally like the upper end MIM models, better that lower end, MIA guitars. Fender guitars were originally designed as an inexpensive guitar. I recently found a good deal on a used American Vintage 1956 Strat. When I compared it to a MIM Classic 50, the Classic 50 played and sounded as good. The Classic 50 looked better, and didn't have any scratches or fret wear.
     

  13. radd

    radd Strat-O-Master

    517
    Jun 2, 2016
    Santa cruz
    My take is a bit different; I think guitars are about passion. To that end you buy the one that grabs you and mod it until it is exactly what you want.
     

  14. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-Talker

    463
    Dec 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    It can become quite a rabbit hole. I try to plan out my mods and cigar box guitar builds the same way I do software development projects.
     
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  15. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 28, 2011
    Pawnee, Indiana
    Yeah, it really seems like the Classic 50s are the same thing as the AVRI, just much less expensive and with a poly finish.
     

  16. thomo5150

    thomo5150 Strat-Talk Member

    89
    Dec 16, 2009
    Perth / Australia
    Why do you say it was unnecessary to refret this guitar? Question to ask is why did I refret this guitar? Is the guitar now better the refret mod was done. The Red Squier now has Stainless fret wire, bone nut, correct 9.5” radius fretboard. It’s fret height difference from first to last fret is .03mm, action at the 12th fret is 1.5mm/1mm. It now plays with no dead notes or choking, has sustain, doesn’t have a shim in the neck to correct neck angle. Took 4 hours of my time to do. It was done as a demo guitar for customers to play to get there feedback on how we will set there action, or if they like that fret wire width etc... Love to see and hear a video of your guitar doing the same...
     

  17. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-Talker

    463
    Dec 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    Because it is a very unnecessary expense unless you want to do a sneaky free demo for your business.
     

  18. thomo5150

    thomo5150 Strat-Talk Member

    89
    Dec 16, 2009
    Perth / Australia
    Funny you didn’t ask what was wrong with the fretboard. 50+ guitars a month thru my business I’m fine for work thanks. I’ll wait to hear your guitar..... bet we don’t..
     

  19. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    My partscaster is far and away my most expensive guitar.
     

  20. esseff

    esseff Strat-Talker

    Age:
    32
    205
    Dec 19, 2017
    Australia
    Almost every big-name/famous player mods their guitars.

    Nuf said.
    .
     
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