Why modify a signature guitar?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Jimi Lightning, Apr 26, 2021.

Why modify a signature guitar

  1. I was not happy with its sound

    6 vote(s)
    12.2%
  2. I didn’t like the look

    4 vote(s)
    8.2%
  3. It wasn’t comfortable so I changed the neck

    3 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. I don’t mind turning it into a partscaster

    4 vote(s)
    8.2%
  5. I am a tinkerer and can’t help myself...

    32 vote(s)
    65.3%
  1. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    Iam not saying that you buy the guitar cause of the artist...iam saying that at this price point the guitar offered should be exactly what you want since you already know the specs,researched it and realise that you have to pay a pretty penny to acquire them.I feel modding shouldnt be for things you have already overpaid and they should be exactly what you are looking for in the first place...at least thats my personal view.

    To make an analogy..if i ll pay for a meal an extravagant price i expect at the very least a flawless meal cause i payed the extra money for that.If i need to return the plate a couple of times to make it like i want it..then not only i feel that its not worth it but that i was cheated too.If the meal is reasonably priced and of nice edible quality then i dont mind making a couple of changes to make it better(extra salt or something else) or eat it just the way it is...
     
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  2. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Ok you have a point. My point is I don’t think anyone here that modded their signature guitars ran down to the store and paid full retail because claptons sig was on the headstock. Then turned around and swapped everything out to make it what they want.

    There’s a member that just posted. He had to refret his because he played it so much the frets wore out. What do you do then, save the old frets? Sell the guitar because now it’s not original. These and every other musical instrument out there are tools of the trade. Just like a mechanic and needed actual tools.
     
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  3. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Silver Member

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    Everyone has an opinion on signature guitars but I have no problem admitting I love them because I'm a fan of the artists they were designed for. If they meet the specs I'm after its a win-win. As far as if I'm going to alter them in any way, it really depends on if its going to affect their value and if so, by how much? Pickup and electronics changes are reversible, so not a big deal to me. If I need to changed something beyond that, its probably not the right guitar for me. Here are the ones I've had so far and what I've done to them:

    Tony Iommi SG (epiphone) - ended up not liking the signature Gibson pickups so I swapped those out. This did affect the value of guitar but it was an inexpensive guitar to begin so I didnt; lose too much there; I ended up making money by selling off the signature pickups in the end.

    Dave Murray HSH strat - I could not gel with the vintage bridge and felt altering that would negatively affect its value so I left it alone and sold it. (although I wish I would have kept this one as they are quiet the collectors item now).

    Jeff Waters Flying V - Was a cool guitar but I didn't have it long enough to tinker with. Flipped it to fund another guitar.

    Jackson RR1 - not sure how much of a signature guitar this really is. Its kind of like how a Les Paul is a signature guitar. I ended up putting a YJM pot and new pickups in which did not affect its value in any way upon selling it.

    Jackson Adrian Smith
    - Installed YJM tone pot, disconnected tone control, added a D-Tuna. All reversible if I ever decide to put it back to stock configuration and sell it.
     
  4. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    I've noticed that in some cases the factory made 'signature' simply isn't as accurate a copy of the artist's own guitar as can be achieved with some simple aftermarket mods.

    Take the Blackmore signature for example. It has 2 SD 1/4 pounders standing in for the Schecter F500 pups Ritchie used in the early to mid 80s in his Oly white '74. Only problem with that is those Schecters were always used in that guitar set in a mint '62 style guard which the signature lacks.

    It also comes with an incorrect black nut (used now on his '77 but never present on the same '74 guitar as the Schecters), 'F' tuners that Blackmore stopped using in the late 70s before he'd ever seen a Schecter pup and finally bent steel saddles ... incorrect for any post '71 guitar (and also lazily used on the Classic Series and Vintera 70s as well)!
     
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  5. Belexes

    Belexes Strat-O-Master

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    I bought my RB sig because of the neck and body. I didn't care for the electronics. I bought the parts separately. It is all stock other than the pickups and the way it is wired.

    It has CS69s in it and the neck and bridge pickups wired to the tone pots. I didn't buy it because of the name. Even though he is one of my most favorite players ever, I don't want an exact guitar replica of what he plays. If it didn't have his name on it, I would have still done the same thing.

    I saved about $500 dollars doing it this way. :)
     
  6. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    Why not?
     
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  7. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    Indeed.

    I'd like a signature Albert Hammond Jnr.

    Take off the signature from the back of the headstock and it's just a '72/'73 reissue strat with some odd wiring easily amended.

    Since you can't buy a Vintera 70s because they won't sell them with Ash bodies and PF boards anymore but are having a problem apparently sourcing Alder then why not go for the Alder and Rosewood signature series option?

    The odd thing is so many are in fact 'standard' guitars that were notably used by the artist without any change from standard spec but they all tend to cost a lot more than the 'standard reissue' version.

    It goes all the way to the Custom Shop. Both their Blackmore '68 maple cap and Hendrix '68 maple cap represent reissues of the same standard guitar. Ritchie's only change from standard was the thicker trem arm and bigger frets (he refretted his with Gibson wire) and Jimi's the switching of the nut and strap lock.

    'Standard' Custom Shop '68/'69 maple cap is about 3K but they wanted about 4.5k for the Blackmore some years ago now and are currently asking about 6k for a Hendrix!!!!! For a reversed nut, a moved strap button and a string tree placed closer to the nut than usual!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  8. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    My EOB Strat came with trad tuners, and I swapped them for locking. I emailed Ed and he said it'd be OK.
     
  9. arct

    arct Strat-O-Master

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    Find a non-Custom Shoppe strat with bound rosewood neck. EJRW is all there is. I wouldn't know an EJ song outside Cliffs if I fell over it, and my EJ is nothing like his. But I do have the bound necked strat that I wanted.

    I have a Shiflett Deluxe that is somewhat different from his. It's a deluxe with a 12" neck, that's why I bought it. I don't like Foos much at all.

    rct
     
  10. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just using your post as jumping in point on something I noticed.:thumb:

    Nobody seems to mention that some are unique such as Ritchie Blackmores Strat has a gradual scallop.Figure that into the cost if you buy the “ standard” version and start swapping in parts.
     
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  11. Ruscio

    Ruscio Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    The only signature guitars I've owned are YJM strats. In both cases I made changes for playability reasons. The main attraction for me was the scalloped fretboard, but otherwise there was plenty I wanted to change (e.g., bridge, nut, tuners). Once I found alternative ways to get scalloped fretboards (e.g., Warmoth or doing it myself), I left the YJM model behind because there was no appeal left.
     
  12. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Chronic tinkerer here, but I would not make a modification that impacts the original personality.
    I have a Bonamassa '58 LPC Black Beauty, and I will be upgrading the bridge to Faber with E-Serts and a true ABR-1 style bridge, but I'm not going to be changing the tuners, even though the keys don't fit most winders and a couple of them are a little stiff. The tuners are a part of the personality and spec of the guitar.... the bridge hardware is just run of the mill gold Epiphone hardware.

    By the same token, in general I'm not a fan of signature models that scream "signature" like the Hendrix Monterey Strat, Page Tele, Burton flames, etc... I like the EJ and Clapton models, but from 10ft away, they look like any other Strat.
    You wouldn't catch me even test-playing a Zakk Wylde "target"
     
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  13. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    That's certainly not the sole purpose of buying a signature guitar. I don't care that a sig guitar is a replica of someone else's guitar. The sig guitars I've bought were selected because they had a feature set I wanted.

    On that basis, I've had no hesitation is making changes for playability or tone.
     
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  14. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

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    Where is that rule written?
     
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  15. Frans

    Frans Strat-Talk Member

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    I really like the left hand trem on my SRV :) but must admit I would like to change the pups on the MK, they tend to sound nasal
     
  16. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes sure the signature '70s model does. That's the reason I bought a 70s reissue and modified it to look like his but without having to adapt to the untried scalloping.

    As far as my rant about the costs for artist's names being attached to instruments my logic still holds water though. The Custom Shop Blackmore '68 tribute does not have a scalloped board since Ritchie' wasn't scalloping his necks yet when his '68 was his master strat (just swapping over to the larger Gibson fret wire... hence the Custom Shop putting on Medium Jumbo wire). Neither does the Hendrix and of course neither does the 'standard' Custom Shop.

    The only differences are the ones I mentioned. Blackmore... black, different trem arm and fret wire. Hendrix ... white with string tree close to the nut. Otherwise the same as their half price 'standard' CS69 brethren.
     
  17. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Most Honored Senior Member

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    Okay thats the general purpose.
    It would be the inspiration for most to buy one. In some cases sure it will have the features one is looking for and the sig means nothing. I get that. But as pointed out why not buy the standard model that has the same features but no sig. There ar exceptions to that of course like the incredible Yngwie as I dont think there are other models have a full scalloped neck. ( full disclosure, I bought a similar model and a scalloped neck separately) I get it.

    Where is it written, its not as you pointed out. Bit there is always a reason for purchase and I believe I covered the majority of them and accept that there are others. :)
     
  18. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Stratosaurus Magnificus Platinum Supporting Member

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    It’s the American Way...
    Change is inevitable.
     
  19. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Most Honored Senior Member

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    Same reason I put together my own Yngwie Strat, which I would buy in an instant if one popped up cheap enough but in the meantime will make do with my imitation Yngwie Strat and my full scalloped Tele.

    According too Ritchie it 69 or 70 he started scalloping his Strats so I see there is confusion there. Your the fan ( If I may assume according to your avatar) so we will go with what you said. However Ill include a link to a article that mentions this. I’m a fan of him as well.
    https://www.guitarworld.com/artists...ep-purple-years-and-a-rocking-rainbow-revival
     
  20. Daddypantz

    Daddypantz Strat-Talker

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    I play a Jimmie Vaughan Strat which I’ve had for 20 years. I bought it because it felt the best to me and the neck fit my hand wonderfully, like it was made for me. I bought it to play it. I like Jimmie but did not buy it because his name is on it. I have made very minor changes to date and still may change out the pickups to something less noisy, but despite owning more expensive guitars it remains my #1 player because it still feels best and most natural to me, and we have been through a lot together! Everyone should have a guitar they feel this comfortable with!
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