Build it - Build it - Or Mod it???

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mark the Moose, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    I'm on the fence between building a from a kit (The Fretwire), Building from XGP parts (which includes a pre-finished body and neck), or just picking up a cheap squire to tear down and rebuild.

    If you've done any of these three projects, chime away.
     
  2. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I’ve done all three. It just depends on what you want to do honestly. It all comes down to the finishing for me. Do you want to finish the body or would you rather just buy a finished body?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've built a tele kit years ago just to see what 100 dollars would buy. If it were me, I'd buy a MIM tele and rebuild it. That way you end up with a guitar that 's worth something. That flat spot /jack area on the high end XGP GFS bodies is a deal breaker for me. I've actually considered one and just can't get past that detail.

    If I were building from a kit, it would lean toward a Les Paul with a solid maple top.
     
  4. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've built a couple of guitars using GFS bodies (the XGP are newer and more expensive) with various necks (Mighty Mite, Warmoth) and never had a problem.

    I've seen guys here who had fit problems with GFS bodies, so I guess they're kind of hit or miss. But a guy out here on LI has built a couple of partscasters with XGP bodies and he had nothing bad to say about them.

    - D
     
  5. GTG_Gopher

    GTG_Gopher Tele-Meister

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    I did a Squier affinity strat rebuild that mutated into a full on partscaster.

    For $40-$60 you can get some great pickups from Bootstrap Pickups.

    What kind of projects have you done previously? That may be your guide. I’m not real strong on finishing (paint jobs) so I went with a finished body.

    Work to your strengths!
     
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  6. GTG_Gopher

    GTG_Gopher Tele-Meister

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    Or buy MIM Components or equivalent! Don’t try to skimp on things you aren’t experienced working on...
     
  7. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    Guitar related projects: pickups/electronics, build a few dozen pedals, built a 5f11 amp, built a cabinet for the amp.

    Other: I'm an amateur woodworker: refinished kitchen cabinets, built a 9' kitchen island including cabinetry and a hickory countertop, hardwood floors, bookcases, tables, etc...

    All of that being said, I'm looking at a strat or a tele project as I have Gibson and Gretsch sounds covered. I would put finish work at the bottom of my list of "fun" but I'm capable. What I like about the XGP bodies is I can get something with a flame cap on it...vanity...
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Get the Squier or MIM beater and go from there. Only do the kits if your favorite part is sanding and finishing. Those are my least favorite because I'm ready to assemble and play not wait for fourteen coats of clear to dry.

    .
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it depends on what you want to accomplish, what you are comfortable doing, and what you are uncomfortable doing. Some of this will depend on tools and work space. Lets take them from the easiest

    - modifying an existing guitar. That probably means replacing electronics and pickups, maybe a new pick guard, maybe other hardware. You should be comfortable soldering, reading wiring diagrams. You will do a setup so you need to understand that (and have a few measuring tools). Depending on the condition of the guitar you may need to do some repairs (frets?)

    - a parts caster (finished body and neck) - you'll do the above plus some assembly. You'll get to choose the parts you want. Most necks require some fret work, you'll need tools for that. You have a lot more choice of body, neck, color, hardware and electronics. It is a time honored right of passage.

    - a kit - again, all of the above plus some wood working and finishing. Finishing is often the hardest thing for a home builder - that will depend on your expectations, experience and patience. Lots of people here can help but just resign yourself to not getting a factory finish. Also be aware that the quality of kits varies dramatically - I'll be honest and say that the Fretwire kits typically cost what I pay for a set of pickups or some nice wood - don't expect great quality (many people building kits at this level will replace hardware and/or electronics. I would also plan on doing some fretwork.

    (with that said, I am a great believer in kits for building your first acoustic guitar - it can eliminate some of the operations that require special tools or experience)
     
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  10. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    Leaning towards the parts caster. I’m capable of the finish work but I do t love it. I do like the assembly and electronics work, and it’s high time I learned to dress frets.
     
  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    My #1 was a Korean Fender Squier that has been modded to the point that I feel I "almost" built it, and I "built" another with a GFS XGP body and the original neck from my Fender.....buying most parts separately. The Fender neck fit the XGP body like a glove, as did all the other parts. I, too, now use Bootstrap Pickups on my #1, and they are the BEST!
     
  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Your guitar will pretty much be worth the value of the parts sold separately. People don't want to pay much for a partscaster. You can get a MIM Fender neck for 200 dollars on ebay. That'll sell when you are done with it if you decide to part it out. Same with a MIM body. Lesser quality parts will take more of a hit.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=292964315542


    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=352560531940

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=143202133456
     
  13. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

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    I built an all gfs partscaster using a XGP body. It's in my avatar.

    I had only a slight issue in that the heck heel was a little tight in the pocket and I had to Sam' it down a little.

    Putting it together was easy... The fine tuning took some time. But it was invaluable learning and I fell in love with the instrument.
     
  14. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    If there’s a model that’s 80% there, buy it and mod it. Otherwise...

    Kits are as much an art project as they are a route to a playable instrument, unless you buy the very best. Modding a Squier can cost you as much as an MiM and you’re buying a ton of parts you don’t need. So if your budget is fairly low and you can get the exact XGP parts for your build, might be the cheapest. BUT! The Squier route likely has better resale for the parts.

    Personally though, if the guitar was a likely keeper, I’d slowly stock up on used MiM parts.
     
  15. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I would do a good partscaster or rebuild a Squier. Cheap kits are the worst of both worlds, IMO. Why invest your care and time into something here the base materials are mediocre? I, too, rebuilt and refinished an Affinity Strat, and with very little investment beyond my work, it came out great. (The one limitation is the whippy Affinity neck.) I've also done a partscaster where I patiently acquired exceptional parts for very little over a period of maybe 6 months, and then built and finished a freaking monster. (I've also built guitars from scratch.)
     
  16. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Given the choices you present, I would go with the squier, or a MIM. Pick one with finish you like the most. A kit will almost never have a good re-sale value no matter what hardware you put in it.
     
  17. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I would think in reverse. What is it that you want in the end? Think through the path from the final product backwards through each of those three routes, and you should see that one of the routes will be the "better" way to get it.
     
  18. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

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    Never done a kit but have worked plenty with GFS bodies/necks, enough to where I won't again. Modding an existing guitar would be the best bang for your buck (don't need to get every part) and probably has best probability of success (body and neck already fit together). But then again, what fun is life without a little risk?
     
  19. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I've done all three more than once.

    Modding is the easiest, provided you can source the parts you need. Often you can find a "broken" cheap guitar really cheap. Sometimes the broken part is just a missing string but sometimes it can be something more, like a botched electronics upgrade or physical damage.

    Kits are a mixed bag. You have to buy from someone who will stand behind their products which leaves out ordering direct from China. I like my TheFretwire kit but I redid the electronics and had to a few other things to get the fit where I wanted it. A lot of the inexpensive kits come with fake rosewood. This wasn't a big deal for me but purist might prefer something real. Of course, you have to have the patience to do the finish which can be tedious and time consuming.

    I haven't done anything with XGP bodies and necks although I've assembled a few partscasters from various parts I've picked up. Right now, I'm working on a travel guitar build that using a GFS closeout body. The body was in rough shape but it's beginning to come around.
     
  20. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

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    I think it goes to your disposition as well. I think I'm far happier having assembled my own partscaster than I would have been had I nodded an existing guitar.

    Now, perhaps if I had found a beater in a color or finish I really liked, I could've gone that route. But as it was, I was able to really customize it. I've got everything I ever remember wanting in this guitar.
     
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