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Good "Cheap" guitar to Mod?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Frudoc, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Frudoc

    Frudoc TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Hello all! New around here, new to modding and new to guitars. Hoping some folks with more experience can point me in the right direction.

    I want to start tweaking and modding a guitar or two. I have a Squier 51 that would work, but really enjoy playing it stock for now and would really prefer to work on a Tele anyway. I am looking for something like an Affinity Tele or similar - something I can find cheap, something that I won't lose sleep over if I screw it up, but something that, if I don't screw it up, could be a fun little guitar to play. Bear in mind, I am a beginning guitar player too and at this point I am not looking for the best quality guitar, tone, etc. I just can't hear it yet and I can't afford it either.

    I said Affinity, and that is about the right idea. I just do't have enough experience to know about other lesser known brands or builders out there who might have something worth looking at even if it doesn't say "Fender" on it.

    So, any thoughts or recommendations are much appreciated. Not quite ready for a partscaster just yet, and don't have the skill (yet), the tools or the room to do much from scratch. Just want a nice little guitar (hopefully a Tele) to work on and tinker with as I learn things.


  2. vlada

    vlada Tele-Holic

    Apr 21, 2010
    belgrade, serbia
    they say sx is good place to start.
  3. deluxe5D3

    deluxe5D3 Tele-Meister

    Nov 8, 2010
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  5. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

    Mar 24, 2010
    Well Rondo has an sx @$120 .Iknow ew bought an affinity from Music123 for $189 free shipping.We also were able to find a coupon online which was worth another $30
  6. alscort93

    alscort93 Tele-Meister

    Jan 23, 2011
    Webb City, MO
    I got one of eBay, even had Tele like headstock for $90 shipped. It has really decent sounding pickups on it, I'm getting ready to straighten up the bridge, replace the junky china 6 barrel on it with a squier ultra modern, drill string holes and install ferrules on it. Probably do some more mods later on.
  7. SolidbdyJazzfan

    SolidbdyJazzfan Tele-Holic

    May 10, 2010
    +1 on SX. I bought a Furrian 3/4 that wound up providing the body for one guitar and the neck, bridge pickup and electronics for another. I would get another in a heartbeat if the need arose.
  8. camatillo

    camatillo Tele-Meister

    Jan 30, 2010
    At the Shore
    Get a PRS Santana SE from craigslist for cheap. Has a great whammy bar setup, the guitar is made insanely well. Solid Mahogany, set neck, great action. Couldn't think of a better guitar to sink money into to upgrade and actually have a top notch platform to start with that costs very little. They play just like a PRS american made. Love mine, with no mods at all.
  9. Frudoc

    Frudoc TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Thanks all! So, Tele style, we are talking Affinity, Rondo SX and maybe the Guitar Fetish model. I was specifically thinking Tele styles, but I will check out that PRS mentioned, though I don't think I want a tremolo. I have a PRS SE Soapbar II that I love. They are great guitars. I've just never had any luck finding a really cheap one. Gotta keep my eyes open.

    If anyone else has any ideas, or any specific experience with a particular model, I would love to hear it. I just read some negative things on a forum somewhere about the Guitar Fetish Teles, so it is good to get another opinion. Any other thoughts on any of this stuff would be great.

    Thanks again!
  10. blindsagacity

    blindsagacity TDPRI Member

    May 10, 2010
    Not a specific model, but every now and then a deal may be had at a pawn shop, if you are willing to go used.

    I found a Jay Turser tele-ish guitar with a green quilted maple top.
    Got it for $55, gig bag and firm handshake included.

    EDIT: You should however, always beware of hidden flaws in pawn shop guitars. Check them out thoroughly.
  11. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 13, 2004
    Garden City, KS
    What's your budget? Probably the best modding platforms out there would either be used MIM Tele or a used Squier CV Tele. You can swap in almost any of the most common parts. Plus, you can get either fairly cheaply.
  12. Frudoc

    Frudoc TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    I'd have to travel a bit to find some good pawn shops - well, about 30-45 minutes, not too bad really.

    I am looking to keep it around $200 or less right now. Like I said, the first one or two will be guinea pigs that I don't want to worry too much about.

    I will keep my eyes open for some cheap MIMs or Squiers. Even the Squier Standard played very nicely for the price, and so it is still on my radar.
  13. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    Check Guitar Center for their $150 Squiers - I got a demo BSB for $130 2 years ago. I love it. It is my got to ax out of 10.
  14. Dejected_Ridge

    Dejected_Ridge Tele-Meister

    Jul 21, 2008
    I have a SX that I put about $100 of mods into and it's my main guitar right now. As a modding platform it was perfect. Nice body, excellent neck... I changed almost everything else out and it turned out pretty well, IMHO. If you'd like to see/hear it, let me know via a private message and I'll send you a youtube link. My playing is terrible, though!

  15. Bud Veazey

    Bud Veazey Tele-Holic

    Aug 3, 2010
    Lawrenceville, GA
    If you want a well-made, but inexpensive, guitar to mod, look at the Yamaha Tele-style guitars on Ebay, your local used instrument store or pawn shop. IMHO the basic quality of these guitars make them excellent platforms for modification and experimentation.
  16. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 11, 2010
    Western Canada
    that an the peavey teles are a great bargain - can't believe no one mentioned it yet.
  17. Frudoc

    Frudoc TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Thanks again everyone. Great suggestions. I have some good ideas now and just need to pull the trigger.
  18. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

    Sep 28, 2009
    Calera, Alabama
    tvvoodoo, you beat me to it! I have a Peavey Generation EXP and play it as is. I imagine with some mods it would be a killer guitar.
  19. iblastoff

    iblastoff Banned

    Feb 6, 2011
    just beware that the newer furrian models have the ugly headstock and the ones with tinted necks have that awful orange to them. plus, if you have modding in mind, for whatever reason SX decided to make the ferrule holes staggered so you can't even replace the bridge plate without either re-drilling the body or the replacement bridge plate.

    if you plan on upgrading pickups, you'll have to make the bridge cavity bigger because SX again for whatever reason decided not to have standard fender sized cavities or even the standard angle that bridge pickups should be sitting at.

    i actually have 2 SX guitars. the older SX STL Ash before they changed to the ugly headstock and the newer furrian black with cream double binding which i mostly bought for the body. i'm definitely happy with both (after numerous mods) but just a heads up.
  20. MUSEfenderTAMA

    MUSEfenderTAMA Tele-Meister

    Jan 20, 2011
    SX makes some good guitars, but I'd say go with a squier. Why not an SX? Cause if you buy one online, the setup out of the box is not incredible (not that the squier one is much better), and squiers have good quality control.

    As a modding platform, i'd say squier is the way to go cause you can go to any used guitar shop & get a like new guitar for half of the cheap price it was already. The bodies are good enough, and if you really hate the neck, you can throw on a nicer ebay'd one.

    If you are not looking for one THAT cheap, then for sure go for a CVC. Best tele under $900 in my opinion, just an all-around solid axe.
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