Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Modding a good guitar for the sake of Modding.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by fatcat, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    Anyone ever catch themselves wanting to "upgrade" a guitar just for the sake of customization?

    I got the bug..

    I started collecting parts..

    But I'm wrestling with this thought.

    It's a great guitar already. Pickups are a little dark, but it feels good and the intonation is surprisingly good. I have gotten some killer tones out of it.


    I always wanted a P90 in the neck of a guitar, and i thought might as well change out the bridge pickup and wiring.

    So I acquired these.


    Wiring is next, and maybe a nut.
    24 track and Minimalist518 like this.
  2. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    Feb 9, 2014
    NE US
    You know it would sound a lot better if it was red.
    WetBandit, Zeonoid, TigerG and 7 others like this.
  3. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2012
    South Louisiana
    I have absolutely changed out parts just to see what difference it would make.
    I say go for it.
    Be advised that I have heard more than a few folks comment that fooling around with the innards of this type guitar can be somewhat tricky at best.
    But I'll bet you already knew that.
    Let us know how it turns out.
    nojazzhere and brookdalebill like this.
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I'm another inveterate modder.
    I say bend that thing to your will!
    Make it sound, play and look it's best, for your purposes.
    It's not a museum piece, it's a (wonderful) tool.
    Mod away, my only caveat is this:
    Try to make the mods non invasive.
    If you can't, then accept the results.
    Good Luck!
  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    When I've modded guitars I asked myself these simple questions.
    • Am I certain I know that what I want to change will solve the problem that makes the guitar unsuitable for me?
    • Am I certain that the change will make me happy with the guitar? These are really two different questions.
    • Is the mod reversible?
    In this particular case, I'd ask myself these questions too.
    • Do I really want to dig into a beautiful ES335?
    • Am I sure I can live with the noise from a P94?
    • Would it make more sense to find a used Epiphone 335 dot and drop my pickups into that?
    Personally, I'd keep the 335 in pristine condition and mod a dot. I don't think I'd ever find an ES335 unsuitable.
  6. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    As long as it doesn't have a negative impact on the value and it actually makes the guitar better in your own opinion then YES it is worth doing.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    I'd advocate for keeping the parts you remove intact and together as much as possible. Pull the pickups and wiring harness and put them in a safe-keeping bag. Start from scratch with the replacements. That way it's easy to go back to stock that you love or to pull and replace someday for a sale.

    Muddy pickups can be fixed with a higher measured kohm volume pot, a new tone cap (0.033uF is what I like), or a series cap with the pickup hot lead (0.047uF that you pulled to put the 0.033uF in). Or lower the pickups and raise the screw poles even works sometimes (neck I'll do a Strat stagger and bridge I'll keep them level with each other for more Tele/P90 tone).

    fenderchamp and JL_LI like this.
  8. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    Pardon confusion...

    That is an Epiphone es 339 not a Gibson.

    I have a Epi Dot i did the same mods to (except for the P94).

    My old Dot has a pair of SD '59s in it. It sounds angelic.
  9. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

    Jan 24, 2011
    Paris, France
    I always feel better after having upgraded all the electronics and pickups of an epiphone.
    rogb likes this.
  10. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    Yeah, my only second thoughts are because i haven't played an Epiphone that sounded as good out of the box.

    I'm not going to get in a hurry, collect really good parts i like over time.

    Play the snot out of it in the mean time.

    All mods will be reversible.

    I'm prepared for the P94 noise. I think its part of the charm.
  11. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I like to play guitars more than I like to mod guitars and I try to buy stuff I like as is. Some people are more into the modding side of things. All the power to them.
  12. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    These thoughts always confuse me.....and I do mean to be respectful. You're putting $200 worth of new USA pickups into a $400 Chinese guitar. Before you move on $600 is already gone. I paid $850 for this USA Gibson Midtown (minty used) with the hard case. This guitar plays and sounds great. I'm not changing anything....ever. If you crave the good domestic parts might it make sense to wait and save just a bit more and buy a domestic guitar? I'm just saying. I've never understood putting hundreds of additional dollars into a Chinese guitar. I would play the heck out of it as is while I save for guitar that was built here (and then stop buying the Chinese guitars). You're practically there ($$) now.

  13. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South

    I'm an engineer, and part of the fun is tinkering.

    I can't help myself.

    If it were a more expensive guitar i wouldn't touch it. That's why I went Epiphone..
  14. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2007
    I love to mod guitars but only for real (or perceived) upgrades. That said, I just bought a brand new American Special Tele that is absolutely perfect as is, but I changed out the huge black switch tip for a mint colored strat type that matches the mint guard. I also want to put a Fender Corona neck plate on it because I think it should have come that way from the factory. The tuners are also fine but I prefer the split shaft type for ease and neatness but I'm not sure I want to drill the extra holes. Perhaps Fender locking tuners will find their way on it.
  15. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

    Mar 11, 2009
    Sand Land
    Never fix what is not broken.
    stratoman1 and oldfish like this.
  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    We're all different and that makes life fun and interesting. Oddly; I'm an engineer and it drives me nuts to invest in something that isn't what I want when I can afford the thing that I want. The other guitar player in the band that I'm in is an engineer and he loves to tinker. He buys used guitars through the Guitar Center used online gear finder and tears most everything apart the minutes he receives it. I'm not right; I'm just me.
    t guitar floyd and Ricky D. like this.
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    P-Rails and Triple Shot Rings would be nice.

    My ES 330 clone has a Firebird neck and A5 mini-bucker bridge and small tone switch that gives awesome tones.
  18. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

    My original MIJ Telecaster that I bought in 1995 has become my test mule for various projects. (Well, projects that I pay qualified luthiers to do for me for the most part.) I have tried Joe Barden pickups, and then decided I didn't care for them. I had a B bender installed. (very nice.) At the moment it has a a short scale vintage DuoSonic neck on it, which required some minor adjustments of the bridge to get it intonated properly. I may put the original neck back on soon.

    I also have an Epiphone Les Paul that I have played around with the pickups. It came with P90s, which were fine, but I put in mini humbuckers for a while. Then I got bored and had TV Jones DynaSonic style pickups (he calls them T-Armonds). I really like the way the T-Armonds sound and I don't see ever removing them.
  19. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    As far as modding guitars I like to think about it, talk about it, then do nothing at all. It's easier to just get another guitar if I don't like the one I got. The Craigslist is like a river flowing buy, I take one out of it, put one in it. Generally doesn't cost anything but the effort which I expend very little on.
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  20. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    I was up late last night costing out the idea of putting a Bigsby on my black Japanese tele.

    I don't like Bigsby's, I don't play that tele anymore, and the first thing I thought when I started piecing together the project in my head was that I'm gonna need new pickups too.

    Again, I don't play that guitar. In fact, it hasn't had strings on it in over a year.

    I ask myself these questions too. And then I go ahead and do it anyway regardless of the answers.
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