How to turn that " almost perfect" guitar into something better, eh?!

Randwulf

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Posts
235
Location
ontario
I see a lot of posts about people having great guitars and then getting rid of them, always seeming to be in pursuit of the "perfect" one, well here's a thought that may help some of you out. I play bass, classical, rock, and country, and have 28 guitars. I love 'em all. I'd say I've done some tweaks on almost all of them, all for the better. I've reshaped necks, removed finish, changed tuners, added/swapped pickups, changed bridge pins and nuts, and haven't sold one guitar off because it didn't perform well. I don't understand why some of you just don't take a cabinet scraper to that axe of yours if you love everything about it but the neck is a bit deep or wide....I've scraped five necks into perfect shapes for me, and all it cost was seven bucks for the scraper. Want better sustain in your acoustic? Put in some boxwood or ebony bridgepins. Don't like your pickup? Put in another one or swap it out. I have four acoustics with two pickups and two jacks coming out of them. I've got a $600 parlour on which I scraped and shaped the neck, put in a real good pickup, and changed the bridge pins and tuners. I put an extra $500 into it, which may seem crazy, however, I now have an $1100 guitar that sounds and plays better than the $3600 one I was contemplating on getting. To my thinking, I'm $2500 to the good. Seems to me too many guitar players are overly concerned with how their instrument looks rather than what it's intended to do, be a tool for producing music that you like, eh???? Remember, most guitars are mass produced, and signature models are just a gimmick.....if you don't have Eric Clapton's fingers and hands why would you think you'd like his signature guitar???? Would you buy a size 10 shoe if your feet are size 13???? Finally, if you're only buying a guitar to resell down the line and keep it wrapped in bubble wrap, you're not a musician, are you, you're a matchbox collector! As an aside, there are a few guitars I have that needed nothing, I won't name them because they're perfect for me, and it's subjective anyway. But four were made in Canada and one was made in Oregon. Only thing I did to the Oregonian ( is that right? ) was add another pickup to complement the one it came with.
 
Last edited:

wrathfuldeity

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Posts
1,988
Location
Turdcaster, WA
faux Relic...lol

I've enjoyed some turd polishing...the trick is knowing when to quit.


jj guitar.jpg
 
Last edited:

Texicaster

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
May 9, 2018
Posts
3,557
Location
It Varies.....
"Perfect is the enemy of good enough"

But then again pursuing perfection is a lot of fun!

Most of the iconic guitars were results of endless fiddling with options. EVH Frankenstrat would never have happened with an attitude of; don't like it; sell it and buy another!
 

teletimetx

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Posts
14,851
Location
Frontrangia CO
As an aside, there are a few guitars I have that needed nothing, I won't name them because they're perfect for me, and it's subjective anyway.

I think most people will agree that it is subjective. Some might say that 28 guitars is a collection.

Sounds like you have developed an approach that works for you. That’s pretty cool - but I suspect that’s what other guitar players do in their own way.

I’m interested in what other players do, but I don’t lose any sleep if their approach is different from mine.

For example, I’ve changed out tuners on some guitars. Some will say, no need, it’s just a poorly cut nut / or maybe just a lube job. But what about gear ratio? I’m considering swapping out a set now, because it feels like a pretty low ratio - not much fine tuning. But I won’t make any changes until I measure the ratio first.

But that’s just me - I prefer tuners with a higher ratio. Sure, the lower ratio will still do the job - but I like the way higher ratio machines work. So what?
 

Fiesta Red

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Posts
9,095
Location
Texas
Yes, I’ve modified many of my guitars…not to the extent of shaving down a neck, but pickups and electronics and cosmetic things.

The only thing I’ll disagree with you about is signature models. There are a couple of signature series guitars I like…A Muddy Waters Telecaster or a Jimmie Vaughan Stratocaster would fit well for me (I like both of the instruments very much)…
 

Chester P Squier

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Posts
2,520
Age
74
Location
Covington, LA
I see a lot of posts about people having great guitars and then getting rid of them, always seeming to be in pursuit of the "perfect" one, well here's a thought that may help some of you out.

I play bass, classical, rock, and country, and have 28 guitars. I love 'em all. I'd say I've done some tweaks on almost all of them, all for the better. I've reshaped necks, removed finish, changed tuners, added/swapped pickups, changed bridge pins and nuts, and haven't sold one guitar off because it didn't perform well.

I don't understand why some of you just don't take a cabinet scraper to that axe of yours if you love everything about it but the neck is a bit deep or wide...

.I've scraped five necks into perfect shapes for me, and all it cost was seven bucks for the scraper. Want better sustain in your acoustic? Put in some boxwood or ebony bridgepins. Don't like your pickup? Put in another one or swap it out.

I have four acoustics with two pickups and two jacks coming out of them. I've got a $600 parlour on which I scraped and shaped the neck, put in a real good pickup, and changed the bridge pins and tuners. I put an extra $500 into it, which may seem crazy, however, I now have an $1100 guitar that sounds and plays better than the $3600 one I was contemplating on getting. To my thinking, I'm $2500 to the good.

Seems to me too many guitar players are overly concerned with how their instrument looks rather than what it's intended to do, be a tool for producing music that you like, eh???? Remember, most guitars are mass produced, and signature models are just a gimmick..

...if you don't have Eric Clapton's fingers and hands why would you think you'd like his signature guitar???? Would you buy a size 10 shoe if your feet are size 13????

Finally, if you're only buying a guitar to resell down the line and keep it wrapped in bubble wrap, you're not a musician, are you, you're a matchbox collector! As an aside, there are a few guitars I have that needed nothing, I won't name them because they're perfect for me, and it's subjective anyway. But four were made in Canada and one was made in Oregon. Only thing I did to the Oregonian ( is that right? ) was add another pickup to complement the one it came with.

I'm not fighting my way through that mess.

Paragraphs are our friends…
I quoted the OP and hit "enter" where I thought paragraphs should be. I didn't know it would wind up as separate quotes. I did think his ideas were worth reading. I just made them easier to read.

I hope I don't get in trouble with management for this! I apologize ahead of time. I just thought his ideas were worth reading, even if you disagree with what he posted.
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
13,773
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
1654617964219-1889511361.jpg

(my foot)

I screwed up a repair on one of my old lam-top Takamines, accidentally glued the endpin block somewhere in the middle of the body. I like the neck so I've kept it, with the idea of someday opening it up and giving it the J.J. Cale treatment.

Realistically, it's firewood.



P.S. I'm currently reading William Faulkner, so @Randwulf's paragraph didn't bother me at all!
 
Last edited:




Top