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The Guitar of Theseus

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Verzila, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Verzila

    Verzila Tele-Meister

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    I have a guitar. One day I decide to replace the tuners. Some time later, I replace the pickups and electrics. Six months later I replace the pickguard. Then the following year I replace the bridge. After all this time, the neck is a bit warped so I fit a new one. And the body's looking a bit sorry for itself, so...

    I carry on this way for some time until one day I realise that I've replaced every part of the guitar.

    So is it still the same guitar, or a completely different one? And at which point did it cease being the old guitar and start being the new one?
     
  2. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    when you change the neck or body
     
  3. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    That's a very sneaky way to acquire a second guitar!
     
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  4. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I say you get all the old parts and make the original guitar that will solve question 1. Regarding question 2, I would say it became a different guitar at the point you switched out the neck in this instance. Im not saying thats always the case, in my mind a guitar has 3 core components, electronics, neck and body, swap 2 out of 3 and its a new guitar in my mind.
     
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hopefully it's a better one now.... after getting rid of all the crap bits..:lol:
     
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  6. kplamann

    kplamann Tele-Holic

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    I have a bass like that. It was an old Chinese Squier precision bass from way before those became better in quality. It belonged to the punk rock son of my neigbour; she gave it to me when she moved out.
    I intended to get it back in shape, but it was in such a sorry state that I ended up swapping out everything. It now has Schaller machine heads and bridge, a Seymour Duncan pickup and neck and body from the sadly defunkt USACustomGuitars. There may be one of the springs pushing up the pickup which is still "original". I did all this over more than a year. Still the same bass?
     
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  7. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So what type of guitar was it and what is it now? Started out as a Strat and now it's a Tele? Les Paul to SG? :):):)
     
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  8. Verzila

    Verzila Tele-Meister

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    Keep all the original bits you replaced, and re-build the original guitar - I like it! A great way to sneak a new guitar past the enemy LOL
     
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  9. Miff

    Miff Tele-Meister

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    I’d say it remains the same guitar. Just like my 30yr old broom which, in that time, has gone through several replacement heads & handles but is undeniably the same old broom.
     
  10. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    Get up in the morning and dust my broom:D
     
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  11. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Ooooohhhhh...
    We is gonna philosophize.
     
  12. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    The difference is in replace and change.
    Had the original parts themselves metamorphosisized into something different from original, it would be a different guitar.

    When you replaced parts you added distinct new individual components while taking away the others. They still exist in original form, thus they did not change.

    That’s all I got on short notice.
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like several 1980's MIJ Squier Strats I've encountered.
     
  14. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    It was more a take on one of the possible solutions to the ship of theseus. Some people (philosophers) claimed the ship was the same ship after all the parts had been replaced in repairs. But lets say you could recover and restore all the rotten parts and then build the ship using the original parts. Which one is the ship or are both the ship but different versions?

    It depends on what you define as different, is it different because it has different parts/matter (atoms, etc.) or is it the same because because of its history.
     
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I bought my first Tele, an early 70s blonde maple neck model when I was about 20, circa 1977.
    I was just beginning my country guitar phase, after playing 60s-70s rock on Strats and Pauls in high school.
    My Tele was heavy, and had polyurethane shot over the frets, so it would flake off as you bent strings.
    Charming.
    I eventually changed every part on the guitar but the body.
    I learned so much about guitars, and guitar playing on that guitar.
    I learned I like rosewood boards, a neck position humbucker, and slightly hotter (less bright) bridge pickups.
    This is still true for me, 42 years later.
    Good ol’ Leo designed an infinitely modifiable beast.
    I’m eternally grateful!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    mar25 040.JPG I have changed everything on my former #1 at least once, and in some details three and four times.....different pickups, bridges, pickguards, even the neck. The ONLY original things left are the body, control plate (itself) and the strap buttons.....but, to me, it's still "Mortimer"......and still too heavy for comfort. ;)
     
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  17. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Maybe you should have started with the body?
     
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  18. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Holic

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    This.
     
  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, that's sort of what I did when I built (assembled) its replacement.....I duplicated all the good bits, but used a lightweight Paulownia body. I first bought Mortimer over twenty years ago, and the weight didn't seem to bother me as much as now. (started maybe five years ago)
    Incidentally, the pic I posted above doesn't reflect its current state.....it has completely different pickups, bridge, and 'guard. ;)
     
  20. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the body.

    If you just change the neck, it can still be the same guitar with a different neck. That's just my opinion.
     
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