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Thoughts on mods.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by telereissue, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. ChickenKiller

    ChickenKiller Tele-Holic

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    Thank you
    I just started a thread about changing pups vs adjusting the amp...

    The pretense is I see so many changing pups more often than I see serious discussion about amp settings.

    I look forward and hope this is a great thread.
     
  2. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    As someone said earlier, there's no reason you can't become a proficient guitarist, getting in lots of playing AND enjoy spending time working on / modding / making your guitars personalized to your pleasure.

    I can do both and see no reason why anyone else shouldn't be able to do the same, if that's what they truly WANT to do and have the time to invest.
     
  3. Antmax

    Antmax Tele-Meister

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    Mods don't take a lot of time if its just a pickup swap, bridge or tuner change. No big deal for me. If the guitar is really good to start with I probably won't change much. It's mostly partscasters that get the more comprehensive mods.
     
  4. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Modding is a hobby as much as playing.
     
  5. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I changed the pickups in the first Strat I owned. What a waste of cash.
    How do you how a new pickup will sound? Does one really hear a difference in saddles after playing through an amp, pedals, etc?
    The only mod I would consider is changing the neck pickup on a Tele to a humbucker but there is not a luthier around here that I would trust with routing my Custom Shop to have it done.
    To me this tinkering is more of a secondary obsession for some.
    I would offer this disclaimer, if I could change pickups that I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a pickup would give me the correct treble/bass balance (warm but not dark, clear but not bright, etc) I would have it done.
     
  6. Frisco 57

    Frisco 57 Tele-Meister

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    Going back to Leo's original Telecasters & Stratocasters, the old stock wiring was a bit limited. Over time the stock 3-way switches became 5-way and 4-way switches. So, is that Mod or evolution?
     
  7. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I am not sure what there is to discuss regarding amp settings. It seems damn presumptous to think people have not / don't know how to do this
     
  8. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Changing pickups has very little impact on value unless what you put in is 1) something very esoteric or 2) junk..
     
  9. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I solve a problem (that may only exist for me) and then I get back to playing.
    I play my '78 Tele with some drive to it, so went for a bridge pickup with a little more girth.
    My brother had my Tele for a while and when it came home it had a crappy 6 way on it. I was ok with the 3 barrel, but I replaced the crap replacement.
    Strap locks - I don't consider a mod.
    The Jack cup was always coming loose, so I solved that problem BEFORE there was a real solution. (Les Paul plate)
    When I needed a refret, I moved up on the fret wire - didn't go vintage.


    I didn't get enough oomph out of the Bridge pickup on my AM Std Strat, so I put in a SD Lil' 59, and wired the tone ctrl to it.

    Once I get it right, I don't feel the need to change things.

    I will admit that I've considered going back to true SC in the Strat Bridge - Fat 50's type of wind - but I'd rather play than tinker.
     
  10. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I started out modding the inexpensive guitars I could afford to get more out of them. I became quite knowledgeable about what different value pots / caps did. I also learned to read a schematic well enough to understand what was happening. My very first pickup change was to put replace the single coil bridge pickup with an EMG select in a very odd, no name guitar. It involved heating up an xacto knife and carving out the opening in the pickguard, sorting out the circuit and figuring out how to integrate the new pickup with extra wires and getting it all back together. It might have involved removing some wood to accommodate the feet ofthe pickup too.. I don't recall. It was a grueling 2 day affair but work was satisfactory, the aesthetics were reasonable given the tools I had to work with and in the end I had a humbucker in the bridge of that guitar. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    Financial restrictions and sonic motivations fueled a lot of learning in my early years. Once I was on my own and in a better spot career wise I built some instruments from parts. That was a lesson on how all of it fits together and what influences what. These days I can listen to an instrument and hear if the pot value needs to be changed and in what direction, or a cap value needs adjusted. I can hear that the low mid is a little thick and and know that I need an A5 mag instead of A2 to address that. Its not blind guessing. I know a lot of people think you can't tell what a pickup sounds like on Youtube or in a sample. Well, if you are listening to some shmoe in their bedroom recording with cell phone audio, there is some truth to that. On the other hand manufactures and the good demonstrators like Pete Thorn, Robert Baker etc do an excellent job with the audio. Their reputation is what earns them their living and they have a vested interest in getting that right. As long as you have a decent set of headphones or monitors, you are hearing what it sounds like.

    Some people don't need mods. Good on ya' mate but understand that manufactures need to make an instrument that appeals to the widest audience. I totally understand that but that does not mean its the ideal instrument for a particular player. Most instruments are "good" off the shelf, but if you want great (there is no reason it cannot be) there is work to be done. Each piece of wood is different and you need to fine tune each instrument to be what you need it to be. Sometimes that means subtle tweaks, sometimes that means an electronics gut job. If you want a Floyd Rose, buy a model with a Floyd. Use a little common sense but beyond that, mods are part and parcel to maximizing the tools of the trade
     
  11. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes. Me too... Well, to be honest, I never had a guitar that really worked correctly stock ! :oops:

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln.
     
  12. mslevy

    mslevy TDPRI Member

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    I usually find it’s me that sucks, not the guitar.
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I used to meet people who had made strange mods that made their guitars sound terrible and made 'em extremely difficult to even play. Frankly it made me unwilling to make mods on my own -- for decades.

    When this board came along and I started reading (and reading and reading!) and later joined and started posting, I gained confidence that I could, at least, make mods and they'd turn out satisfactory. And eventually great. But this doesn't mean every guitarist can or should make mods. And if you don't play (I mean those of ya'll who have never really played much) you are at considerable risk of making bad choices when you change the appearance of your guitar. Because, at least in my mind, if the mods don't make the guitar play easier/better and/or make what comes out of the speaker sound cooler/unique/better, then those mods are not a good thing.

    On another board, I remember an individual trying to make a guitar he bought look like it had been played well and often. But he'd never really learned to play - didn't stick with it. And it looked silly. And to me that's possibly the only sin there is. Making a guitar nobody has played, that the modder can't play, look like it has been played. I guess it isn't as bad as someone stealing a guitar, but it is getting there.
     
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  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Best Post of the Thread - this part, especially.

    It should be part of the Players Code. Real simple. Goes like this:

    Never convert a non Floyd guitar to Floyd. And never convert a Floyd guitar to non Floyd. Same with Kahler. A truce. No more destroying what other people genuinely want as it is. There are so many of both, in the Free World.
     
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  15. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The assumption is the manufacturers know what every player wants and two that they actually provide a guitar in a configuration that satisfies everyone.

    Sure, there are those that mod just for the sake of modding. I don't really have a problem with that.

    A musical instrument is a very personal thing and I don't begrudge anyone their desire to make it their own.

    Every one of my Partscasters was built with a specific purpose or type of music in mind as were the mods to my factory guitars.

    My most recent project is what I am calling my Ergocaster...

    it is an experiment to try and find ways to mitigate the pain of my arthritis and bouts of frozen shoulder.

    Personally, I look forward to seeing what others do to their guitars as it often gives me inspiration.

    Would be awfully boring if all we saw here every day were factory pristine guitars :eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
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  16. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Tele-Meister

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    I have never been interested in modding my guitars, outside of my '75 Strat (my Frankenstein). It's a different story with amps. The mods that I have had done on them has been a great improvement in the tonal quality. They make my guitars sound that much better.
     
  17. Rhythm Thief

    Rhythm Thief Tele-Holic

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    I'm not sure this is true. Some of us simply like messing about with stuff. The first thing I did when I got my first car was pull it to bits and mess about with bits of the engine; I spend more time up to my elbows in bits of my many bicycles than I do actually riding the things. My guitars are no different: I love messing about with the things, and that's all there is to it. It bears absolutely no relation to how well or often I play.
     
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  18. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't mod guitars I buy. If I don't like it as it is, I don't buy it.

    All the crazy stuff I do is with my home-brew guitars because I want features that are just not available on a retail instrument.

    But there is nothing wrong with modding any guitar; it's yours and you can do whatever you like. They are made to be played, not worshipped.

    Anyone that tells you differently can go pound sand. If they're telling you a mod will ruin resale value, guess what: you are already reducing resale value by playing the thing.

    And if you're buying a guitar as an "investment," you better get yourself a new CFP because they are losing you money.
     
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  19. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    What's with the question mark at the end of the first sentence? I see question marks at the end of statements so often these days. What is going on with that?
     
  20. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I got the wiring changed on my Nashville so I could get the crucial bridge neck position.

    I put a Wilkinson Three saddle tempered bridge on it. That improved its tone or maybe playability immensely.

    I often get new jacks put in. Just hardier.

    never tried new pickups. Kind of think about it every now and then.

    my father has vintage cars. I see the parallels. Ford, Chevy, Buick guys. (Or whatever Marque). Hot rodders, slight modders, the concourse guys. (In Australia concourse cars are as original as they can be). Discussion of the relative value of each year of production.

    jamming versus rallies.

    experts and enthusiasts.


    It’s all the same.
     
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