Your Pure Stock Electric Guitars. Bought New. Zero Alterations.


Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
O'Fallon, MO
Many electric guitarists, and I'm a prime example, love to make changes to guitars they've purchased. I've done it to lower priced guitars, (Fender MIM Teles and MIM Strats. Les Paul Studios. A mid '80s Charvel Tele-Style. Two Ibanez RGs and many more), and expensive guitars too, (Les Paul Traditional. Eric Johnson Stratocaster, etc.). Why? I'm not concerned about resale value. I don't buy and sell. I do it to make them mine. To make them me. To prowl outside the pack. Plus .... I love trying to find something better than what I've already got. Increments of improvement toward something better. It's an electric guitar player gas thing. Yet ....... there are some guitars I've purchased stock, have never changed a single thing on them and still own them to this day. An again ... it's not about resale value. I've just never found anything about them I could improve upon and "making them mine" might actually make them less than they were upon their brand new purchase. I love to make changes but ... the following list of guitars were all bought new by me, (some as many as 20+ years ago), and remain absolutely stock. I've truly never found anything that would improve upon them.

2002 Ibanez JEM DBK.
2007 Gibson Custom Shop CS 336.
2008 Suhr Custom T-Style.
2014 Melancon Custom T-Style.
2017 Giffin Standard.
2018 Melancon Pro T-Style.

I also owned a 2001 Fender Double Fat Strat that remained stock for as long as I owned it, (about 10 years), but someone out of the blue heard it and offered me a price I just couldn't turn down so it's no longer in my stable.

So what about you. Especially you Love to upgrade types. Any guitars in your home or studio that remain exactly as they were when you purchased them? How long have you owned them? Are your reasons similar or different from mine?

Thank you for your responses. 🙂


Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Sep 20, 2021
Florida Gulf Coast
I have a 1969 Strat that I modded with a 5-way switch and Fat Strat pickup in 1978. I reinstalled the original pickup last year. Because of it's "vintage" value, I'll never mod it again. On the other hand, I took a belt sander to my new CV 50s Tele before I had it a month. <Edit> Also, Gotoh tuners and brass saddles.

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Doctor of Teleocity
Feb 11, 2006
Near Athens GA USA
Only two out of a sizable number of guitars although most of that sizable number were bought used (typically already modded or damaged) or parts builds.

My 1998 Epiphone LP Jr hasn't been modded even though it has those poorly regarded trapezoid tuners. I've bought replacement tuners for it twice, only to use them on other projects. Fret wear has finally caught up with it so I'm going to have to do a level and crown on it at some point.

My Gretsch Electromatic SparkleJet has only had a new switch to replace one that was broken after about 15 years of use. It's otherwise unmodded.


Friend of Leo's
Apr 2, 2012
New Mexico
I never thought about this before, but I have modded all of my Fenders (even if its just a pickguard) and my Gibsons and Epiphone 335 are all dead stock.

Maybe I'm more of a Gibson guy these days?


Poster Extraordinaire
Jun 19, 2011
europe endless
At this point only three, my Gibsons - 335, SG special, Les Paul.

The 335 I never had issues with until I started playing more single coil guitars. A friend of mine has a 60s 335 and I had to peg the 57 classics all the way down to get anywhere near the sound of the pickups in his. I think I might replace them with lower wind, like lollar imperials. The 57 classics are muddier than the patented pickups.

SG special - it’s one of those dual HB ones from the late 90s. The neck pickup sounds good and isn’t muddy, but the bridge is too hot. I might replace them with p-rails to get early Iommi type sounds when I want, but also have HBs for heavier stuff. Plus it will look more like a p90 special, and I’m not willing to route out the cavities for p90s. Still, I might try mini humbuckers to split the difference.

The Les Paul needs to be sold, so it just stays undisturbed in the case. No amount of mods could make me like a Les Paul, haha.


Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Apr 7, 2010
Of all my guitars, I have 1 that is bone stock and will probably stay that way...
Gibson Les Paul Studio in Smokehouse Burst, LOVE this beauty just the way she is 🥰
The only deviation will be the strings, going from the factory 10s down to Elixir Nanoweb 9-42.

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Jan 26, 2007
I've owned/bought/sold way over 100 guitars in my lifetime (probably 3 times that, LOL). I'm not a tweaker or twiddler. I've left them all alone. My philosophy is to NOT buy on the Internet, (well most of the time, LOL) and to sit down with a guitr with a clean amp prior to purchase and do a test drive. If I like something, and it's still at the store, do a test drive when my emotions are going different directions, because I find my perception is different if I am mad, or glad, or sad, etc...

Then if the guitar still has what I call "soul" I'll then pull thr trigger and it comes home.

If it does not fit or have a "soul" then it stays at the music store. It does not follow me home.

I tend not to buy impulsively, so having already approved the guitar before buying it, I have no need to change anything.

By "soul" I mean it has that something special that perks my ears or my hands. Not every guitar has a "soul". I've played some guitars for as little as 5 seconds and went to myself "yuck" and hung it bacl up after just a couple chords.

Howbeit the ONE guitar that I did fiddle with is an Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro. A kid had it listed on FB Marketplkace for $150 with the Epiphone LP hard case. At that price it had a lot of "issues". The kid had lost the strap buttons, lost the pickguard, this model has push/pulls on the volumes, one of them was broken, and one of the plastic top hat knobs was cracked.

New, that model is in the $500 range, and the cases are $130 and don't come wit that model.

I squealed my tires coming out of the driveway to get over there before someone else saw the ad... LOL. (I was about 5 minutes too late contacting a lady who's father had died and she had a blackface 60s Fender Deluxe Reverb on Marketplace for $50... yup, $50... she said as I was typing the message a guy had just drove off with it... for $50... hahahaha).

I brought the Epi LP TRad Pro home, totally gutted all the electronics. Bought a new PG and strap locks. Installed some Dimarzio John Petrucci Rainmaker/Dream Catcher pups, new white/nlack pushback wires, new braided wire to the new switchcraft toggle, new switch craft jack. New USA push/pull pots, new black speed knobs... Wired it 50s style. Spent something like $250 on the parts. Now I have a Les Paul I'd put up tone-for-tone against any LP on the market. IMHO, one of the best LP's I've ever owned.

Oh, and my 1993 MIJ Fotoflame Strat... re-wired the guts of that, left the pickups. New CTL switch, CTS 250k pots, black/white pushback wires... Mallory orange drop cap. Totally changed the instrument into a very useable workhorse guitar. Previous to this the only "good" sound was the #4 on the 5-way. I actually use to consider hard-wiring the guitar and minus the switch out of it so I didn't hit the 5-way when I was playing, LOL... it was that bad. Now it rocks on all 5, even the neck pup., What a difference a soldering iron makes...

But for the most part, if it doesn't pass the test drive in the store, it stays in the store... and I don't have to try to re-engineer a guitar or throw away more money into an axe I already hate... never did make sense to me to spend even more money on something you already don't like. If they didn't engineer it right at the factory, I don't try to "re-engineer" it at home... it just stays at the store...
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Nov 21, 2020
Give 'em the beans!
LP Studio
Agile Argus (Bass VI copy)
Agile Chiral Parity (headless baritone)
Peavey Predator (x2)
Couple of acoustics

Ibanez RG570 (pickup swap)
Epi LP Special P90 (magnet swap, hardware)
Agile Intrepid 728 (from actives to passives, added 3way minis for each pickup and went from global tone control to individual)
Ibanez Mikro (custom pickguard, pickup swap, 3way minis)
Ibanez Ex404 - black (ADAD tuning with a low .160, previous owner swapped in quarter pounders)
Ibanez Ex404 - Red (hardware, EMG Gzrs)

So that's 7 stock to 6 modded, but I don't really count the acoustics and I'm trying to sell one of the Predators.


Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2003
Most mine are modded. I'm cheap, I often start with a basic good body and neck on Fender style guitars. Then do "my thing".

My Ibanez George Benson is good as bought. I did put a Bar bridge on it, but it really didn't need it.