Do You Upgrade/Mod Your Guitars?

Do you upgrade/mod your guitars?

  • No I leave my guitars stock.

    Votes: 21 14.1%
  • Yes I upgrade all my guitars.

    Votes: 34 22.8%
  • I do with some guitars, others I leave stock.

    Votes: 94 63.1%

  • Total voters
    149

parts

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Yes..
I came here originally to restore my '71 Les Paul Custom to sell as I hadn't really played for 30years...and thought I wouldn't play again. But this place and you folks dragged me back in..thanks
In 1974/5 I put a 20db pre-amp (breadboard) in cavity w linear taper pot...so I googled MLP and found wiring diagrams. I also replace the SD Distortion bridge with a old Sticker.. Then changed magnets A5 in neck..A2 bridge. Love it and I play it a lot now.

My 66 355TDSV ia a one off with a different set of values in the varitone (I got to see it being made !).. I had a "Harmonica bridge" (70s) and a brass nut..both brought the guitar more "alive". The work was done as I watched in Kalamazoo.. Gold Grovers..as the originals never liked all that bending..play this one alot too

Somewhere..or sometime..I put ceramic magnets in..playing so loud..and with so much effects I just want more bite and drive, Marshalls..or Sunns seemed to like them..no idea as I couldn't hear lol
Took then out last year..replaced with A2 bridge..A5 neck.

My '65 ES175 (single pickup) was a mess when I got it trade for some work.. It has a reverse mounted PAF with a A5..Grovers..

I have a 65 EB-0 bass.. Gibson pickup..don't remember the mag..added Precision staggered in bridge.. Phase and coil taps and forgot what else. Sounded so much like my Rick and my P Bass,,I sold them.. My partner in a studio was a great EE..so I learned from him..but setups..neck work he learned from me..

In my old equip box..I have old P90s and 60s Strat pickups..other stuff. Oh..forgot.. I put two of the old strat PUs in my '71 Strat,,with stacked 59 in bridge with tap..

So yeah..I guess..
 
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John Ucol

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I've swapped out a few pickups in my guitars over the last few years- haven't changed much else for the most part, with the only exception being restorations- I sent one of my older PRS guitars over to get the finish restored to be good as new after years of wear and tear, with the original poly finish getting beaten up pretty badly.

Though for the longest time, I've left my guitars stock. Apart from guitars, I've had my amp head(s) re-tolexed to match my MESA cabs and their stock black taurus, assuming they're not already matching.

 

E1WOOD5150

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In order of acquisition...

My J B Player neck through Strat copy had been modded with pickups when I got it. I wasn't crazy about them, so I had a DiMarzio PAF Plus put in the bridge, and a PAF in the neck. The guitar now needs a lot of work (bridge, frets, possibly tuners)

My Mockingbird had been modded by the previous owner. It needs frets, and a nut. I got the Neal Moser wiring harness for my birthday, and am slowly getting parts to put it back to the classic B C Rich look, with cream pickups, nickel hardware, although I'm pretty sure mine came with black pickups stock. However, after playing it yesterday, the guitar sounds and plays fantastic as it sits. The frets ARE worn out, though.

My Squire Strat got new jumbo frets and tuners, a marine pearl pickguard, and pickups. I hate the pickups in it now, and will be replacing them and the wiring harness sometime soon. I need that back in the rotation.

The SX Tele had been modded before I got it, with Fralin pickups. I put Graph-Tech saddles on it, then shielded the cavity and put locking Grover tuners on it. There is a crackle in it that needs to be sorted out, but that guitar is a killer.

The Les Paul had been modded prior to my purchase of it, with Sheptone Tributes, Creamtone plastics and amber reflectors with pointers, and aged Tone Pros ABR1 and Stop Bar. I bought a set of aged tuning pegs, but they don't fit, and now I dont care. I took the pickguard off; other than that, I just play it.

The Epiphone Les Paul Special P-90 is the dilemma...$99.00 guitar, purchased to be a "birthday card" for my 50th, for guests to sign. They signed it It plays well, sounds killer, but the tuners suck, the nut is crap, I cant intonate the guitar thanks to the crappy bridge, and the electronics are horrible. But, its a $99.00 guitar, so what to do???

So, I guess I mod my guitars.
 

Ed B

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I do. If the guitar is a keeper I’ll upgrade things like pots, caps, and pups. It’s not automatic though.
 

MooCheng

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they are all stock apart from changing to 50's wiring and straplocks,

cosmetic changes don't bother me, I really car'nt get excited over knobs and switch tips
 

nitrodave08

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'06 SG faded special - nickle hardware and chrome top knobs
'13 TPII - top recolor (cobraburst), SD 59s, roller bridge, "vintage" tuners, RI pots, braided wirng
'14 R9 - TRC with dad's name as a trubute



 

BDW60

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I used to be mod crazy. I had a Gibson SG a few years back that I modded every single aspect of that guitar. The only thing left stock was the wood. I believed that it would sound better if i upgraded everything. In reality it just sounded different, not really better.

Today for the most part, I dont mod/upgrade my gear. Im not against it because modding/upgrading can be a lot of fun, and in a lot of cases the instrument will sound better. Take my MIM telecaster for example. The stock pickups were ok, I had James at Rewind wind me a set of custom pickups for it, it sounds much better.

My new SG 61 RI is currently all stock. Am I tempted to upgrade? Kinda, but not really. I really like the stock 61T and 61R pickups. They sound great, so Im gonna enjoy them for what they are.

My USA Fender American Professional Stratocaster has Tim Shaw pickups in it, and honestly they are some of the best strat pickups Ive ever heard.

I notice my trend of modding is that if its a foreign guitar ill usually upgrade the pickups. I find that USA models already sound great from the factory. The put some research and design into them, so I enjoy my USA guitars for what they are.

Will I never mod another high end guitar? I honestly dont know. But for now im enjoying them for what they are.
I have never been a big modder of USA guitars. My historic LPs owned in the past were left mostly unmolested.

Only LP I currently have is a 2009 Traditional. It was quite good stock, but just improved considerably by replacing the 57 Classic/classic + with Sigil Chicago 68 Session Series, an RS harness and a lightweight tailpiece. Really quite surprised by how much better the guitar sounds and responds. Since I did multiple mods at once, I’m not sure which specific parts are most responsible for the changes or if it’s just a bit of lucky synergy. I guess I don’t really care. It’s working.
 

Unionjack515

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Oddly enough, it seems as though the only guitars I mod are LPs...ha!

Last year I “desecrated” a Sunrise Teaburst R8 when I commissioned her to get the Blackburst treatment. At the same time, I dropped in a custom-wound set of Haeussel ‘59s in and a wiring harness with vintage caps and pots. Completely transformed an already amazing guitar into something next level.

I am also about to have an LP Traditional project guitar returned to me after a makeover. But I bought that knowing it was a project, so perhaps that doesn’t count? New EVERYTHING on that one—inlays, side markers, every piece of hardware and plastic, ThroBak DT102s, vintage harness etc.; all to go along with a new paint job. That guitar is one big mod. But the instrument it started as had such high potential, it deserved a few months at the spa! One piece body, glorious “imperfect” top just to my liking, tremendously resonant, perfect chunky neck. Now it will look the part.
 

Jeremiah

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I change parts, or mod, I don't like the word upgrade. It invites opinions, which I didn't solicit.

Les Pauls (all Norlin Deluxe models) - all get Stewmac prewired harness, Dimarzio pickups, graphtech supercharger kit, 7's

Classic Series 70 Strat - Stewmac prewired harness, Dimarzio pickups, graphtech nut and saddles, 7's

Telecaster '72 Custom - graphtech nut and saddles, 7's

335 - graphtech supercharger kit, (about to have) Filter'tron pickups, 7's


Are any of these things upgrades? hell if I know, I like them, so I do them.
 
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ehb

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I normally do not mod my guitars/basses wit the exceptions of:

Hamer Monaco - pickups too hot, put in PAFs
Gibson Goldie - had slick top minis, no poles so no adjustment, too hot, put in traditional minis and a 50s harness
My Fender basses get Kickass high mass bridges, just is...

All my others are exactly as I got em...
 

matthew bear

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I've modded both of my fenders (strat and tele) but the only gibson I've modded was my 2018 RD 40th. I didn't like the actives in it, so they came out and were replaced with Bare knuckle emeralds. It was a good decision, as now it's my favorite guitar :)
 
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Firetiger65

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I've modded just about every stinkin' guitar I've owned or currently own. I HAD to mod my CS Les Paul Axcess. It arrived "new" in crappy set up but worse still, with really sub-par components. The Korean made Floyd was horrible. WTF would anyone put that on a $4800 custom shop guitar in the first place? That came out for a real deal OFR in black. The burstbucker bridge p'up was IMO "Meh" so it came out for what would eventually be a custom-wound Gravelin. The toggle kept crapping out so (small wonder- there was saw dust in the cavity and gunking up the switch), that got replaced with something non-Chinese- a Switchcraft. The pots came out and got replaced w/ proper CTSs. The Klusons tuners felt cheap and looked worse. They were replaced by some black Grovers. Finally, all the chrome and creme hardware and trim came off for black.
On my SG Diablo Limited Edition, I replaced the, again, craptastic Korean Floyd for a real OFR in black, as well as all the chrome hardware for black. The p'ups in that one actually sounded pretty damned good so, they stayed.
I've even modded (albeit moderately- just the trem and the bridge p'up) a uber rare Hamer double neck Californian made for Micheal Fath and my beloved Hamer Cali Custom - one of the last 10 or so to come out of the New Hartford shop before FMIC shut them down for good. If it doesn't work to my expectations or looks crappy IMO, it's gotta go.
371358
 

1all's Pub

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Yep I mod em, even if just something minor like a set of Faber locking tailpiece studs or a set of different knobs (usually much more though).

A) it’s part of the hobby for me (I’m not a professional musician)
B) it’s fun to do
C) w/o exception (whether it’s a technical mod (pickups, wiring harness, etc) or an aesthetic mod (knobs, vintage spec tall rings, etc)) I like the guitar better with my mods
D) leaving a guitar bone stock is a bit boring :D
 

Hellmark

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There is some stuff I always do, like put on Dunlop Straploks, or wetsand the fretboard with a small amount of oil and a high grit sandpaper. Past that, it depends on the guitar. My strat? Yeah, that got modded out the wazoo, till I got it to where I like it. Other stuff, pretty stock. I tend to collect something for a specific feel or sound, so I go after what fits that niche. Since I sought something that was already a certain way out of the box, no need to mod it. Like most recently, I was feeling the itch for a traditional telecaster, so that's what I got.
 




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