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Old 03-11-2008, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Couple of questions on my home-made guitar?

Okay...here's the story...

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to take guitar lessons, but after about a month of them, i quit.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to take them up again, and I plan on sticking with it...

When I first started, I bought a crappy Austin strat style beginner pack...and when I decided to start up again, I didn't like that guitar so i decided to buy a new one. It's a hollow-body and I like it, and right now, its my only working electric.

I decided it would be a fun project to basically re-do my crappy strat to make it better looking, and not such a low-end guitar.

I sanded off the finish and I'm getting a custom made pickguard, and custom coloring it so I know I'll love it looks alone, so I have no problems with that.

I do have a few questions however:
1. Since I'm still using the Austin body and neck, will it still be a really crappy guitar?

2. I'm going to swap out the pickups and this is a main question of mine...Can I switch out the neck pickup and replace it with a Tele pickup??

3. I've heard about fast-fret, and products like that, but what do they actually do?

4. Is it really worth my time and money, will it become a better quality guitar, or will it just be a nice looking peice of ****?

I know, newbie questions, but I appreciate all of your questions, and If you have advice, please let me know.

Thanks,
Colton
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1. Since I'm still using the Austin body and neck, will it still be a really crappy guitar?
ask yourself what you dont like about the guitar and you'll have the answer. If its mainly the tone and aesthetics then the answer is no. if its the action and playability then changing the body isnt going to help, but there are adjustments that can be made to the bridge and neck that can improve its playability

2. I'm going to swap out the pickups and this is a main question of mine...Can I switch out the neck pickup and replace it with a Tele pickup?? yes

3. I've heard about fast-fret, and products like that, but what do they actually do? they work but there not going to improve the guitar's overall playability. All fast-fret is is lubrication (heh-heh) for your strings and fretboard.

4. Is it really worth my time and money, will it become a better quality guitar, or will it just be a nice looking peice of ****?
That depends on what you do to it. I would become a little more educated on the process before I got to deeply into. let me know what it is you don't like about the guitar, in detail, and i'll point youin the right direction.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thats the thing though...

I didn't feel like I could play it...but then again I was really crappy..

It had a LOT of hum, I know single-coils do but it seemed like a lot...

and just in general...i thought there was no way a price-point beginner pack guitar could be good...but am I wrong on that??
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by coltonbraun View Post
Okay...here's the story...

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to take guitar lessons, but after about a month of them, i quit.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to take them up again, and I plan on sticking with it...

When I first started, I bought a crappy Austin strat style beginner pack...and when I decided to start up again, I didn't like that guitar so i decided to buy a new one. It's a hollow-body and I like it, and right now, its my only working electric.

I decided it would be a fun project to basically re-do my crappy strat to make it better looking, and not such a low-end guitar.

I sanded off the finish and I'm getting a custom made pickguard, and custom coloring it so I know I'll love it looks alone, so I have no problems with that.

I do have a few questions however:
1. Since I'm still using the Austin body and neck, will it still be a really crappy guitar?

2. I'm going to swap out the pickups and this is a main question of mine...Can I switch out the neck pickup and replace it with a Tele pickup??

3. I've heard about fast-fret, and products like that, but what do they actually do?

4. Is it really worth my time and money, will it become a better quality guitar, or will it just be a nice looking peice of ****?

I know, newbie questions, but I appreciate all of your questions, and If you have advice, please let me know.

Thanks,
Colton
1 - If you like the feel of the guitar, then no. If you think the guitar plays badly, then yes, it will still be a crappy guitar. This can be alleviated somewhat by replacing every single piece of hardware including bridge and nut, but a crap neck will always be a crap neck, just as a crap cutaway or loose neck joint will always be the same. As a point to make, if your neck joint is not tight, then you will notice your guitar will not sustain nearly as long as a better guitar, no matter what you do to it.

2 - Unless it has a tele style pickup already, then no. At least not without extensive, and EXPENSIVE modification.

3 - Fast fret and suchlike are basically a grease within a weak solvent, mixed with some oils that are supposed to nourish the wood of your fretboard and promote easier playing. In practice all they end up doing is making your strings feel temporarily slippy. If you have a rosewood or ebony fretboard, you will be much better off simply cleaning the fretboard with a rag to remove your sweat and grime, then putting lemon oil onto the bare wood with a rag, leaving it 10 mins, wiping off the excess, and restringing. This will keep your fretboard clean and the wood well nourished to avoid cracking or dryness which can damage the board.

4 - It depends on the guitar and the amount of value you place in it already. A guitar that plays nicely or nice enough already, can be made into a fine instrument with a change of hardware easily enough. If it plays reasonably but you want to make it play a little better, then you can do ceratin things to it yourself, like sanding the neck finish to scuff it up which will make it stick to your hands lessthan a gloss finish. You can also use rotary sanders to change the cutaway slightly, if you are comfortable with sanding off the rest of the finish and refinishing your guitar to protect the wood.

Any further than that however, you may as well build from scratch using all new parts and wood, or buy another guitar.


Hope that helps.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltonbraun View Post
thats the thing though...

I didn't feel like I could play it...but then again I was really crappy..

It had a LOT of hum, I know single-coils do but it seemed like a lot...

and just in general...i thought there was no way a price-point beginner pack guitar could be good...but am I wrong on that??
Hey man I'm know expert on guitar mechanics (I still don't even know much of the terminology) but are you sure it isn't just out of tune? Thats the problem I had at first which created a lot of hum. Also, you might be placing your fingers near the top of the frets, which can also give you unwanted hum.

By the way, I have a budget guitar and it sounds pretty good. However the fact that yours is a beginner pack may be a problem.
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AsherM View Post
Hey man I'm know expert on guitar mechanics (I still don't even know much of the terminology) but are you sure it isn't just out of tune? Thats the problem I had at first which created a lot of hum. Also, you might be placing your fingers near the top of the frets, which can also give you unwanted hum.

By the way, I have a budget guitar and it sounds pretty good. However the fact that yours is a beginner pack may be a problem.
nope...i thought of that, and it was playable, by crappy sounding i mean, it sounded like a really crappy made guitar, and buzzed alot, not tuning wise.

I had lessons, so he had to make sure that my guitar was in tune b4 i played everyday...
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Add up the amount of money you're prepared to spend buying better quality parts, re - finishing etc, add to it the resale value of the guitar, and check out the used guitar market.
There's some genuine bargains to be had.
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