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Old 09-16-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
Knackworst1
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Acoustic guitar modifications

I was wondering, is it possible to buy an acoustic guitar, for instance an epiphone hummingbird, which is a reasonably guitar and bring it to the store and let it make into a good guitar?

Changing strings to martin might be one thing, but what else can you do do improve sound/tuning/playability or even looks?
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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my cousin manny can help you wit dat he lower it, put een a tuck n roll interior. airbrush a peecture of my seester jorge( before she gained the other 120 lbs, or after eef thats you wish , with or without the beard), and install tween turbos!!!!
seriously, a simple setup by a GOOD shop will do wonders for it. again, the ter setup can be a very generic term, like a car tune up, different models require different things. a good qualified shop should know the little nuances of your axe to get the most out of it.
or were you thinking of bringing it to a store and trading it in for a Gibbie h-bird? that would make it sound better( a bit more expensive that way though).
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
what else can you do do improve sound/tuning/playability or even looks?


For sound, the only cost effective things you can do are:

- Proper set up
- New strings
- New saddle/nut

Looks are more subjective but, once again, there are only limited things you can do which are cost effective

- Change pick guard
- Change machine heads
- Change bridge pins
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
Knackworst1
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K thanks, what would give better tuning? New tuners, nut, bridge and strings?

Last edited by Knackworst1 : 09-16-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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By 'better tuning' do you mean more stable? As in the guitar will take longer to go out of tune?
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Yes, sorry
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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Tuners and strings I guess
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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Even cheap tuners are remarkably stable... I use really cheap Chinese open-gear tuners on all my cigar-box guitars and they hold tune just fine, thanks.
More likely causes of "not staying in tune" are that the strings were poorly applied to the tuners to begin with, friction in the nut slots (a little graphite helps) and ratty, worn-out strings.

I've got a pile of different instruments, and even if they sit for weeks, they are rarely more than a few cents out of tune.
Learn to string the guitar properly, keep good strings on it, and you'll have minimal worries.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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So a good setup and some good strings will do for a simple epiphone hummingbird?
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #10
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Yes
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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i've replaced a number of cheap tuners because they slipped or weren't smooth enough to tune easily. i generally replace them with these
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/...omy_Tuners.html
which are surprisingly good quality for the price.

if you mean you're having intonation problems - which some people think are tuning problems - you can have pretty much any guitar intonated. i've seen prices for this vary from $25 to over $100, depending on the tech/luthier's prices.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Knackworst1
So a good setup and some good strings will do for a simple epiphone hummingbird?

Yes. Most of the time, people say 'cheap guitars are hard to play' due to the fact that they were never properly set up.

A proper set up will make the guitar play nicely. Sring type is a big factor as well - light gauge vsmedium gauge, phosphor bronze vs 80/20 will bring a very different tone to the table.

Changing the tuners is not necessary unless you find the guitar goes out of tune easily or have slipping points (it is quite common on cheap guitars).

The saddle could be worth changing and in that guitar. I'd move from the stock plastic one to a TUSQ one. This change isn't necessary, nor is it a drastic change, but you may want to explore that option.

Nut is rarely worth changing if you don't have tuning problems, or a broken nut, as is only affects the open strings, I'd say this is the last thing you would want to consider switching.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info, does chanin the saddle improve the sound? I once read that but i doubt it will vhange the sound...
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
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ah, changing the saddle and nut can improve the tone - and while changing the saddle, one can also have the guitar intonated properly, which is always a plus. but what has the biggest impact in tone will be the strings. and changing the strings to different materials/types will have a huge impact. DR rare phosphor bronze strings can add brilliance to a dull guitar and can lose boom in a muddy guitar without changing the tone so it's too bright or thin. changing to martin silk & steels (better sounding to me than d'addario silk & steels) especially helped some of my cheapest beaters and the guitars i felt were too bright. changing yamahas (that come with their own meh strings) to good ol' d'addario pb's can help right off the bat. then 80/20's seem brighter to me, and different gauges of the same strings can have different qualities, as well.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #15
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Interesting, and elkxir, are they an good? They are 4 times as expensive as the XL strings (ones I use for my MIJ fender tele)
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Knackworst1
Interesting, and elkxir, are they an good? They are 4 times as expensive as the XL strings (ones I use for my MIJ fender tele)

Never played them, but review are always meh. IIRC the nanoweb technology they made up is a clear coating, much like cleartones, to make strings last longer. Well, the issue with that is they end up sounding dead out of the box.

My personal preference are Martin Bluegrass. They are a hybrid of gauges to big a nice bass and an easy cutting treble. I would suggest looking at D'addarios first off, their strings are great and offer many types.

Patti's explanations are spot on. The first thing to look at in my mind is PB vs 80/20. 80/20 are much brighter and they don't suit every guitar or players ear.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knackworst1
Interesting, and elkxir, are they an good? They are 4 times as expensive as the XL strings (ones I use for my MIJ fender tele)



4 times the cost and last 6 times longer.
I first started using elixers about 10 years ago, and have bought nothing else since.


as for thread, i am going to disagree as far as improving a cheap guitar.
I dont think you can,, at least cost effectivly, ,make changes that are really worth the trouble.
The money and time spent trying could be used better on your original purchase. IMO

Kinda like buying a cheap car, putting expensive tires, new paint, etc,,,,,its still a cheap car.

90% of that sound we all love comes from the wood and craftsmanship.

cheers, and let us know if you do some experimenting, interesting thought.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #18
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Well, I know its better to spend the money on the guitar instead of improvements, but youll never find a guitar as good looking as an epiphone hummingbird/ej200 unlessyou buy the gibson which is 10 times the cost... I know it's wrong to judge a guitar by looks, but I mainly play electric, so for an acoustic guitar looks is a big thing to me...
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knackworst1
Well, I know its better to spend the money on the guitar instead of improvements, but youll never find a guitar as good looking as an epiphone hummingbird/ej200 unlessyou buy the gibson which is 10 times the cost... I know it's wrong to judge a guitar by looks, but I mainly play electric, so for an acoustic guitar looks is a big thing to me...


funny,,,my "babe" is an old Martin, I paid over 2 grand for it, and it looks like hell,,,,but what a sound.

I have many times thought about giving it a face lift,,,but it sure has character,,,lol

I know thats not what your talking about, in terms of looks, but I thought I would mention it.

The more I think about it, looks should really mean nothing I guess?
Then again, we are a visual species for sure.
lol
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #20
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lol,,,,although, I have always liked gold tuners.
=-)
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