#1
I'm not a handyman by any stretch of the imagination, but sooooooo many times I read about people modding electrics and coming up with something cool, I can't help but wonder about it.

So, rather than tear up one of my axes that I love as-is, I was thinking about picking up a Carvin or Saga kit and assembling it, then trying out some modifications.

For instance, I've been curious about the Lace Alumitone pickups, and that would probably be my first thing to try- a pickup swap.

Suggestions? Hints? Warnings of impending doom?
#2
unless you are replacing everything in it besides the body and neck id stay away from the saga kit, unless you get it for a ungodly good deal.

also if you get a saga kit make sure you get it from a reliable dealer, ive seen tons of people who wanted to just stain the guitar and leave it natural that couldnt because of big brown stains on it that looked like ass, or even worse the neck was crooked.


your probably better off buying a warmoth neck/body or something else, i dont know anything about carvin but only heard good things


good luck
Official Aspie member

ANOUNCEMENT: Weird misspellings or words that make no sense? there was a good chance this was sent from my Droid 2 phone.
Quote by SinisterStrieth
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#3
watch your local craigslist for a 50 dollar ax that you can play with the guts of.
#4
Thanks for the responses and advice!

Sounds like Saga is one to avoid...I didn't know Warmoth did kits, though. Thanks for the heads up.

I'll keep an eye out on craigslist, but I don't buy much stuff over the internet. Apparently, I have "trust issues."

What is your opinion about using starter or pawn shop guitars?
#5
^Not worth it at all. Crappy guitar with expensive parts= still crappy

Carvin bolt kits are supoosed to be fantastic

Warmoth don't do kits either.
#6
Why the Hell would you need a Warmoth kit? Really, just order the parts seperately. Cheapass basswood or poplar body with regular ass maple/rosewood neck and some decent parts won't set you back much more than the Carvin kit, especially since you won't be buying anything you don't need; you can just buy the pickups straight away.
#7
^+1

Also, check the warmoth screaming deals. They have bodies going for like $129
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Thanks for the responses and advice!

Sounds like Saga is one to avoid...I didn't know Warmoth did kits, though. Thanks for the heads up.

I'll keep an eye out on craigslist, but I don't buy much stuff over the internet. Apparently, I have "trust issues."

What is your opinion about using starter or pawn shop guitars?


you search craigslist by your home city and buy in person. im not saying to sink awesome stuff into a 50 dollar guitar. im suggesting searching craigslist for the cheapest working electric you can find to simply take apart and fiddle with. if you cant take that apart and put it back together (working) then i wouldnt try it on a better guitar.
#9
im suggesting searching craigslist for the cheapest working electric you can find to simply take apart and fiddle with. if you cant take that apart and put it back together (working) then i wouldnt try it on a better guitar.


*bows to the wise one*

Now I understand. That's some of the best advice I've gotten over the internet, ever.
#10
Quote by supergerbil
^Not worth it at all. Crappy guitar with expensive parts= still crappy
Carvin bolt kits are supoosed to be fantastic

Warmoth don't do kits either.

Does it really matter? If amp is 90% of your tone and pickups 8%, then wood is only 2%, so really it doesn't matter what wood your guitar is made from. Sure the figures aren't exactly correct but there close to it...
Some woods are harder, some softer, some smell nicer, some heavier, lighter, stronger, brighter, warmer etc etc... As long as you've got good pickups and and awesome amp your good to go, different woods are just for that one little push over the edge

The only difference between good wood and bad wood for building guitars is sustain and that bit of extra tone change

TS, go with warmoth... They dont sell kits but they sell everything needed for a guitar seperatly
Definately stay away from Saga kits, there like factory blemishes and 2nd just chucked in a box...
#11
Quote by dannyalcatraz
*bows to the wise one*

Now I understand. That's some of the best advice I've gotten over the internet, ever.


glad i could help bro. have fun!
#12
Quote by guitarcam123
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The only difference between good wood and bad wood for building guitars is sustain and that bit of extra tone change


But I was on about build quality. The body wood will be roughly glued, the fret ends will be sharp, the truss rod will be cheap, the paint will be extremely thick...
#13
Quote by guitarcam123
Does it really matter? If amp is 90% of your tone and pickups 8%, then wood is only 2%, so really it doesn't matter what wood your guitar is made from. Sure the figures aren't exactly correct but there close to it...
Some woods are harder, some softer, some smell nicer, some heavier, lighter, stronger, brighter, warmer etc etc... As long as you've got good pickups and and awesome amp your good to go, different woods are just for that one little push over the edge

The only difference between good wood and bad wood for building guitars is sustain and that bit of extra tone change

TS, go with warmoth... They dont sell kits but they sell everything needed for a guitar seperatly
Definately stay away from Saga kits, there like factory blemishes and 2nd just chucked in a box...


Sorry but that is incorrect. Your amp is not 90% of your tone and pickups makes up a lot more then 8% and wood at only 2%? Try again. I'm not going to get into specifics with numbers and such but plug an LP and a Strat into the same amp and settings and you'll hear a significant difference. This can be debated for days on end, but in the end the bulk of your tone comes mostly from your fingers.

Anyways, to the threadstarter I'd suggest picking up a used Squier Affinity Strat or something similar and modding that. I would not suggest Warmoth as it would become pretty expensive. $150 for a body thats unpainted and your basic paint job from them for a solid color is $185. You can paint it yourself of course if you have the room and know how.
A maple neck with maple fingerboard from them is $157 and that too is unfinished. A gloss finish costing an extra $75 and on top of that even if you leave it bare wood and apply only tung oil on it for example the frets won't be finished and will need a leveling and the edges smoothed out. Its all on their site. Add shipping on top of that and possible tax and you're pretty high and don't even have any pickups or hardware installed yet.
I'd check Craigslist or local ads or some music stores and pawn shops carry used equipment. That would be your best bet I think.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#14
my manager has a saga tele kit guitar. while it wont win any awards it is more than adequate for practicing modding and soldering on. i would seriously get one and have a crack at it... carvin kits are loads more expensive and therefore not worth breaking while you learn.
Thank you please.
#15
^ he may have got a lucky kit...
Theres not many that every part in the kit works....

DSOTM80: Yeah i guess it was a bit of an exaduration... Although in my eyes
Amp > Pickups > Wood
That is also true, a LP and strat are completly different. Pickups what 30% you reckon...


supergerbil: im not really thinking tonight...
Yeah, the workmanship (if thats what you want to call it) wont be as good on cheaper guitars
#16
The other thing you guys gotta realize is he's just starting out as he's mentioned so he'll have no idea about fret sizes, neck shapes, which woods he prefers etc. so making one from Warmoth would be a hassle. Besides he'd have to get someone to put it together and so on. He wants to experiment and good for him. Get a used Affinity Strat and solder and swap away. If you mess it up its only about $100 or so down the drain, no biggie.

guitarcam123, I guess its subjective. I look at it this way for me anyways. The wood of your guitar is the base of your tone for that guitar, thats the first thing I choose when building one. You can change pickups all you want but you'll never make mahogany sound as bright as alder in a Strat so like I said its the base for tone in that guitar. Do I want a warmer sounding guitar (mahogany) or a brighter one (maple) or somewhere in between (poplar, alder, ash) and so on. Then I look at the neck, for me its either maple neck with a maple fingerboard or rosewood fingerboard. So I guess I'm pretty simple in that regard. I'm leaving specific things like fret size, body shapes, neck dimensions out as those are too personal and for the sake of keeping this simple and not geeky Anyways having chosen the body and neck material then choose pickup(s) to bring out the characteristics you want in the guitar. Tame an overly bright guitar where you like the attack it has but maybe not that much the high end for example. I'm not saying wood>pickups. I just look at it the way I described thats all, no percentages. Its all connected.

The amp is a large part I agree, and for what you wanna play. Fender cleans, Marshall crunch, Line 6 Spider III digital br00tulz and so on. So amp is a large chunk for sure as a good amp will make a crap guitar sound decent but then again a really great guitar will still sound pretty good on a sh*t amp so its good to see the guitars true colors. I say this cause a friend of mine is a guitar tech, and below his work bench he's got a small Fender Frontman to test out guitars once he's set them up, soldered new pickups etc. I've seen everything from a Prestige J-Craft on his bench, to EVH Charvel Arts Series to crappy department store guitars and everything in between. Cause its the same crappy amp being used on all of them you can hear which guitars are worth it, as I've seen the EVH Charvel make it sound like no Frontman POS I've heard before
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#17
i have 3 different ibanez 7s, two rgs(bass wood and different pickups between the two) and a s model (mohagony and yet another set of pups). they all sound different on the exact same amp and settings. each factor (wood,pups) make a difference and have different sounds. how much difference is really subjective. but they do make a difference so i guess we are all correct