#1
I could really use some opinions on some mods I have planned for my first electric, a 2002 Squire Strat (NOT Stratocaster, there's a slight difference in head stock and body shape, i pretty sure this is a basswood body, made in china). Finally I am in a position where I'm reasonable happy with the level / quality of most of my gear, except of course for my ol' strat.

I just got my tax return and want to drop some coin, I've been wanting a six string that i can set up for dropped tunings and use a metal axe ( as i can play my epiphone LP for lighter stuff and I have an LTD SC607B for super heavies),

I was thinking about buying a schecter six string or something to use, But I still want to hang onto my ol' strat, but anyone who owns a stock one of these (squire not schecter!) will know how crap they sound when you crank the gain on your amp. I want this guitar to be able to produce a brutal heavy on the bridge, but at least a respectable clean on the neck.

So I got onto a guitar workshop in Melbourne, and after some extensive discussions we've have come up with a three stage modification plan that will hopefully take my Squire from a lemon to a 'metal' peach!

1st stage: Fret re-touch, restringing and general set up $100AUD. (This just needs doing as it's been a while)

2nd stage: Remove stock pick ups and install an EMG 89 in the bridge, and an EMG SA in the neck. He will also fit a proper rear access battery pack, a three way pup selector , custom fit scratch plate and a coil tap tone knob (for the 89). This will set me back around $600AUD

3rd stage: Replace stock machine heads and bridge with Gotoh Locking tuners and a Gotoh Tremolo Bridge. This will set me back around $200AUD

Firstly, I wanted an EMG 85 , but as the guitar tech has an 89 (the coil tap version) in stock he'll do it dirt cheap ( cheaper than I can by an EMG 85 for myself). The 89 is supposed to sound exactly like an 85 when on the humbuck mode, and like a SA when on the single mode, but please tell me if you think this is BS. As I don't know anyone who has used an 89.

I picked the SA, as I like the warmth and tone of a single, And I figured it will make the guitar much more versatile than if i installed a combination of 85's/ 81's / 60's etc. Plus it'll be a bit different to what most people get done i guess when they're chasing a metal sound.

Basically i want to know if you were in my position, and wanted that kind of sound ( call it a modern heavy metal sound if you want). would you go ahead or do something else? I honestly believe you can't get a guitar with that level hardware for under $1500 and even then it'd be a schecter. you have to get a top end LTD or ESP etc to find good Gotoh parts and EMG's normally.

But before you say that the wood on this axe will let me down, so i better of just buying a mid range schecter etc, I feel that for Metal, with active pick ups, the wood probably matters a lot less than it does for someone wanting to play crisp clean jazz for example. I have heard the saying that you can mount EMG's on a 2 be 4 and they would sound good!

The other thing I am keen for opinions on in is the pick up choices, particularly the SA. If you reckon there's a better ACTIVE single out there, i loved to look into it! And Also, should I get the EMG's set up on 18V power instead? My LTD 7 string is only runnin 9V, but i wouldnt mind hearing the difference
" It's about how it sounds, not how it's played "

F@CK EVERYTHING



Why be sober when you can
#2
why? why would you bother to spend all that money on a squire? it will still sound bad after and you might at well get a new guitar.
Guitars:
Jackson JS30KE Kelly
Jackson RRX10D
Fender Telecaster American Standard
Epiphone Acoustic
Amps:
Vox DA15
Marshall G80RCD
Pedals:
Boss GT-6
Boss MT-2
#3
Quote by Flaming Chaos
why? why would you bother to spend all that money on a squire? it will still sound bad after and you might at well get a new guitar.


You obviously need to step away from the GB&C forum and also go learn how much wood effects your tone. It's not a lot. I built a guitar out of a 2x12 and a guitar out of steel, although neither had great pickups, they still sounded alright considering popular belief should've said they'd sound like shit. Also go look up James Trussart guitars, completely steel bodies, AMAZING tone.
#4
Quote by LeviMan_2001
You obviously need to step away from the GB&C forum and also go learn how much wood effects your tone. It's not a lot. I built a guitar out of a 2x12 and a guitar out of steel, although neither had great pickups, they still sounded alright considering popular belief should've said they'd sound like shit. Also go look up James Trussart guitars, completely steel bodies, AMAZING tone.



although disagreeing with this (i believe wood does affect your tone) i still must say i'd probs just buy a new guitar.

im all for refinishing the strat (this is the gb&c forum after all ) but yeah for $700 you could probs get a nicer guitar man and finish the strat some other way.

although on the other hand you get to choose your pickups this way and whatnot, so i guess thats good.

either way good luck man it sounds sweet
#5
if I was in your position, i'd do all the work myself and save a bunch of money.

my squier's modded as **** and I love it, but I'd never pay for anyone to do all the work on it..I'd rather just invest the money in a new guitar.

for stage 1- the fret leveling and setup, that's fair enough, since not everyone has the tools/ time/ knowledge to properly level frets, and if it's done professionally I guarantee you won't be disappointed with it

but for the second and third steps, I'd just buy all the parts yourself and learn how to change tuners/change a bridge/ wire new pickups.
keep in mind that after you change the tuners and bridge, the guitar'll need set up again. so don't do stage 1 until you finish with the other stages..


I dunno man, i guess you see what I mean by this.
if you're gonna do it yourself, I think it's totally worth it. but if you're just paying for someone to do a whooole lot of work or a 'meh' guitar, then I'd rather put the money towards a new guitar
#6
Quote by james4
if I was in your position, i'd do all the work myself and save a bunch of money.

my squier's modded as **** and I love it, but I'd never pay for anyone to do all the work on it..I'd rather just invest the money in a new guitar.

for stage 1- the fret leveling and setup, that's fair enough, since not everyone has the tools/ time/ knowledge to properly level frets, and if it's done professionally I guarantee you won't be disappointed with it

but for the second and third steps, I'd just buy all the parts yourself and learn how to change tuners/change a bridge/ wire new pickups.
keep in mind that after you change the tuners and bridge, the guitar'll need set up again. so don't do stage 1 until you finish with the other stages..


I dunno man, i guess you see what I mean by this.
if you're gonna do it yourself, I think it's totally worth it. but if you're just paying for someone to do a whooole lot of work or a 'meh' guitar, then I'd rather put the money towards a new guitar


Thanks man, I know what your saying, but Im just not confident to do the routing work required and i dont have the tools either. I honestly believe this guitar will sound better than any guitar i can buy brand new for $700 AUD, so Im curious as to why most people are saying that im better of with a new git. I already have a Epiphone LP and a seven string LTD, so I dont really want a fourth electric (yet).
I just can't think of any guitar that will come with EMG's and Gotoh Hardware for under $700 AUD.

And as for comments about wood, the pre-amp EQ of active pick ups strongly overpowers / overrides the natural sound characteristics of the wood, so as long as it's a good (with no defects) piece of tone wood, you will get a good sound from EMG's. If I wanted to play jazz through passive pick ups, I wouldn't bother I'd just buy a new instrument.

Thanks for the comments guys, definitely some things for me to think about, but at this stage I think Im still gonna mod rather a mediocre new guitar . It will be a unique guitar and I already have two solid, good qual. electrics anyway so I wont be cut up if there's not a marked improvement in the sound
" It's about how it sounds, not how it's played "

F@CK EVERYTHING



Why be sober when you can