So I just bought an old Sears and Roebuck 1202 acoustic, for $20. There are pictures of the model, not the actual guitar, here (http://harmony.demont.net/model.php?id=1282) if you're interested. The action is shot all to hell, and the "steel-reinforced neck" doesn't even contain an adjustable truss rod to fix it with, so I'm using it exclusively for slide playing.

Here's where it gets interesting: since the guitar is practically valueless, and I lose nothing if I accidentally ruin it, I want to trick it out. Installing a pickup is the obvious first step, but I'm not sure how I want to go about doing this, and what other options I might want to put in. WWJWD? (What Would Jack White Do?)

Should I:

- Install an electric guitar pickup, swap out the strings, and invest in some anti-feedback measures? (or, alternately, embrace the feedback as a musical experiment?)

- Cover it with "ironic" truck stop stickers, and make it look like something from Willie Nelson's basement?

- Paint a psychedelic dragon on the pickguard, and channel Jimmy Page?

- Paint the whole thing psychedelic, and channel Jimi Hendrix?

- B-bender?

- Killswitch?

- Attachable harmonica mic with theremin?

- Lasers?

- Chainsaw?

The purpose of this thread is for you fine people to give me suggestions on how best to mutilate this decrepit old axe, and if possible, tell me how do go about doing it. I'll take any serious suggestions seriously, and any awesome suggestions more seriously. Fire away!
Why not try drilling random holes into the body to see how the sound's gonna be?
Sounds stupid enough for an idea on a worthless guitar in my opinion.
Last edited by Miiiiks at Apr 10, 2011,
cover the sound hole up and move it somewhere else
covert it to a bolt on neck
make a 5 string bass, add pick ups?
put in a tele bridge and pickup
Jack, I am just as curious as you are about putting an electric pickup in a cheap acoustic, in fact I asked these same questions about a month ago and got the same seemingly pissed off remarks suggesting I was a dumb ass. I see them on craigslist here all the time, and the first electric guitars were exactly that, an acoustic with a pickup. Somewhere in the 60 years since then people seem to have forgotten and have an odd streak of hate for the very idea.

I would add a piezo and whatever pickup you have lying around and get a volume, blend and tone knob going, maybe a preamp as well. I'd test that and see what feedback was produced, and if it was bad, I'd look to closing the sound hole and try grounding the (steel/nickel) strings you had on there.

Also I'd consider if your adding the preamp, make your own, and add the kill switch, and also a switch to add in a shottky diode fuzz thing. make a makeshift metal control plate and mad max the guitar, for some post apocalyptic slide sessions. In fact just take that white guard off, and make a rusty metal steel flashing guard that covers the sound hole, holds the pickup and and extends down to hold the electronics and a battery.

hey if there's a battery make with some LED's for night kill switching and for when the fuzz is on.
You know those crazy guitars that have the light up fretboards that supposedly teach you songs and stuff? Well you wire something up like that, but you hook it up to a MIDI sequencer so you can scroll profanities across the fretboard at the audience. (This paired with askrere's post-apocalyptic pickup fuzz slide thing would make the best guitar ever.)
I pride myself on my humility.
Now that's what I'm talking about. Something crazy and obscene, but still with a touch of the blues to it. You ever seen Jack White's Triple Jet, the Gretsch that he had modded so heavily? Yeah, like that.

askrere, that's pure gold right there. Keep the ideas coming!

As soon as I start the destructive process, I'll keep y'all updated in this thread.
Thought of that. It'd be a pretty impressive accomplishment.

Another fun fact about the guitar: the neck is poorly attached to the body, so the string tension keeps the neck kind of "floating" off the guitar, by about .5 mm. That means that when I put pressure on the headstock, the pitch goes up exactly 1/2 step. Built-in acoustic whammy!
I plan on doing all this so I figured I'd share the wealth, idk how long that acoustic whammy would hold up though. can always add a lpb-1 DIY internally as well, make a super light chassis that can fit all this and fit in the sound hole. The lpb-1 can give you a lead boost at the flick of a switch.

PS, if your cool, you'll add a tube preamp "valvecaster" onboard for overdrive, nothing like a glowing tube sticking out in a metal cage to add to the effect and the tone! The vague possibility of breakage and fire just adds to the fun.

Also it means you'd sound beastly even through the crappiest of amps.
I put a bigsby on an acoustic once. It wasn't as cool as you'd imagine. I vote you attempt to remove the neck, remove the fretboard, install a truss rod, build a new fretboard that doesn't suck (I know how these old things go, no radius, soft frets, etc) and then set it up to play really nice. After that install an old school pickup, I'm thinking mini humbucker at the neck. Make a saddle that's somehow conductive (aluminum or something of the sort) and ground the strings to that.
Screw the Bigsby, put a Floyd on that motherf***er.
I pride myself on my humility.
-and then he never posted again-

Progress is slow. I still haven't done anything to the guitar yet.
have a dragon on the whole body, and like burn it in some spots haha, a bucket head kill switch for fun, maybe as like the dragons eye or something haha
"It's not about who has the biggest stick, it's about how hard you can swing it"
So I've put in a Fishman Rare-Earth active humbucking sound-hole pickup, and it's pretty sweet. Just running on that so far. It's a good low-fi vibe.