#1
My girlfriend got me a cheap but beautiful knock-off Stratocaster for my birthday-- the neck feels like sandpaper and the high notes sound awful, the lows sounding flat (not musically flat-- tonally).
But the body of the guitar is covered in stickers from all over the city we live in, and I love it because it's from her, so I want to keep it and make it my go-to if I can.
I've found an ideal set of pickups for my kind of music (two Seymour Duncan humbuckers and a SD Tele neck pickup). I was about to order the pickups, along with a rosewood Fender-brand neck, online. But my drummer's dad, a vaguely successful and extremely talented guitarist, told me I was wasting my money, though he left before elaborating beyond murmuring something about the neck.
I don't know the make of the guitar, but as the neck and pickups are fairly cheap, I'm guessing the body isn't made of anything top-of-the-line...but will that make too much of a difference with nice electronics and a good-feeling neck?

PS: My band's setlist is quite varied in tones, from heavy pop-punk to American Football-esque emo, hence the odd selection of pickups.
Custom-Built Strat
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Orange Rockerverb 50 Combo
Last edited by Mayge at Jan 2, 2015,
#2
Order the pickups used. You can flip Duncans all day long on the internet and not lose any money (or at most pay shipping, still a very cost-effective way to test pickups). Buy the set, try them, you either have a great guitar or have found out that it's not working out the way you wanted it to (with the guitar, not the girlfriend, can't help you with that conversation).

You have an answer either way, cheaper if it's the answer you don't like.

Sounds like a proper setup and/or a trip to a good tech would be a good idea too if there's a chance the neck has some stability or warping issues. I worry that's what the mumbling was.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
Order the pickups used. You can flip Duncans all day long on the internet and not lose any money (or at most pay shipping, still a very cost-effective way to test pickups). Buy the set, try them, you either have a great guitar or have found out that it's not working out the way you wanted it to (with the guitar, not the girlfriend, can't help you with that conversation).

You have an answer either way, cheaper if it's the answer you don't like.

Sounds like a proper setup and/or a trip to a good tech would be a good idea too if there's a chance the neck has some stability or warping issues. I worry that's what the mumbling was.
Where do you recommend getting used pickups?
Custom-Built Strat
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Orange Rockerverb 50 Combo
#4
ebay for used pickups. If you know how to solder all the power to you. I have never bought a new pickup from a shop.

craigslist , kijiji (canada) and gumtree (UK) are great too. If you're unsure how to test a pickup it's easy a multimeter is all you need but I've never had any serious issues with used pickups and I've worked on about 600 guitars.

anyways.. if the guitar sounds good I wouldn't worry about wasting money. Keep all the old parts and put them in a box with some bubble wrap. If you don't care for the guitar in a few years you can take all the expensive stuff off and put the old stuff back on.

for the frets
if they feel rough when you bend up or down or slide polish them

For the back of the neck
2000 grit on the back of the neck to make the satin feel a little smoother

sand paper - either you can sand off all the finish for speed but it requires maintenance (220-ish grit does nicely and then sand up to 1000-2000 grit). If the neck feels oily or whatever a light sand with 2000 and it'll be like glass again.

other than that a good set of tuners, low string height and all sorts of other tips I can give you.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 2, 2015,