#1
So i recently picked an old bcrich warbeast trace from a pawnship for $150. one of the main reasons i bought was because it was already modded with emg actives so I figured it was a steal. the rest of the of guitar could still use a little work though , nothing too major (new strings , new bridge and some body/neck work. I know where to get a bridge but Ive only ever used stock strings before and dont know what kind to buy and from what brand would be best. also the guitar has some nicks and dents in the wood /paint , is there anyway I could fill these in (without using a black sharpie). and finally the neck . Theres really nothing wrong with it but the rosewood fretboard doesnt really match the rest of the guitar so i was wondering if getting the fretboard painted black would mess with the sound or damage it . Also of course I leave the paint job to a professional .
#2
Painting the fret board.
It's not unheard of. However you may need to remove the frets prior to having it painted. Consult whatever professional you intend to do the work. They might do that part themselves. Keep in mind that after extended use, the paint WILL wear off.

The nicks and dents.
Your simplest option would be to use super glue to drop fill the smaller blemishes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTVScFJoe24
This video shows you step by step how to get the best possible results through that method. Highly recommended. However, if you're already looking to spend money on having a professional pain the fret board, you might consider having someone fix the dents and such as well.
Strings!
This is all based on your preference. Being as this is a BC Rich, i'll assume you're into metal and hard rock styles. For this 10, 11, or 12 Gauge strings would be adequate. 10s are your average every day strings. They'll never fail you. 11s have a much more powerful sound. They can handle most drop turnings. 12s are much more bass heavy than 11s. Players use them when more often than not they're in drop tunings. Personally, I use 11s. For brands, you cant go wrong with Ernie ball. I like the Cobalt strings they make. They are higher output than their regular nickle plated strings. The best way to figure out what is right for you is trial and error. Ernie balls are cheap. Might as well start there!
#3
I love BC Rich guitars, so this question I'm happy to answer.

based on prices locally in canada oh god, you pretty much got the guitar for free. I've sold EMG actives for 150$ a set with wiring.

strings wise think of them like shoe sizes. 9-42 is thinner than 10-46. I'd probably use 10-46 on a BC Rich. No heavier (thicker) than 11-50 especially if you're going to play in standard or drop D. Brand wise, D'Addario, ernie ball , GHS Boomers , anything Dunlop especially heavycore if you want them to last long. Material wise for that dark and heavy tone I suggest pure nickel strings. Strings I have had bad luck with are Dean Markley blue steel. Lots of customers hated them, fender super bullets and DR brand and their Neon or coated strings. However their dimebag ones are great.

stain the fretboard, don't paint it. My BC Rich beast has been stained over a decade ago and I scalloped it 5 years ago, it's still as black as the night.

tuners - grover are great
nut - graphtech tusq
wiring mod i - EMG Afterburner gain pot for heavier and intenser tones
wiring mod ii - the 18v mod (there is a 99% chance there is not enough room for 2 nine volt batteries)
bridge wise - depends on the model, if it's a tuneomatic there is a few options. Wraparound this is a tougher call.

new pickups - if you feel the need seymour duncan blackouts are excellent. Just like the EMG 81/85 they have PCB wire connectors on the back so you don't have to solder anything. I hate this system a lot but some guys go nuts about it because you can try practically any active without soldering. Just the wires are never long enough on factory wired guitars.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Feb 20, 2015,