#1
I'm going to be doing some work on my Squier Bullet and if I can get it to play well acoustically, I'll go ahead and replace everything except the neck and body. I plan to dress the frets on it, as well as shim the neck (action is way too high on the upper frets with the saddles almost zeroed out).

Looking online, necks/bodies can go for $50 all the way up to $500. Obviously the $500 one is of better quality, but what makes it better quality? Whats the difference between a freshly dressed $50 neck and a new $500 neck? The difference between a $50 body that's been shielded and a new $500 body?

I'm basically asking whats stopping me from getting a $100 dollar guitar to play like an American Standard, assuming I put the required time into it with the proper skill.
Last edited by The Bacon Man at Mar 3, 2015,
#2
Quality of parts + quality of labor determine most of the difference.

You can have two pieces of maple, both different qualities; the lower grade maple costs less than the higher grade maple.

And for labor, the cost of paying someone to produce an entire guitar in Asia is greatly less than someone working out of the States.

However, I have found $50 necks that feel better than $500 necks and vice-versa.

If the instrument has a good foundation, then an investment of both time and money can pay off - despite what many people will try to convince you otherwise.

I have a Squier Affinity Strat - $149 ; invest about $250 in upgraded parts and it plays and sounds as well as any American Strat I have picked up.
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#3
Quote by ~Shred Hero~


You can have two pieces of maple, both different qualities; the lower grade maple costs less than the higher grade maple.



just remember a super expensive AAAAA bit of flamed maple will sound NO different to a cheap plain bit
#4
after owning or helping a friend flip over 100 guitars the easiest / best answer I can give you is what makes something good is personal preference. We will never find something perfect which keeps us buying more and more.
#5
Quote by sytharnia1560
just remember a super expensive AAAAA bit of flamed maple will sound NO different to a cheap plain bit

Nah m8 it makes the pickups sound hotter because of the 'flames' in it.

But seriously more expensive necks are generally higher quality. Quarter sawn necks for example are more expensive to produce, but are stronger and are more resistant to warping/twisting than flawsawn necks. The process of drying the wood out over a period of several weeks makes the necks a lot more warp resistant as well, but again it costs extra.

and of course more expensive necks have a higher quality finish and structural imperfections like knots are absent. Same applies to the fretboard. The fretboard on more expensive necks tends to be finished better and are properly radiused.

The frets on more expensive necks are a better material and are better levelled and dressed. Cheap necks might not be levelled and dressed at all. Cheap necks also tend to have razor sharp fret ends, which sucks. More expensive necks also have the frets glued in. The gluing of components on a more expensive neck are also done to a more professional standard in general.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 4, 2015,
#6
Quote by The Bacon Man
I'm going to be doing some work on my Squier Bullet and if I can get it to play well acoustically, I'll go ahead and replace everything except the neck and body. I plan to dress the frets on it, as well as shim the neck (action is way too high on the upper frets with the saddles almost zeroed out).

Looking online, necks/bodies can go for $50 all the way up to $500. Obviously the $500 one is of better quality, but what makes it better quality? Whats the difference between a freshly dressed $50 neck and a new $500 neck? The difference between a $50 body that's been shielded and a new $500 body?

I'm basically asking whats stopping me from getting a $100 dollar guitar to play like an American Standard, assuming I put the required time into it with the proper skill.


Resale value.

It's good to do all that work and great experience, and wood is wood, for the most part.

In some guitars, the difference in price is the difference in the amount of work put into the guitar, and you're putting that in yourself.

In the end, there's no hope that you'll ever get the sweat equity out of the guitar when you sell it. It's still a Squier Bullet. Same goes for things like pickups, tuners, electronics, etc. When you sell it (when, not if), you'll rail on about how much time and cool hardware you've put into the guitar, but you'll never get it back. It will still be a Squier Bullet, and as far as any potential buyers are concerned, what you consider upgrades will simply be "side-grades" at best, and, worst-case, something they have to remove and replace if a Squier Bullet is what they wanted in the first place.

That isn't to condemn the process. I have an Agile AL-2000 Floyd B-stock (finish issues) that cost me, new, under $200 with case shipped. I turned around and spent nearly that amount to have the guitar PLEK'd and the frets superglued. The frets are polished, the pickups are adequate, the cheap Floyd shouldn't be as good as it is, but there's no reason to replace that, either. It sounds great and the playability is easily as good as some of my really expensive guitars. The guitar is one of my bar guitars and it's made its costs back many times over. No matter what I'd added or replaced, however, it would never get much of what I put in it back if I decided to sell it.
#7
Cool, totally forgot how big of an impact the wood has on sound. My plan is to replace everything but the neck and body, and eventually get a new neck/body (maybe for my birthday or Christmas).

This may sound stupid but will putting the parts in the new body after 6-12 months cause any damage? I just feel like the parts shouldn't be moved from guitar to guitar.
#8
No, nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, one of the best ways to get great upgrades on the cheap is to buy used parts - pickups, trem parts, tuners, etc. As long as the stuff is in reasonable condition (no stripped screws, minimal oxidation) it's as good as new, and a lot less expensive.
#9
Quote by Roc8995
No, nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, one of the best ways to get great upgrades on the cheap is to buy used parts - pickups, trem parts, tuners, etc. As long as the stuff is in reasonable condition (no stripped screws, minimal oxidation) it's as good as new, and a lot less expensive.


Nice, that reminds me of an interview with Eric Clapton I saw regarding Blackie I think. He was saying that he went around to pawn shops and bought the dirtiest necks he could find, because he assumed that meant they were well played, thus good necks.
#10
Blackie was pieced together from what Clapton thought were the best parts from three '56-57 strats. So yes, it's certainly an idea with merit