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#1
I plan on buying this cheap guitar online. I expect it to have a really crappy pickup, which brings me to my question: if I buy and install a really good pickup, (say a dimarzio or Seymour duncan) will it make the guitar sound way better? That's the idea with buying pickups right. Say I use the same good amp and tried each pickup individually (only one pickup on bridge) the better pickup has to sound better right? Or do I have to change the pots along with the pickup if I want to get the results I expect? What else would help the guitar sound a lot better? Thanks for reading (:
#2
why not just buy a better guitar? yes in theory a better pickup will sound better. cheap guitar have issues other than pickups though. bad wood, poor frets and of course poor electronics aal add up ti problems down the road. i've often found that if your mods cost more than the guitar did to begin with then it's probably not worth doing.
#3
^ Agreed with above. No point in buying pickups to make an unplayable guitar sound good. Use all that money for just the guitar.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#4
My impression is that most inexpensive guitars are pretty good these days, and I've done OK upgrading cheapos. - Their main weakness has been the pickups, and I personally haven't had any problem with frets, necks, tuners bridges etc, and I don't believe in "tone woods" in the context of electric guitars. - As long as they aren't made of plywood or MDF and the neck and ftrets are OK. The downside is that you won't recover the cost of the mods if you sell it. Also, I know what I am looking for in new pickups, it isn't just a case of "more is better".

I don't think I would buy a cheapo online though, I would go down to the local hockshops and music stores and have a look. I recently bought a Peavey from Cash Converters for Oz$65 in excellent condition and good hardware, neck and frets. I didn't bother plugging it in, as I was expecting to chuck the pickups when I got home, but they turned out to be great, so the guitar is still in the condition I bought it. I'm really pleased with it, I got lucky.
#6
Quote by monwobobbo
why not just buy a better guitar? yes in theory a better pickup will sound better. cheap guitar have issues other than pickups though. bad wood, poor frets and of course poor electronics aal add up ti problems down the road. i've often found that if your mods cost more than the guitar did to begin with then it's probably not worth doing.

Well I'm on a tight budget and I care only about the pickup, since I know the guitar is in good playing shape. Neck and frets seem to be fine and I don't believe in tonewood tbh.
#7
What guitar are we talking about specifically.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#8
Buy a middle of the road guitar,cheap guitars go out of tune fast
#9
Quote by TheStig1214
What guitar are we talking about specifically.


+3.1415 its a pointless post without know what the guitar is.

if you do buy a cheap guitar to mod, keep all of the original parts, and when (if) you sell it, you can put it back to stock and now lose as much cash.

if you buy a cheap guitar and replace the pickup, i would personally buy new pots too. maybe switch and jack, but they aren't as necessary (at least from my experience).
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
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Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
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#10
Quote by w.coronado99
I plan on buying this cheap guitar online. I expect it to have a really crappy pickup, which brings me to my question: if I buy and install a really good pickup, (say a dimarzio or Seymour duncan) will it make the guitar sound way better?


This isn't a great way to go about this. You're not going to make a crap guitar THAT much better by screwing a different hunk of magnet and wire into it. More importantly, it's not a smart way to spend your money. I've got some really expensive guitars and some pretty cheap...er...inexpensive ones.

My advice is to change your plan, get some suggestions here, and wait a bit. You can get a guitar that will actually work with you right through some pretty serious professional gigs and never have to change a pickup or a pot or a capacitor or anything but strings, and it's probably not going to cost you much more than you'd spend on the cheap online guitar plus an aftermarket pickup from some random winder.
#11
Also, for what it's worth, whether you believe in tonewoods or not, a guitar that is build like crap won't play or sound well. Sharp frets, cockeyed neck installation, frozen truss rods, crappy hardware. All of these things affect both how the guitar physically plays and how it sounds.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#12
yeah agree that there are "inexpensive " guitars that do make reasonable platforms for modding and total crap the won't really benifit regardless of what you do. as for the wood thing well cheap wood doesn't hold together well regardless of "tone" or not. when the bolts are coming loose etc don't say we didn't tell you so.
#13
Quote by TheStig1214
Also, for what it's worth, whether you believe in tonewoods or not, a guitar that is build like crap won't play or sound well. Sharp frets, cockeyed neck installation, frozen truss rods, crappy hardware. All of these things affect both how the guitar physically plays and how it sounds.

The thing is, the first I have in mind isn't total shit. The fret ends aren't sharp and if they are i can easily file them down, and the neck is easily adjustable. I just want the best sound I can get without breaking the bank
#14
Quote by Tazz3
Buy a middle of the road guitar,cheap guitars go out of tune fast

I'm planning on upgrading the tuners as well. Right now I just care about the sound most of all
#15
Quote by TheStig1214
What guitar are we talking about specifically.

don't laugh at me but it's a first act me951. I plan on making several upgrades to it in the future
#16
This company makes some nice pickups and most are <$30 each
www.guitarfetish.com they are the best I'd advise you spend money on
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#17
Quote by Tazz3
Buy a middle of the road guitar,cheap guitars go out of tune fast


Why do you think that cheap guitars go out of tune? I've had my fair share of cheap (and expensive!) tuners that go stiff, and one that actually broke inside, but I've never encountered one that seemed to be working but didn't lock the string in place as it should. - The worm gear ir pretty foolproof. OTOH, I've seen a few examples (including my own ) of strings not being put on properly and slipping as a result.

Also I've never noticed any difference is stability of necks that could be attributed to price.
#18
Quote by w.coronado99
The thing is, the first I have in mind isn't total shit. The fret ends aren't sharp and if they are i can easily file them down, and the neck is easily adjustable. I just want the best sound I can get without breaking the bank


Your thinking is very similar to mine.

I've had a fair number of Guitar Fetish pickups, as suggested by Robbgnarly, and they have all been good. - I'm currently playing a bitsacaster with GFS Memphis, nice if you like a bright Gretsch-style sound. I don't think I would try their very cheap ones though.
#19
I find it hilarious that 2 people here think tuning stability is a matter of tuners.

I mean, I'm all for project guitars and dicking around with cheap stuff to learn basic repairs and modifications, but if this is going to be your main axe I would still suggest investing all your money in a mid-grade guitar.

Also, First Acts aren't that bad compared to some of the cheap chinese garbage out there.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#20
Quote by TheStig1214
I find it hilarious that 2 people here think tuning stability is a matter of tuners.

I mean, I'm all for project guitars and dicking around with cheap stuff to learn basic repairs and modifications, but if this is going to be your main axe I would still suggest investing all your money in a mid-grade guitar.

Also, First Acts aren't that bad compared to some of the cheap chinese garbage out there.


I don't think it is tuners, or neck/body stability, at least as the latter is related to price. So what do you think it is, if you believe it is an issue? Trem/nut effects? That I could understand, but I didn't think of it because I'm hardtail-only. And supposing that is the problem, what wouldn't be easily fixable about it?
Last edited by Tony Done at Apr 28, 2015,
#21
Quote by TheStig1214
I find it hilarious that 2 people here think tuning stability is a matter of tuners.

I mean, I'm all for project guitars and dicking around with cheap stuff to learn basic repairs and modifications, but if this is going to be your main axe I would still suggest investing all your money in a mid-grade guitar.

Also, First Acts aren't that bad compared to some of the cheap chinese garbage out there.


aren't First Acts like the definition of cheap chinese garbage (excluding the US custom shop stuff of course)
#23
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^^They did make some expensive ones that certainly looked nice, but it might have been a marketing mistake for a new company trying to sell expensive stuff parallel to the super-cheapos.

First Act custom shop has been around for decades
They also make some insanely good guitars. My friend Pete Koller had a sig model buy them and it is a great guitar.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#24
Quote by Robbgnarly
First Act custom shop has been around for decades
They also make some insanely good guitars. My friend Pete Koller had a sig model buy them and it is a great guitar.


yeah played a couple of their custom shop guitars and they were really nice. not to be confused with wal-mart specials which once again are the very definition of bad cheap guitars
#26
Quote by Tony Done
I don't think it is tuners, or neck/body stability, at least as the latter is related to price. So what do you think it is, if you believe it is an issue? Trem/nut effects? That I could understand, but I didn't think of it because I'm hardtail-only. And supposing that is the problem, what wouldn't be easily fixable about it?


Usually (actually probably 80%+ of the time) tuning issues are nut issues. Which can be a pain getting a new one made if you can't get a pre cut one from a company like graphtec.

Quote by monwobobbo
aren't First Acts like the definition of cheap chinese garbage (excluding the US custom shop stuff of course)


They aren't terrible compared to some of the no-name horror show strat/LP clones I've seen.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#27
Quick search found this glowing review...

"I sold my LTD MH-301 a few months back, and have been burning for a guitar ever since. After playing guitar for eleven years, then being without one, you'd understand how I must have felt. I have to play, plain and simple. Anyhow, I broke down, shelled out $157.68 for this "guitar" package., and began to play...

The color is very nice... black.

This is a very long list. I do not like ANYTHING about this guitar besides the color. I wanted a guitar I could play and keep myself sane with, and this one isn't it. It will not stay in tune, and the quality of the guitar is my main beef. Granted, for $150, you can't get a Fender, Gibson, or ESP, but I do expect good quality. The headstock was unfinished, the neck was offset (neck-thru is the only way to go...), not to mention the truss rod was so incredibly off it's scary.

The construction was cool (hey, how can you misassemble a guitar?), but the quality is very poor. Very poor.


This guitar is fine for anyone wanting to smash it out of anger. I would not even recommend this to a beginner. You will find a better deal with a Peavey (God forbid I EVER recommend a Peavey again). ESP Forever!"

I think I'd side with what others said and at least get yourself something reasonable to start with.
#28
Quote by SpiderM
Quick search found this glowing review...

"I sold my LTD MH-301 a few months back, and have been burning for a guitar ever since. After playing guitar for eleven years, then being without one, you'd understand how I must have felt. I have to play, plain and simple. Anyhow, I broke down, shelled out $157.68 for this "guitar" package., and began to play...

The color is very nice... black.

This is a very long list. I do not like ANYTHING about this guitar besides the color. I wanted a guitar I could play and keep myself sane with, and this one isn't it. It will not stay in tune, and the quality of the guitar is my main beef. Granted, for $150, you can't get a Fender, Gibson, or ESP, but I do expect good quality. The headstock was unfinished, the neck was offset (neck-thru is the only way to go...), not to mention the truss rod was so incredibly off it's scary.

The construction was cool (hey, how can you misassemble a guitar?), but the quality is very poor. Very poor.


This guitar is fine for anyone wanting to smash it out of anger. I would not even recommend this to a beginner. You will find a better deal with a Peavey (God forbid I EVER recommend a Peavey again). ESP Forever!"

I think I'd side with what others said and at least get yourself something reasonable to start with.

I saw that same review on the actual website and I also read another review. The man stated that he played guitar for around 30 years or so and decide to but the same guitar I'm thinking of getting. He said it exceeded his expectations because he expected it to be way worse. He said it plays and is built pretty decently and also sounds pretty ok. He only reported having issues with the tuners, which I expect to have. That's why I'm gonna upgrade the tuners as soon as I get the guitar. So what do you have to say to that?? Two completely different reviews for the same model guitar on the same website.
Last edited by w.coronado99 at Apr 29, 2015,
#29
Quote by w.coronado99
I saw that same review on the actual website and I also read another review. The man stated that he played guitar for around 30 years or so and decide to but the same guitar I'm thinking of getting. He said it exceeded his expectations because he expected it to be way worse. He said it plays and is built pretty decently and also sounds pretty ok. He only reported having issues with the tuners, which I expect to have. That's why I'm gonna upgrade the tuners as soon as I get the guitar. So what do you have to say to that?? Two completely different reviews for the same model guitar on the same website.


Its your money, and your mistake, not mine. Thats what I have to say.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#30
I'd rather have a used Squier than any cheap First Act.

I would also suggest looking at the Xavier guitars at www.guitarfetish.com and the guitars at www.rondomusic.com
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#31
Quote by w.coronado99
I saw that same review on the actual website and I also read another review. The man stated that he played guitar for around 30 years or so and decide to but the same guitar I'm thinking of getting. He said it exceeded his expectations because he expected it to be way worse. He said it plays and is built pretty decently and also sounds pretty ok. He only reported having issues with the tuners, which I expect to have. That's why I'm gonna upgrade the tuners as soon as I get the guitar. So what do you have to say to that?? Two completely different reviews for the same model guitar on the same website.


All I have to say is that it's for you to risk. Personally I would go for one that gets a reasonable review from everyone.

Good luck with your purchase.
#32
The only First Act guitars worth buying are the ones from their custom shop.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#33
Quote by dannyalcatraz
The only First Act guitars worth buying are the ones from their custom shop.

And those are $1000+
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#34
Quote by w.coronado99
I saw that same review on the actual website and I also read another review. The man stated that he played guitar for around 30 years or so and decide to but the same guitar I'm thinking of getting. He said it exceeded his expectations because he expected it to be way worse. He said it plays and is built pretty decently and also sounds pretty ok. He only reported having issues with the tuners, which I expect to have. That's why I'm gonna upgrade the tuners as soon as I get the guitar. So what do you have to say to that?? Two completely different reviews for the same model guitar on the same website.


well i've been playing guitar for over 30 years and i wouldn't pay more than $10 for one of those at a garage sale. by the way if you read what you wrote agin you might notice that all that was said was the guitar was better than a very low expectation. not exactly a glowing review.

just take the money you would piss away and buy a better guitar to begin with. i do fully expect you to be on here in a month or two telling us how your First act is better than a ( fill in good guitar here)
#35
UPDATE: just bought a mint-condition squier affinity strat HSS. I'm very happy with my purchase. It should be here in about a week or less. Thanks everyone for your feedback!
#36
Quote by w.coronado99
UPDATE: just bought a mint-condition squier affinity strat HSS. I'm very happy with my purchase. It should be here in about a week or less. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

That is going to be a much better choice for you.

Remember if you do feel like upgrading anything on it later, Guitar Fetish is the place to go if cost is a factor.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#37
Quote by Robbgnarly
That is going to be a much better choice for you.

Remember if you do feel like upgrading anything on it later, Guitar Fetish is the place to go if cost is a factor.


agree.

enjoy your forthcoming guitar
#38
much better choice. Congratulations
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#39
Well done! I really thought you were going to be one of those guys that ignores all the advice ;-)
#40
Quote by SpiderM
Well done! I really thought you were going to be one of those guys that ignores all the advice ;-)

I was, with the money I had. But since I had a little help from my father it was a no brainer which guitar I would get
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