#1
Greetingz UG community!

I'm new to this forum and I've got a few questions that has left me wondering for quite while. This is gonna be a long thread so stick with me if you like to read a little story

I play (electric) guitar for 2,5 year now.
I've got a Squier special strat which I got from an squier starter pack along with an marshall valvestate 8040 and a Line 6 POD 2.0.

I knew that the guitar wouldn't be of great quality when I bought it, but that did not stop me from buying it, because I knew that the Squier Affinity series and starter packs were purily made for learning how to play the guitar and I always wanted to mod or build my own guitar.

So thats what I did... Well... partially...
I've changed the tuners because the old one's were just trash along with the tremolo bridge.
For the tuners I chose for some Gotoh tuners for €50 which stays really good in tune and a Wilkinson tremolo bridge with a solid steel block for getting the most sustain out of it.
I've also changed the nut and the string trees for some Graph Tech stuff. Oh and I also changed the input jack for another better input jack with a silver thing and the pickguard for an fender pickguard.
Everything except for the last 2 and the nut, everything else was done by an expert.

The result: It was like playing an brand new guitar! I was pretty amazed how well it played now. Except for the neck which may not sound pretty well when I'm playing on the 12th fret or above. This really annoyed me, especially when im bending far up and stuff.

Anyway, that was almost all the info about my guitar that you might needed to know.

This is where my question begins... sort of...
As you maybe wondering (emphasis on Maybe..), why didn't I change the pickups?
Well, I remember watching a youtube vid of AndertonMusic where the Captain(Yes, I guess that's his nickname) said that "changing pickups worth a 150bucks on a guitar worth 200bucks won't make the guitar's worth go up by 150bucks".
That left me wondering for quite some time. Because I really wanted to upgrade the electronics in my guitar and put in some seymour duncan pups.

But now I want to know why is it that "changing pickups worth a 150bucks on a guitar worth 200bucks won't make the guitar's worth go up by 150bucks"? And what should I do now with my guitar? Sell it and buy a MIM strat instead or something or just go with the seymour duncan upgrade?

I would really appreciate an reply to this thread and hear your opinion on this.
#2
Have a tech take a look at the neck. If the neck is gash, then none of the rest of it matters, IMO.
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#3
Modding a guitar usually causes the market value to go down, not up. A used Squier Affinity is worth $100 in decent shape and no modding really improves that. It is what it is. Find a nice used MiM Strat for $250 and get a lot more guitar that is worth customizing to your needs.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
Upgrading is ok, but keep all the original parts so you can put it back to stock if you want to sell it.
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
#5
cheap vs expensive in terms of price and marketing should matter about as much as the color of your socks when playing live. I know plenty of guys who were buying guitars and favored cheap guitars over expensive when they could have bought either without considering upgrades or hitting speed dial on their phones and seeing what the coolest named dimarzios are available and what the heaviest schaller bridge is

to answer your question though in my opinion.
if you like the sound of the guitar you can do stuff to
*prevent string breakage to a certain degree
*you can get the guitar to stay in tune better
*you can get a louder more fuller sound than say cheap zinc parts
*more reliable parts that won't break down like chinese pots or low end tuners
and alter the sound any which way you want from strings material to pickups , picks to capacitors.

At the end of the day keep the old stuff that was originally on the guitar if you ever sell. 99% of guys I know who bought used guitars off me didn't care for upgrades so I tried to make the guitars as original as possible. For the sake of tone chasing and if you love the guitar though it's totally worth it. The good thing about after market parts is that they are pretty universal today. A set of 10mm grover inline tuners lets say can go on an Agile to a Yamaha. A humbucker is a humbucker without getting into trembuckers/f-spacing.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jul 4, 2015,
#6
I don't think that any of the mods you have done will be recoverable on resale, so what is true of pickups is true of everything else. - mods are strictly for amusement only, not pleasure and profit.

Keeping all the old parts is a good idea, but I've always been too lazy to bother.

I'm a keen modder, but I've tended to go the other way. - Find a guitar that is ergonomically and mechanically sound, and improve the electronics as necessary. - And a lot of that is really just curiosity - "what will it sound like if I do this". However, with pickup swapping in general I think it is important to know what you consider wrong with the ones you have, and what you can do to fix it. It isn't just a case of different or more expensive is better.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 4, 2015,
#7
The value of a cheap guitar doesn't increase when adding expensive parts because underneath all the bling you still have a cheap guitar. Most people who understand the used guitar market, value a used guitar based on the original model. Your description of the problems playing above the 12th fret is precisely why all the added bling and mods doesn't add any value to your guitar. If the guitar doesn't play well to begin with, the mods add nothing to the guitar. I buy plenty of used guitars and never has a mod influenced my valuation of a guitar...in a positive way at least. Some mods actually decrease the value of your guitar. For example, If you have a guitar that is designed with a popular artist and you start changing pickups and swapping parts you lose the thing that made that guitar special.

A Squier Affinity guitar is pretty much the worst guitar Squier makes. I am a big Squier fan and have owned many different models. Squier makes many great guitars...the Affinity series is the exception. They just aren't very good. This is the real problem of your situation. If you modded a better Squier such as the Classic Vibe series you might be able to recover a small fraction of your mods because the Classic Vibe series are some of the best guitars Squier makes. I would be surprised if you would still be able to get more than 75% of the price for a new stock Classic Vibe though.

It boils down to simple math. A brand new Squier Affinity is basically $200. For that price, you get pickups, tuners, a neck, a body, a bridge and all the things to make music with your guitar. Any mods you make are replacements for existing parts. You aren't adding anything to the guitar that wasn't there to begin with. Adding $150 pickups doesn't automatically make a $200 guitar a $350 one. At its core its a cheap first time buyer guitar with new pickups.

My bottom line advice is this, feel free to mod the hell out of your guitar, but understand that you will never get the value of the mods back if you try and sell it.

Keep your old parts and where possible but them back in the guitar if you want to sell it later.
"We all have idols. Play like anyone you care about but try to be yourself while you're doing so." - BB King

"The thrill is being able to do it...even if you play it badly" - The Edge.

8 Guitars, 4 Amps, 3 Multi Pedals...and never done!
#8
Lots of long replies.

Quick answer, in my own opinion.

I've modded a few junk guitars. They were still junk guitars. If you find something that feels right in your hands, then stick with it. There are some squiers, like vintage modified series, that play fantastically for the price. Dropped in a set of new pickups, and it's my favorite guitar now.

Cheap guitars are of crap consistency. But, one comes along every so often that is just great.

Wait for the opportune moment.
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...
#9
Wow..

I didn't expected so many replies. Thanks guys!

I've got a pretty clear idea of what to do now.

But I still want to add that the reasons for the upgrades on my guitar was:

- My old tremolo bridge had the tremolo arm broken off so I'm pretty sure that the value of that thing wouldn't add anything to the guitar... So I didn't had much choice for that.

-the stock tuners were absolutely the worst. They were all pretty loose when tuning it and it wouldn't stay in tune at all. Not even after playing 1 song! The tuners were the most annoying part from this guitar.

-As for the input jack... Well.. I was buying some stuff from an webshop and I noticed that they sold this silver Kluson jack socket. It wasn't really expensive so I thought "Why the hell not?". And I gotta say that it really improved the sound of it! It used to make soo much more hum but after the upgrade it sounded like most of the hum was just gone! Ofcourse there is still some hum but hey, Single Coils, Am I right

And the upgrades weren't even expensive at all.

Any way, I managed to fix the problem with the 12th fret (Youtube FTW) and the problem is as good as gone. I stilll want to hear some opnions from other people about my guitar.
Kinda curious what they think about how it sounds and how it plays. Maybe then I'll decide what to do.

And again, thanks for all the reply's guys, really appreciate it!
#10
I wouldn't bother with a Squire honestly,unless it's really comfortable for you...even then I'd prefer something better.
#11
Quote by Tempoe
I wouldn't bother with a Squire honestly,unless it's really comfortable for you...even then I'd prefer something better.



I sold my Gretsch, due to the fact that I loved the vintage modified squier that I got for like $350, that much more.

My buddy bought the exact model, felt different than mine, I didnt like it as much.

Point being, they are hit and miss. Don't rule out anything because of the name on the headstock.

I hated my friend's MIM Fender Strat. My squier is my #1 guitar now.

What does "better" constitute? All I did was drop in some Duncan vintage 50's, good to go. A pickup replacement isnt that unheard of for any guitar. So what am I missing?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...
#12
In my opinion, go all out, get those pickups! If you decide, down the road, that it's time to sell the guitar, put the old pickups back in, and keep the Duncans for another guitar, or sell those on their own. Also, for the future, unless you have a guitar that you know for a fact you will never EVER sell, keep the wood of the guitar as close to stock as you can. Get tuners that will drop right in, if its a strat with an SSS pickguard, don't cut up the original, just buy a new pickguard, if you want to drop a humbucker in it.

For example, you can take a look at the guitar I have in my profile picture, that's a cheap guitar I modded the absoute crap out of. The post spacing for the bridge was not standard, so I did my research, and got a bridge that would drop right in without having to move the studs (Gotoh Floyd)
Last edited by guitar42697 at Jul 6, 2015,