Hi all, I was almost going to trade my guitar (plus a good amount of money) for ltd mh-100, but ultimateguitar hivemind recommended against it. I'm sure that I'll never part with this guitar, and since I won't be getting a new one for a while I decided to make the most of it, in a cheap way of course

So I need to know what are the best bang for buck upgrades. I think GFS is the way to go for pickups, from what I read fatpat and mean90 are decent. I'm looking for clear distortion tones, but nothing extreme (something between Alex Lifeson and Marty Friedman would be great). Some say that GFS pups are made by Artec which is super cheap here, so I'm open to Artecs if they are on par with gfs. So that's about it from me, what else can be done?
Its not just about pickups.. keep in mind some quality capacitors and wiring. I love oil based capacitors and got a lucky bundle from the russian army once sold to me on ebay
^ I was under the impression that, aside from tolerances, that capacitor type doesn't matter in a guitar. Snake oil, I think.

^^ I haven't heard that GFS are made by artec, but I wouldn't be super-surprised if they were.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
I agree there is a world besides pickups. It's a good start as we stare at them so long but yeah... string material (not just brand), picks , put it this way.. you cough the wrong way it affects the tone.

capacitors matter. It's not a massive difference which is why it's so under looked but there is plenty of youtube videos on it for example. It's not a massive price you're paying unless you go with the overpriced rip offs gibson tries to put out cashing in on the sprague bumblebee capacitors fad. I'll admit legit bumblebees and paper in oil capacitors are excellent but the reproductions made by gibson many forums and customer reviews on gear websites will agree they (the gibson ones) are rip offs.

keep in mind when working with higher end capacitors to use heat sinks so you don't damage the capacitors, this isn't big money we're spending so we're not going to expect a lot like no name speakers to bose as we're nowhere near the 50-100$+ mark so have fun with it. Even in higher end speakers or just re-capping an amplifier the higher end stuff matters. I could get really into it but it's reassurance it isn't snake oil. Snake oil I'd say what it is in the guitar industry but yeah, I'm here to answer questions not talk down on anyone.

capacitor value for a tone pot = stronger cuts of treble by the way. What I tend to see in the guitars I take apart
0.022uf - strat
0,047uf - les paul or anything with a humbucker
0.1uf - 1960s fender production models
so 0.1uf is massive in size and treble cutting to the point it's like you're underwater many will say

but push pulls , different tone knobs, you have many options. I can think of 15+ guitar mods that I put in guitars myself.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jul 29, 2015,
^^Ceramic tends to be noisier than mylar or silver mica.

^Uhm, heat sink on a cap? In a guitar?
As long as the voltage rating is enough, a heat sink is just a waste of time to install and a waste of money.
There isn't nearly enough current going through those caps to warrant a heatsink.
In an amp, maybe, inside a guitar, pointless.

But the push - pull pots can give you loads of other tone options.
Probably the best bang for the buck.

And I've got some GFS FATPAT pickups in my LP.
They sound pretty good to my ears.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jul 29, 2015,
when soldering highest end caps people sometimes use a heatsink on it just for soldering, so it doesnt get too hot and destroy.
arthur hit the nail on the head, yeah some caps are sensitive to heat so that is what I implied that you'd want to, other than that nothing new should be in a guitars control cavity start to finish other than copper shielding tape properly insulated removes a lot of hum , not 60 cycle hum but you appreciate it at high gain and distortion.

A super 5 way switch , a fender S1 switch , mini toggles if you really need tone options

parallel - a weaker hum cancelling sound
coil splits - single coil sounds out of humbuckers isolating a coil
the telecaster powerboost mod / megabucker mod
the 7 way mod - puts the outer 2 or all 3 pickups on
out of phase
half out of phase - youtube it
fender greasebucket - bass cut for more clarity and a tighter sound for hot pickups
gibson varitone
a basic varitone - cuts treble in fixed amounts (boring)
mid scoop - chokes the guitars signal by replacing a tone capacitor with a inductor (0.5H+)
torres engineering mid scoop / boost
killswitches - the shadow kill switch volume pot I suggest
the fender TBX - cuts bass or treble
to some really unorthodox mods I can think of, these seem the most popular. Everything mentioned is passive and 90% is on youtube.

for example though when my guitars don't sound warm or dark enough I add pure nickel strings , use these different kind of picks and all sorts of other things to improve the sound.
Quote by ArturPr
when soldering highest end caps people sometimes use a heatsink on it just for soldering, so it doesnt get too hot and destroy.

OK, point taken there,
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So I need to know what are the best bang for buck upgrades. I

Engraved flames on the pickup covers.