#1
You may want to re-size your browser window for pictures.

A customer came in the music store I work at and asked if I could fix his guitar. He said whenever he plugged the guitar in, he would just get noise. And from the looks of his guitar's condition, there was probably some more stuff wrong with it too.

So I started working on it, and after initial testing (the guitar did not work) the first thing I did was to look at the output jack. And sure enough, the wiring looked like garbage. I extended the output leads a bit and re-soldered them properly and contact cleaned the points. I then tried it through the amp, and huzzah! Sound!

Except the pickup selector was really scratchy, finicky, inconsistent, etc. I doused it with contact cleaner without opening up the guitar, tried again, but it was still scratchy, finicky, inconsistent, but a tiny bit less so. The pots were scratchy as well. I called the customer and told him that I can look at the internals but to do so I would need to take the strings off. The strings looked/sounded dull so I just suggested that I could put some new strings on the guitar and he agreed.

So at that point the guitar had the strings completely off and out, but I had also wanted to clean the guitar. It had looked like someone spilled milk on the headstock and parts of the guitar body, so I cleaned that right up. I then opened the internals, contact cleaned, re-set, put new strings on, then tested.

And the guitar came to life.

After I cleaned it I noticed how gorgeous the guitar was. Gold hardware, a dark transparent blue maple top, and she sounded good. Really good! I have played on some strats and strat-style guitars, but I do not have one myself. The model was a Jay Turser. I was tempted to make an offer to the customer to sell the guitar to me. But I did some research through our store and I found the model, or at least one very similar, a JT-300QMT-TBL. For $179.99 MAP.
When I first opened up the box the guitar was in, I was kind of disappointed that the blue color was a few shades different than what the customer had. The color you see in the picture (a dark blue) is more like what that customer had, the color I see IRL is a little more bright with a green-ish hue. But his guitar looked quite a bit aged as well. The model I had just received was still very visually appealing, at least to me.
The second thing I noticed was that the action was not good. This is the most concerning aspect to me because I really do not like to adjust action or the neck if I do not have to. My Tele's neck/action is extremely flat, so in comparison with this JT I was having trouble playing it. The intonation was off, too.
Another unsavory thing was that the neck pickup was not mounted properly. I could physically move it up by grasping the edges, although it would fall back down, without the pick guard removed. I figured I needed to take the pick guard and all off to see what the problem was. It looked like whoever was in charge of gluing the pickups of my guitar to their seat was off their face that day. What my nail is holding up is the pickup. I slid a bit of electrical tape underneath it, secured it, contact cleaned the internals, put some more e-tape beside the pickup, and secured the pick guard and all once more.
I also noticed that the screws for the tremolo mounting had pushed all the way through the middle-back of the guitar and were poking through to the pickup cavity. Not a good thing I do not think, or is it common? Either way, I guess I will worry about that when/if it breaks.
On another customer's guitar I noticed the springs were quite vibrant and even affecting the output sound, so I slid a folded kleenex in between the springs and the guitar body to see if it would help, and it did. I did the same for this JT. For whatever silly reason they wired the ground wire underneath and around the springs, so that it could easily get clamped in the springs one day. Another woe for another day, if it ends up breaking. I slid a bit of scrap kleenex in between that wire and the spring, though.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jan 23, 2016,
#2











And here is a video of me noodling around with the guitar for 10 minutes. (I apologize for the gain sounds, that was my fault, not the guitar's or amp's!)

As far as the sound, it sounds like a strat. But it is extremely bright. Maybe strats are supposed to be this bright, but after hearing this version of the guitar, I think the customer did get a different model with different pickups. You could climb Mt. Everest with the ice-pick from these pickups. I found that rolling the tone knobs own to 5 or 6 helps in that regard, as well as using the tone-cut on the AC30. As well as the guitar does not put out as much bass as I am used to. Compensating on the amp helps.

The two strat-y positions (neck-middle and middle-bridge) are really fun to me because I am not used to that sound at all. But every time I hear that sound I think "Listen To The Music" by the Doobie Brothers. It is a fun sound to play with.

The middle position almost has an octavia effect to it. It is especially noticeable with a bit of gain. Very useful for switching to lead parts. Also I have been craving a tremolo system, glad to finally have one!

The Truth: This guitar (and most cheap guitars) are garbage unless you know how to set it up and work on it. She is now a gem. I am thinking the name "Kari" but I am not sure.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jan 23, 2016,
#3
Looking good. Nice story to go with it, also, I like reading those. You mixed up where to put the link and where to put the placeholder text on the link to your video, though. HNGD, enjoy it!
#5
The Truth: This guitar (and most cheap guitars) are garbage unless you know how to set it up and work on it. She is now a gem. I am thinking the name "Kari" but I am not sure.


Yes, cheapos are in the domain of experienced modders, not beginner guitarists.

Good story.

My favourite electric is a very cheap Peavey I got from the hock shop for Oz$60. I didn't even bother plugging it in, because I was expecting to do a lot of work on it, but it turned out to be fine as-is, apart from a setup and blocking the trem.
#6
Some cheap guitars can be pretty nice. I bought a 87' squier a few months back and it's surprisingly a great guitar. I've just replaced the pickguard and pots and added a treble bleed. Well worth the $160 I payed for it.
#7
She's looking great! I have an old Squier Strat that I bought for £30 from Cash Converters, it's a beast after a lot of work and TLC, still haven't finished the project yet but I can't wait to show it off.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#8
Quote by Tony Done
The Truth: This guitar (and most cheap guitars) are garbage unless you know how to set it up and work on it. She is now a gem. I am thinking the name "Kari" but I am not sure.



Yes, cheapos are in the domain of experienced modders, not beginner guitarists.

Good story.

My favourite electric is a very cheap Peavey I got from the hock shop for Oz$60. I didn't even bother plugging it in, because I was expecting to do a lot of work on it, but it turned out to be fine as-is, apart from a setup and blocking the trem.

Do you know anything about cheap guitars from the early 80s?
#9
one of my best friends is getting about 50+% of his income gigging and he has used the same 250 dollar mexican strat he has had since middle school. he is now in his late 20s. so thats about 10+ years of weekly gigging and practicing, recording, the guitar is just about stock. couldi t sound better? probably. did it need some care to keep it alive? yes.

but if you find a gem (that ONE, you know, the good one off the rack), nothing wrong with a lower end guitar.

the other thing - this guy is an amazing player, knows music very well, and knows live sound very well. if he plays, it sounds good. doesnt matter what hes playing with.

that matters more than just about anything.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#10
It couldn't be more true that you can make an otherwise cheap and crappy guitar play really well if you know how to work on them and you have the right tools.

Having said that, it is remarkable what kind of guitar you can buy for very, very little money these days. 30 years ago, you would've had to have spent several times more than what you have to now to get anything decent. Having a budget of $250 in the 1980's would've only bought you one of those horrendous catalogue guitars. But nowadays, you can get all kinds of stuff. You still do get what you pay for with such cheap guitars, but you get a hell of a lot more for your money than you used to.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#11
very nice I like the colour a lot
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Quote by Gift3d


Do you know anything about cheap guitars from the early 80s?


I can't be of much help with that, because, living in regional Oz, my experience isn't very wide. I will note, however, that the Japanese were making outstanding guitars during that period, and names that come to mind immediately are Westone, Aria, Tokai and Burny. I have an '82 Westone Rainbow I, a 335 knockoff that might be better made than a real Gibson from the same period.
#13
The low cost of CNC manufacturing is passing the savings on to the consumer. Even cheap guitars and pretty decent these days.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#14
So we have the "truth" about *one* cheap guitar. I'm not sure why the title uses the plural guitars as if something notable has actually been discovered here.

I was handed an SJM "Liquid" from Rondo a couple of days ago, and I was very surprised at how well that thing worked (the prices run from about $109 to around $139).
#15
I agree with you. The stuff that sets apart expensive guitars from cheap ones usually isn't the woodwork but more the attention to detail they see guitar-to-guitar (so stuff like set up, fretwork, etc) and the quality of hardware used.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#16
Quote by dspellman
So we have the "truth" about *one* cheap guitar. I'm not sure why the title uses the plural guitars as if something notable has actually been discovered here.

You like to see the negative in everything, don't you?
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 25, 2016,
#17
Quote by dspellman
So we have the "truth" about *one* cheap guitar. I'm not sure why the title uses the plural guitars as if something notable has actually been discovered here.

I was handed an SJM "Liquid" from Rondo a couple of days ago, and I was very surprised at how well that thing worked (the prices run from about $109 to around $139).
Nothing notable has been discovered to anyone but me. I wrote that title almost exclusively for the purpose of being click-bait.
#18
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You like to see the negative in everything, don't you?


I like to see both sides of the story in everything.
#19
The truth about Jay Turser is they're shitty guitars lol. you can spruce em up a bit but it's still gonna be a relative turd
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#20
Quote by Acϵ♠
The truth about Jay Turser is they're shitty guitars lol. you can spruce em up a bit but it's still gonna be a relative turd
Well TBH I have not tried the JT at practice or in a service but we will see how my opinion changes...
#21
As someone who has played many years in church (seriously lol) you are not going to like how poorly it holds tuning
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#22
I'm actually surprised Jay Turser is still around.


Back when I was in highschool my buddy had a single cut in a really ugly purple, with MOTO tree of life inlays and probably the worst fret install I have ever seen on any sort of guitar.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#23
Quote by dspellman
I like to see both sides of the story in everything.

Doesn't stop it from being a nice surprise when a very cheap guitar comes along that happens to be decent, which you yourself obviously know about too. Let TS have their fun.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 25, 2016,
#24
I've been playing an Ibanez Rx for 14 years.
Hundreds of gigs and some serious abuse and it still plays relatively well but in comparison to my new guitar there is no doubt that a high quality guitar gives me way more confidence and makes me want to play. I've almost quit a bunch of times because of the shit I've had to deal with/ gigs I've got turned down for because of that Ibanez

My advice would be to save up while getting your cheapo guitar playing right. But don't dump more than the guitar is worth (including what your time is worth) into whatever cheap thing you're playing. Take this from a guy who has probably put $1500 into a cheapo over time.
My Soundcloud dudes
Recording gear:
Yahama Hs8
Saffire Pro 40
Shure Sm57
Shure Sm7b

Guitar gear :
Ebmm BFR7
Axe fx XL+
Walrus audio Janus
Ibanez Ergodyne
Black Market Custom cab
Last edited by Kyleisthename at Jan 26, 2016,
#25
Well I tried the JT at practice tonight. I felt like she could hold her own, relative to her price and the effort I put in. But I had to make a lot of setting changes, and she did not feel and sound as good as the 72' RI Tele (Humbuckers). There definitely was some umph and broadness missing in the JT that the Tele gives. The JT did hold in tune pretty well even with often tremolo use, though (HA, Ace!).

The JT does do the strat-y thing quite well, though! I love the middle pickup positions. It is just not my go-to P&W guitar, I really like the humbucker sound of the Tele. Now for Jazz, Blues, and Classic Rock, this JT will slay! Different uses for different muses.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jan 27, 2016,
#26
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Doesn't stop it from being a nice surprise when a very cheap guitar comes along that happens to be decent, which you yourself obviously know about too. Let TS have their fun.


Aw, you never let me pick on ANYone...