Greetings one and all,

Apologies for the 'newbie' style post. Just for the record, I have been playing guitar for almost 20 years all told although since I left university in 2006 I have been much more of the bedroom variety player. I say this just to point out that I am not a complete novice and I am well aware of the usual caveats re 'there is no one single answer, you like what you like' etc.

However, when it comes to mods and DIY of any sort really I am a complete beginner. Hence coming here for some inspiration and to try and gauge whether what I am currently considering really is a feasible and worthwhile project.

As mentioned above I have been out of the loop as far as playing live goes for some time (apart from the odd acoustic open mic) but I am currently looking to get a band together in order to give it another go. Classic rock covers in pubs, the usual kind of thing I'm sure.

Now, over the years whether owned or borrowed from other band members, ex girlfriends and their guitar playing relatives etc I have been lucky enough to play various guitars including an original 1970s USA Les Paul, a gorgeous but infuriating Fender Jaguar (USA made I think, but I could never find out for sure), various Mexican Fender Teles/ Tele types and the usual gamut of Epiphone LPs (and a nice Epiphone 335) and Squier Strats back in my early days. By far my favourite guitar however was a '72 reissue Fender Telecaster Thinline (Mexican I believe) which I bought a few years ago. The 70's Les Paul was probably a close second, but of course it would be really. I actually loved playing the Jag too although as I once remarked I loved it in the way you would love a three legged kitten...

Unfortunately due to financial/ marital issues which you don't need to be bored with, plus a guilt over having a £700+ guitar sitting in the corner and not being played much, I traded in the Thinline earlier this year. With some of the cash, I bought a Burns Cobra to serve as my electric (the Squier and Epiphones -along with a pawn shop Flying V copy which I never got on with - were stolen a while back when my garage was broken into) and up until now it has to be frank proved more than adequate for bedroom playing. In fact, it's not a bad guitar at all for the £200 I paid for it, truth be told.

But clearly, it probably isn't sufficient for gigging if I manage to get this new band up and running. So...I am looking to invest in some more stage worthy equipment. As it happens, this also means buying a new amp as my 100w Marshall DFX (it was a good amp when I bought it!) also went 'west' in the move from my former matrimonial home, but that is another story.

I'm looking to spend around £1,000 for guitar and amp in order to get a rig which is good enough in terms of sonics and reliability to be able to do the odd pub gig. I realise all the above is long winded but I included it in the hope that it will give people some idea of the kinds of tones and guitar types which I appreciate.

Splitting that budget around 50/50 or maybe 60-70/30-40 probably puts me in the sort of 'mid range' of Mexican Fenders, G&L ASATs, or maybe at a push a faded Gibson Les Paul Studio, or a Les Paul Junior which I don't really like the look of to be honest (one pickup?) or perhaps a Special doublecut (probably my current front runner). All of which, I am sure, would be great guitars for the job.

But....recently I have started to wonder whether I may be better off spending up to a similar amount (£500-600, ish) on modding the Burns Cobra in order to make it the best guitar possible.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for/ experience of modding a similar guitar to the Cobra (3 pickups, strat style, tremelo bridge, 5 position switch with coil split, 2 tone and one volume control) for this budget and do you think it could potentially be an equal or better investment compared to new guitars around that price point?

I've been thinking of a Hot Rails in the bridge, plus I don't really use the tremelo so would probably like to replace the bridge with a hardtail. And I've obviously heard that replacing the nut and the tone pots may be worthwhile. But I haven't really got beyond that...over to you!
I haven't tried any burnses but generally i'd advise against putting too much money into a cheap guitar, buying a better guitar instead is normally a better idea.
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?