Hey I'm Going To Attempt To Hot Rod A Guitar For The First Time!

Happy Thanksgiving first of all. I hope we'll have
A million or two million more of them...

Hello, I've been planning to mod a guitar for a while now, but this is a chance screaming for my attention, and I'd be a moron [more of one] to let this go...
I played with it in the store, and it plays surprisingly well considering it's price
So, I found this used Jackson JS-32 Kelly Hard-tail in my local Guitar Center, for an absolutely amazing price!

Also ignore the beautiful Jackson Roads, I'm a bad at taking pictures and it's WAYYY out of my price range.

Here is what I plan to do to it:

- New control knobs

- Locking Tuners

- EMG 81/85 Pickups, Or EMG HZ Passives, I haven't fully decided. (As I warily write and post this, awaiting the criticism and disgust for my pickup choice)

- Chrome Pickup Rings (Instead of the standard black ones)

- Strap Locks (Duh)

- Custom Truss rod cover with my name printed on it.

- Control Cavity cover with my name engraved into it

- Stickers! (Just kidding, absolutely not)

- MAYBE A new neck with cool inlays and a reverse headstock, if I have the money and feeling ballsy enough.

Would anyone with experience like to suggest me any other mods or care to warn me about anything?


*EDIT* Those stock pickups you see in it are Jackson's branded active pickups. They aren't that bad, but at the same time there not great.
Last edited by MetalStrat at Nov 24, 2016,
Why don't you just buy a better guitar to begin with if you're considering buying a new neck? Seems totally counterproductive to me.

The JS guitars are very meh. Putting new pickups in it isn't going to change that. You will have to replace the pots and the output jack if you want to put active EMG's in the guitar. The stock pickups are passive and are just made to look like EMG knockoffs.

Locking tuners aren't really going to make your guitar stay in tune any better. They just make the guitar faster to restring.

Also just so it's clear to you, you're not going to be adding resale value to the guitar whatsoever by doing these mods. If anything you're going to devalue it. Especially if you're putting a new neck in it
(As I warily write and post this, awaiting the criticism and disgust for my (EMG) pickup choice)

In all fairness, such people's disgust for 81/85's extremely compressed tone and god forbid, the EMG HZ's is not unfounded.

Especially the HZ's. I wouldn't accept those pickups if they were given to me for free.

Just buy a Jackson MIJ pro used and you'll have an infinitely nicer guitar.
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Quote by Axelfox
I'd suggest changing things only when you need to on a guitar like this. It's a bit like taking money out of your pocket and donating it to a dumpster.
EMG actives will require a battery, and you'll probably want to put that battery in a battery box (which requires routing of the guitar) and complete replacement of electronics. Locking tuners do nothing for you but speed up restringing. The custom TRC and control cavity will virtually ensure that you won't be able to sell the guitar for what you put in to it (and by that, I mean that you won't be able to get what you paid GC for it, much less the value of the changes). You may or may not be able to find a neck that fits that particular neck pocket -- one of the very first things you'll find is that contrary to most newbs belief systems, a bolt-on neck is not always that easy to replace, nor are all bolt-on necks interchangeable. You'll likely pay more for the neck with "cool inlays" than you did for the guitar.

What you would spend on that guitar could be far better spent on a better guitar.

[And, of course, this is exactly what TOODEEPBLUE just told you...]
Contrary to the other posts my feelings are if your going to mod a guitar why not start with a cheap one, Adding value isn't the point, Wanna see something cool? I've actually dealt with this guy, No complaints, Nice work, Got to hand it to the Vietnamese, They do have some mad skills, Mostly does inlay work but also makes necks to order.
Last edited by nastytroll at Nov 25, 2016,
T00DEEPBLUE The only reason I wanted a new neck so I could have different inlays. After some research I see how dumb of an idea that was