#1
i need a backup guitar to tune down and am wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade

i have an epiphone les paul special and i paid about 100 for it used

the upgrades i want to do are:
replace tuners
replace both pick-ups
take finish off neck (taking Zakk Wylde's advice of grabbing some naked wood)

keep in mind that i have no pickup soldering experience at all and to get pickups installed it was going to cost between 50-100 dollars

so would i be worth it or should i just get a new guitar and if i should what do you recomend (my budget for upgrades or a new guitar is about 300 dollars but i could go a bit over if i had too)

thanks
#3
tuners are like 30 to 60 dollars plus good pickups can be like 50 to 140 dollars per pickup so dor tuning low you should by an inexpensive jackson, ibanez, or esp ltd
#5
i was thinking about that so what guitars do you guys recomend

i like the les paul body style and i found this brand called aria at my local guitar store selling a les paul knock-off for 250 and it played pretty decently
but really i would settle for an decent guitar under 300 with H-H that i can tune down (preferable w/o a whammy ala fender style)
#6
Considering Epiphone Les Pauls vary in quality possibly more than any other guitar in the existance of guitars (they go from being complete and utter crap to one that has been professionally appraised and stated to be about as close to the real thing as anything can get -- like mine), your situation here essentially depends on the quality of your epiphone. Epiphones are certainly not $100 guitars (despite what some of the more biased members here would have you believe), and if you have a quality epiphone, I'd say work on that one as opposed to spending more money to buy a new one.
#7
i think i got the decent epiphone, it has had it's share of problems (faulty imput jack, space between the neck and the body, crappy tunners) but i does hold out, but really would it be worth it to up grade a 100 dollar (litleraly that is how much i paid for it) with over 300 dollars of upgrades?
#8
No... its not.
Gear:

Ibanez SAS36FM
Ovation Acoustic
Classical Guitar
Amplitube 3 running into a PA
#9
Really not worth putting that much money into it.... generally with Epi LP's the Plain Top and on up are the better ones. Perhaps look at the Epi Vintage G400... $299 I think. Other than crappy pickups its a very good guitar IMO.
#10
If you really want a Les Paul, get one. But make absolutely sure you play it first. It might sound like ****.
Gear...
Peavey 5150, Squier, Ibanez RG2EX2, Yamaha F150, Ibanez RT150, MXR noisegate
#11
get a new guitar.
les paul specials are good guitars for the money though. i have one. its awesome, better than my mexican strat.
#12
Well, here's the thing, you could take that Epi and do all the reasonable mods that will make it play like a $500-700 guitar (it is totally possible), for $150-$200.

There's not a lot that should need to be replaced.

Tuners should be swapped to locking ($70 roughly), and some new pickups will go a long way (several routes you could go here, personally I'd just find a used 490 neck pickup on e-bay for like $30-40, and buy a new 496T or 500T Gibson for about $70), thus your total cost comes to about $170.

Throw in a new volume and tone pot (personally I'd just unhook the tone pot, the change in sound is very dramatic), you'd be looking at about $180 guitar that will light it up pretty damn well, way better than anything you could buy for less than $300.

The best thing you can do to save yourself money is to do work yourself.

Wiring is not that hard, I rewired my Kramer by looking at electronics I ripped out of another guitar. There are wiring diagrams all over the Internet as well, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out.

The best thing you can do for that guitar is to give it a great setup. Setup is where you change a ****ty playing guitar into a great playing guitar. Most cheap guitars feel cheap because they aren't setup correctly. Part of that is some people don't bother to set them up properly, and part of that is people don't know (or want to do) what is required to get a good setup. Ask around, heck, I'll even explain to you how to setup your guitar, I think I've got a good method that everyone loves to play.

Now, let's consider the alternative, you could sell your Les Paul for say $100, giving you a budget of $400. With that budget you could step up to a fairly nice new Epi Les Paul. However, with that budget you could also buy the base model Jackson Kelly or King V, a sort of different direction than the Les Paul, but you'd have a guitar with similar, if not superior quality, and still have about $130 left to fix up the guitar. That will get you locking tuners, and, if you shop around, a new bridge p'up, then you could slide the old bridge p'up up to the neck, where it will be more than adequate.

It's really your choice here, there are a lot of possibilities as to where you could go with this. Keep in mind that if you decide to get a different guitar, you're going to want to stay away from tremolo-equipped guitars, assuming you want to change tunings frequently, and try to buy a guitar that is a cheaped out version of a nicer guitar (a guitar with the same construction, just with cheaper hardware, which you can upgrade and get a better guitar for less money).
Livin' Easy, Livin' Free
#13
It all depends how you like your neck. Maybe, strip the finish off and add tung-oil before you make your decision.
FOR AWESOME HANDWOUND PICKUPS, CONTACT CorduroyEW
BOOBS
Quote by ratmblink123
Good for you. Have a cookie.


But really... there's no cookie. And if there was, you wouldn't get one.
#14
I don't know if some of you noticed but his guitar is the Special, the cheaper one that only has a shape resembling the Les Paul and nothing more. It's the same one my buddy has and I have had 2 of the Epi Special SG's. The one I recently acquired I personally set it up, adjusted everything, put on some Grover tuners I had laying around and a better bridge and it's very nice. So yeah like the other guy said a good setup will improve almost anything. But as much as I'd like it not to be I think the body is plywood. Anyways yeah it might be worth it to upgrade because it might sound a lot better but in all seriousness you might want to sell it and buy a new guitar because not everyone has parts like that laying around and whatnot. So yeah that $300 or over plus the $100 if you sell it you can get a way better guitar that if your lucky won't even need mods. That way you don't have to trouble yourself with fixing it up and hey new guitars are always nice.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Les-Paul-Special-II-Electric-Guitar?sku=518334

^ That is the guitar right?
Quote by Jearl

...dont play Fender just because its Fender.

Gear:
Ibanez SZ520QM
Peavey Rotor EXP
Squier Bullet (heavily modified)
Mesa Roadster Head & 2x12 cab
Last edited by CM_X5 at Jul 19, 2007,
#16
Quote by climhazzard
i had a special.

piece of crap.

My friends special is crap too but then again he never bothered doing much to it to make it sound/play better.
Quote by Jearl

...dont play Fender just because its Fender.

Gear:
Ibanez SZ520QM
Peavey Rotor EXP
Squier Bullet (heavily modified)
Mesa Roadster Head & 2x12 cab
#17
there's a dif between the special and the special ii. i used it as a project guitar for a little while, trying to make it sound better. changed the pickups to dimarzios then to emgs (then took those out and lent the guitar to a friend), changed the tuners, adjusted the action and intonation to not-suck, and it just wound up sounding like a less-crappy piece of crap. there's only so much you can do to a guitar before you realize...hey...i should've just used that money towards a better guitar with higher quality wood and materials. i mean, i thought my special sounded fine when i first picked it up, and it only cost me 60 bucks at a musician's swap meet. sounded no worse than the other specials i had tried. upgrading your guitar is great as a way to learn about your guitar and how to solder pickups and etc, but, in the long run, you're gonna end up wanting another guitar. (though you'll be hardpressed to find a quality guitar for $300).
#20
Quote by AngusX
Well, here's the thing, you could take that Epi and do all the reasonable mods that will make it play like a $500-700 guitar (it is totally possible), for $150-$200.

There's not a lot that should need to be replaced.

Tuners should be swapped to locking ($70 roughly), and some new pickups will go a long way (several routes you could go here, personally I'd just find a used 490 neck pickup on e-bay for like $30-40, and buy a new 496T or 500T Gibson for about $70), thus your total cost comes to about $170.

Throw in a new volume and tone pot (personally I'd just unhook the tone pot, the change in sound is very dramatic), you'd be looking at about $180 guitar that will light it up pretty damn well, way better than anything you could buy for less than $300.

The best thing you can do to save yourself money is to do work yourself.

Wiring is not that hard, I rewired my Kramer by looking at electronics I ripped out of another guitar. There are wiring diagrams all over the Internet as well, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out.

The best thing you can do for that guitar is to give it a great setup. Setup is where you change a ****ty playing guitar into a great playing guitar. Most cheap guitars feel cheap because they aren't setup correctly. Part of that is some people don't bother to set them up properly, and part of that is people don't know (or want to do) what is required to get a good setup. Ask around, heck, I'll even explain to you how to setup your guitar, I think I've got a good method that everyone loves to play.

Now, let's consider the alternative, you could sell your Les Paul for say $100, giving you a budget of $400. With that budget you could step up to a fairly nice new Epi Les Paul. However, with that budget you could also buy the base model Jackson Kelly or King V, a sort of different direction than the Les Paul, but you'd have a guitar with similar, if not superior quality, and still have about $130 left to fix up the guitar. That will get you locking tuners, and, if you shop around, a new bridge p'up, then you could slide the old bridge p'up up to the neck, where it will be more than adequate.

It's really your choice here, there are a lot of possibilities as to where you could go with this. Keep in mind that if you decide to get a different guitar, you're going to want to stay away from tremolo-equipped guitars, assuming you want to change tunings frequently, and try to buy a guitar that is a cheaped out version of a nicer guitar (a guitar with the same construction, just with cheaper hardware, which you can upgrade and get a better guitar for less money).


Exactly.

It's best if you upgrade your first guitar if it plays well. That's what I've done and I use my first guitar for gigging with as I feel much more comfortable flinging around a £150 guitar than a £800 guitar.
Ibanez PGM301
Ibanez GRG170DX
Fender Telecaster MiJ - 1986
Swing T-Through

Ibanez TS9DX
Sovtek Small Stone - c.1985
EHX Big Muff
Kimbara Wah - c.1974
Boss GE-7

Orange Rocker 30 Combo

http://www.myspace.com/paythelay
#21
thanks for the imput guys

i think what i'm gunna do is sell my les paul and my p.o.c. crate 15 watt and go for either a hardtail ibanez, an esp (found a nice one that i'm considering in my price range), or a jackson and see what i can do from there

and i got the original special (a bit better quaility basswood and it says gibson on the truss rod cover, it's better than my friend's special II but i still don't think it's worth upgrading)


i feel so special, i have a guitar AND a wah that arn't in production anymore
#22
It depends..if you like your special...just work on it...I modded mine....put seymour duncans in it, changed the tuners and am putting graph tech saddles on it. I like it, b/c I don't have to worry if I ding it up a bit gigging
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