#1
^^^

say you happen to find a cheap(about $250-350) guitar, you're happy with the looks of the guitar, you like the play-ability and feel of the guitar. if you buy new picks up and i dont know, new tunners? can it rival a stock guitar you find at a store for $700-900?

keep in mind you have a really great amp such as *insert your dream stack here* lol
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#2
Probably not, tone of the guitar usually depends on the wood of the body and neck. Tuners wouldn't affect tone as much, but pickups could help a bit.
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#3
Active pickups could help cancel out some of the cheap wood sound, but as far as making it rival a guitar, you would spend just about as much to get a better tone and still not really compare to if you had just spent the initial 700-900 dollars.
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#4
well, in some cases, yes! for instance, a moderateley priced epi LP can rival a 2000 dollar gibby if you replace the pickups, volume pots etc. IF the epi is made of mahogany w/a maple top that is.
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#5
Quote by pantallica95
well, in some cases, yes! for instance, a moderateley priced epi LP can rival a 2000 dollar gibby if you replace the pickups, volume pots etc. IF the epi is made of mahogany w/a maple top that is.

I don't believe so, and I've spent some time with Epiphones over the years. Some are good, most are bad and none of them can compete with a proper LP. Not like the current Gibson LPs are worth their 2000 bucks anyway.

EDIT: This is coming from a guy who loves his Epi Goldtop to death.

To the ts: Nope, that won't work in most cases (99% of the time), because there are significant differences about wood quality and craftsmanship between cheaper and more expensive guitars that make a huge sound difference in the end. Pickups and other stuff can upgrade a guitar, but a good pickup can only transmit what the guitar has to offer and that can't be upgraded.
#7
I think my Squier Strat's wood is really good because I like how it plays when unamplified. I'm pretty confident that if I put a set of Hotrails or something like that in it it would be pretty good. But would it match a 500+ guitar? Probably not.
#8
i would have to say yes and no. more expensive guitars are more expensive because they are made by better luthiers and use better wood/parts. some cheaper guitars can be made by guys who really know what they are doing, so you get a guitar that feels and plays great. you then upgrade pickups, tuners, bridge, etc. and have a very nice guitar. unfortunatly, that more expensive guitar still has a better piece of wood for its body. you may even have nicer pickups in your guitar and love it, but the wood probably doesnt compare.

so could you get a $300 guitar to be as good as a $700 guitar? possibly, but probably not. id rather get a $5-600+ guitar that plays really well for the price and do work on that. you are more likely to get that to rival a guitar worth a few hundred dollars more than with something really cheap.

besides, at some point you start paying more for craftmanship than anything else. a handmade PRS costs a lot because of the dedication put into getting it right. and because of that dedication, they use really nice stuff because they want things to go well. same goes for low end guitars. they are rolling them out at a fast pace without much effort, so they dont put that much money into caring about the little things.
#9
I have found out through experience that , with very few exceptions, a cheap guitar will always be a cheap guitar no matter how much you dress it up. There's no substitute for quality!
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#10
Much better off upgrading a $600 to $700 guitar then a $250 to $350 one. You'll get alot more mileage out of the upgrade cost.
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#11
Dependes on your musical style. If it has a good neck and you like the feel of the guitar, replacing the pickups can transform the guitar. If you are into metal the difference can be huge by adding an EMG81a (it comes with new pods) or similar active pickup. If you like that blues combo tone, pickups won't help too much as the clean tone is more influenced by the body constuction.
#12
i have a $200 dean zx that i put gfs pickups in and set up myself.

although certain worksmanship flaws like poorly installed frets and a sunken inlay still make the guitar inferior to my jackson rr3. its tone rivals the jackson and surpasses it in some respects.

one problem i still run into is intonation the dean just wont intonate no matter how much i adjust everything. it is because of the frets not being level. this greatly effects the sound of the guitar. certain chords always sound bad.

but when you consider all the money you would spend on stuff like a re-fret, new bridge, or replacement inlays, you find yourself spending as much or more than what you would pay for a guitar that is 8-900 dollars.

it is entirely up to feel i think. if you have a guitar feels nice, intonates well and has nice wood (my dean has basswood which is pretty good) new pups might just take a crappy guitar to a new level.
#13
Quote by jof1029
i would have to say yes and no. more expensive guitars are more expensive because they are made by better luthiers and use better wood/parts. some cheaper guitars can be made by guys who really know what they are doing, so you get a guitar that feels and plays great. you then upgrade pickups, tuners, bridge, etc. and have a very nice guitar. unfortunatly, that more expensive guitar still has a better piece of wood for its body. you may even have nicer pickups in your guitar and love it, but the wood probably doesnt compare.

so could you get a $300 guitar to be as good as a $700 guitar? possibly, but probably not. id rather get a $5-600+ guitar that plays really well for the price and do work on that. you are more likely to get that to rival a guitar worth a few hundred dollars more than with something really cheap.

besides, at some point you start paying more for craftmanship than anything else. a handmade PRS costs a lot because of the dedication put into getting it right. and because of that dedication, they use really nice stuff because they want things to go well. same goes for low end guitars. they are rolling them out at a fast pace without much effort, so they dont put that much money into caring about the little things.


very true and also alot of your money goes into quality control
which allows brands to throw tons of guitars at you but still maintain some level of precision. jackson rr3's for example. i've never played one that sucked and they make tons of those things
#14
Depends on the cheap guitar body you're starting with. What are you thinking of starting with??
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#15
Quote by trahx
I have found out through experience that , with very few exceptions, a cheap guitar will always be a cheap guitar no matter how much you dress it up. There's no substitute for quality!

+1
#16
In my opinion, no.

You can make a cheap guitar play as well as a more expensive one - my Strat, which was originally a Squier plays as well as any strat I've ever come across - the trouble is, it's not really a Squier any more, except for the body, the neck plate and the bridge.

But it stays in tune, has a lovely V profile neck, and sounds superb. I think it ceased to be a Squier and became something else when I changed the neck really. I've also spent more on upgrading it than a MIM Strat would have cost, and if I'd known what I planned to change before I started, I'd have just bought one of those instead.
#17
you can get the same sound, but your throwing good money after bad money. its not wise.

the neck on a cheap guitar will not last long. by the time you update all the cheap parts, you could have bought a better guitar. until you update it and get the bugs out of it, you'll still be playing shaet.

i picked up 2 awesome used standard strats on ebay for less than 1 new one.
So now I have a good foundation to start upgrading parts to make one sound very different from the other even though the parts are all fine. when i sell the old standard strat parts, they keep a certain value so I'll get some extra money to pay for the customizations.

cheap parts get thrown away or sit in your house for years.

good luck
Last edited by BR0THERALEX at Oct 23, 2008,
#18
My Saga Telecaster plays as well as an American Tele because I replaced EVERYTHING, except the control plate and neck plate. So yeah, any cheap guitar can be made good
#19
Quote by Brian_C
Depends on the cheap guitar body you're starting with. What are you thinking of starting with??
this http://www.slammerguitars.com/sp1f.cfm

i want to use it for heavy/metal hard rock(put it in C Standard) and i was thinking of maybe just throwing some EMG's in there. the thing i like about this is its play-ability and its tone is pretty good(atleast i think), when i was playing it at the shop(running it through a tube amp) i was playing like 4 other guitars that were 500-700 and i like the feel and the sound/tone was just as good as some of them(in clean) and when i put on distortion you really couldn't tell too much of a dfference between some of them.
Scar tissue that I wish you saw
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#20
bump
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#21
I am sorry but honestly they may feel/sound the same to you now (like my first guitar, a rg3ex1), because you aren't very experianced, but in the future you may regret getting it instead of getting a good guitar now.

If you are looking for a guitar well suited for metal ,and can through around about 500-700 check out LTD and Ibanez.
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