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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Default Modding "signature" guitars or amps

    So I've been rumbling a thought in my head and seeing a post from nobozos in the amp building thread inspired me to go ahead and start a thread.

    What are your thoughts on modding a signature guitar or amp?

    It pretty much stops being a signature model at that point...would you say?

    I have a Richie Sambora signature, two of them actually and I've thought about doing a couple different things to them, particularly the one I use as my primary guitar. I've thought about replacing the bridge pick up and I've thought about refretting it with thicker wire. I've also thought about having someone take the finish off and leave it matted.

    I'm not particularly concerned with the collectability of my guitars, but I don't necessarily want to do something permanent to a "signature" guitar either. You guys know what I mean?

    I think what I should do is start buying parts and start making my own signature guitar.

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    the problem i always find with signiture guitars is that they are built to someone else's specs (same with a regular production guitar) and those specs may not always be the same as mine, so i mod all of my guitars, without a problem...i'm a fender guy mainly but i happen to really like the gibson burstbucker III so several of my strats have them in (fuck the corksniffers!) i also like the seymour duncan pearly gates, so all the other guitars i have happen to have them in, so i guess that pretty much makes them "my signiture guitars" the only guitar i would not mod is the P.R.S> Custom 22 that i have my eye on, that to me is about as close to perfect as i have played in 27 years of playing.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    For me, it would all depend on the "signature" guitar in question and what type of mods we're talking about.

  4. #4
    Hot For Teacher VanLaing5150's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 12:28 AM
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    Broken...

    just for a sample poll you should hop on ebay or craigslist and see how many people have put different pickups in a Wolfgang...

    I've done it twice...
    Eddie and Dave...the way it was meant to be

  5. #5
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    I've got a few signature guitars...

    1) ESP James Hetfield JH-3, limited run of 200 world wide. It's the Black Les Paul Custom guitar with the hot rod pinstriping. My intentions were to buy a Les Paul Black Beauty, but I ended up buying the JH-3 as it was $1000.00 cheaper and played circles around the Gibson. I've changed pickups as needed, depending on my mood/style of playing. Currently I have Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II's in the guitar. I have the original pickups, but as the guitar plays so well, I'm not so concerned about changing the pickups.

    2) ESP George Lynch Serpent. Great playing guitar, but I'm not a fan of the pickups, single volume knob/push pull for (2) pickups. I've settled on a Duncan Mini Jazz pickup for the neck and a Duncan Blues Saraceno for the bridge. I've added a 3 way switch and separate volume control for the neck pickup. I've also blocked trem and refretted. It now suits my playing style and sound I'm looking for.

    3) ESP Kirk Hammett KH-2. Perfect guitar, great playing, sounds great. I installed a trem setter and that's it.

    I've probably devalued the guitar in collector's eyes, but have made necessary improvements for my playing style.

    If the guitar is a keeper, I'm all for making it "your signature" vs. Player X's signature.
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  6. #6
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    I say that if you are indeed using a guitar as your main guitar, do what you want to it. Make it your own. If you own an EBMM/EVH, and you are in love with the way it feels and plays, but you hate the pickups, change the pickups to the ones you like. If you love the feel of the neck, but you want Jumbo frets, re-fret it. It's your guitar and your tone.

    If it's not your main guitar, I wouldn't mess with it. The reason I say this is that it will ruin the collector status of the guitar. The collector status of the guitar is only important in two cases:

    1) You are a fan, and it matters to you.
    2) You are going to sell it.

    I have a Charvel EVH Art Series. I purchased it as a player/collectible. I want to keep it original for the purposes of selling it at a later date.

    I had a Wolfgang Special, which I altered. I put in a push-pull pot, and split the coils on both pickups. Sure, not as drastic as re-fretting or changing the pickups, but I altered it for my purposes. I wouldn't have been afraid to swap pickups if that's what I wanted to do, because it was my main player.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I bought my first richie strat because it wast the closest thing I could find to my perfect guitar at the time. It was a strat, had single coils at the neck and middle and a dimarzio at the bridge and had a floyd. It was my main guitar for years. Then I bought a tele and then a double neck gretsch that sat in its case for years until I sold it back to Guitar Center. (and made about 500 bucks on the deal) It was a piece of crap but looked damn cool.

    Then I picked up my second richie strat, this one with three single coils, vintage noisless and no floyd. My playing had changed and this was really the closest thing to a broken signature as i could find. Now, years later and using it as my main gigging guitar, there's a few things I'd change. The neck has a very very light finish on it, but I want it off. I want the thick finish to be thinner. I'm just now getting used to the active electronics and I think I like them but I can do without them. I'm glad it has a switch, so I'd like to keep that. I don't care for the bridge pick up very much and I was thinking about putting one of those humbuckers in there that fits in the space of a single coil.

    Being that some of the things i'd change are permanent, I'm thinking about buying a neck and a body from warmoth and teach myself how to assemble the damn thing.

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    Being that some of the things i'd change are permanent, I'm thinking about buying a neck and a body from warmoth and teach myself how to assemble the damn thing.
    great idea, it'll teach you something and should you eer sell the guitar you can put the originals back on so as not to de-value the re-sale.
    i have done it with several guitars, mainly because i like BIG necks that aren't flat(i like a 9 1/2 -12 inch radius but quite chunky too) also big assed frets so changing a neck to something i prefer is a no brainer for me.
    also i tend to cram as many springs onto my trems as possible, i like them to be rock solid unless i wanna wank on them, that way theres no tuning issues and the tne and sustain is much improved (to my ears anyway)
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    yeah I think I want to build a parts guitar. I've never done anything like that before. I know I want it to be a "fender" but I want to tweak it slightly. I like the optional active electronics so I think I definitely want that. I want a chunky v-neck, ever so slightly moreso than the clapton and richie sambora. I want maple neck and fretboard I think I'll go with ash for the body. I want single coils, not sure which ones, definitely want a mismatched set to get that really quacky crisp strat tone out the neck-middle position but something really smoking on the bridge. I want really really quick/smooth pots and I want independant volume and tone for each pick up. I also want to be able to fire up all three pickups at once. I want next to no finish on the guitar, just ever so lightly with maybe a hint of stain...a heavy bridge, with 5 springs, locking tuners but no locking nut or trem. This can't be that big a deal to do.

    So riddle me this guitar modders and builders...say I got a mexi strat and took some sand paper to it and just sanded off the varnish and paint and all that shit...what would happen?

  10. #10
    Hot For Teacher VanLaing5150's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 12:28 AM
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    Broken...

    Before you go the warmoth route, let me throw in a recommendation for USA Custom Guitars. The guys over there are great to work with, and unlike Warmoth, you can get pretty much whatever you want. The bodies and necks I've ordered from them have been perfect. They do amazing work and the woods they choose are beautiful. At least check them out...
    Eddie and Dave...the way it was meant to be

  11. #11
    Good Enough
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    The more mods you guys do on your EBMM EvH's, the more valuable mine becomes.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanLaing5150 View Post
    Broken...

    Before you go the warmoth route, let me throw in a recommendation for USA Custom Guitars. The guys over there are great to work with, and unlike Warmoth, you can get pretty much whatever you want. The bodies and necks I've ordered from them have been perfect. They do amazing work and the woods they choose are beautiful. At least check them out...
    thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely do that. I've got to take care of a few expenses but hopefully by may I'll be ordering stuff piece by piece. One of things I'd like to explore is criss-crossing bodies and necks...either a strat neck on a tele body or a tele neck on a strat body and whoever I buy the pieces from will need to make sure that they will be compatible.

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely do that. I've got to take care of a few expenses but hopefully by may I'll be ordering stuff piece by piece. One of things I'd like to explore is criss-crossing bodies and necks...either a strat neck on a tele body or a tele neck on a strat body and whoever I buy the pieces from will need to make sure that they will be compatible.
    they should be compatble, i have a tele with a strat neck on it and that was a simple case of swapping them over, at the very most all you may need to do is a little sanding and possible doweling the screw holes and re-drilling pilot holes, simple job.
    as for sanding down your mexi strat, go for it, its a lot of elbow grease if you are doing it by hand but you can do it no problem, just watch out when snding any contours and the neck pocket (you dont want to make the neck pocket any bigger and you can oversand the contour and change the body shape) then its a case or re-finishing it how you want. its not a really difficult job and if you take your time and use common sense its great fun, plus you can always ask round here or advice.

    tom
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    they should be compatble, i have a tele with a strat neck on it and that was a simple case of swapping them over, at the very most all you may need to do is a little sanding and possible doweling the screw holes and re-drilling pilot holes, simple job.
    as for sanding down your mexi strat, go for it, its a lot of elbow grease if you are doing it by hand but you can do it no problem, just watch out when snding any contours and the neck pocket (you dont want to make the neck pocket any bigger and you can oversand the contour and change the body shape) then its a case or re-finishing it how you want. its not a really difficult job and if you take your time and use common sense its great fun, plus you can always ask round here or advice.

    tom
    yeah I'm thinking about keeping my eye out for a good used mexi and sanding it down and leaving it that way...not refinishing or painting again and throwing some new pick ups in...i've never really tinkered with my guitars...always looked for stuff off the rack that I thought would suit my needs and now I'm realizing that nothing on the rack is "just perfect"

  15. #15
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    yeah I'm thinking about keeping my eye out for a good used mexi and sanding it down and leaving it that way...not refinishing or painting again and throwing some new pick ups in...i've never really tinkered with my guitars...always looked for stuff off the rack that I thought would suit my needs and now I'm realizing that nothing on the rack is "just perfect"
    like i said, signiture guitars and mass production guitars are just someone else's ideal. so find something thats close to what you want and then mod it to you exact wants/needs, it may take several sets of pups, tuners, nuts, pots or bridges but eventually you will find your own "holy grail".
    i have a mongrel strat, the neck is slimmer than the neck pocket and it barely lines up right, theres a few chunks in the side of the neck and the edges of the fretboard are worn, but i tell ya buddy, it fits my hands, body and ears perfectly, i know several people who hate it, but its not about them really, its all about me baby!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

 

 

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