Inexpensive but turned out to be great!

speyfly

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The "Awesome Guitars" and fits288's LP makeover threads inspired me to post this thread.

What is an new or used inexpensive guitar you've acquired that turned out to be much better than expected either through mods or it was just great right out of the box so to speak? Please give some history or the mods that made the difference.

Mine is a 2011 Fender Tele Blacktop. Bought it new (cheap $399) from GC but wasn't impressed other than it's comfort and playability. I had all the stuff to do a complete mod with Alnico II's vintage wound, all electronics, tuners, saddles, SG style toggle rather that the blade switch and had to install a ground to the bridge due to hum. Now she's one of my most favorites. I really think that the pickups that I dropped in and the alder body has made the real difference.

Tele Blacktop.JPG

I love this guitar every bit as much as my Les Paul's!

What's your guitar story?
 
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fitz288

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What is an new or used inexpensive guitar you've acquired that turned out to be much better than expected either through mods or it was just great right out of the box so to speak? Please give some history or the mods that made the difference.
I did a build thread on this one too, but I'd say my favorite inexpensive guitar make over is my Shorty.
sd.jpg
I had bought the SD P-rails for my LP, but hated them in that guitar and put the 490s back in.
Got the shorty deluxe new for $179.
Changed the front rout covered by a pick guard to a rear access.
Replaced the one-piece bridge with a TOM & tail piece.
Relocated the tone & volume pots and replaced with concentric for separate bridge / neck control.
Added mini toggles for the 3-way and to switch from rail to HB to P90.
Did my standard fret job on the neck and dialed it in nice and tight.
The little fella is just so handy, I pick it up all the time.
 

Clifdawg

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About 11 or 12 years ago, I had an Epiphone LP Special 2 with humbuckers that a friend gave to me once. Wasn’t much of a looker, but I was shocked at just how good it was. Used to play it plugged into an equally inexpensive Crate V18 amp… Good times in college.

I had disassembled and sanded the body to make some mods but I never got around to it and it ended up getting thrown away in a move. Wish I still had it and could have done something with it.
 

speyfly

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I did a build thread on this one too, but I'd say my favorite inexpensive guitar make over is my Shorty.
View attachment 98404
I had bought the SD P-rails for my LP, but hated them in that guitar and put the 490s back in.
Got the shorty deluxe new for $179.
Changed the front rout covered by a pick guard to a rear access.
Replaced the one-piece bridge with a TOM & tail piece.
Relocated the tone & volume pots and replaced with concentric for separate bridge / neck control.
Added mini toggles for the 3-way and to switch from rail to HB to P90.
Did my standard fret job on the neck and dialed it in nice and tight.
The little fella is just so handy, I pick it up all the time.

That's a cool guitar. For a reference, what's the scale length and width at the nut if you don't mind sharing that info? :agreed: :applause:

Thx, fitz288

Probably to coolest looking Tele I've seen. I love it. That's not exactly one that needs to be "explained".

I'm not up to speed on Fender neck specs but I fell in love with the neck on it!

Thx, Sapien
 

ricksdisconnected

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ive got a fender tele that was given to me some time ago. the guy had it propped up on his pass side
truck bed. he was loading the truck, forgot about it, hit reverse and ran over it. busted the headstock, BUT, it did not
seperate from the neck. i need to do something with it at some point.

but for the thread here, i gotta say my Hagstrom swede or is it a ultar swede?
either way, its totally bad ass. pics somewhere on this site of it.
its LP stype with a ibanez thin neck. heavy yes. playes amazing. had to have it.
trying to see if i have pics on my computer still of it.
 

fitz288

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Got this used pretty cheap. And pretty much everything was replaced down to tuners and pots, but I had all of it from other projects. Then added the Bigs, which I also had already fom another guitar. This is my main player, love it. Don't mind the mess behind it. :rolleyes:
View attachment 98405
Mess? :shrug:
 

Sapient

 
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The "Awesome Guitars" and fits288's LP makeover threads inspired me to post this thread.

What is an new or used inexpensive guitar you've acquired that turned out to be much better than expected either through mods or it was just great right out of the box so to speak? Please give some history or the mods that made the difference.

Mine is a 2011 Fender Tele Blacktop. Bought it new (cheap $399) from GC but wasn't impressed other than it's comfort and playability. I had all the stuff to do a complete mod with Alnico II's vintage wound, all electronics, tuners, saddles, SG style toggle rather that the blade switch and had to install a ground to the bridge due to hum. Now she's one of my most favorites. I really think that the pickups that I dropped in and the alder body has made the real difference.

View attachment 98403

I love this guitar every bit as much as my Les Paul's!

What's your guitar story?

Some features on that I love are:

- The darker "aged" looking headstock.
- The nice massively dark and well hydrated fretboard.
- White with the black guard and a black pickup on the bridge. Nice pick!
- White with the zebra. Nice pick!
- Two humbuckers.....awesome.
- The HB
- The overall sorta aging effect it has. (Nice an weathered looking)

Shit, I might just build that. :D

You'll be the second one here I wanna copy. Lol.

:eddie:
 

speyfly

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Got this used pretty cheap. And pretty much everything was replaced down to tuners and pots, but I had all of it from other projects. Then added the Bigs, which I also had already fom another guitar. This is my main player, love it. Don't mind the mess behind it. :rolleyes:
View attachment 98405

"Mess", all I see is music and fun times!

Some features on that I love are:

- The darker "aged" looking headstock.
- The nice massively dark and well hydrated fretboard.
- White with the black guard and a black pickup on the bridge. Nice pick!
- White with the zebra. Nice pick!
- Two humbuckers.....awesome.
- The HB
- The overall sorta aging effect it has. (Nice an weathered looking)

Shit, I might just build that. :D

You'll be the second one here I wanna copy. Lol.

:eddie:
I would be honored if you built one. The pickups were one of a kinds (last two vintage II's that he had) built by small local builder that got out of the business, yes, the neck has the nicest rosewood fingerboard and has jumbo's so I like that. I find the toggle is more comfortable to me over a blade switch.

If you do build one and it's an alder body you gotta try vintage II's . There's some special about the combination.
 
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Sapient

 
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"Mess", all I see is music and fun times!


I would be honored if you to built one. The pickups were one of a kinds (last two vintage II's that he had) built by small local builder that got out of the business, yes, the neck has the nicest rosewood fingerboards and has jumbo's so I like that. I find the toggle is more comfortable to me over a blade switch.

If you do build one and it's an alder body you gotta try vintage II's . There's some special about the combination.

Yea, I just got one the other day so I'm on hold for another one for a while. I'll let you know if I do. I'd really like to have a version of that at some point for sure.
 

paul-e-mann

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As an experiment I gave photos and specs of my 57 reissue goldtop LP to an overseas builder to see how close he could get for his $240 price tag. To my surprise it looked great but was unplayable. The biggest upgrade difference was a fret job and a new bridge, then I added CTS pots, bumblebee caps, Switchcraft toggle and jack, pickups I had laying around, new pickguard, trussrod cover and speed knobs, I had a really nice guitar for $500 all in! Its not perfect but good enough and allows me to keep my nice guitars at home and this goes out with me with no worries.
 

axe4me

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I'm a big 335 fan.

My 1969 Gibson ES 335 is a keeper.

I bought this new guitar for $250.00 in Aug. 1969.

I was a supermarket stock boy making $1.65 an hour.

It was a 16 year old kid's validation, goal and stubborn work ethic.

1969gibsones335tdc.jpg

Recently, (this year), I found a "Gibson Inspired" Epiphone 335 that impressed me a lot.

I was so impressed, that I bought 2 figured Epi "Gibson Inspired" 335's, along with a few other Epi's.

epiphoneblushburstfront.jpg
epiphoneblushburstback.jpg
epiphoneraspberryburstes335a.jpg

I have an extensive stash of guitars that boarder on "vintage" quality.

I can make a "reasonable" comparison and those "Gibson Inspired" Epiphone guitars are a major surprise.

My other "Gibson Inspired" Epi's:

2epitraditionalproes335s.jpg
epiphonesunriseorangecasino.jpg

Sick :rolleyes:?

IMO, a big difference is the name on the headstock.

A former "cork sniffer":coffee:.

I'm hooked.
 
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Sapient

 
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I'm a big 335 fan.

My 1969 Gibson ES 335 is a keeper.

I bought this new guitar for $250.00 in Aug. 1969.

I was a supermarket stock boy making $1.65 an hour.

It was a 16 year old kid's validation, goal and stubborn work ethic.

View attachment 98575

Recently, (this year), I found a "Gibson Inspired" Epiphone 335 that impressed me a lot.

I was so impressed, that I bought 2 figured Epi "Gibson Inspired" 335's, along with a few other Epi's.

View attachment 98576
View attachment 98577
View attachment 98578

I have an extensive stash of guitars that boarder on "vintage" quality.

I can make a "reasonable" comparison and those "Gibson Inspired" Epiphone guitars are a major surprise.

My other "Gibson Inspired" Epi's:

View attachment 98580
View attachment 98581

Sick :rolleyes:?

IMO, a big difference is the name on the headstock.

A former "cork sniffer":coffee:.

I'm hooked.

Awesome, Axe!! Would you happen to have a few more pics to show??
 


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