Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southern California
Re: Tweaking vs. Investing. Which do you do?
I think it depends on the guitar and if you're a player or a collector. I'm a player. The only reason I don't mod a guitar is if I like the way it looks/sounds stock, or if it's a "collectible/reissue" guitar. Most of my guitars are modded. Examples:
I have a Squier strat that I've upgraded with Dimarzios and new electronics. Total cost is probably about $250 US and it plays and sounds every bit as good as every $1000American Strat I've played, and even better than some of the American strats--same with the Squier/American teles. I even have an American Tele and if you A/B it against my Squier, you really can't tell the difference. Both have the same internal electronics package, Dimarzio Area T Neck pickup, and Dimarzio Air Norton T bridge pickup. Only differences are cosmetic where the quilt on the maple fretboard is nicer on the American.
I won't mod any of my Gibson Custom VOS Les Paul guitars because they sound, play, and look great. Modding would de-value them, and realistically, what would I upgrade?
My stage guitar, my 1991 RG770DXLB is only electronically modded with new capacitors and cosmetically modded (mirror pickguard & truss rod cover) because it's a beautiful guitar and sounds great with the stock pickups--the upgraded capacitors just enhance the sound of the guitar without changing it.
A JEM--again, what do you upgrade?
I think the bottom line is that within reason, you can always get what you want--if you like the looks of a guitar but hate the sound, you can change the pickups/electronics and try to make it sound like you want. If you like the way a guitar sounds but hate the way it looks, you can change the cosmetics (again, within reason--nitrocellulose finishes affect tone, etc.) to suit your tastes.
Be who you be and if that be who you be then be that.