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Cheap or free guitar mods...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Cheap or free guitar mods...
I can't afford good legendary noisy pick ups so I kicked mine in on a cheap Epiphone SG I had laying around. The higher note B and E seem to be untunable now no matter how much I fuck with them but this thing can scream, feedback, and sustain better then I can remember. This is the same one I wired a DOD Grunge pedal guts into.

Also I don't do strap locks. I got washers from a hardware store, unscrewed my strap pegs, slipped them under the pegs and remounted them. This strap is going nowhere.

What all have you guys done to your Frankenstein guitars?
I put 1M pots in my strat, changed the second tone to a midrange control, then later redid the entire pickups/electronics, changed the bridge to an FR and put a new nut on, new tuners. I use these C-shaped plastic washers on ebay this guy sells for $4 as straplocks.

See if you can adjust the intonation on the high strings and you should be able to get them tuned.
Muff Wiggler
try different gauge strings...... you may not be able to intonate a wound 'b' string but may find you can intonate an unwound b, or one of different gauge. really seems to depend on the bridge

if you can't and it's driving you crazy maybe look into a compensated NUT, or hell try different saddles. or take the existing saddle and flip it around.

here's what i've done -

i put Fralin pickups into all my guitars

I've made a lot of changes to my G&L Legacy ('strat')... added a Callaham tremolo block, i shielded the hell out of the cavities and inside of the pickguard (made a huge difference, you can barely detect any hum even in single pickup modes), graphtech stringsaver 'classic' (steel) saddles, graphtech nut, Sperzel locking tuners. Had the frets leveled and NOT crowned

For my jazzmaster I put in a graphtech nut and a Mastery bridge

never use straplocks. I use Souldier straps on all my guitars.
Here's one of my ugliest mods from way back. An 80-something Aria SB Elite-II, previously stock (and beautiful in hindsight!), and transformed into.... this! ( d'oh! )

Schaller hardware, SD jazz bass active setup, stripped off the finish, reshaped the headstock to resemble a Warwick (I had Dolphin lust at the time)... It looked ok for like a week, but rode that one hard for a couple years in a DC/hardcore band and put it away wet.

One of my more recent mods was to a '72 Guild JS-II. Tried out some Hammon Dark Star pickups, and replaced the rustic wood-saddled Hagstrom harp bridge (Guild used to source parts from Hagstrom) with a really nifty "Alembic-ized" solid brass bridge - built by an elementary school math teacher in Finland, who also happens to be a kickass luthier/machinist. It mates up to a huge brass sustain block that I had to countersink into the body. This was the first time I ever used a router! hyper

Way to practice, eh? Dead Banana

My little man was helpin' me work the power tools that day!

That solved the intonation problems, and helped improve sustain just a tad bit! Mr. Green
Here's a relatively cheap mod that I did a few years ago on my '69 Gibson EB-0. It's wiring was not original to begin with, so I figured it'd make a good candidate for some tinkering.

I was curious about experimenting with different permutations of the coils in the Gibson sidewinder pickup (sometimes dubbed the mudbucker). That pickup is a huuuuge sum'bitch in every aspect. By default, it meters out at 30K(!!). Its coils were hardwired in series, and there is only a single output lead (and ground lead). This mod could be technically be applied to any humbucker - as long as you can get at the coil wiring to split the pickup (i.e. if its not sealed in epoxy)

On this bass, the coils had to be split and wired up with four output wires - a pair for each coil - making it possible to create different coil combinations using switches in the circuitry. I used a spare USB cable for the multi-conductor wire hihi

Here's the pickup before, after carefully pulling the wires from underneath the coils. Note the two-conductor wiring, and sideways arrangement of the coils and magnets:

...and after converting it to four-conductor:

I had drawn up a schematic here, to show how I wired it:

Here's the circuit as implemented:

The volume pot's push/pull switch toggles between humbucker and single-coil mode, and the tone pot's switch changes the relationship of the pickup coils from series to parallel wiring. This had a marked effect on the impedance and sound of the pickup.

In normal series-mode, the pickup measured about 30K (overwound, saturated, heavy on the lower-mids and "low hovering cloud" dub-type sounds). Single-coil mode cuts that in half (evens out the frequency response, more clear and articulate sound), and parallel-mode drops the impedance down to about 7.5K (sounds a lot like single coil, but minus any single coil buzzzz).

I had made an audio clip to try and demonstrate the differences:

This clip just repeats the same passage, iterating thru the following settings:

1. Stock mudbucker w/coils in series
2. Coils in parallel
3. Single coil
4. Single coil w/tone rolled off
5. Stock mud w/tone rolled off a bit
Just a simple mod to my late 80's Strat+.
My middle tone knob pulls enableing a 2nd mode for my 5 way pickup switch.
Just the bridge and neck PU, all 3 pickups, and within those two mode, it will also use the fancy fender lace tone control, or use the other standard tone control.
And a 1M volume pot.

I'd get rid of my Gretsch DuoJet before I got rid of my Strat. Rockin' Banana!
i upgraded my japanese fender jazz bass with better quality electronics, new knobs, a graph-tec nut, lindy fralin pickups, and a badass ii bridge.

i want to upgrade my tele with another pickup, new electronics, a schaller bridge and sperzel tuners, but am not confident enough to drill into my guitar!
I sand down the necks on mexi-jazz basses to 440 and then finish with tung oil once every 6 months to a year. Replace the bridge with a leo quan badass 2.
On guitar lately I've been messing around with wadding or rolling up notebook paper and sticking it between the bridge and bridge pickup to get a sitar-ish sound. Similarly on bass I've been doing what used to be standard on p-basses and plenty of other guys do - cramming foam under the strings to get a deep muffley james jamerson thing.
Just found this page with a shitload of pickup wiring mods:
Just me
Took a Gibson Epiphone P-bass like thing and put some Old Dimarzio pickups in it and routed it for a Bartolini Jazz bass pickup at the bridge.
Rewired it intially with just 2 volume controls and took care of tone with the amp. Later rewired it for vol and tone and added a selector to pick the pickups.
Had the frets rewired and put a new bone nut on it.
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