Cheap hacks to make that cheap guitar less cheap (Guitar Mods)

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Isotropy
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Hey.

So I've had a Jackson JS22-7 Dinky for a little over 2 years now and I thought I'd share my favorite hacks/mods to it to make it...better.

The guitar cost me $199 a couple years ago. I've invested about ~$120 more into is and I'm much happier with the tones I get now. So for what I have now I'll say it cost $320 and I daresay it gives me tone and playability of a guitar even more expensive than that Wink

So what are the cheap points of a cheap guitar? It varies but in my limited experience I'd say it's in the materials, the hardware, and the crafting itself. My guitar had some crafting imperfections and obviously the pickups were not great. I also think they skimped on the electronics a bit. But hey for under 200 bucks, what do you expect? Let's make it awesome!

Hack 1. Replace bridge pickup
Why the bridge? Because you're probably going to use that more frequently than the neck pickup....just my guess. Obviously this is the most expensive mod but so so worth it. Choose a pickup you like the tone of (I went with the Seymour Duncan Nazgul) and install it yourself! It's a lot easier than you'd think.

Hack 2. Remove the tone pot
Ok I know this will piss off some people but there are more reasons to remove the tone pot than "I never use it" (which I don't). A crappy tone pot will suck more high end brilliance than it needs to, even when it's at 10. Remove it completely to get that brilliance back. I find it adds clarity as well and a bit of fullness. To those of you that cringe at this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Or better yet, install a no-load 500k pot in place of your crappy tone pot. Then you can keep your pot but when you turn it all the way up it effectively bypasses it.

Hack 3. Install a coil split
SUPER EASY to do believe it or not. If you know your way around a soldering iron, you're good to go. Get yourself a push pull pot (hey why not get a no-load push pull and kill 2 birds with one stone!) Split coil wiring gives your guitar a whole new range of sounds and it's super fun to play around with.

That's all for now! Just felt like posting something for fun. If you guys have other hacks or mods or you just want to tell me I'm stupid, just reply to this thread! Laughing out loud

johnny shnizz
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good stuff. my brother gave me his old 200 bucks Ibanez Gio and i want to pimp it up over time, too. i would wire it the same way my new 7-string Ibanez is. 2 Humbuckers, 3 way switch + coil split switch = 6 configurations. i totally love it. i´ll replace the tone knob for that coil split switch. my new Ibanez also doesn´t have a tone knob. i think for what we do (home produced heavy stuff with rich and sparkly tones) we really don´t need a tone knob. it can be handy in a live situation and for other kinds of music. but bottom line i never ever use it. i´ll also put in new electronics. it´s just a bit hard to find the right wiring diagram, because this setup is rather uncommon. for pickups i´m also not completely sure what i´d want, yet. i´m thinking either Pegasus/Sentient or something more growly from Dimarzio. then i also want to put on locking tuners and even give it a new finish, because black is just boring. i think the most difficult thing is there´s a single coil in between the humbuckers now and i´m not sure how to close the open slot. i just hope i´ll find the time at some point so it doesn´t just stay a mind game.

Isotropy
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Nice! Yeah long term my plan is to get a Sentient to go with my Nazgul as well as replace all the hardware with gold hipshot stuff. Locking tuners and that wonderful hipshot bridge Smile Then IT WILL BE COMPLETE

I've had my nose in the wiring stuff recently and I've been finding it's a bit easier than I remember. the diagrams are helpful but sometimes they make it more confusing. If you ever want a hand with figuring out wiring, hit me up! Two heads are better than one Wink

local.native
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I'm currently working on making my first guitar playable (old strat copy). Decided to slap a dual humbucker pickguard in it with some EMG 81/85's that I had lying around (which i plan on doing the 18v mod to), and i'm going to use EMG's solderless connection system, so hopefully that will work out well!

Isotropy
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Sweet! I've been meaning to install a liberator in my guitars, but in reality I don't swap pickups a lot. I am planning on getting a invader neck for my 6 and a sentient neck for my 7.

Just got finished installing coil splits on both guitars Laughing out loud Soooooo cool.

local.native
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I'd love to do more, but in the past I haven't been able to solder for crap, granted it's prolly been 10 years since I tried. But since you bring up the liberator, I may have to go that route! I have an RG8 that could use some new pups:)