Wanting to upgrade your budget guitar?. Use our in-depth guide to getting a Pro setup,Nut job and a tuner upgrade so you wont be paying over the top prices.
Pick Up Swap : 15-150 Each
Upgrading pickups is always the most exciting part of improving a guitar, but unless you
sort out playability and tuning issues first, you won’t get the best out of your pickups or your guitar.
Starting with standard T-type, S-type and humbucker models, you need to decide what sound you want. The choice is vast, from underwound coils and Alnico magnets for cleaner vintage tones to overwound with ceramic magnets that are specifically designed for distortion duties.Then there are drop-in replacement pickups that will dramatically change your sound without damaging your guitar. You can get hot humbuckers in standard T & S-type sizes and single coils that will fit into PAF style surrounds.
Do some research and ask for advice: it’s amazing what you can achieve.
Exotic handwound pickups might be OTT, but companies like DiMarzio, Golden Age and Guitar Fetish offer great value.
Hot Wiring : 1-20
Budget guitars can be modded without harming their value, so they’re great for exploring wiring options, letting you make a more informed choice when you decide to upgrade your guitar.
Cheap pots can be noisy and their taper might be unsuitable. Upgrading to quality items like CTS pots can provide cleaner, clearer sounds. Single coils usually have 250K pots, while 500K pots are used for humbuckers. Dull-sounding guitars can be made brighter with higher value pots, and edgy or bright guitars can be tamed with lower values.
Different values of tone caps will change the cut-off frequency. A 0.01mF cap soldered across the input and wiper terminals of your volume control will retain treble when you turn down. Push-pull pots can also coil-tap humbuckers, or switch two single coils from parallel to series for humbucker-type sounds.