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new pickups or new guitar

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JohnnyWhiteshoes
(@johnnywhiteshoes)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

hey all at GN,

Iv had my fender strat styled electric for over a year now and im getting into recording more (i got an xenyx1002FX, X v amp, etc) and thinking about upgrading my guitar in some way.
its just a cheap one and i feel i could be doing better recordings with something of greater quality and sound.

i thought about getting a fender strat or tele (usa or mexian), but that's abit out of my price range, seeing that im a 15 year old without a job and a insane love for music. i also thought about a squire to level out the money issue, so im not sure about the new guitar idea.

is getting a squire a good idea? r they good quality and long lasting?

iv also been thinking about getting some new single coil pickups to also reduce a dramtic cost, but im not sure if it will just be a waste to buy something good for something (my guitar) not so good.

is new pickups the way to go? r there some good quality, long lasting, and relativly cheap brands out there?

wat r ur suggestions to help me (if ur a regular on the forums u would have noticed some of my other problems i face in the music side of my life).

thanks in advance

Jordan

"If you give a man a Les Paul guitar, he doesn't become Eric Clapton. If you give a man an amp and a synthesizer, he doesn't become whoever. He doesn't become us." - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd


   
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Dagwood
(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1024
 

Jordan,
Welcome... Welcome to GAS hehehehehe.

Your question is one of great complexity in that your recording more and more and your trying to get a better sound.

The signal (sound) chain doesn't necessarily end and start with just the guitar. There are so many components in that chain the first starting with your mind, then ears, then fingers then the guitar. Down the cables plugged into (insert pedal(s) here) then into the Amp. Then there comes the Mic, the mixer, the PC or tape or (storage medium). Anyone one of these including the fingers can degrade or improve the sound.

Pickups:
As some of the more knowledgeable folks here have said in the past.. Pickups are just one piece of the puzzle that makes the sound.
Sure different type of pickups expect to sound a certain way but they're really just part of the larger picture.

My question for you would be this. If say you bought your guitar for $100 and your going to put $100 dollar (and more to get them installed) pickups into the guitar is it worth it?

If you really like/love that guitar, the way it plays, the way if feels, then yes its worth it......to you.

I'd recommend looking at http://www.guitarfetish.com inexpensive yet good quality Pickups and other bits for your Gits. And they do ship worldwide.

Better Guitar:
Most of us can use and want a better guitar. I know I'd love to have a real Gibson Les Paul.. but that too is out of my price range.
A better guitar will provide you with better quality materials, (wood, manufacturing process, fit/finish, components). Plus it will definately boost your Cool Factor. :)

Amps:
Alot of the sound is in the amp as well. Different amps color the tone/sound so much so that people can tell you if its a Marshall, Fender or VOX or HiWatt or Mesa just by listening to it. Not to mention the cabinet style, the number of speakers, the type of speakers and the power'd technology, Tube or solid state.

Effects:
To me they're the SPICE to the flavor of the amp. Just like spice in food.. Distortion adds the "Heat" or ....well you know what I'm saying. Put a Delay in front (or after) a Marshall.. its still a Marshall though.

Cables:
Often over looked and ignored. You MUST have good, undamaged cables. You can have a $5000 dollar amp and a $20000 guitar if your cables are junk...guess what.... :)

Mics:
I won't even attempt to go there. Despite the type of mic, you can also mess around with Mic placement infront of your speaker. Dead Center, to the side a bit, the distance away...etc.

Even your pick, the type, style or your fingers, with or without long nails.

All these things affect tone. But mainly it comes down to what your ears tell you and what your ears want to hear. It takes years of tinkering with and messing around with all this stuff.

So for me? I'd look at two things besides my skill and ability. First, definetaly a better guitar but maybe not right now. Perhaps I'd look at my amp.

I think...and its just me. I think a better amp can make a not so good guitar sound great. Yet a good guitar can't necessarily make a crummy Amp sound better..... does that make sense?

As I said, welcome to GAS.... all in the name of our perpetual quest for Our Tone/Our Voice :) Its a fun, usually expensive, often frustrating journey, but it is oh so worth it. :)

Cheers

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


   
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JohnnyWhiteshoes
(@johnnywhiteshoes)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

thanks for the reply dagwood,

my effects (behringer x v amp), amp (randall 2x 30watt), mixer (behringer xenyx 1002FX), leads and cables (brand new from music shop) are all great quality i believe, so no troubles there.
so im coming to the conclusion that it is my guitar that has to be upgraded. i found a guitar on ebay australia - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Squier-by-Fender-Stratocaster-guitar-early-90s-model_W0QQitemZ140030826260QQihZ004QQcategoryZ33039QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem that im thinking about getting (maybe) and iv been reading other topics about squires, strats, teles to observe others (more experienced with guitars) opinions on them.
since where i live its holidays my dad said hes going to take me to some music shops and ask around to see what guitars and/or pickups are inexpensive and good quality.

more suggestions would be appreciated

Jordan

"If you give a man a Les Paul guitar, he doesn't become Eric Clapton. If you give a man an amp and a synthesizer, he doesn't become whoever. He doesn't become us." - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd


   
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Dagwood
(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1024
 

Alright. Hey you have some nice gear there. Those randall can howl.... :)

That's a nice looking squier.. I'd get it if I didn't already have a maple necked Strat for sure and for only $142 Aussie OR American, I'd get it in a heart beat even though I do have a Maple Neck Strat :)

Its always a good thing to go to the music store(s) and take some time and "Feel" the instruments as well as hearing them.
I'm wouldn't be so concerned with the action (string height) as you can always adjust that very easily. I'd be more focused on, and especially the different strats is the neck and how the frets feel. I've found different strats, be it Squiers or Fenders have different necks... some C shape, some V shape, some Very subtle V shape, some feel Flat and thin. Then I'd feel for the Fret Dressing. how the frets feel on the bottom of the neck.. next to the High E string... are they sharp or smooth? Again you can have someone Dress them if they're sharp, but its just an added expense once again.

Also I'd ask myself if I needed two single coiled guitars. If not maybe look for something in an H-S-S configuration or H-S-H or just plain ol H-H configuration.

Good luck in your search.. have fun at the store with your Pops.

Cheers.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


   
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