Cheap guitars with good bones (for modding)

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by jcmathews, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Yorkshire
    Most guitars made in the last 20 years or so are made well enough to make into nice players.
     
    drewcp, mb doug and Angry Possum like this.
  2. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    58
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Depends on what a cheap guitar is in your range.

    Epiphone, Squier, Cort, Greco, Ibanez, Dean, Hamer, Glarry, HB, Jay Turser, First Act.

    Cort, Squier, and Epiphone are my top picks for great bones.

    I own all those brands listed, but pound for pound I choose Epiphone, I personally and luckily, have never gotten a bad one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
    driver8, BlueSquirrel and mb doug like this.
  3. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    58
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Glarrys are decent, necks are a little thick, frets aren't bad, just a little gritty.
     
    jcmathews and mb doug like this.
  4. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    58
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    I agree w that statement.
     
    jcmathews, mb doug and beagle like this.
  5. jcmathews

    jcmathews Squier-Meister

    Age:
    61
    188
    Sep 15, 2019
    Gig Harbor, WA
    That's three votes for Johnson...there's a Johnson Strat for sale near me right now for $35. And here's a Johnson Solara Elite on my bench right now; got it for $50. Swapping out pots, nut and tuners., will probably swap the bridge, too. Was gonna swap out the pickups but on initial exam the stock PUs sounded great. Neck feels really nice and chunky. We'll see once I put 'er back together.

    EDIT: I am swapping out the pickups after all. The stock Johnsons sound good, but too hot.


    IMG_1538.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  6. speelyei

    speelyei Squier-Meister

    Age:
    48
    385
    Sep 22, 2020
    Mesa, AZ
    Haha!! That’s a wayback playback for sure! I had the all black version, no pickguard, rosewood fingerboard with red fret dots. The cool translucent speed knobs! Man, that brings back some memories!

    Is that yours? How do you like it?
     
    Angry Possum likes this.
  7. jcmathews

    jcmathews Squier-Meister

    Age:
    61
    188
    Sep 15, 2019
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Good list, although I've never tried a Glarry or a First Act. I'd say Samick and SX are good fits on that list, in terms of price range.
     
    Angry Possum likes this.
  8. Vinny29

    Vinny29 Squier Talker

    Age:
    62
    98
    May 6, 2018
    Canton, Ohio
    Do you like the Johnson and Stagg 's better than your Starcaster's? You said the Johnson and Stagg both have chunky necks, what is the radius like? How would they compare to a SE CSX neck?
     
  9. mdparent03

    mdparent03 Squier-holic

    May 6, 2013
    Killeen, TX
    I would say the Starcaster necks are about the same as the Johnson or Stagg necks in specs but the finish on the Stagg is much better than either of the others. All three are thicker than my Squier SE neck I have on my silver burst Starcaster body.
    PXL_20201121_154255656.jpg
    The original neck that was on it measured .95" at first fret compared to .8" on the SE that is on it now. I hope that helps.
     
  10. Vinny29

    Vinny29 Squier Talker

    Age:
    62
    98
    May 6, 2018
    Canton, Ohio
    Been looking at the Johnson Strats, they appear to be the easier to find out there now. I see some with 22 frets and some with 21, the 22 fret necks look flatter in the pictures in the pictures, but pictures can be deceiving. Have you had the 21 or 22 fret Johnson? How to they compare? Also, some come with the Johnson EMG pick ups, some are unmarked. Any opinion on how those compare?
     
  11. mdparent03

    mdparent03 Squier-holic

    May 6, 2013
    Killeen, TX
    I have had 3 Johnson strats and all have been 21 frets. Only one of the three had the "Johnson" on the pickup covers and they all sounded the same. All were ceramic pickups.
    IMG_20140420_203735_697-1.jpg IMG_20130918_201452-1.jpg IMG_20140112_072117_273.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
    Gavaldi likes this.