The modern guitar market is literally inundated with choices of great guitars at great prices, and a whole plethora of options to hot rod and mod them from there, so the question comes: “Why upgrade and mod rather than simply replace?”
In this article, we will be looking at some of the reasons for keeping and improving your axe rather than adding a new one to your stable.
Your guitar feels like home
You’ve already spent time with it, you know how it feels, you like how it feels but the sound leaves something to be desired. If you enjoy it’s tone unplugged and feel it’s resonant and lively then perhaps all you really need is a pickup swap to bring out the voice you’d like to hear.
After all, when trying to keep production costs down one of the first places to be affected will be the electronics on any given model.
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Your guitar looks the part
It’s a real eye catcher, it’s always been, the finish is something you just can’t find on anything else, even in the same brands line up they just don’t offer anything like it, and it looks so good on stage.
Well, there exist a multitude of options to improve the initial resonance of a guitar, from upgrading the trem block to a brass one or getting a higher mass bridge, throw in the pickups of your preference after that and you’re sure to have a keeper.
Your guitar tells your story
Every ding, every scratch, every bit of oxidization on the bridge is part of and tells the story of the emotional investment you have spent on this instrument.
It’s like a biography of all the hard lessons you’ve learnt and all the time it took you to learn them, it may not be as pretty as the day you brought it but it’s got that mojo that only you would understand.
If you are sentimental then there are a host of options for not only improving but returning it to it’s former glory, from replacement bridges and frets to new machine heads and nuts we are now in a market where if it breaks not only can you replace it, but you can replace it with something better that was designed to be an immediate drop in.
There are many reasons to keep a guitar and replace parts instead of simply buying a new one, in the same way that someone may choose to keep and modify a car rather than consigning it to a scrap heap for the latest more economical model.
Much like a vintage Mustang, they become more than just the sum of their parts, they become an identity, a constant project, a friend, and a potential legacy to keep or hand down when the time is right.