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To modify or not to modify?


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I have a Casio MG500 - the cool looking MIDI guitar from the 80's.  It's in good shape - the MIDI convertor functions as it should, albeit - a bit clunky (35 year old technology)  The pickups sound...okay.  Kind of weak and rather warm for single coils with a splitable humbucker in the bridge.  The trem is a standard strat style trem and the tuners function fine.  Overall, it works as is.  

My thoughts were to replace the trem bridge with an upgraded one (that requires NO drilling or mods to the body) and replace the tuners with something a little more high-tech looking (like Schaller M6's or Hipshot minis with the knurled knobs instead of the "traditional" keys) as well as swapping out the existing MIDI system for a Fishman triple play - for much better MIDI integration.  And a new pickuguard done in a carbon-fiber pattern.  Basically an updated version of the idea of this guitar.  I think it would still be very 80's tech-cool, but updated.  

But part of me doesn't want to mess up a perfectly functional version of these MIDI guitars, but I think it would be kick ass upgraded.  

Thoughts? Pros/Cons?

 

 

 

 

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Well, do you view the guitar as a tool, or as something that you may someday want to sell and get your money back from?

For selling later, keep it original.  If it's a tool that you want to make music with, mod away to your heart's content.

IMO, those don't have any real special significance as great instruments, so there's probably not a whole lot of "collector" value to destroy.  Make it work for you.

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Yeah - I only have about $400 into it as a guitar - I'm not thinking of it as a collectors item or anything, but there is always something about keeping things "original" to their nature that seems appropriate.  Especially things like this that, despite not being a "classic" instrument, is a relatively rare instrument and an example of the state of technology at that point, if that makes sense. 

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Casio didn't actually "make" a guitar. Ibanez did, Generally thru the Terada factory, though some good ones were made at Fuji Gen Gaki. Same with Roland. All of the controller guitars were made by Ibanez. 

What Casio did do was the internal electronics. They also had onboard sounds on some models, the general MIDI set, which meant you didn't need the big clunky floor board systems Roland did. They also had a direct MIDI out to access synths directly. Roland didn't do that. I always liked the Casio series, though to be honest, I am a Roland player since the late 80's, and preferred the sounds and look of the G707. HATED the GR700 board, but loved the guitar, which I still have in a modified form. I dumped the massively stupid 27 or so pin system, and added a GK-3 pickup.

GEDC1375.thumb.JPG.53f87e81e898da55765efc317ff28dde.JPG

 

And to the original post, yeah, mod it to suit your needs. The pickups were never that good to begin with, and if you don't have to drill out major holes to do the trem and tuners, go for it. I added the middle pickup in mine. Neck is a D'Marzio Virtual PAF, mid is some strat middle one, bridge is a Duncan Stag Mag. Both hums have coil tapping, an on/off switch for the mid, and Vol/tone/mid controls.

Edited by badpenguin
crappy typing. That's my story, I'm sticking to it!
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14 hours ago, daddymack said:

BP, is that a Marauder hanging next to the Roland? Don't see too many of those anymore....

Why yes, yes it is! A completely all original one from 76. While not the best loved of Norlin era Gibson, (My other Gibbys sneer at it.) it plays well, looks wonderful, and has a sound that can be Best described as Tele-ish. 

GEDC1377.thumb.JPG.3c20f81fd2e27a7a93a437959692ab3f.JPG

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It was the Norlin attempt at a Tele, [and then Peavey tried to make a Marauder in '78, the T60, another interesting and overlooked guitar*]....they don't get much love, though do they? I guess bolt-neck Gibsons just are not what the market wants...like the Sonex.

I played with a guy back in the day who had one, and he had a love/hate relationship with his.  I think if they had not put the 'V'-style headstock on it, it would have fared better...maybe not. The Ripper bass, too, got a major shunning ... 70s guitarist snobbery...

 

*I just looked...Reverb has a number of T60s listed for $7-800! Marauders [un-modded] are going in the 1000-1500 range! Who knew?

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3 hours ago, daddymack said:

There was also the less-known Norlin attempt at making a Strat, the S-1...basically a 3 [SSS] p-up Marauder. I remember seeing one at the 'original' GC in Hollywood in 1975...have not seen one since.

Unfortunately, they do exist. Check eBay for them, and you can see the stupid prices they "try" to charge. ESPECIALLY in Japan! The bad brain child of Bill Lawrence. Not good single coils, mated to a resin and balsa bolt on Paul body, and an decent neck. They, and it's sibling, the Sonex 180, weighed a ton, and sounded like crap. NOT BL's best idea. Now his other creation, the  L6s.... I love to death!

Edited by badpenguin
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Yeah, everyone makes mistakes...I have BL p-ups that I absolutely love, including his flat acoustic p-up. The L6S doesn't get much love either, which is a shame, because it actually is a good option to a lester, and the body weight is a dream.

The Sonex, well, earned it's reputation as a POS....'it looks just like a Les Paul...':facepalm:

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