Jump to content

Putting higher end pickups in cheap guitar


Recommended Posts

  • Members

I’ve been thinking of upgrading my Fender MIM Stratocaster with a new new Seymour Duncan Jimi Hendrix pickups preloaded pick guard. 

However I also own a cheaper guitar that I used when I started playing. A cheap Stagg strat I bought second hand off of Facebook.

As the preloaded pick guard comes with completely new wiring and insides, I was wondering what would happen if I replaced the Stagg’s wiring with my current pick guard setup In my MIM strat now.

would it make the stagg sound a like my MIM ? Is it worth it? Or would there be compatibility issues? 
 

I’m a massive noob when it comes to the technical aspects of guitars.

Would really appreciate some insight.

Thank you!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

It really depends on the style you play, how capable you are, and how fussy you are. I think pickups are about 50% of the sonic equation. But... the pickups won't compensate for all of the other "sum of the parts" bits.

I'd expect a big improvement with a pickup upgrade in the Stagg, but I don't think it'll end up sounding just like your Strat. Have a go!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

A typical issue with foreign-made budget guitars is that although they may look identical to the name brand guitar, often there are subtle differences in size and layout for stuff like pickguards. So your old MIM pickguard may or may not be a "drop in" installation. Very possible that the holes in the new pickguard won't line up with the old ones.  You'll just have to try it and see. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

^ this...but not a big deal to pre-drill some new screw holes. You night have to trim a little bit of the pickguard to slip it under the neck as well [yes, I've done this type of mod for other people on Squier Affinitys and some of the 'new' Chinese made Strat copies].

But I would guess you will see more output, better all around tone and less noise [I'm willing to bet the Stagg has cheap ceramic p-ups, dime-size pots and is unshielded], so what do you have to lose?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

FWIW I'm always putting high-end pickups and stuff in low-end guitars. Unlike the "old days," the basic construction of most modern guitars tends to be solid (without regard to setup and etc.) so manufacturers add "bling" and upgraded hardware to justify higher prices. A well made "beginner" grade instrument with pro-level hardware and electronics will rock just as well as a more expensive custom-shop - the rest is marketing mumbo-jumbo.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

I think the wood type used is a big factor in cheap guitars. Also even the same type of woods, eg. alder, can be dramatically different sonically in cheaper instruments. My mate bought a cheap squier tele that had an alder body and other than the unusually heavy weight it sounded off compared to my mexican one. I think they use different, less desirable parts of the tree for the cheaper bodies. 

When it comes to the agathis that alot of squiers use I can hear a quality that is hard to define. I find alder alot more pleasing to the ear and i'd say the agathis can sound thin and the label that comes to mind is toy like. not a great description but is what my brain tells me which I guess in other words is 'cheap'.

New pups are going to change things dramatically but again it's not the whole story. I've only owned one cheap guitar I liked which was a tom delonge chinese squier that had a nice resonance.. maybe the hardtail bridge helped i dunno but I remember it was a bit more expensive than the cheap squiers and think I recall it having an alder body that didn't weigh too much so feel that was an exception to the rule.

If it was me i'd not bother with the cheapies as they always sound cheap in my experience. save your mexican pups for something more worthy I reckon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...