Upgrading a £279 Guitar. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Saywah, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Saywah

    Saywah SS.org Regular

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Good day boys and girls of the SevenString forum, I hope you're all well :)

    I was sitting around today, looking misty-eyed at all the wonderful guitars one can purchase on the webz, when I realised that of the two electric guitars I have, I only really ever play one of them.

    The guitar I've come to neglect was my first, an Ibanez SA220 that cost me £279. Here's a pic.


    It was a fantastic first guitar, but I got it about 6 years ago and since then the only major upgrade to it was when I swapped in some EMGs for the stock pups. The fact is that I guess I don't really like playing it that much anymore. The tuners are terrible and the bridge is a horrible excuse for a floating trem. I love the feel of the neck, but the frets seem to be totally worn out. I'm too nervous to fiddle around with the truss rod, but even when I get it set up at my local store the notes seem to choke out quickly higher up the fretboard. The sound is actually pretty good, but I'm past my 16-year old metalcore-is-the-only-thing-that's-worth-playing phase and more often than not I want something that, sure, can play all the good metal stuff, but has some dynamics and doesn't go all compressed when I want to be bluesy.

    So, my question to you guys is: What would you recommend as quality upgrades to the guitar that I have? Is it worth spending that money, or would I be better off just buying a new guitar altogether?

    To give you an indication of what I'm looking for:

    a) locking tuners
    b) a quality, non-locking trem (or a fixed bridge, not really fussed)
    c) quality frets

    I'd be inclined to put in a pair of BKPs, possibly a couple of Nailbombs of Aftermaths.

    I know this is a very subjective question, but any help or advice would be much appreciated!

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  2. oliviergus

    oliviergus Djentiver Gustafsson

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    Jan 20, 2011
    From what I just readed, and understood.
    I'll think it be worth saving up some money and buy a new guitar.
  3. Zugster

    Zugster the green machine

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Chicago, U.S.
    The only thing I would do is have a tech evaluate it. If the frets have some life in them yet and the bridge is functional, I would have him do a full setup, including a fret leveling if needed.

    If the frets are shot, its time to move on. Use it as a beater or sell it for what you can get for it. Take from a guy who has spent a lot of cash upgrading guitars - it's a slippery slope to nowhere with no hope of getting anything back on resale value. Don't even think about BKPs!

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