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Old CGS Forum > Upgrades & Parts
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Naked guitars?

posted Jan 13, 2014 14:15:32 by SteveTebble
I wonder if anyone on here has tried ordering a Chibson (or Chender, Chickenbacker etc) and specified NO HARDWARE WHATSOEVER? Given that you'll probably be replacing it anyway, this would save you the job of removing it.

I wonder how much of a price reduction would result?

Or would it be better to order the guitar as is, then sell the old parts to offset the cost of the new ones?
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
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7 replies
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MichaelWamback said Jan 13, 2014 15:22:57
This subject has come up before.

I'm not convinced you would save that much by having them not install hardware. They are getting the tuners and bridges for pennies over there, and not much would change in terms of labor cost.

What I would say is that I would have them set it up with the bridge and tuners. You can't check neck relief, or string alignment, or intonation without a basic tailpiece, bridge, nut and tuners. To me, this would increase the risk of a bad guitar making it through whatever quality control they may have.

If you seriously need to try and save a few bucks on a $250 guitar, what I would suggest is to ask them not to install the electronics. You might save a few bucks if they don't have to spend money on pickups and the labor of soldering them up.

But seriously, I'm doubtful that you would really save a lot, and even with bad electronics you can get a feel as to whether the guitar has any major issues before you start the upgrading process.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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SteveTebble said Jan 14, 2014 01:03:27
Thanks for that Michael, I did suspect as much otherwise everyone would be doing it!

The saving you make would probably be less than you could sell the spare parts for afterwards, also you don't get the chance to try anything when it arrives so you could end up having bought new parts you didn't actually need.
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
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MichaelWamback said Jan 14, 2014 02:30:44
To be honest - you probably wouldn't get much for a crappy bridge, a plastic nut, some mini pots and a set of micorphonic Chinese knockoff pickups. Most of that stuff just ends up in the bin.

What it does let you do is to enjoy the guitar while you upgrade if you are on a tight budget. On the double neck, the nuts had to go and the rewrire had to happen as priorities to make it playable. Now I'll save up and spend $100 on new pickguards, $140 on new bridges and $160 for new tuners - but since funds are always tight, I can have fun playing around with the guitar while I'm saving up for the parts.

Remember, these bridges sell retail on Ebay for $6 with free shipping, the mini pots are about $2, the nuts cost a few cents and the 6 tuners sell for under $10 (all with free shipping) - and that's retail, not their wholesale cost. That's why you wouldn't save a bunch by asking them not to include those things.

If you check Ebay - you'll find the Chinese pickups are the most expensive part at about $10 each with free shipping.

So if you were to ask them to leave all that stuff off - their cost, I'm willing to bet the most they would discount would be between $10 to $20 on a good day.

Just not worth it - you may as well just have them make you the guitar, bin the parts and upgrade. If you can't afford $20 worth of Chinese parts on a $250 Chibson - you don't need a guitar, you need a new job :)
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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SteveTebble said Jan 14, 2014 14:12:59
That's true, last year I bought a guitar fitted with those cheap Chinese copy Klusons which instantly got replaced.

Put them on eBay, start price £4.95 ... got one bid.
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
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MichaelWamback said Jan 14, 2014 15:12:38
Those prices I quoted were directly off Ebay using "Buy it now", so that's about the most you could expect to get for this hardware. I'm betting most people are like me and use the "lowest price" search. So you just realistically won't get enough back from this stuff to make it worth your while.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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VinceRadice said Jan 15, 2014 02:18:39
Im with Micheal on this one, The more I thought about it the less I thought it was a good idea. Im sure the savings would be negligible. I have a friend who does Guitar repairs for friends (not professionally), I give all my surplus hardware to him, he loves it.
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MichaelWamback said Jan 15, 2014 16:37:52
Yes, I've met a friend in need from time to time, so having some spare parts is a good idea. It's also good if you want to do something like practicing relicing of hardware. If you haven't given chrome hardware an acid fume treatment before, better to have a spare crappy Asian bridge to practice on.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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