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Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

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  • Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

    Hi everyone, I posted this on Gear Page (TGP) as well using my handle there (Hammers and Chords). I suspect I'll get a different answer here since we have a different mentality than most on TGP.

    I've been re-building and customizing guitars using Hammers and Chords name for a while... mostly making the beer label and CD label guitars I've posted here from time-to-time. I've been trying to take older or blemished guitars and customize the look and also the playability and sound before I sell. Mostly we are talking about new pickups, pro wiring, and new tuners. These guitars tend to be $75 - $400 guitars so those components are usually the weakest. Well, I've wondered if it is worth these costly upgrades. The wiring, pickups and tuners usually run about $200 - $250 ($50 per pup, $100 for the wiring and new pots/switches, and $40 for tuners). While the guitars I sell are super playing and sound great, I wonder if I am limiting my market with resale - both by having a higher price and also with the specific types of upgrades.

    So - with all that said - do you think upgrades and modifications INCREASE the value of a mid-tier guitar (or lower) or not? Every response on TGP was that the mods reduce the value and that they would prefer to buy a STOCK guitar - even a lower-tier guitar like Squier or Epi or LTD. I guess the point being that MY upgrades might not match YOUR upgrades/wishlist. Keep in mind, most TGP people seem to prefer $400 pickups over DiMarzio/Duncans...

    So, what say you? You can vote for multiple options.
    21
    Upgraded pickups (Duncan/DiMarzio/Bare Knuckle)
    47.62%
    10
    Pro wiring with new pots/switch
    14.29%
    3
    New locking tuners (Grover/Gotoh)
    23.81%
    5
    New hardware (Gotoh/Tone Pros)
    19.05%
    4
    Gigbag
    14.29%
    3
    Hardcase
    47.62%
    10
    USA Trem on MIM or Squier Strat
    4.76%
    1
    None of the above - I prefer stock so I can make my own mods
    52.38%
    11
    Last edited by The Dali; 07-23-2020, 06:39 AM.
    -=The Dali
    --== Unabashed Alex Lifeson Fan

    Visit My Guitar Building Blog at www.hammersandchords.com

  • #2
    Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

    Upgrades make the guitar function the way you want.

    Who cares about the value? Did you buy a guitar to sell or to play?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

      Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
      Upgrades make the guitar function the way you want.

      Who cares about the value? Did you buy a guitar to sell or to play?
      Totally get where you are coming from - and as a gigging musician I respect this point of view!! I'm coming from someone who mods guitars for resale. Like this below:

      Click image for larger version

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      -=The Dali
      --== Unabashed Alex Lifeson Fan

      Visit My Guitar Building Blog at www.hammersandchords.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

        Originally posted by The Dali View Post
        Totally get where you are coming from - and as a gigging musician I respect this point of view!! I'm coming from someone who mods guitars for resale. Like this below:

        [ATTACH=CONFIG]105913[/ATTACH]
        Thatís cosmetic. Itís worth whatever someone will pay.

        If itís an inexpensive guitar to start with then it can be considered art. If you put some decent pickups and parts on it they usually play well.

        One of my stage guitars is a FirstAct GarageMaster. I just made new pickups for it, and it plays and sounds great. But I probably couldnít sell it for much.

        Iím a luthier myself, and am planning on doing some guitars with graphics like this, and also having a friend do some painting.

        What I would do is figure in the price you paid for the guitar and any upgrades, and then how much you want for your artwork. Try selling one and see if people are interested at that price.

        I think it looks pretty cool.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

          Originally posted by The Dali View Post
          Totally get where you are coming from - and as a gigging musician I respect this point of view!! I'm coming from someone who mods guitars for resale. Like this below:

          [ATTACH=CONFIG]105913[/ATTACH]
          No wonder you call yourself the Dali.
          Pretty cool man,.. as far as the mods go I'm more apt to do my own than buy a guitar that is already modded, that's not to say that I wouldn't if it had some things I liked on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

            if you put $500 worth of upgrades on a $200 Squire
            you should be able to get $150 for it
            the upgrades are only upgrades to you
            the next buyer may want something else
            making the "upgrades" useless

            if you can pitch it well you may break even on the upgrades
            but I doubt you can "make" money doing it
            EHD
            Just here surfing Guitar Pron
            RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
            SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
            Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
            Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
            Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
            Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
            GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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            • #7
              Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

              No. Guitar upgrades can make a guitar play and sound more to your liking. Unless you find another buying with your exact tastes, it's unlikely that the upgrades will increase the sale price of the guitar.







              And that's why you should never sell an upgraded guitar. :P
              Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

              Originally posted by Douglas Adams
              This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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              • #8
                Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                Speaking in general terms, either you are modder or not. If you are a modder (like most here) you want to put your own twist on a instrument. If you aren’t, you basically play a bunch of guitars until you find one the “speaks to you”.

                If I’ve got a MIM Strat, it stickers at $599 and you get them used around $350 now, right? About 60% of new value. If I take one and add:

                Locking Tuners ($60)
                Strap Locks ($40)
                Pickups ($200)
                Brass Block ($40)
                Electronics ($40)
                New nut with setup ($80 total)

                I’ve now got an instrument that is about $1050 “new”. 60% of this is about $625. If you find someone that wanted to make those exact mods, you might be able to sell it but you took a 40% loss on your aftermarket parts. That’s why I always say keep the stock pickups in case you sell. In the example above, you’ll probably sit on that guitar for quite a while waiting for the right buyer and you’ll probably have to reject a few low ball offers while you’ve got it for sale. That’s all absolute best case too, like others in this thread, many will just say it’s worth that $350 price.

                That’s just my opinion, I’m curious if other think differently.

                By the way, I really like that CD cover guitar. For me, I’d probably want to be able to spec the exact pickups, tuners, etc. if I bought it because at this point it’s a custom Guitar.
                Last edited by PFDarkside; 07-23-2020, 06:58 AM.
                Oh no.....


                Oh Yeah!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                  Upgrades make a guitar sound and possibly play better depending on what you do to it but, like an automobile, don't expect it's value to increase simply because you put new wheels on it.
                  MuttznMongrelz

                  1983 Kramer Pacer Imperial
                  1983 Kramer Pacer Deluxe
                  1988 Kramer Nightswan
                  1989 Charvel Sambora
                  2016 Warmoth Hellacaster
                  Boogie Private Reserve Lone Star Combo
                  Rivera Hundred Duo Twelve


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                  • #10
                    Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                    Thanks everyone - yes, that is the same response I saw from TGP. It totally makes sense. I guess, now that I think of it, it makes MORE sense that you all would think that since you like modding guitars and would want to put your own twist on it. I get it! Yeah, one thought I was considering was offering a guitar where people could ask for specific customizations instead of just getting what I decided was the best configuration.
                    -=The Dali
                    --== Unabashed Alex Lifeson Fan

                    Visit My Guitar Building Blog at www.hammersandchords.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                      I never buy anything with the intention of selling it, and through the upgrade process, I am just trying to get the guitar to work better for me. I would never think that these things would add value to the guitar. Besides, if I end up selling, I will probably put some of the stock parts back on, like pickups.
                      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                        If I was shopping for a MIM Strat, and found one with upgraded pickups, I’d be willing to pay more than with stock. Not the full value of the pickups, but maybe $50, or more if it was what I was going to get for it.
                        "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                        • #13
                          Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                          I started to pick the last option, but that's not the answer I want to give. The answer is typically just "No". If it is a $400 guitar, new pickups aren't going to make it sell for $500. It may make it sound the way you want it, but it won't increase its market value.

                          For high end guitars, it may actually lower the value, I mean changing the pickups in an Anderson would probably lower the value, unless you sent it back to Anderson for the work, and then it would just be a wash, you wouldn't get the $ for the change back out of it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                            In my experience, including buying/selling guitars full-time for a number of years, upgrades do very little to add value to guitars.

                            Specific models tend to sell in a range, regardless of how "improved" they are.

                            "Desirability" increases with upgrades, so an upgraded guitar may sell more quickly than a similar one without, but it does not necessarily become "more valuable" with upgrades, as in bringing more money/commanding a higher price.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Do "guitar upgrades" really increase the value of the guitar? (poll)

                              Originally posted by devastone View Post
                              I started to pick the last option, but that's not the answer I want to give. The answer is typically just "No". If it is a $400 guitar, new pickups aren't going to make it sell for $500. It may make it sound the way you want it, but it won't increase its market value.

                              For high end guitars, it may actually lower the value, I mean changing the pickups in an Anderson would probably lower the value, unless you sent it back to Anderson for the work, and then it would just be a wash, you wouldn't get the $ for the change back out of it.
                              THIS! Well said, sir...

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