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Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

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  • Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

    The long and short of it...

    A good friend of mine (soon to be brother in law) lost his brother in a tragic accident (God Rest His Soul), who was a great guitar player. The parents kept his strat, but my friend got an old Danelectro-short-horned w/ 2 lipsticks, 3-way toggle, and 2 combo volume/tone knobs.

    He doesn't play the guitar and said I could keep it as long as I want. Part of me wants to leave it alone out of respect for the real owner. The other part wants to do the best I can with it by upgrading the pots/pickups, etc.


    1. Tune it or leave it?
    2. What upgrades do you guys recommend? (the pots are horrible)

    Comments are appreciated!

    Thanks for your thoughts on this one, guys-

    Rambler + Tele + Stylish Chords = Heaven!

  • #2
    Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

    I'd leave it alone, take care of it, let some time pass, then ask your friend if he would mind if you upgraded the guitar. Just my opinion. ...
    Only The Strong Survive

    *Spina Pedal Mods Endorsee*


    • #3
      Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

      upgrade the pots to playable condition, but keep the old ones so that you're able to return it to stock. Other than that, I wouldnt mess with it. I mean, in a spiritual sense, its not your guitar.
      This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo


      • #4
        Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

        Talk to your brother in law. Get his opinion. He might say, "If upgrading a few parts would make you play it more then that's great and my brother would have wanted it that way."
        Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
        Sales and marketing reps for Musopia, Reunion Blues, and Q-Parts.


        • #5
          Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

          Leave it alone, its not your guitar its a deceased man's axe. Morally i i would say leave it alone. If the owner of it now says yes then go aheadbut you really shouldn't its not really your axe at all. You just have possesion of it
          Proud Master of Strats.....


          • #6
            Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

            If that happened to me id like whoever got my guitar to do whatever it took to make it into a better axe, i think unless the previous owner hated you for some reason he wouldnt mind if a fellow axeman used it to its full potential.

            But i agree with Evan, talk to your soon to be brother in law and see what he thinks.
            My Soundclick page.


            • #7
              Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

              Definately get permission first. I'm sure if the deceased was really into guitar then he would have wanted you to make it sound and play the best possible.

              "If you play a Nickelback song backwards you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward you'll hear Nickelback." ~David Grohl


              • #8
                Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                i'd vote leave it .. just out of respect ... but if you want to make some non cosmetic mods, i'd 100% agree that you MUST have permission .. it's not yours, your just borrowing it

                and maybe, if you can get permission, get a soldering pencil and burn the deceased guy's initials on the inside of the control cavity as a memorial

                gear list in profile

                "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

                Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14


                • #9
                  Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                  No matter what mods you do to it, it'll always still be a Danelectro. I'd leave it as your friend left it.


                  • #10
                    Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                    I would mod the essential (switch the pots as an ex.) but keep the original so you can put it back to stock (ask permission first tho...)


                    • #11
                      Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                      Nice responses. I would definitely wait a while and check with the bro in law first.
                      If I died then I would hope that someone would play my guitar, rather than have it sit around idle. If you mod it, then make sure the mods are reversable (in my opinion).

                      I have an amp that was built by my old neighbor. He passed away. His wife gave it to me and she was happy that I could make use of it. I have modified it a little, but I always think of him when I use it
                      My Duncan demos and songs


                      • #12
                        Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                        I would wait a while, and only do the essentials (bad pots, switch, etc.) after asking permission. Assuming all is well, offer your brother-in-law to be the old parts just in case he wants them.

                        This is purely me:
                        Regardless of emotional/spiritual attachment to an instrument, instruments were designed to be played and enjoyed. A Dano would be a guitar I would leave relatively stock except for necessary upgrades (bad tuners, pots, what have you). Those instruments rely so much on their own vibe and sound that to modify it extensively would do it an injustice.


                        • #13
                          Re: Deceased friend's guitar-HELP!!!

                          I think that you should ask permission before doing anything to it - just to make sure nobody will be offended by your mods.

                          But then again, you have to realize it's a guitar - it's meant to be played at its best. He'd probably want you to make it what he never could... so just ask, then make it a little piece of your heart as well.