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Fenders

Technique
Jemba  
16 Aug 2010 14:25 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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What are the differences between a real high end fender and an Encore E6 (replica Fender like a squier)? I am taking my Encore to bits and scalloping it's neck and doing any other mods to to make it as close as a real fender as it can possibly go. Help please :)



EMB5490  
16 Aug 2010 15:05 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
United States
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i assume that its a starter guitar?

No offense but i highly doubt anyone will do a job like that on a starter guitar. scalopping the frets wont do anything for the sound really... if you really wantd to you could buy a new neck, new pickups, rewire the thing...

Honestly just look for a used mexican fender. damn good guitar.

upgrading a starter guitar from a starter set if it truely is that is a waste of money... IMO... If its not a starter i appolozgize...
deadman2k666  
16 Aug 2010 15:32 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
Lessons: 1
Karma: 2
or even a high end squier would do the trick, i picked up a classic vibe tele pretty cheap, and it's a wonderful guitar
nater2  
16 Aug 2010 15:33 | Quote
Joined: 28 May 2009
United States
Karma: 4
(assuming it's a starter guitar) i would agree with EMB on this. you can pick a MIM strat on craigslist or ebay for about $300 fairly easy and they are all in all great guitars and would be perfect to modify. just a thought
case211  
16 Aug 2010 15:38 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
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Good pickups will do wonders for a guitar. I dropped an SH-5 custom into my little Squier with a new volume pot and it is a monster for tone now. So definitely look into some pretty solid pickups, for Strats, I've heard good things about Lace Sensor's.
I am guessing after finding a good set of pickups, go to warmoth.com and find a pretty good neck and then try to get that one scalloped instead.
Last I would look into a good bridge. There are some pretty amazing bridges here: guitarfetish.com, and they are moderately priced.

But in all honesty, for the price you would spend on getting everything done to make your guitar a true gem, I would go with EMB's advice and look for a used MIM strat. They would be about the same price range as what you would spend on your guitar but it wouldn't require any work other than string changes, and maybe a pickup swap later down the road.
macandkanga  
16 Aug 2010 15:42 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I pretty much agree with everyone here. Only replace the parts of the guitar that are unsatisfactory to you.

I told a story of how I replaced so many parts on a Telecaster that had enough leftover parts to make another one!
deefa  
17 Aug 2010 07:29 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
The Encore IS a starter guitar and usually comes packaged with a no-name 10 watt amp, strap, tuner and 'play in a day' instruction manual.
I borrowed an Encore Strat from a friend a few years back when I wanted to get back into playing. Considering the whole package cost less than 90 it didn't play badly at all, and the trem took a fair bit of punishment before retuning became crucial.
IMO if you've never done any work on a guitar before, this will be ideal for the job. Just make sure you keep all your expensive replacement parts in good condition for the time you want to transfer them into something more expensive.
gx1327  
17 Aug 2010 08:45 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
i don't understand why people are discouraging doing this. it sounds like a fun hands on activity that will yield a truly unique guitar. also keep in mind that he was asking about a "real high end fender" and not a MIM or squier non-affinity series.

i think the biggest differences will be the wood material/craftsmanship. you can't really fix that on your encore body. the bridge is probably better on a fender. my MIM bridge is far superior to my old squier affinity's. the fit and finish on my MIM is amazing on my MIM (in relation to the affinity) on all the parts -- bridge, knobs, tuners, everything.

the electronics are a key part, too. if you look at the "high end fenders" (american standard, highway one, texas specials etc.) they usually have some sort of custom or speciality pickups installed. this would be a good place to start if you wanted to.

maybe look into a 3-ply pickguard? i don't know if your guitar has the same number of screws in the pickguard as a fender, but the squiers have a cheap single ply pickguard, a fender has a 3-ply pickguard (typically white/black/white).

if you want to do it i say go for it. TRUE, a better way to spend the money might be on a MIM. but this sounds like a fun project, and if you really want to do it, hey man do it. i'm not going to talk you out of it. this is a common phenomenon on internet forums. someone posts a question saying "i want to do this, any advice?" and people try to talk them out of it. it's your money, it's your time, if you want to do it, more power to you!
case211  
17 Aug 2010 08:58 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
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+1

The only thing that I would not advise, is jumping in this without knowing enough about the bridge and neck measurements, you may want to hit up the interwebs for some pretty common problems, and what to do if they come your way.
Pickups you're pretty much alright if you can read a color coded wiring diagram and can use a soldering iron, just invest in some new pots beforehand, in case you fry one.
EMB5490  
17 Aug 2010 09:26 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
United States
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MIM makes damn good guitars.

but if you were to make all this stuff and do it yourself so that it wouldnt cost anything then go for it, but if you're buying the pickups, buying new tuners, buying a new bridge, buying new hardware and buying new wires and pots and everything even if you were doing it yourself id highly doubt that itd be under 100$, and if you tryed to sell the guitar i doubt youd get over 70 for it. no point just buy a MIM when u have the money, squires are ok... japan fenders are ok... but MIM is really the first high quality fender that is the least expensive, id be sure to play it and make sure it plays well because of course there are bad guitars outta there but id definatly look more into a MIM then redoing your starter...
carlsnow  
17 Aug 2010 10:54 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
MIM Tele w/ added Dimarzzio Hotrail's (stock mim p/u's are weak) in neck + Bridge) = my most (outta 13) guitar.
I teach, Gig, and session with it and a LGX/+synth-series Godin.
So in essence what i'm saying is i use that MIM (modded) Tele MORE than my much-loved and way more expensive Godin.

like Leo (Fender) said :
"Mexicans have made Fenders for years(laughs) they just had to travel to California to do so, now we make them on their soil"

so a 300-400 buck Plank w/ a few p/u's can will yield great results !

RAWK!
Cs

tinyskateboard  
17 Aug 2010 10:54 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
Although I'm in the 'do not try to fix up a beginner guitar' camp, if this is your quest try this if you have not: Try a few MIM, or even MIA strats at the store. Think about the feel of the neck. Try to decide what you like a neck to feel like. Then go home and compare your guitar, or bring it with you to the store if you can.

If your neck shape and feel is as good as what you tried, then go for it.

I had a no name strat copy that was just really uncomfortable. When I decided I really wanted to spend some time practicing each night I looked into a Made in Mexico Strat, and then found one at the pawn shop for $100 (1994 with really hot pickups). The neck felt so nice that I started practicing more and it was fun instead of sorta fun.
Crazy  
17 Aug 2010 12:08 | Quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Gibraltar
Karma
I think that what everyone is trying to say in a nut shell is, do whats comfortable to you, a name doesnt make you play better, you do.
I took a First Act cheapy(99.00) droped some dean pickups in it, adjusted the neck to where I liked it , also the bridge and its one of the best guitars I played. Its ugly, but screams like an eagle on steroids...lol. I searched for " the holy grail" of feel and never thought I'd find it on a 99.00 guitar.
Jemba  
17 Aug 2010 12:13 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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Cheers guys/any ladies, but i'm just doing this for fun - i don't mind if i ruin the Encore. It's a starter guitar, and I have an Ibanez. I just really feel sorry for the Encore because it's in the dark corner alone. Thanks for the advice, but my old music teacher said the Mexico Strat was realy bad. Is it worth it?
Crazy  
17 Aug 2010 12:18 | Quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Gibraltar
Karma
That would have to be up to you man. but I am worried about you felling sorry for the encore .....lol, joking man....Its kinda hard to say
Jemba  
17 Aug 2010 12:28 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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lol, np. I was even thinking of buying Seymour Duncan pickups for my Strat and my Ibanez. I must be mad......... But i will definetly get some for my Ibanez
BodomBeachTerror  
17 Aug 2010 12:40 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
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if you want to scallop the neck you can look up some tutorials online. it actually doesnt look that hard. might be a fun project
Jemba  
17 Aug 2010 12:45 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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it's very tedious. It took me about 1 hour to do one fret. And it was my smallest fret (22). I'm trying to get my Encore a bit like the Yngwie Malmsteen strat (hopeless)
EMB5490  
17 Aug 2010 12:49 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
United States
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i completely disagree with your music teacher, although it does depend what you get, sure there are bad ones, but the MIM are DAMN good guitars. dont fool yourself because theyre not usa. damn good.
Jemba  
17 Aug 2010 12:55 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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I think the usa strats are realy overdone with every neck detail and body detail done - but they look damn amazing.
gx1327  
17 Aug 2010 13:40 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
disagree about MIM strats being "bad". there is another famous quote that is credited to leo fender but i don't know if he actually said it or not, but it goes "you can buy a fender made my mexicans in mexico, or you can buy a fender made in california by mexicans. it's your choice".

ALTHOUGH, some american strats/teles do have noticeably better quality on them. specifically the 22-fret models. my teacher had an american strat with a rosewood fingerboard that looked amazing. compared to my old squier rosewood fingerboard, well, there was no comparison. my MIM strat has a maple neck and fingerboard, so there was also no comparison.
macandkanga  
17 Aug 2010 15:24 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
My buddy used to work for Fender in Corona California. Now he works for Breedlove Guitars in Washington or Oregon. I cant remember. Anyways, the Standard Strat neck, Mexican, Korean (Squire) and American, are ALL made in Corona Ca. It is the same neck. The body is either Alder (most common on all standards), Ash or Poplar. They are made in all places but buy the same C&C machines. I don't remember what he told me about all of the hardware except that quality is not the issue. The quality is all the same just different types of parts. So, buy a Mexican Strat and upgrade the hardware as you need to. Otherwise the only thing you really get is Made in USA.
macandkanga  
17 Aug 2010 15:47 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I just read something else on the net about this. The only real difference is the resale value. You buy a MIM Strat and it will go down in value. Buy an American Strat and overtime it will go up. This is true. I had an early 90's Squire that I bought for $199 and sold maybe 6 or 7 years ago for 50 bucks. My brothe has an American sunburst Strat he bought around the same time for $499 that's worth twice that. We both thought that they each played the same and sounded the same. His looked a little better but that's it!
case211  
17 Aug 2010 15:51 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
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I think that brand names have waaay too much to do with choosing a guitar now. I'd love to have a Gibson SG/LP/Explorer but I'll take an Epiphone version(higher end of course) for much cheaper.
I think that there's more satisfaction to say "I have a Gibson" or "I have a Fender American Series".

Just my two cents on that subject.
deefa  
18 Aug 2010 07:05 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
@ Case
Fair point. Back in the sixties when me and my pals were learning guitar, the general concensus was that high end copies (not that there were many around in those days)were OK for practice but we wouldn't want to be seen on stage with anything that didn't say Gibson or Fender or Rickenbacker on the headstock. Pure snobbery really but that's humans for you!
gx1327  
18 Aug 2010 07:50 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
some of it has to do with snobbery, but appearances... it's not all bad. there's nothing wrong with wanting a gibson for the sake of having a gibson. but another funny story, i was reading around on justinguitar.com and he was talking about amplifiers and how if you perform on stage your amp is usulaly mic'd up anyway, so you don't need a huge huge amp/speaker system. he wouldn't mention the name of the band, but he said it was a big name touring band he toured with, and he said on stage they had stacks and stacks of marshall cabs behind them on stage, and when you got behind them they were all empty, and they were all playing through a small gibson amplifier that was mic'd up to the venue's system.
Jemba  
18 Aug 2010 08:11 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
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lol, that was a bit shifty. I know a guy who won't play any other guitar but Gibson (he has the Slash Goldtop and a Melody Maker), and he won't let anyone touch them. A bit strange, but i think he just likes to show off his Gibsons, but he is a decent guy though. Companies like to also put the price up because of their names eg. If they replace an Encore headstock with a Fender headstock, the guitar price will go up.
case211  
18 Aug 2010 10:27 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
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Pretty funny how that works haha


I'd still like to have a Gibson Explorer ^^ lol but an Epiphone is good enough for me ;)
tinyskateboard  
18 Aug 2010 10:40 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
One of the keys is finishing the frets. A factory will somtimes not level, crown and dress the frets with the same care as a "nicer" guitar. For example, I have a Diamond Series Schecter C-1 (cheaper nice guitar) that has beautifully finished frets. So much nicer than the Epiphone Les Paul I have.
macandkanga  
18 Aug 2010 11:20 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
@tinyskateboard, I have a Schecter C-1+ and that's exactly why I bought it. They are assembled in Korea and setup in the USA before going to a guitar store. I bought a 2001 used from a sales guy at guitar center for $250 bucks! It has jumbo frets that are as smooth as can be.
gx1327  
18 Aug 2010 12:17 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
well if you want to look at people who get completely wrapped up in the identity of a brand, look no further than apple. more people are completely and blindly nuts about apple than any other brand in the world.

but more of it has to do with the fact that... yes, the gibsons are more expensive, yes the fender USAs are more expensive, and that makes them covetous. nobody sits around dreaming of the day they might be able to buy a toyota celica. no, they dream about owning a ferrari. and yes, it is also a status symbol. but i don't think there is anything wrong with it. a little pride.

but i will also say that i love my fenders, and am content with my MIM, but i also love my ibanez artcore 335 copy. i could get an epi 335, or a very expensive gibson 335, but i like my artcore. it's definitely cheaper, you can feel it, and it's build in china which i am not a fan of. but i still root for it, i have pride in it, and if i ever got to the point where i was good enough to play on a stage in front of people i would not only have no shame in playing an ibanez, but iw ould show it off, because even though it's a copy it's still a neat guitar!
MoshZilla1016  
18 Aug 2010 12:32 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
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Karma: 16
I've got an Artcore AS-93 and would never part with it.
Jemba  
18 Aug 2010 13:49 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 1
Doesn't Synyster Gates (A7x) sometimes play with the C-1 when he doesn't play with his SYN Custom? I heard it is is an amazing guitar for the price
MoshZilla1016  
18 Aug 2010 14:30 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
Licks: 19
Karma: 16
I play a C-1 Elite. The action is great but the tone is a bit on the high end. Even on the neck pickup it still has a bright tone. For the price it would be hard to beat.
deefa  
19 Aug 2010 07:16 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
@ gx

When Marshall Amps first started to get popular, Richie Blackmore loved the look of them bur hated the sound. He aparently got around this by ripping the guts out of a Marshall head and substituting his favourite Vox AC30!
Duff  
27 Aug 2010 09:24 | Quote
Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Romania
Licks: 4
Karma: 6
I think the Fender has a more fat sound ... :)
jcb3000  
27 Aug 2010 09:49 | Quote
Joined: 09 Jul 2008
United Kingdom
Karma: 4
macandkanga says:
...The quality is all the same just different types of parts. So, buy a Mexican Strat and upgrade the hardware as you need to. Otherwise the only thing you really get is Made in USA.


Couldn't agree with you more. i did exactly this and it plays like a dreams. Stuck in some active EMGs and now my mate likes it more than his American strat. Also regarding Schechers, I probably couldn't find a prettier cheapish guitar than a C-1 classic! It WILL be my next guitar i am certain!
Jemba  
28 Aug 2010 08:46 | Quote
Joined: 06 Jul 2010
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 1
my next guitar probably WILL BE a Schecter Omen Extreme 6
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