Are DIY guitar kits worth the money?

Discussion in 'Other Gibson Solid Bodies' started by jeanraul, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. jeanraul

    jeanraul New Member

    I plan on getting another guitar in the future when I have some money saved up and I started to look at DIY guitar kits on Ebay and I like what I've seen so far. I like the idea of them because It'll basically be my own custom guitar and I bet I could learn something from the experience of putting it together and learning how to solder all the connections and setting it up. Are these kits worth the money or are they crap? Here's a link to the kit that has caught my eye:
  2. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Save your money. I believe Guitar Fetish carries these in the USA. They are pretty low quality with low quality components. Resale value would be nil. Better off to buy an entry level Epi or Squier and mod it to your hearts' desire. Change the electronics, tweak the truss rod, shim the neck, change parts, etc. If you ever sell it you can substitute the original parts back in and keep the better parts for your next guitar or sell them off individually. Just my opinion....
  3. jeanraul

    jeanraul New Member

    The kits at guitar fetish look nice but sadly they don't have the Les Paul Jr design and that is the one that has really caught my eye.
  4. anfontan

    anfontan New Member

    If you are looking for a Les Paul Jr design, take a look at some of the Melody Makers from Gibson. I have a 2004 Melody Maker with a single P-90 as well as a tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece, its in my avatar.

    Its sweet and mellow at low gain and screams at higher gain-and its very lightweight.

    Here is a photo of the 2004 Melody Maker.

    I have built several kit guitars and all of them worked well for me, this Telecaster is one of my favorites and I use it quite a lot at gigs and practice.
    The main thing in building a kit is to have access to a paint booth to avoid the nasty paint fumes.
  5. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    I stopped in at Guitar Center in Buffalo on my way from vacation and they had Epi LP Juniors for about $120 US. I can't remember the exact price and the links below automatically convert to Canadian $ here in Canada.

    Like I said, start with this and upgrade as you see fit.

    PS: They also had Squier Telecasters for under $100 US. Almost bought myself one to convert to an Esquire
  6. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to have a go at eventually building your own guitar, then starting with a kit is a good place to start.

    If you are trying to get a useable guitar on the cheap, then as others suggest, there are perhaps 'better' ways such as buying an Epi or Squier and maybe modding.

    The thing to remember with any of these kits or even do it yourself guitars is that you will never recoup your money. Even a modded Epi or Squier will never pay for itself if you try to sell it. Most people see 'mods' as being a negative thing.

    A couple of years ago I bought a Baja Tele with the intention of using it as a test bed for changing pickups and other bits. When I got it, the pickups were too good to change, so I only ended up changing the bridge. Luckily I didn't loose too much when I sold the thing

    Unless you want to learn bits about guitar building I would forget it and save up for what you really want. You are young enough.
  7. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    My strat is a "partscaster". Stew-Mac body and neck, Fender neckplate, knobs, hardtail bridge, pickguard and tuners, CTS pots, CRL switch, switchcraft jack and Seymour Duncan Vintage pickups. Cost me about $550 to build and I'd be lucky to get $150 if I ever sold it. (no intention of selling though) When I built it, I could have bought a MIM Fender Strat for under $400 and it had most of the same parts as the one I built, but at least it would have been a REAL Fender with some resale value.
    When you buy Squiers and Epis, you've got a good building block and you can learn about adjustments on them before you screw around with a high end guitar. Again, my opinion.
  8. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    I have a Tele that I built from parts that is a primo guitar, but it wouldn't sell for anywhere near its worth. That's just the facts with a built guitar. I didn't scrimp on anything with it so it did cost a decent amount. But it came out a great player and I'll never sell it. I did learn a lot building it, but I had already been doing a lot of modding before that.

    Take these guys' advice, they know what they're talkin' about.
  9. nick.west.9212

    nick.west.9212 New Member

    I bought a Tele kit, Sprayed it and rubbed it back to emulate a Joe Strummer telecaster. Put it together and it was pants. So took it to local music shop who skimmed the frets, adjusted the tailpiece and re wired it for £60. It plays and sounds like a dream. As good as any fender. I also own a 71 LP custom, an explorer, a stagg flying v and a yamaha strat. It plays better than any of these.
    uploadfromtaptalk1408316072527.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1408316083278.jpg
  10. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Nick, that's a great lookin' Tele!
  11. JustinLevitt

    JustinLevitt New Member

    I've just finished my first DIY guitar kit build and I have to say that it was an awesome experience. To answer your question about if it is worth the money, it depends entirely on what "worth it" means to you. For me, the kit cost me $150 dollars but the experience was totally worth it as I learnt so much about building guitars and luthiery. The guitar that I built is also worth so much more to me than $150 because I know I built it myself. In terms of quality, the guitar is definitely worth $150. With a few extra upgrades to the pickups and to the tuning pegs, you can get a pretty darn good axe from these kits.

    Just my 2 cents worth, hope it helps! :D


  12. DrumBob

    DrumBob New Member

    Precision Guitar Kits are some of the best around. You can start with a basic double cut Les Paul Junior at $349 and put it together and finish it however you want.
  13. For learning how guitars work, learning to solder etc, get a Squier Strat, take it apart and rebuild it. As long as you're competent, you WILL end up with a useable guitar. Use that guitar as a test bed for hardware and mods and NEVER think of it as a giggable instrument. When you get a bit more experienced/confident, refret it, whether it needs it or not.
    A guitar kit is not for the inexperienced.

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