My Epi Les Paul is gorgeous. You cannot fake a proper set neck and highly figured maple top. Absolutely amazing craftsmanship. My second MIC is a Squier Vintage Modified Jagmaster. Granted it is not the high end looker like the LP, it is a workhorse and now my number one.
|Custom Squier Vintage Modified Jagmaster|
When I received the guitar, it was in pretty sad shape. The nut had been butchered with a box cutter, I assume some hack tried to lower the action. The tremolo bar was missing and I was altogether unimpressed. However, with dual humbuckers and a 24" neck, I was very interested in the potential.
This guitar was not bought as a project, but it was time for a few custom upgrades. The white pickguard was the first to go, it just looked cheap. The tortoise pickguard comes stock on the sunburst model and I was able to order one from Fender. That was a pretty easy swap out, and that made the biggest visual impact.
The tremolo was not a big loss and honestly just a novelty to me. I hardtailed the bridge with a wood block and adjusted the action accordingly. Squier released a hardtail version shortly after I modified this guitar. However, I prefer the the three-way switch shown here, versus the LP position. The wood block helps transfer string vibration and tone to the body.
Now with new aesthetics in line, the tone was the last and most important domain. I had to replace the heavily damaged nut. I opted for a Graphtech nut that was pre-slotted and the proper width. I was nervous about doing this myself, but I took my time to remove the factory nut and the new one went in with little resistance. The nut has made a significant improvement in sustain and clarity. The factory fret job was coarse, so I beveled the fret ends and that made a huge difference in comfort.
I felt it was worth sharing the minimal upgrades that turned this used axe in to a player's friend. Rock on Little Timmy!