A friend of mine came to me to see if I could help her fix and improve her husband’s guitar so he could play it again. Apparently he really enjoyed playing this guitar, but some things have broken on it and he hasn’t touched it since.
The guitar in question is a Synsonics Pro strat-style guitar. This guitar is definitely on the inexpensive side of the spectrum, but I think sinking $50 into new components to keep this out of the trash bin is good investment if it means he’ll play it again. I’m hoping that when I’m done with it, the guitar will play as good as something worth $300 or $400.
Here’s my todo list on this instrument:
- New nut. The original is plastic and broken, probably the biggest reason it’s unplayable.
- Fix the action. There’s too much relief in the neck and I hope the truss rod can help, if I find one.
- Dress the frets. The owner obviously played it because there’s dimples in the frets. A quick level and dress should make this play way better.
- Replace the tuners. Bad tuners make a guitar pretty miserable. A set will go far to make life better and keeping the guitar in tune.
- Replace the jack. This jack is corroded and loose. A new jack makes life way better.
- Cleaning the electronics. All the pickups and pots work. A good cleaning should get them functioning 100%.
- Clean the guitar. A shiny instrument always feels better.
This is a decent task list and I’m sure if my friend had taken this to a regular guitar tech, he would have told her that the labor cost was worth more than the guitar, which I believe to be the case. But because I want the practice and she’s my friend, I’m going to only charge her for parts and take the experience as my payment.
Now I won’t put super cheap parts back on to a guitar, so I’m going to toss a few extra dollars at some new parts:
- Graph Tech Black Tusq XL Nut – $13-$15
- Wilkinson 6 Inline Chrome E-Z LOK Post Guitar Locking Tuners – $29
- Switchcraft Jack – $4.50
- Strings – $5-$10
This should keep the budget for the restoration reasonable, but make the guitar stay in tune significantly better which should hopefully encourage her husband to pick it up more often.