Trying to build a guitar that costs less than a $1000+ Fender should be easy in terms of budgeting. However, we still have to make some sacrifices to keep price low and quality high. In this case, I decided to spend the least amount of money on the body, and took the Tele thinline body from my guitar kit review roundup!
Now just because the body is affordable doesn’t mean it’s a slacker as far as tone woods go. The body from TheFretwire (my favorite guitar kit vendor) is made of Mahogany with a Maple cap and comes as part of this phenomenal guitar kit I reviewed for Ultimate-Guitar.com. I was incredibly impressed with how the clear, Polyurethane finish came out on it, and the guitar’s sound and resonance really impressed even with the affordable, included hardware and wiring.
So here is the plan, we’re going to take the body from this kit guitar and retro fit it with a top notch neck, pickups, wiring scheme, tuners, and all those features that really matter. All we’ll use from this kit is the body, bridge (which is super high quality), and the strap pegs. You can get away with using such an affordable body because the kit from TheFretwire is an insane value at about $170 from Reverb.com.
While it may seem wasteful to buy a whole kit just to use a few pieces I want to highlight a few reasons to go this route. First off, it’s cheaper than buying even a standard Squier Telecaster thinline body that will likely be made of cheaper Basswood. Secondly, assembling this kit is phenomenal practice for players who are just beginning their guitar tech/mod/luthier journey. Practice soldering and guitar finishing in a low risk environment where you don’t need to worry about ruining or damaging a $500+ instrument. For some of you who want to modify your own guitar but aren’t willing to go along with the premium parts I will be using, assembly a Fretwire kit is an incredibly affordable and enjoyable alternative to building a $500+ partscaster. Also, it can never hurt to have all these spare parts laying around!
Stay tuned as we load this body up with premium pickups, a Fender neck, and more! And let me know what you think of my approach to assembly. More to come!