Can We Build A Better Guitar Than Fender? Finishing Up and Adding the Pick Guard

Our new, modern voiced Thinline is ready for action!

Build the Guitar:

Find a great Telecaster kit from The Fretwire HERE

Find the right 920D loaded pickguard for your build HERE

Need a Telecaster neck? They have them right HERE

After getting the body, finish, and neck all sorted out, the time has come to finish our attempt to assemble a better guitar than Fender for less money. We bought a genuine Fender neck with a modern C shape and med-jumbo frets. Installed were classic Fender Tele tuning machines, common on most, if not all, Mexican-made Teles. We outfitted an awesome guitar body from a Fret Wire kit, which we rated really highly in our rundown of four guitar kits.

Now, we’re on to adding this custom wired, modern voiced 920D Custom Pick guard that’s loaded with Righteous Sounds Tiburon humbuckers.

Find your perfect 920D Pre-Wired Harness by ordering your own custom set from their website where the code “NEWGEAR” will take 20% off any 920D gear!

This custom pick guard will set you back about $350 or so but comes loaded with these boutique humbuckers and custom wiring. On this Thinline we put together, the volume knob is a push-pull to switch the pickup wiring between parallel and series. This totally expands the sonic footprint and tonal diversity, and makes the guitar a real joy to take up on stage.

These Tiburon humbuckers come with a ton of awesome cover options, like the black set in chrome covers on mine. They are voiced for modern performance with thick, punchy tones, tight low end, and harmonically rich highs. With a little gain, these things sing.

So, what would you rather have? A $1000+ Fender with vintage specs but the same Mexican-made parts you find on a $500 guitar or this modern voiced, revamped Thinline with premium humbuckers, push-pull wiring, and a Modern C Fender Tele neck? Let me know what you thought of this build project and if you want to see us tackle other fun builds or guitar designs!

Check how much we spent in total below, I’m actually pretty surprised it was that low!

Total spent on this build: $719.97

(may change depending on taxes/shipping in your area)

Published by Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for and as well as a contributor for and Reach out to talk about guitars, commission a partscaster, or ask for a review.

2 thoughts on “Can We Build A Better Guitar Than Fender? Finishing Up and Adding the Pick Guard

  1. That’s a really fun post and build. I would have (and may do) everything you did, except go with a Rosewood finger board neck and get a TV Jones Classic pre-wired pickguard. Thanks for guiding!

    Liked by 1 person

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