Remember That $60 Glarry? Let's Make It More Fun…

It’s not magically a great guitar yet, but it’s certainly more fun to play and look at!

Lipstick in the neck, Fender MIM in the middle, and humbucker in the bridge!

I trashed on that cheap Glarry GST-3 pretty bad when I first reviewed it and the company was definitely not happy with me. When I took it apart for this project, I was even less impressed when I saw how much sawdust was trapped in every crevice…

But, in the sake of DIY mods and practicing my guitar tech skills I decided to see if I could do anything to make it more fun before it finds a new forever home. I didn’t have much money or time, but I thought I’d go with a bit a of a creative pickup combination, as well as a new black pickguard and some neck treatment.

Installing New Pickups & Wiring

What you see above is a lovely nameless lipstick pickup bought cheap on Reverb that will look cool and add some interesting sonic textures. I was hoping to add a bit more chime or jangle than that traditional fat Strat neck pickup tone.

In the middle is a more traditional MIM Strat middle pickup, partially because the white looks so good against the black and the blue, partially because I love Strat middle pickups!

Lastly, the bridge humbucker that originally came with my The Fretwire HH Thinline Tele kit has found a second life in the bridge of this Glarry. HSS Strats have a special place in my heart, as my first and favorite guitar was a MIM Fender HSS Stratocaster that I still hold as my most prized possession.

All the pots, wiring, and controls come from the Squier Affinity Strat I stripped to build that Retro’Tron equipped beauty I wrote about late last year.

Tweaking The Neck

Again, due to time and cost limitations I wasn’t able to slap a new neck on this guitar or even really install nice locking tuners. But I did make a few tweaks that will greatly upgrade this guitar’s performance.

First, the fretboard desperately needed some conditioning, something I did by rubbing some tung oil into the dark wood neck. You can’t condition a Maple neck this way, but darker woods like Rosewood, Pau Ferro, or Ebony should definitely get this treatment on cheaper guitars. I would recommend doing a little comparison shopping here for the best conditioner for your needs!

After that dried, I very gently sanded down the fretboard just to make sure there were no lumps or pockets of tung oil using very high grit sand paper.

Next, the forward bow in the neck was corrected using an Allen Wrench to bring the neck back towards a more flat shape. Then, a took a graphite mechanical pencil and lubricated the nut by rubbing the graphite into each slot. This should help prevent the strings from getting stuck on the poorly cut nut and being pulled out of tune.

Strings Are Going On & A Demo Is Coming

This guitar is getting stringed up and I’ll be recording a short demo of the new pickups and tones shortly! This guitar has been to work on and I just love the look of the black, white, and chrome on top of the blue body. One the demo is up, this guitar will be up for sale as I just have way too many guitars in my possession right now. Don’t worry, it’ll be super cheap! Hit me up if you’re interested in adding it your collection, or, if you want to build your own hit all the links in this article to shop where I do for parts!

Goldfinch Guitars Painted Lady Electric Guitar Review

Hit the link HERE for more of these stunning short scales!

Huge thanks to Phil & Goldfinch Guitars for sending me what has now become one of my go-to guitars!

Cost: $399.00 from Goldfinch-guitars.com!

Overview & Final Score: 8.6

The Goldfinch Guitars Painted Lady quickly got my eye when I saw an earlier version in a 60 Cycle Hum YouTube video. After reaching out the company, I quickly struck up conversation with one of the owners and creators, who very quickly displayed an incredible passion for creating unique, fun guitars that any player could afford. Shortly after, he unveiled the The Painted Lady 2020 and sent me my very own gorgeous Redburst model.

This Painted Lady is crafted from a lightweight Paulownia body and features a set Maple neck. The Maple neck and fretboard are adorned with black block inlays that scream vintage Fender and did not disappoint in real life. It’s a super straightforward guitar, one volume control tied to one humbucker, all in a white pickguard. The stop-bar tailpiece has really got my attention, as I’m already imagining putting a Bigsby or other tremolo arm on this guitar.

Just gorgeous

Sound: 7.5

Let’s be honest, this isn’t a guitar meant for shoe gazers or sonic maestros. It’s a one humbucker, one volume pot, guitar that plays and sounds great, at the cost of versatility. Part of what makes it so affordable is no doubt the simple construction, but who cares, this no-name humbuckers sound straight up good!

The Painted Lady has a surprisingly mid-heavy tone in my opinion, which makes it a joy to play through a cranked tube amp. It pushes the tubes just enough to get some crunchy, crackly overdriven tones all while retaining really good clarity. The note to note definition is shocking for the price and pickup choice. In fact, the Painted Lady shined with chorus and delay and tremolo. Cage The Elephant, SWMRS, REM, and many other punk/alternative sounds poured out of this guitar.

No, it’s not gonna sound as good as a Gibson or Fender or ESP, but it’s just fun! It sounds good, it’s got a crystal clear, crunchy tone, and it feels at home behind walls of effects and a cranked tube amp.

Playability: 9

The quality of the neck, tuning stability, and feel surprised me. I was always super drawn to this guitar, but that was because of the design and look. Now I’m super drawn to pick it up because it just feels so good. The shorter 24.75″ scale length isn’t something I’m used to as a Fender Strat/Tele guy, but the neck is super stable and has held tune for the past several days really well. The tuners and bridge are cheap, overseas hardware, but they seem to be really well made and I see no reason to replace them. Overall, I’m super impressed with the tuning stability and neck feel, I would expect this quality on a Fender Jaguar worth twice the money!

Finish & Construction: 8

This guitar has looks, sounds, and feel that most guitars in this price range don’t have. The redburst finish is gorgeous, and kind of changes in shade depending on the light bouncing off of it. As I said before, all the hardware and electronics seem really well put together, regardless of if they are brand name or not.

Another thing really working in the Painted Lady’s favor is that she is designed to be easily modified. You can pretty much just flip the strings and nut and boom you have a lefty electric guitar. Plus, I believe that most of the body under the pickguard is routed out, meaning you could put in any electronics or pickups you wanted. I’m already thinking about adding a Bigsby and Filter’Tron to this short scale monster. Any guitar that’s easy to mod without sacrificing build quality gets high marks from me!

Value: 10

The highest mark for the Painted Lady has to be the price. It’s affordable enough for beginners to enjoy the short scale and gloss maple neck. It’s also affordable enough for most experienced players to buy it spontaneously and modify to their liking. Overall, it’s a smooth feeling and full sounding guitar that will make you stick out of a crowd. Usually, that sets you back a few hundred more dollars, even without any quality improvements. I’ve been playing this all around my house, it’s so easy to just pickup and strum and so comfortable with the small frame and neck. This is quickly becoming one of my go-to guitars on my rack when I’m home, and I will be doing some real sick mods to this for the website in the future. Stay tuned!

Good For: Alternative & Indie Rock, Playing Around The House, DIY Modders, Players With Small Hands

Demo clips and Ultimate-Guitar.com review coming soon!