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Easy Mods and Upgrades to A Brand New GTL Semi-hollow!

April 26, 2022


Budget guitars are usually fantastic modification platforms - they have a lot of untapped potential waiting to be teased out. If you want to modify a budget guitar into something that may become your main guitar, then this beautiful axe from the grave episode may well be the inspiration you need. Let's follow the video above from channel guru CSGuitars and see how easy it is to modify the Glarry GTL semi-hollow.

More Info: Glarry GTL Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

Easy Mods and Upgrades

Any modification made to a guitar falls into one of these two categories. Performance modifications, things that improve how the guitar plays or sounds; and cosmetic modifications, things that improve how the guitar looks. There will obviously be some overlap in this Venn diagram, but thinking about modifications in this way can help you prioritize where to spend your time and money. Essentially, what modifications will give you the most bang for your buck. If you have limited funds, you can start with some easy performance modifications.

1. Upgrade Nut

The nut affects the tone and tunability of the guitar in a profound way. If you are willing to purchase a new nut, upgrading to a bone nut or a brass nut mentioned in the video above, will actually improve the sound of the instrument. Brass guitar nuts aren't the most common among guitarists, but they offer their own unique tonal property in comparison to other nut materials. Brass nuts deliver a brighter tonality to your guitar, with extra twang that's great for cleaner or acoustic styles.

If you don't have the budget to replace your nut, here's another quick modification suggestion. Use a pencil to add graphite to the string slots of the nut. The graphite will reduce friction and make the guitar sound better and sharper in tune.

Tip for removing the nut: Spray the nut area with a heat gun (being careful to keep the heat moving) to soften the glue so you can easily remove the nut. Use a needle file to help clean up any remaining glue in the nut slot.

2. Sanding Neck & Fingerboard

You can change the feel of the guitar playing by sanding the neck and fingerboard to significantly increase the playability of the guitar. This is a smoothing process that brings back the high grain of the thin finish and tries to repair the worst of the tool marks left from manufacture.

Make sure you run your sandpaper over the entire length of the neck. You don't want to wear any uneven places anywhere on the neck. Start with the lower grit number and repeat with higher grade.

Finally, oil the freshly sanded fingerboard. A little crimson fretboard restorer brings back the dark color so smoothly and beautifully. A few coats of fast-drying crimson melamine finish adds the protection to the neck and feels fantastic.

3. Polish Frets

Cleaning your fret is one of the most basic but most important modifications you can make. Not only can it help to keep the aesthetic of your guitar looking beautiful, but it can also help you produce the best sound and reduce the risk of problems like fret buzzing.

There are many approaches when it comes to cleaning and polishing your guitar frets. You can learn the method in the video above by simply gently rounding the ends of the fret with a fret end dressing file and then polishing the ends of each fretboard with a micromesh pad.

4. Replace Pickguard

Getting a new pickguard for your guitar is a simple upgrade that will make it stand out from the pack of other factory stock instruments that we have all seen time and time again. Being able to personalize a guitar, making it your own, and making it inspire you to play every time you look at it is a big deal. Fortunately, it’s an easy and cheap modification!

If money is no object, then further, more in-depth modifications can be considered.

1. Upgrade Tuners

A good set of tuners will keep you in tune, and they can even improve the sustain of your guitar. You can modify to locking tuners like the video above. Locking tuners will lock your strings in place, which will stop intonation changes caused by your strings slipping or winding loose, ensuring better tuning stability. These types of tuners are usually adjusted by tightening or loosening the knob on the back of the headstock and can make restringing your guitar a breeze.

2. Upgrade Pickups

Upgrading or modifying your pickups is one of the most popular upgrades for electric guitars. In most cases, upgrading to a more expensive pickup is the most effective way to improve your overall tone and sound quality. A new pickup can give you a real insight into the tone of your guitar and how it responds to your playing.

But keep in mind, you can also achieve another upgrade by simply changing your guitar pickups to suit your playing style, your musical genre and typical tones you want. There's no need to break the bank here with a fancy or expensive set of pickups. A quality pickup that suits your tastes will definitely take your tone to the next level.

If you're not going to modify your pickups, then you can get the tone you like by setting them to the correct height.

3. Upgrade Bridge Saddle

Don't ever underestimate the importance of your guitar‘s bridge saddle! It helps determine the action (string height) and affects the tone and intonation. If the strings are too high or too low, you can raise or lower the saddle to adjust the action.

Our Glarry GTL semi-hollow guitar originals come with a 6-saddle bridge, and its main advantage is that it makes it easier to intonate the guitar because each saddle is associated with a single string. However, if you are a Tele purist, you can also mod to a more representative 3-saddle bridge. A more modern bridge with three compensated brass saddle like the one mentioned in the video above is a great option that provides near-perfect intonation while maintaining more of the original Tele's look and making it easier to tweak the intonation.

So, do you want to give it a try?

Why not start with this Glarry GTL in the video? See if you can mod it into your own unique GTL semi-hollowbody. Or do the same as in the video and mod it to a thin GTL in red, black and gold. Pick your guitar and make a change today! We look forward to your finished modifications.

Click here if you want one: Glarry GTL Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

If you have any questions or suggestions, please fell free to contact us. Our email address is: [email protected]. Thank you for your interest.

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