Once upon a time…I wasn’t like this! I had a guitar, that was all that I could afford, it was 3rd hand (verified), with probably more than a ghost owner…but it was fine with me, no problem, it was MY guitar, the one and only, since I didn’t know anything about guitars at all.
Well, 12 years have passed since then, And I’ve had chance to try some fine guitars in the meantime. Now my experience leads me to the following considerations:
1) Price and quality of an instrument are not so deeply correlated as I earlier thought.
2) You shouldn’t EVER buy a guitar without extensively playing it.
In short, I developed a passion for everything (guitar/bass related) that can be done by yourself and honestly priced.
Well, of course honesty is arguable, but I mean “good value stuff for your hard earned money”.
Seeing SAGA guitar kits online had a big impact on me in the first place, as you can imagine.
While reviews on Harmony-central were conflictual (to say the least) I decided to try them on my own.
With such a low price in the worst case I’d have had some more wood for the fireplace…
Among the different cloned kit models one was really interesting to me: the SAGA LC-10 (Les Paul copy).
I bought it, I had a long wait, I received the box and was happy for about 125 euros.
I opened the box and impatiently discovered the content…
All the parts are there, ready to be tortured, it looks like nothing is missing, pots, tuners, even the strings and a very low-fi jack. What a rich bundle!!!
Then the assembling odissey began…
The first thing I tried was the fit between neck and body, unfortunately…it didn’t fit.
I was a little discouraged but With some time and patience I finally made the neck fit (it just needed a little sanding here and there), It was a crucial part of the work, if you sand too much the fit is gonna be loose.
But the problems didn’t end there, next step was shaping the headstock, which was interesting enough but needed some time and a lot of extra care.
I sticked a template on the headstock and cut the shape before sanding to smoothness, it wasn’t hard.
Nest step: painting!
Painting was the most difficult part, I chose gun-spraying some nitro-cellulosic paint.
My equipment was of the cheap kind and there were some spraying problems…which I covered doing some on demand relicking
(which is pretty lame, I know, I don’t give a *!#@ though).
And the final result wasn’t that bad…
Final step: assembling of the kit, with tuning, ecc… the instructions were lacking enough so I had to figure out some things by myself, but when I had the guitar assembled I really enjoyed the sound…Full and rich in armonics.
Now I changed the tuners with some sperzel and I’m thinking to shield the guitar properly because it’s pretty noisy.
I still need to do a 1:1 confrontation with a real Les Paul (std), which is different from the SAGA and very good of course.
I recorded some samples that you can find on my blog: http://www.simmessa.com/blog
(the guitar is plugged into my rack, a Marshall JMP-1 & rocktron velocity 150 solid state amp)
(direct link: here)
You can also have a look at the guitar during the building process in my personal gallery: http://www.simmessa.com/gallery
(direct link: here)
It looks like I might have found a good source in the States for this guitar kits, I’m currently ordering some more, if everything is fine I will let you know about it,