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How to build a metal guitar

Building a metal guitar is an easy thing, and it can be done inexpensively. Or said more plainly, it can be done real cheap. As in under $200 cheap.

A metal guitar is basically defined as a guitar with a 24-fret neck and two humbucker pickups that "looks metal".

If you don't feel like watching the above video, here is the quick way to get a metal guitar for cheap. All it requires is the purchase of one guitar, one bridge pickup, one neck pickup and one set of tuners.

Dean Vendetta XM
Dean Vendetta XM

This guitar is as far as I can tell the lowest-priced 24-fret electric you can buy. It has a nice dark look to it with black hardware that has the "metal look". Also, the controls are set back from the pickups, meaning if you swing your arm wide a lot when playing, you won't accidentally hit the volume knob, pickup selector or tone knob at all.

Lace Bridge Humbucker
Powered by Lace humbucker
for bridge - for neck

Yes, you do have to buy two pickups. One for bridge, one for neck. But fortunately, they're both cheap. Installation is easy, and it comes with the pickup rings.

tuning pegs
3x3 set of locking tuners

With tuners, you either have inline (6 "in a row", such as on most Fender and Squier models) or 3x3 (3 on one side of the headstock, 3 on the other side). The Dean Vendetta is a 3x3 style, and the above set adds in the capability to lock the strings and also provides a tension adjustment screw on top of the tuner button.

shielding tape
Copper Shielding

With cheap electrics, you usually see the most cost-cutting when it comes to electronics. On some cheap electrics there is barely any shielding at all. What the shielding does is diminish electric interference noise. All you have to do is when you do your pickup swap, line the pickup cavity area with shielding before putting in the new pickups. It's really, really easy.

In the end, all of this is under $200. And for the money you get a genuinely good metal guitar that looks good, sounds good and performs well. And because it's so cheap, if you bang it around and ding it up a bit, you really won't care. Believe me, it's nice having a guitar where you don't mind if you get a ding or a scratch on it while thrashing it around. 🙂

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