Time has come for the final post in the series. It's been fun :D
Now lets take out the last thing to consider, your expectation!
4. What do you expect from your kit?
Are you buying the kit as a one-time investment (read my views on it in Q. 3)? Plan on upgrading/modding it later? What kind of sound do you want? All these are covered here, briefly. For a detailed outline on what all factors affect the sound/intonation, wait up for the Guitar: Technical analysis series! I also got a Cort X-11. There's going to be a review on it soon.
For those planning to mod their axe, here’s a short example breakup of the costs (I can only tell the online cost estimates, it’s up to you to see if there is a cheaper source!):
- Custom paint jobs:
These can be a costly affair, and may not be available for your guitar, so it’s easier to get a Special/Limited Ed if it has a color option you prefer.
- Pickup upgrades are a crazy expense:
Pickups often tend to cost 50-60% of the guitar when you are in the <$500 range when bought separately. Keep that in mind!
- You cannot upgrade the wood
The wood is the guitar. If you change the body/neck, then you could have as well bought a custom from the start.
Here’s an example: Cort X-6 (Rs. 12.4k) comes with Mightymite BlueBuckers and the general opinion is that they suck. An upgrade to EMGs would cost Rs. 8000; a custom paint would be likely around Rs. 1500, and a change in the body a stupid thing to consider. The Cort X-11 comes at Rs. 19.5k and has EMGs, a custom paintjob, and Flamed Maple top*.
* The difference in body if preferred, costs about Rs. 3500 when making a custom guitar.
In International figures, Cort X-6 comes at ~$260 and Cort X-11 at about ~$350.
EMGs (the ones X-11 has): $55x2-$35x2 = $40
Custom Paint: ~$30
Flamed Maple top: $700
I’m sure you can do the math…
The sound of a guitar is most influenced by the Amp and not the guitar. More precisely, the sound comes in this order:
So if the guitar isn’t a instrumental handicap on your playing abilities, upgrade the Amp, and get a pedal first.
Remember the kit can’t make music for you. Expect less, research a lot and spend wisely.