That your musical “sound” depends more on your hands/skill than the gear you play is a philosophy with which I personally agree. Too many times have I seen a very talented musician make a piece-of-junk guitar sound incredible while a mediocre guitarist (like myself) will make a beautiful, expensive guitar sound mediocre. One guy I know, a Mr. Charlie Pate of Nashville TN, has an interesting strategy for acquiring some of his guitars; he buys cheap, used Ibanez semi-hollow bodies for $200 or less and then spends the rest of his dough on custom pickups, to get a sound he likes. It works for him, but then again, this guy could play a cardboard Ukulele with one string and you’d think it was an old growth Gulse.
I can wax philosophical about talent all I want, but it is also true that good, solid gear makes great players sound greater. A link came my way today that reminded me of Mr. Pate’s strategy and it was successfully demonstrated. This “mod” strategy for optimizing cheaper musical equipment may be a way for the budget-minded shredders out there to use whatever post-holiday funds you have left to make some of your mediocre gear better.
This guy Bill Machrone is an amp artist for sure and if you are looking for a way to make your $499 Fender Blues JR. sound like a new amp, send it to him. His list of mod kits is extensive and affordable.