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GAX70 Rescue/Project
Smith357
#1 Posted : 3/19/2017 6:49:30 PM
Smith357


Groups: Member
Joined: 2/12/2017(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: C-Bus Ohio
A few weeks ago I picked up this "as new" GAX70 for 75 bones. I found it languishing under a thick layer of dust in a pawn shop with some rusty strings and the pickups adjusted far down below the rings. The rusty old strings had no turns on the pegs and there was no way it would ever stay in tune. I decided at that moment I needed a guitar specifically to tinker with. Overall I find the GAX70s to be a very nice low budget guitar, the body, neck and hardware are good stable platforms to work with. The downside is in the electronics, low grade stuff at best but at least everything still worked on it. The Ibanez Power Sound PUs are loud but not very well defined, and the switch and knobs just seemed sloppy, and that plastic nut had to go.

After a few weeks of noodling around and giving it the full spa treatment and setup I finally decided on a direction to take with this guitar. Keeping the budget as low as possible I picked up a set of lightly used Epi Probucker 3 PUs for $40 to replace the muddy stock Power Sound PUs. While the Epis are not high end they get overall good reviews and the set cost half of what one Duncan would cost. I switched out the sloppy mini pots and put in new pots with Orange Drop caps and wired them in standard LP fashion. Along with the pots and caps I added a new switch, and jack another bring up the total investment up by $35. I polished all the black crap off the screws, threw on some billet knobs I had in a box. A new truss Rod cover was made from an old 3 ply pick guard, and I put on a Tusq XL nut. After putting on a set of 10s and a few days of rest I gave the neck one last truss rod tweak.

So I'm now into this sweet little guitar for well under $200, and it was well worth every penny, and it sounds and plays so much better than did when I rescued it.


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Tracy Dae
#2 Posted : 3/23/2017 3:10:25 AM
Tracy Dae


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GAX70's make excellent project guitars.

Back when I had a good paying job I would buy them up whenever I found them used for a cheap price and refurb them, dress and micro-level the frets, practice converting 2-wire pickups into four wire, make changes to the circuit then give them to kids who otherwise can't afford a decent instrument.

The stock Powersound slug-bucker pickups they came with work well in a spin to split ciruit - after converting them to 4-wire (or at least 3-wire). LOL


The mind is like a parachute...
...It only works when its open.
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