Lots of guitarists have been interested in Glarry Guitars lately, and Glarry Mods are starting to take off. So what kind of parts do you use? Today we look at aftermarket parts that fit Glarry Guitars.
Glarry Mods: Can Glarry Guitars And Basses Be Upgraded With Better Parts?
Glarry Mods: The Perfect Project Guitar
We have been taking a look at Glarry Guitars here lately, and the low prices have caught the eye of lots of guitarists. From beginners to pros, Glarry has been all over social media with unbelievable prices. But what’s the catch? How are these guitars so cheap?
Out of the box, most Glarry guitars need a few tweaks to get playing well, and there are so many resources out there that teach you how to do basic guitar maintenance on the internet. Basic adjustments like setting string height and such are much easier than you think.
If you are going to play guitar, then setups and regular adjustments are something you need to learn. There is no excuse anymore, even for beginners, when it comes to basic setups. That’s why guitars come with the wrenches you need to adjust them!
The hardware is where some corners are cut. This is probably not a feature that beginner guitarists would notice, but more experienced guitarists will definitely recognize the generic “stock” hardware. The same kind of hardware comes on most mass-produced guitars.
That’s where Glarry mods comes into the picture. I checked around the usual internet forums, and it seems like a lot of people have been very creative with their Glarry guitars! But I also see a TON of questions regarding what aftermarket parts will fit.
While Glarry instruments are great for beginners, we also have explored the idea of mods in our reviews. Our original review took the approach of not just a guitar for beginners, but experienced guitarists on a budget that might want a mod platform. In fact, the review guitar we were sent is being modified as we speak!
Glarry mods have been a big subject on guitar forums, and some people have made incredibly unique mods on their guitars and basses. We talked about this with our Glarry GST Guitar review, and we planned to do some fun mods on that model.
Why use Glarry if you can buy a DIY guitar kit? I think people are gravitating to Glarry mods because it is a fully assembled guitar. You can pick and choose which mods you want. There’s no painting or finishing involved, which makes it easy to make modifications. Especially if you are brand new to modifications.
When Glarry approached us, we asked for a black GST, so we can mod it into the famous “David Gilmour Black Strat”. Doing Glarry mods was always a part of the of the plan, whether Glarry sent us the guitar or we bought it ourselves.
All of our Glarry mods had to be less than the total cost of the guitar, as a rule. So we found most of our parts used, and I even used some parts that I had around the studio. So our mod total was only $46 for a total overhaul!
Finding The Right Parts…
While it may have cost us less than fifty bucks to find all the parts to do a full overhaul, it took some work to find them. Most Far Eastern guitar brands use standard metric parts, but even those vary from company to company.
Doing a quick search, there really isn’t much information out there for aftermarket parts that will fit your Glarry guitar. You can spend time measuring every aspect of the guitar or bass, but it is so much easier to just pile all of the information in one place, right?
I measured everything so you don’t have to. I also took apart the Glarry guitars that I have access to, so I could measure the parts and check the routing inside. I was surprised with what I found under the pickguards.
There are a variety of different sizes when it comes to bridges, knobs, and tuners. Some of the parts are literally just a difference of one millimeter, and that can be super confusing to anyone new to mods.
So today we are going to go over all the most important parts of guitars, and what you can use to do all of your Glarry mods. We have already bought all of the right parts, so we figure we should share our knowledge with the guitar community!
We are going to start at the top of the guitar, and go over each part along with some suggestions when it comes to actually doing the mods. A lot of the parts are very “standard”, while others are going to need some work.
The first thing you should do, is change the strings! This is the quickest way to get your Glarry playing and sounding better almost immediately, as the stock strings are VERY hit and miss on budget guitars.
Let’s start at the top, and see how these Glarry mods “measure” up!
Glarry Mods: Before You Begin…
The first thing you want to do, is decide exactly which parts you are going to need for your Glarry mods. But you should also consider a few things before you get started. There seems to be a few “defects” that most Glarry guitars share.
The first thing I have found, is the neck needs a shim if you plan on dialing in the setup perfectly. Every Glarry guitar I have tried, needs a shim in the neck pocket to raise the neck to be level. Basses have been fine in the neck department, however.
Speaking of necks… you should probably give the neck a good sanding. I plan on taking some serious wood off of the back of the neck, but that isn’t necessary. But since the neck finish is so thin, a light sand and tung oil finish would be a great idea.
You don’t HAVE to do any of this regarding the neck, but a skilled guitar tech will definitely notice. The neck is ok, and these are fine details.
The pickguard is the ONE part that we couldn’t find a direct fit replacement. So if you end up wanting to change the pickguard, you will need to either drill new holes or find a company that will do a custom pickguard. There are quite a few custom pickguard companies out there if you look around.
Strap locks are pretty universal, and if you plan on playing gigs, they are a great idea. Pretty much any type of strap lock will fit any Glarry guitars or basses. The strap buttons that come with the guitars are pretty small, so it might be a good idea to change them out.
But other than that? Everything is a pretty common aftermarket part that you can find from name brand manufacturers. Half of my thoughts are that Glarry made the parts “universal” on purpose, while I also know that there are only so many ways you can build a guitar.
Tuners: Locking Or Standard?
This is totally personal preference, and everyone is different. Personally, I prefer locking tuners since they make string changes a breeze. But locking tuners definitely cost more money, and some of them cost more than the Glarry guitar!
The Glarry GST and other “in line” tuner designs as well as the 3×3 designs are metric 10mm holes. This opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to aftermarket tuners. In fact, Fender/Squier tuners are a direct fit. Keep in mind, that you may need to drill if you use Fender Locking Tuners since they use two tabs on the back to hold the tuner in place.
When it comes to Glarry mods, the tuners get brought up often. It seems that they also receive a good bit of criticism when it comes to reviews. The stock tuners work “okay” for the most part, but the hardware is also where some corners are cut to get such great prices.
When it comes to Glarry Basses, they also use a standard size and Fender is an option since they are 18mm. The Glarry basses come with the bigger open gear tuners, and I have had no issues at all with mine. They seem a little more solid than the guitar variants.
So Fender parts are a direct replacement, as well as companies like Tone Ninja. Take notice where the set screw is located on your Glarry, to avoid drilling any extra holes. I found some used Fender locking tuners that I plan to use, as I don’t mind drilling.
The Glarry GST is an absolute STEAL. This is not only a great beginner guitar, but also a fantastic modding platform!
The Nut: The Most Important Part Of Staying In Tune
I think that a lot of guitarists get a little confused when their guitar is constantly going out of tune. Usually guitarists will think that this is the fault of the tuners, and that is rarely the case. Tuning issues usually happen at the nut.
Glarry uses a standard “import style” nut, and it is made out of plastic. Most lower priced guitars come with a plastic nut, and they can be very hit or miss when it comes to quality.
The nut on my Glarry GST is cut just fine, and the guitar stays in tune during normal play. But it can always be better right? There are much better materials out there, and I recommend bone or synthetic bone like TUSQ.
Glarry Strat and Tele Style guitars use a standard 42mm nut size. However, I find that the string spacing on a 43mm nut works a little bit better, but that is because of the Glarry mods that I am going to be doing, which includes changing the neck a good bit.
Glarry basses also use a 42mm nut width, and many companies make these replacements. Although, the nut was perfectly cut on my Glarry GJazz Bass that I purchased for the studio, the nut is still plastic so I might change it at some point.
The string trees are all standard size as well, and I personally like the ones that TUSQ make. These make a big difference if you plan on using the trem system on the Glarry GST. Any friction point should be checked when using a trem system.
Pickups And Routing
Pickups are usually the first thing we think about when it comes to mods, right? Swapping out pickups has become a huge part of the guitar industry, and there are options for every type of tone you could possibly want.
This was another thing that I thought about changing, but it turns out that the ceramic pickups that came with my Glarry GST were great! But I can understand if you want to change out the pickups, and what matters is the routing.
When it comes to Glarry mods, most people wonder what the routing looks like under the pickguard. The good thing, is that most of the Glarry series leaves plenty of room for whatever kind of pickups you want to install.
We are going to go over what CAN fit into each model, not what COMES with the actual guitar. Glarry knows that you are probably going to mod the guitar, and room was left to do just about whatever you want with most models!
- Glarry GST Routing: H-S-H compatibility. Humbucker routes on the bridge and neck. Single middle.
- Glarry GTL Routing: S-H only. Humbucker neck, single bridge.
- Glarry GMF Routing: H-H on all models.
So the possibilities are really open to whatever you want when it comes to pickups. I think it is pretty cool that you can fit just about any kind of pickups you want into these guitars. When it comes to Glarry mods, I think this is probably going to be the biggest topic.
Glarry basses also have specific routes, and so far I have found that they do not have any wiggle room. This is because a lot of the basses have direct mount pickups, so you are stuck with the pickup shape that comes with the bass, even with the “P” and “Jazz” styles.
What About Pickup Cover Size?
The size for three single coils on the Glarry GST is 50mm, 50mm, and 53mm for the bridge pickup. There are plenty of companies that make these replacements parts, but Fender is not an option. The Fender pole spacing is different.
If you want to add covers to your open-coil humbuckers on your Glarry, they are standard 50mm. These are also easy to find, and it seems like the pole pieces line up perfectly.
Bridge Options: Direct Fit
This is where things are going to get slightly complicated, but not if you know what you are doing. When it comes to the GST, I wanted to have a floating bridge, so I measured it. I was surprised with what I found when I broke out the ruler.
It seems like Fender MIM and Squier parts will be a direct fit. I bought a used Fender MIM “Vintage” bridge, and the six-screw design lines up perfectly. The larger bridge block also fits just fine into the Glarry GST body.
When it comes to all other models, your standard “metric” parts will work just fine. This means the bridge saddles from aftermarket companies work just fine as well.
So you want to look for the six-screw, 2-1/16″ Fender MIM bridge. When it comes to saddles, the 10.8mm “vintage” saddles fit directly.
The Tele-Style Glarry models already have a good bridge, and the saddles are the weak point. I would get the compensated T-Style saddles since they are a direct replacement. All you would have to do afterwards is intonate your guitar.
The TOM style bridges that come on the Glarry GIZ and GGS models are standard metric size as well, and there are many different types of aftermarket parts for Glarry mods on these models. The “roller” style bridge is a great option!
For Tune-O-Matic style bridges, you need a 81.9 mm tailpiece and a 88.9 x 13.7 mm saddle piece. There are many different variations of this bridge you can buy, and you can install these parts for your Glarry mods without removing the stud posts.
The bass parts are also very easy to find, again they are just metric standard. The same goes for the saddles, and if you look to the “inspiration” behind each bass model you will find the right parts. This is another place where you could just upgrade the actual saddles.
Most of the fixed bridge Glarry guitars are just fine as they are, but if you wanted to change the hardware color for you Glarry mods then you know what to look for now! This can really add a personal touch to your Glarry mods, since there are so many color options.
In the case of my Glarry GST, I feel like a replacement trem will not only sound better because of the bigger block, but also WORK better. The Fender bridge is a direct replacement, and I think it will improve the Glarry GST after a full setup. Plus I needed a vintage style bridge to make my Pink Floyd mods.
Note: Fender USA parts are NOT a direct replacement for Glarry Guitars and Basses. They are a totally different size, and will probably not line up with the neck.
With a variety of colors to choose from, the Glarry Gjazz Bass is a great starter bass. The dual single coil pickup design is iconic, from Surf-Rock to Modern Metal. The Jazz-Style bass has been around for a long time, but rarely at this price!
Just like most budget guitars, the electronics are another corner that was cut. Frankly, I will not be changing anything since it all works great. But the potentiometers are definitely small, and the switch is a standard PCB style.
But one thing you might want to look into, is shielding. None of the Glarry guitars I have seen or played have any kind of shielding on the inside, and this can cause a lot of noise issues under high gain. The shielding tape is cheap to buy, and you can even make shielding paint yourself.
The input jack is standard, and Switch Craft would be a great upgrade since these stock jacks usually have problems down the road. This was one of the parts I plan on changing, but the rest of the electronics are fine.
I was actually very serious about adding pickups to my Glarry mods list, but these single coils sound great to me. They needed to be lowered and adjusted to get a better sound, and to balance them. I am surprised I like them considering my Schecter Custom Shop taste!
What About Knobs And Plastics?
I had to try out quite a few of these to find the right fit. I had some Fender USA knobs that I planned to add, but they did not fit properly on the smaller pot shafts. The cheap metric knobs that you can find from All-Parts are what you are looking for, and these are all over Amazon.
Squier knobs seem to fit just fine, and the switch tips are also a good fit. If you want to age them, you can use the coffee trick, or just use them for a while! Again, the pickguard is the only part that I couldn’t find a direct replacement for, since the holes do not line up.
The Glarry GJazz bass that I purchased for the studio uses metric metal dome knobs. I have a ton of these lying around, but I found them for $10 online. There are some fun options out there to personalize your bass.
Knobs and pickup covers can be a super easy way to supe up your Glarry mods. Not only is it easy to do, changing the knobs and plastic parts is also cheap.
Glarry Mods: Wrapping Up…
If you have never done a complete overhaul on your guitar, or you have always wanted to learn how to work on guitars, the doing some mods on your Glarry is a great option. The parts are very easy to find, and they can be found for cheap.
Learning how to work on your guitar is not only rewarding, but it can save you a ton of money if you often take your guitar to the “shop” to get it adjusted. Most of us do not have the luxury of having a guitar tech!
I never advise anyone to learn how to work on guitars with their “main” guitar. You never want to mess around with your expensive guitars, or your only guitar. I have always told people to buy a cheap, second hand guitar to learn maintenance.
But with Glarry guitars, you have a perfect mod platform since so many aftermarket parts will fit. So if you have always wanted to get into guitar mods, or just basic maintenance? You don’t have to search for a second hand guitar anymore.
You can have a full-size guitar for under $100 that you can practice on, and hone your skills. Learning how to adjust your truss rod, or work on your frets is a valuable skill. The Glarry will eventually pay for itself.
But for those of us that have been doing guitar mods for years, Glarry offers a great platform for making your own “custom” guitar. Most Glarry Guitars are fine right out of the box, but what if it could be just as good as some of your more expensive guitars?
I don’t know how “good” my Glarry is going to be when I finish it, but I think it will be MUCH better than the day I took it out of the box. Of course, this is a bit of promotional content for Glarry. But I had planned on doing this the moment I heard about Glarry.
So it is fortunate that Glarry reached out to us! I was going to do this project anyway, and I have always wanted my own version of “The Black Strat” that David Gilmour played for so many years.
So far, I have seen quite a few guitarists showing off their Glarry mods, and some have been crazy impressive! Phil McKnight did some CRAZY mods to his Glarry, and it was an awesome journey.
But your Glarry mods don’t need to be as extreme as what Phil did to his GST. You can just do a few things to spruce up your Glarry, and it can be a fun project. Not to mention, you can LEARN a lot by doing your Glarry mods.
So stay tuned, and we will reveal our Glarry GST soon! But hopefully this list will help you on your Glarry mods journey, since I couldn’t find an accurate list anywhere. If I inspired you to mod your Glarry, then my job here is done!
The Glarry GST is an absolute STEAL. This is not only a great beginner guitar, but also a fantastic modding platform!
Christoper HortonChristopher has been playing guitar, bass, and piano for 28 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. Chris has toured for years with several bands and music projects across the United States. He worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician and engineer working with many genres, but mainly Pop, Rock, and Metal. In between giving private lessons, he is usually recording under his various projects. Christopher plays Schecter Guitars, BOSS Amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.
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