Buy new or customise?

Hi folks, this is my first post here so be nice! :P

I have a cheap Samick telecaster which has some issues, the most pressing being that the frets need sorting out (some buzzing here and there) and nasty cheap pickups. Despite these faults I think the instrument plays well for what it is.

I would be interested in hearing your opinions on whether it is better to spend money fixing the frets (it needs a full set-up) and replacing the pickups with Fender pickups (for example), or whether I should buy a new instrument.

Fyi I am an experienced jazz player, so I am quite demanding about playability, (yep and I play teles!) but I don't have much money to spend, so top of the range is most definitely out. I also don't care about how the guitar looks - within reason :wink:

Thanks in advance for the help!

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I've solved buzzing problems in the past by either raising the action or with a little careful sanding of the offending fret.

The second one isn't really an elegant solution though, because it could be that you're trying to correct a fret that's warped and really needs replacing - which generally means you need to put the guitar into the shop to have the frets fixed properly (and it could be worse - the neck may be twisted).

Anyway - those are my quick fix options, if you're looking for a better solution I'd suggest taking the guitar into a couple of shops and asking them to look at it and tell you how much they would charge to fix the problem - then compare that to the price of buying another guitar.

Hope this helps,

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