Working on a cheap t-style

Working on a $100 INDIO t-style made by Monoprice. I got this awhile back on Amazon.

The fret work on it was not good at all, so I sat down with a package of dollar store emery boards and a role of masking tape. Smoothing up fret ends isn’t a hard job but it is quite tedious.

The headstock originally had a kinda hook shape at the top I didn’t care much for so I took it to the belt sander and rounded it off some. threw away the plastic nut and put a bone nut on it.

The pickups are hot and kinda harsh sounding to me. So I ordered a set from Bootstrap He’s a guy in Ohio that hand winds pickups in his garage… does really good work and very affordable. Also will do custom stuff… The down side is a long lead time, but he makes them to order. Going from ceramic pickups to alnico will be a great improvement I think.

The finish on it is very nice and the listing said it was a basswood body but i’m thinkin it’s gotta be ash or alder because it weighs 8 pounds which is heavier than my Fender Strat. They also said it was a 9.5 radius fret board and it’s more like a 12 radius.



Nice project Dave and looks lovely :+1:

Nothing from Monoprice is cheap, everything is “High Value” and great bang for the buck.

A little fret sprout from here in So Cal is to be expected, I’ve played Squires that drew blood on me in a music store. New pickups to suit you ears? Very good thing to do. You probably have a heck of a player now that is much more to your liking. :slight_smile:

My Monoprice DLX tele is my go to guitar and all I did was change the pickups:
Pan-damn-demic porch tele time twang around

Edit: Oops! I also added a four-way switch. I think you did really well. Play on playa!

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@CT I’m definitely not knocking Monoprice… it was a really great deal and after polishing up the fret ends and lowering the action it is very playable.

They all need a little setup work when ya get them. And yeah there"s nothing wrong with the pickups just changing them for my personal taste. I mean $100 and that’s with shipping… and ya get a decent padded gigbag with it too.

The fret work was not do to fretspout… Iv’e heard other people that bought them say the fretwork was great so I suppose it’s a hit and miss deal. But it really is a pretty easy thing to do an doesn’t really cost anything just a little time. I’m pretty happy it.


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I bought a few Monoprice guitars and they were all setup really well. Best bang for the buck out there IMO.

Nice looking job, enjoy! :smiley:

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What a great project to be doing. Will you be swapping anything else out? Tuners, scratch plate, that sort of thing?

@SgtColon Oh I forgot to mention I did put on some locking Wilkinson tuners but only to make string changes easier. Nothing wrong with the tuners it came with. And also when I lowered the action I shortened the saddle screws so there not sticking up to snag your hand on them.

I thought about maybe a white pickguard or a pearloid white but I haven’t decided. and I don’t mind the black one that’s on it.


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