4 guitar upgrades we're considering in Fender's mod-friendly official parts and pickups sale - save up to 20%

Fender loaded pickguards and pickups on a colorful background
(Image credit: Fender)

Buying a new instrument can be a massive investment, especially in a cost-of-living crisis, so why not upgrade an existing instrument if you’re looking for a change? Fender is offering some huge discounts of 20% off across the board on officially licensed necks, prewired pickguards, and pickup sets in their latest sale. A great way to enhance your instrument or build a brand new one for less.

The sale is running from now until March 17th, so there isn’t loads of time left to pick up a great deal. It’s not often we’ve seen discounts on officially licensed necks either, so it’s a brilliant opportunity to upgrade your instrument or complete that project guitar you’ve got lying around.

We’ve upgraded a fair few guitars in our time, so we had a look at the sale and picked out some of the easier modifications that most players will be able to undertake with a minimum of fuss. As always we’d recommend doing some research before you buy, as different guitars can vary a lot in terms of size, placement of screw holes, and a myriad of other factors.

Prewired Strat Pickguard Tex-Mex: $199.99, $159.99

Prewired Strat Pickguard Tex-Mex: $199.99, $159.99
Prewired pickguards are designed to just drop into your guitar, meaning a minimum of soldering and wiring when changing pickups. This Strat pickguard features a set of Tex Mex single coils which are designed to provide hotter output, and with a $40 discount, they’re perfect for adding some extra hair to an instrument that has a classic pickup specification.

If you’re changing the pickguard of an MIA, MIJ, or MIM Fender, then this should be a straight swap, just make sure to count the screw holes to make sure it will align properly. If you’re looking to upgrade a Squier pickguard then you’ll need to be careful, as they aren’t usually the same size. It can be done, but you may need to drill some extra holes to get it to fit.

P-Bass to J-Bass Conversion Neck: $399.99, $319.99

P-Bass to J-Bass Conversion Neck: $399.99, $319.99
A really common way to improve the playability of a P-Bass is to swap the neck to one from a Jazz Bass. A lot of players prefer the narrower width at the nut of a J-Bass neck, which tapers as you move closer to the body. This means you get easier playability on the lower frets, with more wood to hold onto as you move further up.

With an $80 discount in the sale, this Precision to Jazz Bass conversion neck is phenomenal value, and could totally change the way your existing P-Bass plays. Swapping the neck isn’t too difficult either thanks to the bolt-on design, just make sure you loosen each screw a little bit at a time and get them out evenly so the weight of the neck doesn’t damage the screw holes. 

Fender Pure Vintage 65 Strat: $199.99, $159.99

Fender Pure Vintage 65 Strat: $199.99, $159.99
Swapping pickups can elevate a beginner guitar to something that sounds far better than the price point would suggest. Whether you have a cheaper instrument or you just want something more vintage or modern sounding in your number one, changing pickups is one of the most cost-effective ways to give your guitar a significant sound upgrade.

These Pure Vintage 65 pickups have a $40 discount in the sale, which is great for those who want vintage Strat tones for less. You’ll need to do some soldering and use a wiring diagram to install them, but these are skills that are easily attainable as there are plenty of tutorials online that cover the basics. Generally, you should be able to swap these with any guitar that has an SSS configuration but do make sure you double check they’ll fit your particular guitar before you buy.

Fender Player Tele neck: Was $299.99, now $239.99

Fender Player Tele neck: Was $299.99, now $239.99
You probably either love or hate reverse headstock guitars, but we love them! It adds a modern look to an instrument which can totally change the way a guitar looks. This neck comes with a pre-installed truss rod and a pre-cut ‘guide’ nut to make it easier to shape when you come to putting the strings on. It’s also got a tasty $60 discount, making it a lot easier on the wallet.

You can choose between a Maple or Pau Ferro fretboard and it comes with 22 medium jumbo frets, perfect for a modern guitar build. If you’re swapping this for an existing guitar neck, unless it’s also a Player Series Telecaster you should definitely do some research before buying to make sure it will fit the guitar you have. Also don’t forget that a reverse headstock needs left-handed tuners or the string will wind the wrong way! 

Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer here at Guitar World. He regularly tests and reviews music gear with a focus on audio interfaces, studio headphones, studio monitors and pretty much anything else home recording-related. Responsible for over 60 buying guides, a large part of his role is helping musicians find the best deals on gear. Matt worked in music retail for 5 years at Dawsons Music and Northwest Guitars and has written for various music sites including Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitar.com, Ultimate Guitar, and Thomann’s t.blog. A regularly gigging guitarist with over 20 years of experience playing live and producing bands, he's performed everything from jazz to djent, gigging all over the country in more dingy venues than you can shake a drop-tuned guitar at. When he's not holed up in his home studio recording new songs or downloading new plugins, you’ll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS