So on my adventures in figuring out just what I was going to do for a guitar build, I learned a whole lot about Saga guitar kits. These are extremely popular as a first build kit and are apparently often given to people as a gift. I was surprised to read just how many times someone said that a family member knew that they wanted to build a guitar and bought them this kit.
You can find Saga kits in the following styles:
- Telecaster (TC-10)
- Stratocaster (ST-10)
- Les Paul (LP-10)
- PRS (HT-10)
- P-Bass (PB-10)
- Mandolin (AM-10)
I pursued the TC-10 telecaster style kit, but it should be noted that aside from the flame tops on the LP and HT, they’re all pretty much the same deal. Now I haven’t personally gotten my hands on one of these kits but here are the comments that were common everywhere I read:
- The tuners are good for the garbage and that’s about it. Plan on buying extra tuners.
- While the body is technically solid basswood, it’s a solid laminate. Laminates aren’t uncommon in guitars but they’re usually 2 piece laminates. The more pieces in the laminate the worse the sound will resonate and it seems like there are a lot of pieces in these
- The body comes with a ton of sanding sealer on it. That means that the body is very well sealed, but all that sealer might deaden the sound some and some people prefer to sand it down a bunch before building the finish up. That’s your call to make.
- The electronics are a little bit better than most people expected.
- Not a lot of comments on the neck so no news is good news?
That’ the summary of what I’ve found in my research on Saga guitar kits. but if you don’t trust me, here’s a few of the URLs that I found helpful as I was trying to make heads or tails of the Saga guitar kits.
The final word on it all is that provided you buy new tuners, these kits can turn out pretty decent. How they turn out will depend largely on the time and patience that you put into them. You’re not going to end up with a guitar that sounds like one that’s worth several thousand dollars no matter what you do to it since the base materials just can’t match the quality of expensive instruments. But as far as a first guitar kit goes as you enter into the world of the luthiers, the Saga kits are inexpensive, on the easy to build side (as kits go) and lots of people have had lots of fun building theirs. If you’re looking for a first build, this is a cost effective way to go.