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First and foremost I’d always prefer original finish.
Now that we got that outta the way, in order to have a 52-53‘s neck joint to be “correct”, you’d need a refin. Now you can keep the original finish, and use a shim underneath the fretboard to make the angle, and it’ll be great, but it won’t...
Less invasive, yes, and great products that made pretty much conversation pieces playable, but they ain’t magic, you play hard, they move.
They have their place for pristine 52/53’s, but aside from that? Do the deal, you’ll have a much better guitar, and if you paid “player grade money” for the...
The least invasive mod I’ve ever seen on a 52/53 Trap guitar was, they steamed off the fretboard, added a wedge that went from the height necessary for a 4 degree pitch to nil, then glued that to the neck shaft, then glued back the fretboard.
Then drilled for Abr and Tail.
I think neck resetting a repaired headstock 52 to work with a wraptail or ABR is an improvement, and well worth looking into.
It’ll make his guitar more playable and probably more valuable down the line.
Not if you use the shim and the person that does it, is highly skilled.
You only lose the finish if you don’t want the shim.
In order to make the steeper neck angle, they either sand it into the top (refin) , or do the magic in the neck pocket (shim).
Look at Ed’s guitar, he has original...
Actually the more I think about it, I think you should do the neck reset, and ABR it.
That’s my vote.
You can keep the original finish, you’ll just have the small shim under where the fretboard comes over the body.
Leave the P90s.
Put repro hardware, and piece by piece replace it with...
Thats what I did.
I had two 54s, and one at a time moved them along for two conversions. Got the first one because I figured “I got two, may as well get something different“, well a year or so later I sold the other 54 and got another conversion from the same builder. That’s another thing too...