March 20, 2008

How to Disassemble Your Guitar Hero Guitar Controller

Thinking of performing some mods on your Guitar Hero guitar controller? That’s awesome! But first you’ll have to disassemble it. It’s not too difficult. Here’s how.

Before we begin, make sure you have the right screwdriver. All modern Guitar Hero guitars use Torx T-10 screws to secure the outside shell. Some earlier models use philips head screwdrivers– so grab a flashlight and check the back of yours to be sure. Here’s what a Torx screw looks like, along with the Torx driver.

Torx T-10 screw and Torx T-10 driver

I bought a set of fold-out Torx drivers at my local hardware store. Make sure the T-10 size is included, as pictured.

Foldable Torx driver set

In a pinch, I have found that very small hex drivers work as well, but it’s better to have the right tool so you don’t strip the screws. You may also need a small philips screwdriver for the internals, if you’re planning to remove those, too.

I’m using the Les Paul wireless guitar for the Xbox 360 as an example, but the process is nearly the same for all modern fake plastic guitars, particularly wireless ones. The Les is by far my favorite of all the fake plastic guitars on the market, and I use it exclusively, even in Rock Band. It’s awesome.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar

First, we have to remove the neck. There’s a small lever on the back that releases the neck. Depress that lever.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - neck removal lever

With the lever depressed, slide the neck up and out of the guitar body.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - sliding neck out of guitar body

Go ahead and remove the guitar strap by sliding it off the two strap attachment pegs. This isn’t required but it’s a bit easier if you go ahead and remove the strap.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - strap removal from pegs

Now that the neck is out of the way we can remove the faceplate. Press the faceplate release button on the back of the guitar body. The faceplate will “pop” loose a bit.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar -faceplate release button

Gently unsnap the faceplate from the front of the guitar.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - unsnapping the faceplate

Pull the batteries out, along with the battery cover.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - removing batteries and battery cover

We’re now (finally) ready to begin taking the guitar body shell apart. Use the Torx T-10 driver to remove all the screws.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - screw locations on rear shell

Note that one of the screws is under the “warranty void” sticker. This process obviously voids your warranty, but you knew that.. right? :)

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - using the Torx T-10 driver to remove screws

Turn the body over and shake– make sure all 10 screws come out. If they don’t, double-check and loosen them some more until they do. (You’ll remove the strap pegs later)

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - 10 screws and 2 strap pegs

Pull gently to separate the shell. Don’t pull too hard as it is attached in two places to the other side! The first attachment point is a ribbon cable to the neck pins. Peek in the shell and slide the pin circuit board down out of the plastic slot they are in.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - neck pin connection removal

Once the pins are detached, you can pull the shell apart. Here’s the top and bottom of the Les Paul:

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - top shell exposed

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - bottom shell exposed

Note that the shell halves are still connected via the power / battery cable. You can remove this using a philips screwdriver if you want the two parts of the shell fully separated– for example, if you were going to paint them. That also goes for the rest of the internal parts; they’re all secured via small philips screws.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - power connector

Reassembling is pretty easy. A few tips, though. Don’t forget to put the two strap pegs back in before you close it up, or you’ll belatedly realize you built a strapless guitar you have to hold in your hands! I’ve done this before, and it’s no fun!

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar -front strap peg

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - rear strap peg

Also, make sure you slot the neck pin connector back in before fully closing the clamshell.

Guitar Hero Les Paul wireless guitar - slotting the neck pins into the shell

After the neck connector and strap pegs are in place (as well as any other internals you’ve removed), just snap it back together, and perform the above steps in the reverse order. Easy!

To fill in for you, the Wii-version only has 9 Torx screws, but has 4 philips-screws on the fronts side next to the neck connection hole.

Also, the Wii-version does not have the wiring connecting the two halves together. So it’s even easier !

NINer
May 23, 2009 at 11:55 am

do you follow the same sort of procedure when dissasembling a rockband controller? might just give it a go and see how it goes :)

Muppet855
September 14, 2009 at 4:44 am

im trying this with the T10 but now its like the screw is to small

CJ
May 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

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