I wanted a passive J-Bass style instrument that I could use on gigs that didn't cost a lot of $$$. I got an J-204 that I bought from ebay for a less-than-street price, lucky me. Pros: Pre-CBS feeling J Bass, not heavy, thin/fast playing neck, good balance, good sound acoustically. I also like the unique twist on the trad J Bass body shape. Cons: Sharp fret ends, mediocre setup, muddy/buzzing pickups and electronics(even with both on). To be fair, the cons are typical for an Asian-built instrument under $300. But seeing the tone potential (and being a fearless DIYer) I tweaked the bass to my taste: I adjusted the trussrod, shimmed the neck pocket to lower the action on the upper frets, filed down the high fret ends, and replaced the stock pups with passive EMG JHZs(thanks again ebay). Much improved in terms of playability, tone, and less noise. Used it on a few gigs, no complaints from my bandmates or the sound engineers about the tone, works for me. This bass is more or less gonna be a test bed for replacement parts: Thinking of installing Graphtech saddles and maybe switching out the EMGs for Dimarzios or Fender Noiseless. We'll see, I'll let you know. If you are into modding your axes or have a guitar tech that does it, a J-204 might be worth your while.
Last edited by catboyzee : 08-21-2013 at 06:05 PM.