Before I make you wade through this whole post I'll list what's here so you can see if you want to continue! Included in this post are my experiences in dealing with adding the following items to an SX P/J bass: CTS 250k pots SD Basslines Hot Stack and Hot for P bass pickups Mighty Mite open gear tuners Switchcraft jack, new jack plate and neck plate Copper foil cavity shielding New misc hardware Pickguard and screws Well first a little back story here. I originally got this SX P/J to replace my other SX P because I wanted something I could use as a good backup for my band, and the SX P was really just a venture into the SX world and wasn't really useful to me since I already had what was essentially a P bass with one of my Washburns. So I sold the P to a fellow TB'er after I got this SX P/J as a gift. It started out life looking like this after a good cleaning (fret board oiling, etc) and setup after I got it out of the box. Besides the vintage tint on the neck, that's about as generic a look as you can get for a bass right? I played it as is for a while, even played a show with it once, but like with everything I own, I wanted to make it the way I like it. I didn't like the white pickguard look very much so I e-mailed Kurt and bought a black one (3 ply BWB) for $10 shipped. Not bad, and I won't have to make any new holes. I did have to trim it slightly around the neck to make it fit though. Probably not as much as you would have to trim one made for a Fender, however. I also decided to throw in a SD Hot for P bass pickup that I had laying around in there to see how it sounded. It sounded great with the SD in the P spot. Very punchy and lots of growl like P/Js usually are. The single coil SX J pickup still hummed though and I still got lots of background noise. Not to mention it looked kinda funny with a SD P in there and a cheap looking block J pickup! But I left it like that for a while and kept playing it. It looked like this after these mods: Better, but still not quite the look I was going for. Round 3 with this thing involved changing the pots out for some CTS 250k pots. The tone pot didn't fit in the stock routing so I had to sand down one of the sides to make it fit right. Not that big of a deal but something to note I guess. Gave it a new cap, Switchcraft input jack (with a new black football jack plate), changed to some new (and better) black strap buttons, black pickguard screws, and added black knobs to the new pots. The look was getting there now, but still too much chrome. Fast forward about a month to today and it was round 4 which was a pretty big one! I apologize for some of these pics because all I had with me at my dad's house where I did this was my camera phone. Not great but better than nothing I guess. New parts list: 1) SD Hot Stack Jazz pickup for the bridge position 2) Mighty Mite black open gear style tuners 3) Black neck plate 4) Copper cavity shielding foil I took the neck off to make life easier for installing the tuners since they required a little bit of work to get them on. I was afraid to look at the neck pocket since I have seen stories on here of wavy and ruffled pockets so I didn't know what I'd find in there. But what I found was a nice smooth pocket with a pretty good fit for the neck on there. The wood for the body seems to be solid and is very resonant when unplugged, so I don't feel I'm wasting money on something that won't ever sound good, because it does sound good! If you don't believe me then ask my band or the bass players from other bands that we play with that compliment me on it The stock SX tuners were ok and worked fine, but they had to go since I was changing all the hardware to black. First issue came pretty fast. The new tuner bushings didn't fit the holes. Easily fixed with a small file and some sandpaper though. Tapped the new ones in and they were on. However, only one of the back tuner mounting screws on one of the tuners lined up. I used that one screw to get one tuner in position and lined the rest of them up off of it and drilled small pilot holes for the new screws since these screws are tiny and will strip easily if you have to force them too much. The new tuners covered all the old holes so the installation looks nice and clean. The Mighty Mite tuners aren't the best but they're better than the SX ones. They're also better than the ones my old Fender had so they're more than adequate and hold tune great. I also got a black string guide button, but since the SX headstock is at a sharper break angle than the Fender that this guide was made for, the guide was too low on this bass and created some major tension that I didn't like on those 2 strings. So I took the old chrome one, sanded it down a bit and painted it black and put it back on. Looks just as good as the black one I bought too! These tuners also aren't as hourglass shaped as the stock ones, so it enables you to put the strings lower, at a sharper break angle (usually an annoying issue on the A string sometimes), which works great for keeping uniform tension across the nut. Here's a shot of the tuners installed: After I got those all set I took a look at the new neck plate. It was kind of dull and required some polishing with a cloth to get it's deep shine to come out. But one thing I noticed was that the new screws were quite a bit skinnier than the old ones. Not gonna work because the new ones didn't grab the wood and all and just fell into the holes. Rather than trying to fill the holes and make these work I just re-used the stock screws and painted the heads black, and it looks great. I used the toothpick trick in the holes just to make sure I get a good tight neck joint in case they loosened up a little when taking them out. So far so good! Next I took the pickguard off and unsoldered all the wires necessary in order to completely remove the pickguard, input jack, and pickups from the bass. so I could shield the cavities. I had never done any shielding before but I read on here about people doing it so when I ordered my parts I decided what the hell. This is a project bass to get my feet wet on just about everything that has to do with working on a bass. I first cleaned out the cavities with a (very) slightly damp cloth to get rid of any remaining sawdust/powder in the cavities to make sure that the stuff would stick to it. Then I cut strips slightly taller than the cavity walls so they would fold down onto the bottom of the cavity where I would put another piece on top across the bottom to get a good connection. I decided not to solder every piece since the stuff is self adhesive and conductive, so I just made sure to keep testing each piece to make sure I had good connections everywhere and overlapped the pieces as much as I could. Here's the first part I did. The J cavity was the most tricky part since it had the indentations for the mounting screws and since it's not under the pickguard so I made it as pretty and neat as I could and it turned out nice. I followed that with the P cavity which was a lot easier. Finally I did the control cavity. I used a screwdriver to poke through where the holes for wires needed to go. I decided to use a wire to run between each cavity rather than try and mess with trying to get the foil through the holes. I was able to tuck them into the corners pretty easily so they aren't in the way at all and don't look bad (but you won't see them anyways, I just like to be neat about everything). This copper foil was very easy to work with for the most part so this was a fairly easy job, though slightly time consuming just because of the fit up work it takes. Here's what it looked like after I got all done. So with the cavity shielded it was time to put the jack, pots, and pickups back in. This was fairly routine I just had to modify the Hot Stack per SD's instructions since I didn't want to use any coil splitting. Easy enough. Getting close to finished now. After I put it all back together I looked at the white stripe that the BWB pickguard has around it and decided that I didn't like it. I was planning to send my old white pickguard off to have a solid black copy made of it, but today I decided to give painting the edge of it a shot. Since this pickguard was only $10 I figured what the hell. It actually came out really nice! Since I don't need to order a new one now I figure I saved myself $40 or so. It's about as close to the no pickguard look as I can get now. The only remaining piece to change to the black profile is the bridge, which I will be doing shortly as well. So after all that I oiled the fretboard, polished up the frets, strung it back up, and took it over to my amp to give it a test run. The sound? Let's just say it would probably bring people to their knees if I cranked up amp up! Very punch, very crisp and very defined. The Hot Stack is a lot better compliment to the Hot for P than the SX pickup was! No single coil hum anymore since the Hot Stack is a humbucker. Also a lot less string noise gets transmitted because these pickups are not microphonic like the SX ones can be sometimes. The cavity shielding did a lot more than I thought it would! This bass is dead quiet now with one or both pickups on, near or far from the amp, or under flourescent lighting. I thought something was wrong at first because I heard nothing when I turned my amp on before I hit the strings! There is no difference in the sound with your hand on or off the strings. Should help a lot in keeping unwanted noise out when recording and such. My brother was so impressed by it that he's going to buy the stuff and we're gonna shield his guitar soon! I highly recommend that job to anyone because it's not that hard to do, just takes about an hour or so. The hardest part is getting all the stuff out of the cavities so you can shield them! So that's where I'm at now with this bass. New bridge will be coming soon and then I'm just going to play the heck out of this thing. The action is good on it after the initial setup and I don't really have any buzzing with good medium action. If I wanted to get it really low it might need a fret job but since I play rock right now and often use a pick, I don't want it too low anyways. A couple pics I took when I got back here with my real camera: Thanks for reading! If anyone has any questions I haven't covered ehre feel free to PM me. This project is a lot of fun and playing it after working on it makes it even more fun!