Bass Upgrades

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SlappaDaBass15, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. SlappaDaBass15


    Dec 22, 2013
    I'm a relatively new bass player and received a Fender Squier Jaguar SS as an early Christmas gift. I'd like to upgrade the pickups and bridge. I have no clue which ones to go with or where to get them Any info would be very appreciated.
  2. SlappaDaBass15


    Dec 22, 2013
    And since it is a short scale bass, do I need short scale strings or will any set work?
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Only thing short scale specific are strings. All hardware is simply bass specific. In terms of "upgrading" what is it about your current setup that is not working for you? With an "upgrade" what are you hoping to accomplish?
  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Yes, strings typically come in short, medium, long, and extra long scales. You may wish to post your objectives in upgrading pickups, as that will help suggest possible solutions.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    As a relatively new bass player, you shouldn't need pickups on that bass. They are fine as they are as are all other components on that bass. At least for a new player. See how far you get before worrying about that stuff.

    I would invest the money, if I was to spend my money, on getting the frets leveled and dressed by a good luthier. Not that they aren't good but they won't be optimum from the factory.
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Why? What is it you're looking for that you don't have? Makes no sense to upgrade just to say you did ... it's still a Squier, and always will be, and won't be worth a dollar more on the used market. My $85 Squier Jaguar (long scale, used but like new!) needed nothing but a good setup (fret leveling, filing the fret edges, adjust pickup height, adjust neck relief, adjust saddles (actually, I did replace the saddles with some I had laying around). It's a good 'nuff bass and a nice addition to the rest of the axes I own.

    Right, I'm sure you don't. Wait until you know what you want to accomplish before spending money ... you may find you need nothing ... which means you can start saving up for that next bass you'll be drooling over.
  7. SlappaDaBass15


    Dec 22, 2013
    There isn't a particular sound I'm looking for or anything like that. I want to beef it up just for the heck of it really. I just don't know which ones to put in it.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Save your money and leave it as. Throw a little money into the cash stash weekly and pretty soon you'll have enough money for....wait for it....a new and better bass! Nothing wrong with the Jag but as you progress so will your G.A.S. pains.

  9. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    let it alone and start playing! (these guys are giving you sage advice)
  10. SlappaDaBass15


    Dec 22, 2013
    I appreciate the advice but I'd like it if someone could help me. I'm not worried about saving money.
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Seymour Duncan. Measure the jazz pickup to see if it is neck position size or bridge size. Then make your pick of the bunch. Quarter pounders will probably tickle your fancy.

    If you must.
  12. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    Have you considered playing the instrument for awhile?
  13. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Since you are clueless about what you want other than you want to upgrade, go for some Joe Barden pickups. You won't know the difference but at least you can brag about how much your new pickups cost.

    As for the bridge, take it a luthier and have them install you a set of mono bridges. Same thing as above you won't know the difference between the upgrade and the stock bridge, but you can brag about how much your cool new bridge cost you, right after you brag about how much your cool new pickups cost you.

    While you are at it, have the paint stripped, cut the top off and have a book matched piece of AAAA Flame maple put on, then drop a grand on a custom 3 tone nitro burst paint job, get all your metal hardware plated in real 24K gold and get a custom graphite neck.

    None of the above will make you a better player, but if you are just looking to upgrade for the sake of it, why not go whole hog??
  15. I don't see a need to pile on the OP.

    I also don't see a need for the OP to upgrade his/her bass.
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Do the up-grade but play it a while and get familiar with it as is so when you make a change you'll be able to hear any difference. I'd start with a set of Fender Original Precision Bass pickups. These are the 62 re-issues and they just kill...not a ton of money either compared to the Fralins and other hand made boutique pickups they stack up against. If you really hear a difference then change out the rear p.up too. Going to high quality mil spec vol/tone pots is another thing you could change as is messing around with different tone caps.

    Leave the bridge alone. A cheap-ass stock Fender bridge sounds great and works great and spending more money is a waste. High quality tuners would be a way better place to spend that money.

    Get a soldering iron and do the work yourself. People have a valid point saying that as a beginner you won't hear the difference modding your instrument (and you certainly won't get even half your money back if you sell it) but learning to work on it yourself is a really good idea. Lots of youtube vids on wiring and setup.
  17. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    A set of Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders might be up your alley. A Fender '62 in the P position wouldn't be bad - classic P tone. Use the Google search function for this forum and see what other P/J pickup mods are popular.

    You could change out the bridge with a BadAss II or Hipshot A Style, or just a basic Gotoh.

    Since you want a beefier sound, pickups (or a preamp - maybe the Aguilar OPB-2?) would be a good place to start. The bridge won't do anything tonally, so only change it if you really hate the look, it's not adjusting right, or it's messing with your intonation.
  18. If you MUST upgrade, heres a cheap but VERY nice set of upgrades you could do to that kind of bass.

    Dimarzio Model P and/or J pickups

    Gotoh 201 bridge

    Total cost around 150-200$. Probably the cheapest option for you, but also not a bad one. But in all honesty its a GOOD bass as it is. Save up for that new bass YOU WILL DEFINITELY WANT a year from now. You will thank us.
  19. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I have two I've modded. You probably don't need to mod it, but if you really want to here are a couple of easy ones.

    THe "P" pickup is actually pretty good. If you use the "J" a lot for your tone I'd upgrade that one first and see if that gives you what you want. Pretty much any standard pickup will fit in the rout. I know the Alumitone does need a little file work on the hole to make it fit.
    You can change the controls from volume, volume, tone to volume, blend, tone. I'm a big fan of this configuration.
    Another easy mod you can do is add a StellarTone ToneStyler Bass Duo. Or their Bass Dual, this is not listed on their website but call them and order direct. I have one of these in one of mine and with the stock pickups it sounds like a different bass.

    As far as strings, most short scale strings will fit. if you're not sure look for a 32" winding length.
    If you want to try flats look at Chromes, GHS Precision Flats, or LaBella offerings. If you want to try tapes look at the LaBellas. Their new white tapes are a very good product, still have the bottom but more top end than other tapes. Tried one set of D'Addario tapes, and although they sounded good the E and A unwound.

    The bridge is not a bad one. I use it in one of mine, the other one I changed as I made it a thru body. If you want to change it any one that says a direct replacement for Fender should fit.

    For doing a pickguard replacement almost any of the custom makers you find online can do it. They will require a tracing or better yet is send them yours and let them make one from it.

    Hope this helps. Look at the thread all about the Jaguar SS. There are a couple thousand posts, and much knowledge there. A pretty friendly bunch and virtually every question you have, and many you don't are answered there. Just do a SEARCH for Jaguar Short Scale.
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It totally escapes me why someone would want to "upgrade" perfectly good hardware when they have no plan in mind, no idea what sound they're looking for, and there is nothing malfunctioning in the existing parts.

    If the OP wants to experiment with different sounds, change strings and don't mess with a perfectly functional bass. The strings will make an actual difference in sound - and changing the bridge won't. Changing the pickups will change the sound - but since you don't have a target or reason for making that change, there is no point in changing.

    I had a Jag short scale and put Labella Deep Talkin's flats on it - that was a great change (I disliked the original rounds), and it has never needed anything else.