best bass upgrade?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kitcar765, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. whats the best bass upgrade?
  2. It would depend for me on what bass we are talking about. For example: Squier P-Bass- new bass. Fodera- N/A(not applicable).
  3. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
  4. lol! Squier P-Bass- new bass!
    great stuff
  5. Sometimes, the player...
  6. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    I'm likely to start a big storm here, but with a Squier, I would HIGHLY recommend NOT upgrading the pieces/parts. In my experience (which has all been bad in this case) upgrading a cheap/beginner bass is a waste of money b/c you won't get your money back out of it. You might be better off saving the cash and buying a better bass later on. I have thrown a lot of money away on upgraded/hotrodded parts, and in the end it would have been cheaper to just wait and purchase a better instrument.

    That being said, if you LOVE the feel of your bass (and I mean LOVE) then new pickups would be the most change/bang for the buck. Plus, if you know what you're doing, you can always put the original ones back in when it's time to sell and upgrade, and you'll still have your nice new pickups.

    Those are my thoughts...
  7. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    If it plays well, the electronics can make the most immediate difference, then pickups. The bridge can make a big difference. That would be my next change. Wouldn't touch the tuners unless it's neck heavy or the thing won't stay in tune. Knobs.... personal choice... purely astetic.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I completely don't understand the "upgrading" business. I understand replacing broken parts, but replacing perfectly good parts because you're on some nebulous quest for the perfect tone is useless, IMHO. If you don't like the sound of your bass, get a new bass. Replacing pickups and bridges never changes the basic sound of the bass, but I think some people think it will.

    But what it WILL do, for sure, is make your bass take a beating on resale value. Especially if it's a Fender.
  9. Kosmo


    Oct 24, 2005
    South East England
    I think you're wrong there. I've been changing the stock pickups on my Corts since I started buying them. The change from Mightymite to Seymour Duncans is very noticable in the sound :)
  10. Again, it depends on *which bass* we're talking about. Non-imaginary example: I had a TRB-5II- played well, pretty light & had(IMO)a crappy preamp. A good upgrade *for that bass* would be a decent preamp. If a bass is fairly nice all round, an 'upgrade' is not really one at all. A nice bass w/one particularly poor component might be a good candidate for an upgrade, & an entirely bad bass should be replaced altogether. It doesn't make sense to me to generalize about pickups, pres, etc. Bottom line:The original question is vague. :bag:

  11. I agree 100%.

    For most people, the best "upgrades" will be a pro set-up, new strings and lessons. Randomly throwing money at a deficient instrument isn't likely to result in your "dream bass."
  12. bob04


    Aug 5, 2005
    Stourbridge, U.K.
    i would say a hipshot de-tuner, very useful if you play in a band such as mine which downtunes alot. Then perhaps p/ups.
  13. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Don't forget strings.
    Nothing changes the sound of your bass quicker than different
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well yeah, you're going from MightyMites to Duncans. There would be a pretty big difference between them. MightyMite pickups are nice for the money, but they don't compare to Duncans. Even an anti-modder like me would tell you to replace them.
  15. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    +1 on Fender resale value drop.

    As for "upgrading" a bass and the reasons for this, I'd say that part of it is that it's fun! But that, of course, depends on if you enjoy that kind of thing.
  16. Kosmo


    Oct 24, 2005
    South East England
    :D yeah, there's my point, although they do have a good sound witht he right setup I find
  17. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    New strings and a proper set-up will take you far.
  18. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings

    This is my Squier. It's one of the best basses i've ever played.
    So, definately i'd vote for new pickups.

  19. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    The best, most effective upgrade is the weakest part of any instrument. Impossible to say what tthat is untill you get an instrument in your hands. If more than one upgrade is needed (maybe two if they are both easy/cheap), then offload it and get an instrument with fewer faults.

    note: I am not against modding instruments, just mod as little as needed.