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bridge/tuners replacement for MIM Fender J

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mightypants, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. mightypants


    May 22, 2009
    Hi all,

    I recently posted a thread in the basses forum about balance issues with my MIM Fender J. I've read that a lot of people haven't experienced balance issues with Js, but I promise, it's a issue on mine. It's not terrible, but worth addressing. I had been considering trading it in for a different bass, but I've decided to keep it (at least for now) since I otherwise like the instrument a lot. I had one or two responses in that thread suggesting I try to improve the balance by replacing hardware, such as the bridge and tuners, and I'm looking for some help on how to get started researching my options. I'm planning to discuss this with a repair guy I've been to before, but I want to have some info beforehand if possible.

    I don't know much about bass hardware in general. I don't know what bridge is on my bass now, nor what would be a good replacement that would be heavier. Ideally, I'd like something that will be heavy enough to help with the balance but will otherwise change very little--I don't want to create any new problems in the process of trying to solve this one. Should I be looking for parts on my own? If so, where do you recommend?

    The bass is a standard MIM Fender J, which I bought new about 3 years ago. Thanks.
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    If your instrument is neck heavy, and you're trying to remedy that situation, you'll get better results from putting on lightweight tuners than putting on a heavier bridge.
  3. mightypants


    May 22, 2009
    Sure, well, I'm considering either/both. Can you point me toward any info that could help me find the appropriate replacement parts? Or recommend good tuners and/or bridge that would meet my needs?

  4. Mickey Mao

    Mickey Mao

    Jun 7, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The most common lightweight tuner recommendation will be the Hipshot Ultralight, like the ones here:


    I have them on my precision bass, and the quality is quite good.

    One caveat---I find that the 11/16" pegholes in the headstock are oversized for this tuner. I had to put several wraps of copper tape on the mounting nut to take up the slack.
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Hipshot Products is a great place to start for high quality replacement parts.
    Their website: http://hipshotproducts.com
  6. mightypants


    May 22, 2009
    Thanks for that info. Those look pretty good, but not cheap! I'm wondering if I'd likely be able to do the replacement myself. I'm not all that handy, but I recently started doing my own bass setups. How tricky is it to replace tuners and bridge?
  7. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Look at the tuners on your bass. You'll need a screwdriver to remove the screws and a wrench to remove the nut around the peg. Does it seem like something you can do?

    Look at the bridge. You'll need a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the bridge. Again... seem like something you can do?

    If you get drop in replacements, re-assembly will be a reverse of removing tuners and bridge.

    You mentioned you've recently started doing your own setups... that's great... because on the new bridge you'll have to set both the action and intonation. If you're comfortable with that... you're good to go... give it a try.
  8. mightypants


    May 22, 2009
    That all sounds like stuff I can do, I just want to make sure there's relatively little risk of messing up and possibly damaging the instrument.
  9. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX

    Just be careful about screwdriver slips. You can use some lightly adhesive masking tape to cover the finish around the screw holes as a preventative measure.

    One other note, make sure the ground wire is making contact when you replace the bridge otherwise you will get more buzz.

  10. mightypants


    May 22, 2009

    Do you know of a comparable tuner that will fit the peg holes better? Thanks.