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Build a Bass for My Music Man Replacement Pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Da LadY In Red, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Hey, my first bass was an OLP Stingray copy. After I was ready to "move up" I added the Seymour Duncan MM replacement pickup (ceramic) onto thinking I'd pick up the preamp later and get an awesome sounding bass.

    Well I ended up picking up the preamp for about half price, but I've never bothered getting the OLP routed to fit the preamp. I got advice on it, and it just doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble.

    So.... I have the full SD MM replacement system with (essentially) no home. What should I do? Make 10 bucks on the preamp or build a bass that would include the system? I'm also a bit tired of having played for almost 3 years and still not having a premium brand bass.

    So far I'm thinking of picking up a jazz maple bass neck, slapping it on a Warmoth swamp ash p bass with MM pup routing, and get maybe a BAII bridge? Does this sound suitable? I'd want to keep the parts minus pups + preamp to be about $400.

    Thanks for the advice!
  2. Building a bass is always more money than buying one used. Even building a Frankenbass from boneyard parts. Your time has value, especially time away from playing/rehearsing your chops.

    That said, a Warmoth is a good build. The resale value is squat but the product is excellent. Consider a Warmoth as a "keeper" since you will lose your financial butt if you sell it. Knowing this, make sure what you build is what you want.

    There is a real place for a MM in your bass herd. Mine is an L1500 that I had custom built for me.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004


    Out of curiosity, how much is the premium brand bass?
  4. This is just a minor peeve, but I hate telling people I have a Stingray copy (read OLP MM2 bass). I've been playing for almost 3 years (as of Christmas), so I figure it's about time to get something better. Personally, I'd be fine with just a Fender Standard P Bass (something that screams class compared to a $200 Yamaha, etc), but I have these pickups + preamp, so I might as well use those (plus I like the Stingray tone and flexibility).

    By the way, I ended up snagging a Fender neck of ebay. If it's a good neck, this project might just come out of the water.
  5. Oh c'mon, putting a bass together from parts is not only no waste of time but a very wise investment of it! You get to learn about how the instrument you love and play is built and set up, you get that great "I made it" feeling, and I do believe that a break from playing/rehearsing your chops to do something different every now and then can actually be *good* for those chops. IOW, just do it! :bassist:
  6. IMHO, building any bass, modding it, or whatever is worth the time it takes to do it right, because if you're(At least when I am) bored with playing, or not as excited as you used to be...Revamping something, however small, is a way to get you fired up...Like when you have bad band expierence(s) and you get with a group that seems like it could get some major playin done..I"ve thought about it, but don't really have the cash to bone out for it...I'd go for it...(I know I will eventually sahmoke something out of my own handiwork, wether it's modding one of my basses radically or building one from scratch) Go for it...

  7. In my opinon, modding basses and making your own are very rewarding. I've built a warmoth before, just kinda for the hell of it and ending up selling it for more than I envested in it. And when I go into shops, and play something like a Fender Jazz or P, or a MM, I play it and think: awsome, now how can it be better? Right now, I'm working on a Fender J project that I'm very proud of. J body, P neck (hoping to throw some custom inlays on), Aero pickups (haven't gotten yet), J-Retro preamp (havent gotten yet), BadAss II bridge, etc. Its great so far, and can only get better.
  8. And you're as much entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine.

    Sure, newbies can learn by doing their own work, but usually at a cost, such as a dorked up project. Redoing the work, paying somebody else to fix a botched job, or just plain ruining an instrument are all learning experiences.

    In my situation, I already have years of experience from building stuff and DIY. I'm also at a space in my life, where I earn far more per hour than it costs me to have a tech tweak a bass for me. Free time is scarce for me, so I'm much better off working an hour and paying somebody else to tech my basses. YMMV.

    Most gear heads spend far more time tinkering and obsessing over their equipment than they do practicing their art. Gear is not a substitute for playing, but I think this is the case far too often.

    Ask yourself: do you want to be a bass player, or a tech?
  9. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    what I picked up on in the opening post was blatant ambivalence with somebody wanting one thing and doing another.

    Interestingly, the response to the question included more ambivalence.

    Whether an approach is optimal depends a lot on who's making the approach and thier attitude toward it.

    I wouldn't recommend anybody approach anything that matters to them with ambivalence. With somebody that's always ambivalent then that's their lot in life but, for most of use, we're ambivalent becuase there are conflicting agendas and those can be resolved - and will be by default if not actively.

    Basically the options are:

    1) to sell the parts and put the money toward the premium brand bass (which used is not far removed from the planned $400 investment on the builder)

    2) go through with the builder and see what you get

    3) do both: assuming the routing is performed competently, the bass can still be built and, if not appealing, broken down and parts sold off as they're worth more than the whole. If the routing is trashed then the body would logically yield less of a return.
  10. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    I've been playing the bass for about a year now. Before that much of my time was spent (8 years) wanking on guitar, and building and modding. After seven project builds, a boneyard of parts, and possibly thousands of dollars (not to mention many many hours - I think a girl got tired of always being second fiddle at one point), I have the extreme confidence in my current build project to really create something special, that I can be very proud of. Building (even assembling) is a journey, the fact is that not many people get off on it or want to be bothered. So definitely evaluate your situation. I've amassed enough bass parts, that had I just not bought them - I could have a nice high end bass. BUT - I am so confident that what I am building right now will meet MY needs 100% that the time and money to get there are worth it.

    With that being said should you choose to build, then you have meny resources here. Personally, for a sharp looking p-bass with a MM pickup - I'd check out the Warmoth '72 style p-body with the matching pickguard - Check out the bass Valenti did for a client, the P with the tort guard, maple neck, and black body.

    Personally, I'd save up and just get a used MM. keep the preamp and pickup. and switch them out- mix and match - see what you like ( even though I'm pretty sure the stock MM preamp is made by SD so the two preamp should be very similar).

    But trust me on this one. The price of my passive PJ is $1057.40 in parts and shipping alone. Then you factor in the time I spend researching, ordering, shielding the cavities, finishing the neck, properly mounting hardware, waiting for parts, sanding, and assembly. To build a proper "premium" bass -your are looking at some $$$. My credo in building is do not skimp on quality, and unfortunately today quality parts come at a high price point.

    I say good luck if you choose to build. If you commit, I think the rewards speak for themselves, just be prepared for the sacrifices.



    P.S. for those who are interested in my parts list for the PJ (nearly finished)

    USA Custom Guitars quartersawn all maple neck

    Warmoth Black Alder PJ Body and Black pickguard

    Bill Lawrence PJ set

    Hipshot B-style chromed brass bridge

    Hipshot Ultralight Tuners

    Hipshot three string retainer

    Electrosocket jack

    Alpha and CTS pots

    Chrome knobs

    Bone Nut

    TI power bass strings

    Should be a real mean one!

    I'll certainly post pics when I'm finished.