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Cheapest bass you've ever put aftermarket pickups in.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Two-Spirit, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. tenor. Because I took it out last summer :O0
    mikewalker and biguglyman like this.
  2. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Expensive pickups in a cheapo? I picked up a Squier Bullet that looked like the illegitimate offspring of a Tele, a Les Paul, and an ES175 for $65 a number of years ago. It was mostly in baggies and was completely disassembled. It had two crappy Strat single coils and a crappy humbucker at the neck. It now has a somewhat sparkly green rattle can finish, new frets, two Lace Alumitone single coil shaped pickups and a P-Rail with extra switching so I can run it as either a P-90 or rail, or both parallel or both in series. There's a whole lot more in the pickups than in the guitar, and it's probably worth what I paid for the baggies of bits in the first place.
    mikewalker likes this.
  3. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Bill Lawrence P then a Steve Harris SD P in an SX P short scale that I bought for $100.

    Both sounded so good, they convinced me to sell the SX due to scale length and join the P Bass club (which now runs a Gzr).

    Good Luck!
  4. Ghook


    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    Actually mine on EBay was a fender P bass knock off, even the headstock. Told my wife if it useless she can turn it into yard art or a mailbox stand lol
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Woah! That's a VERY cool looking bass...
    spiritbass likes this.
  6. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    aftermarket alder P-body, Squier jazz neck and some 83 Fender Pickups and wow she sounds great! $200 bass...easy to play and great sounding...Priceless! lol
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  7. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    hmmmm... this is a timely question! I am currently pondering just such a thing (see this thread)
  8. Pickups are now the *last* thing I'll think of upgrading on a bass. Especially on a P bass. Pickups are magnets and wire, too many times I've found out the stock ones were just as good as the 3 figure replacements.
    M.R. Ogle likes this.
  9. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    My £130 (in 1986) EKO BX-7 came with OEM DiMarzio pickups. It now has a german OBL P-60 P, a QP J and some homebrew electronics...
  10. Dimarzio Model P in a Squier II plywood bass. :)
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  11. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    SD QP's in a Crate P Bass copy. One of those basses that comes in a beginner kit.
  12. Twice19


    May 27, 2018
    2002 ESP LTD B-304. was $425. Mahogany body, flame maple top, 5 piece neck thru. I put EMG Dual Coils and an EMG Pre-amp. Current LTD basses with the same woods I think list for $1100, and now come stock with EMGs
  13. Bolsyo


    Oct 18, 2015
    Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder PJ-set in a Squier Affinity PJ, perfect punk-rock bass.
    DJ Bebop and Zoobiedood like this.
  14. mobass55

    mobass55 Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Nixa Missouri
    So true!! The most expensive I've ever tried was the Fender Original 62's in a $60 P that I made fretless, sorry guys, my ears just do not tell the difference in more expensive pickups, can't see spending more on them. I do however change the pots, caps and jacks on everything I buy that has the cheap small junk in it!!
    DJ Bebop and 4sight like this.
  15. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    To me the question is not which chea-pass bass you upgraded, or why. The answer to both seems self evident.
    To me the question is why spend thousands on a bass that needs upgrading?
  16. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Nordstrand NP4 in a Stagg P copy. About 1:1 in terms of cost. The sound was different, but not necessarily better.

    Same NP4 moved on to an Apollo J which was converted into a PJJ. Got that bass for about $100 used, but it was imo much better than the Stagg.

    More recently, a used DiMarzio Model P (about $40) in a pawnshop Silvertone P ($50), converted into a reverse PP in its last incarnation. That was fun, the original P was also a ceramic P and the two paired quite well.

    The neck from the Silvertone is now on a mule, which is a red cedar 2x4 (from a porch restoration project) converted into a body. I tried a variety of pickups with it, from a range of price points (EMG Js, Kent Armstrong MM...). A lot of fun, and sounded surprisingly well :)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    DJ Bebop and blip like this.
  17. vonbladet


    Nov 30, 2017
    East Belgium
    Pawn shop affinity P, now sporting a ToneRider Precision Plus (which is allegedly the Classic Vibe P-bass pickup). The rules didn't say it had to be an expensive aftermarket pickup, after all, and the ToneRider is a really good pickup.
  18. Neviegirl

    Neviegirl Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2016
    Long Island NY
    Bartolini pickup in an old Hondo p-bass. Thing sounds NIICCEEE.
  19. An Aria Pro ll Precise Bass I had given to me with no electronics.

    I had a bridge route done and added a Bill Lawrence Wilde PJ set of pick ups. It plays and sounds awesome.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  20. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    CS60 in a Squier Affinity (an older P-bass Affinity, not the current P/J). HUGE improvement. The neck profile is a bit thin front-to-back for my taste but soundwise I would have absolutely no problems with gigging or recording with this bass now.

    Antiquity II in a Squier CV50. Slight improvement, tighter lows, less muddy, a bit more upper mids to cut through the mix but the stock pickup actually wasn't that bad by comparison. The bass sounds pretty amazing now but it was a lot of money for a rather small improvement. I should probably add that my Antiquity II is WAY out of spec, severely overwound, actually a bit shocking that it got through QC as the value given on the packaging was actually how the pickup measured. So they must have measured and approved it at the factory. WAY overwound. So that probably explains the boost in the upper mids. Luckily it turned out great as these basses do tend to lack a bit of "cut" and the extra mids actually made it slightly more versatile.

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