Essex Mod's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Razor, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I've done a few searches and everything I have found has been rather spread out.
    I wanted to throw this out and see how many people who have an Essex bass have made modifications to it. This could be anything you have done other than stock.
    I have one of the P's and I changed out the tuners to Schaller's, painted the headstock gloss black to match the body, and dropped in a Seymour-Duncan Quarter Pounder in it. Not too shabby after I made my mod's...
    Next up is an Essex Jazz I got for a steal...:cool:
  2. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    I have a essex jazz, and I'm going nuts on it. I defretted it, got a new nut, new bridge, soon to have new pickups (dimarzio). I is seriously the most jaco looking essex ever (I took the guard off) my only thing is the front pickup rout. I'm going to get an ashtray to make it look better, I'll have a pic soon.
  3. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    My black Jazz has a Badass II bridge, a DiMarzio UltraJazz pup at the neck (still shoping for a new bridge pickup), and I wired it volume/pan/tone. As soon as I find a pickguard that will fit it it's getting either a tortoise shell or a black pearloid.
  4. Its not a completely removed Pickgaurd, but its better than having the route hangin out.

    My fender American Jazz, plus pickgaurd cutting courtesy of me and the dremel tool.
  5. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    I have a pair of essex jazzes. One is the SJB-62, that I slapped a bad ass II on. The other is a SJB-75 which started out as a three bolt neck, and now has four. I'm also getting ready to route out the SJB-75 for a P-bass pup in the neck posistion and I also have a Gotoh 201 I'm going put on it. I'll put pics of it up when I'm done, but it won't be for several weeks, mabye even a month. Here's a shot of the SJB-62 with the Bad Ass II on it.

  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    New strings. Honestly, the thing sounded so good in the studio, that I left it alone. There's a guy named Anthony David working on an album. His bassist borrowed my SX to record about 7 of the songs. ;)
  7. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    The biggest thing that without a doubt, absolutely had to be replaced on both of my Essex were the pickups. I got a decent output with the E string but anything else on any other string was virtually dead and could not be heard in the mix. I might be a little overdramatic but I guess another way of saying it is that IMO the only thing that seems cheap about these basses are the electronics....other than that I really enjoy them.
  8. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    besides needing to have the frets leveled i agree with woody
  9. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    only lasting mod was a tort. guard.
    I removed the basslines and sold them, back to stock pickups.
  10. hey k-frog im interested in getting an essex and if i got one i would get in black and change the pickgaurd to tort shell...looks awsome

    can i ask, did you have to get that picguard made for you, i read somewhere that the holes dont match up with guards made for fender jazzes..

  11. i yanked the frets
    filed the nut
    planning on Barts and some kind of Retro pre......if only i could find a place for the battery.
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    does a standard fender jazz guard line up? (i don't care if the holes don't line up, only the outline)

    cos i'd totally do a tort guard on mine to complete the ensemble. new pots are a must IMO (audio taper), as is a badass bridge. i've already put on new strap buttons, sanded the back of the neck, gave the frets a real quick once over, and fixed the pups so they sit properly low.

    other than that, i think mine's good to go :)
  13. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I havent yet changed the guard on my Essex J but when I replaced it on an Essex P the holes did not line up. The gurad's outline is pretty much generic stock but the holes were all just about off.
  14. A few people have mentioned that the frets are a bit rough, how do you go about fixing them up?


    oh yeah and if a normal fender pick guard matchs the right outline you can just drill new holes cant you?
  15. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002

    Both of my Essex basses had decent fret work. I have a 5 dollar fret file I got from a parts store (Guitar) to lightly dress fret ends when it's needed.

    oh yeah and if a normal fender pick guard matchs the right outline you can just drill new holes cant you?

    That's what I did to mine...if you dont want to drill extra holes into the body and the guard screws don't line up you'll have to drill extra holes in the guard. Since they're covered up by the guard, and it's an Essex in the first place I drilled extra holes in the body.
  16. Thanks for the reply razor

    So you use a small file just on the edges to make it more smooth?

    sounds easier enough :rolleyes:
  17. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I also tung oiled the back of the neck, if you call that a mod.

    The tort. guard was an eBay special. It's a teeny bit smaller than the original white one. The holes did not line up, actually leaving one of the original holes exposed. I put a little dab of Testors Gloss Black model car paint(why I still had a brand new bottle I don't know, geez, I'm 33) in the hole. Perfect match! the hole isn't noticeable from about 3 feet away, if you don't know to look for it. I drilled all new holes.

    Last night I changed my pickup wiring over to series/parallel with a mini toggle switch in the first volume pot hole. I wired the pickups to the switch, then to the one remaining volume pot, then to the tone pot, then to the output jack. Viola! one volume, one tone, one switch, no new holes. I dig the beefy tone I get now out of the series setting, more output overall also. It's also dead quiet. Both single coils coming up in volume at the same time, humcancelling. I son't get the benefit of soloing the neck or bridge pickup, but right now I'm just enjoying the new tone.
  18. hey k-fog was that series/paralell pickup easy to do?
    Is that the mod that makes the J pups sounds like P pups?
    And if it is
    Do you loose the j pup sound?
  19. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    yeah, it's basically a simple mod. The only difficulty I experienced is just having to deal with those itty bitty terminal on the back of the mini toggle switch. That, and just making sure I got the connections right. I had to unsoder one of the connection i did wrong. I just wasn't paying close enough attention.

    only a "P" pickup sounds like a P, but series is much closer. you still get the J sound in parallel mode. I may go back and drill a hole in the side of my bass to relocate the output jack. Then I could go back to vol,vol,tone and toggle switch. For now, I'll just try it the way it is. I usually run both pickups full on anyway.

    you could very easily hard wire it into series without a switch to see if you like it before dealing with that switch soldering difficulty.