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Famous Modified Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by amusicalperson, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. I'd like to start a thread featuring famous modified basses. I just think it's interested how players modified their basses to better suit their needs. I know a few players who famously modified their basses and will post all the ones I can think of. Post any others you can think of!
  2. Berry Oakley's "Tractor Bass" features an added Humbucker in the neck position with added knobs for the Humbucker and the normal neck pickup was moved behind the existing bridge pickup. I'm also pretty sure the pain was stripped as I've seen the same exact bass in sunburst in some pictures.

    Attached Files:

  3. Roger Glover's Rickenbacker had two Jazz Bass Pickups added in the neck position. I know a lot of Ric players would faint at the sight of this!

    Attached Files:

  4. Cliff Burton's Rickenbacker featured an added Humbucker in the neck position (supposedly from a Gibson SG bass, I've read lots of stories) and a Jazz Bass pickup in the bridge pickup (supposedly a Seymour Duncan, I've also read it could be a DiMarzio).

    Attached Files:

  5. Geddy Lee: he put on a BAII and a new Custom Shop neck on his '72
    seang15 likes this.
  6. I think we all know the story of Jaco's bass but just to remain consistent, Jaco's Jazz Bass had the frets removed and filled with wood filler to convert it to a fretless (whether you believe Jaco did it or bought it that way is up to you) and reportedly had the neck covered with marine epoxy to protect the strings against the roundwounds he put on.

    Attached Files:

  7. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Billy Sheehan's "the wife" - bridge moved, Gibson Mudbucker added in the neck position part of neck scalloped - extra controls and outputs, Tele bass neck, hipshot d-tuner.
  8. Mosstone


    Jun 20, 2009
    Who could forget Billy Shehan's "wife"?


    Mudbucker added (with its own controls and output jack). Tele-style neck, scalloped upper frets. Billy says the only original parts are the body, some of the PG, and the ground wire.
  9. Mosstone


    Jun 20, 2009
    Looks like we both thought of that at the same time.
  10. Walter Becker from Steely Dan also featured some wierdness on his bass. I can't find a clear picture of it but you can see it in this video. It appears he added a Neck Pickup and Bridge Pickup to a P-Bass. Interesting!

    Caloiski, seang15, carsbybigd and 4 others like this.
  11. Not going to lie to either of you, first time I've ever seen this thing! Never was too big into Sheehan. I respect him and all, just not my cup of tea but anyone who can go toe to toe with Paul Gilbert has my utmost respect!
    carsbybigd and Mosstone like this.
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Billy Sheehan molded a lot of basses, and even remarked about hacking up a beautiful new Yamaha given to him by the company on one of his technique videos.

    Finding this thread again forced me to find the pic and post it.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  13. Roda


    Jun 18, 2006
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Lemmy's 4001s

    The first one was stripped of the original finish (it was originally red or pink). It has a T-bird pickup in the neck position.


    This one also has a T-bird pickup, plus a maple fretboard. First it had dot inlays, then iron crosses, then dots again (like here) and finally star inlays. Nowdays it sports an HB1 in the neck position.


    Then there's this thing. Badass bridge, Bartolini pickups, custom fretboard... This one is a bit of a mystery; Lemmy played it in 1985 and 1986, then it just disappeared.

  14. John Entwistle's "Frankenstein Bass" was assembled from several basses he had. Across two interviews I read it seems the majority of parts came from 4 Different P Basses and a Jazz Bass.

    Attached Files:

  15. Mosstone


    Jun 20, 2009
    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan, either. But he IS an accomplished bassist.
    Aqualung60 and amusicalperson like this.
  16. John Entwistle's "Fenderbird Bass" was a special made Gibson Thunderbird body that was made thicker to accept a Fender P-Bass Neck. Also, Entwistle gave one of these to Leon Wilkeson of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    Attached Files:

  17. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Squire modded his Ric by changing from mono to stereo output, I think before that became standard on 4001 models. He was among the first bassists to run through two amps AFAIK. He had it shaved down so many times to remove various layers of experimental paint and wallpaper that it was much thinner than normal. He claimed that was part of the tone, probably bollocks, but a great story.
    blindrabbit, ThatsYourName? and hintz like this.
  18. I can't seem to find it but I know I've done the research before that Squire didn't do Ric-O-Sound before they did it. Maybe he is referring to doing it before they included it on that specific model bass. Not meaning to take away from your post though, I had actually watched a video of him talking about the wallpaper story, funny stuff!
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  19. Farrin D

    Farrin D Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Evansville, IN
    Marcus Millers 77 Jazz bass with the added Bartolini preamp if that counts

  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Mike Watt's hacked up Gibsons



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