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Fender Jazz w/sad electronics + badass + block inlay

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by seaKamp, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    Hey all...

    I am really jonesin for a new bass. Right now I'm playing a Modulus Q5. I absolutely love it. The bass plays great, probably my favorite 5 string neck I have touched, but I'm sort of growing out of the sound. I loved the sterile tone from the neck but I'm looking for a warmer sound right now. I've also gone back to playing my Hamer 4 string and it got me thinking about purchasing a Fender. Now I'm trying to go for my look and tone but I don't know what the easiest and most cost efficient way of doing this would be. What I'm looking for is:


    Fender '75 style bass w/bridge + pup covers in a

    3 color Sunburst finish

    Black block inlays on a maple neck

    Badass II bridge

    Sadowsky preamp(possibly pups)

    I guess my biggest problem will come from the preamp and knob controls. If anyone else has experience with this please chime in(yes, I am aware of the MM sad thread). I'm hoping you guys can give me what you think would be the best cost-effective way of doing this. Not only cost but how I should do it. Hell, I don't even know if this is feasible or a good idea... Any info will help! Thanks!

  2. HI!...I recently had the Sadowsky shop put a Sadowsky preamp and a set of Sadowsky humcancelling PUPS in a Fender Marcus Miller 4. I will spare you the details but suffice it ot say that i spent over a year looking for the RIGHT Marcus Miller to do this to and finally found it. 8lbs 15oz, NO flaws in the body, finish, fretwork, assembly, or hardware. I did not care for the stock pre or the PUPS, I used a Sadowsky outboard Preamp in this bass (as well as 4 other MM's before I found the right one) to make sure it was "the one". Once I knew that it was a good candidate, I called the shop and made arrangements to send in the bass.

    Kevin went over the process and let me know it would typically take about 2 weeks to turn the bass around to me. I got a call the following week saying that the guy who was doing the mod was going to be going on vacation but that they would rush my bass if I had to have it (BEST customer Service out there!!)...I told them that they could take as long as they needed and just send it to me when they were done. I got a call from Kevin (I think) about 10 days later that they were done and were sending it back to me unless there was anytihng else I needed done. I told them to just send it on!!

    2 days later I got it and took it out of the case and inspected the job...looks like it was done at the FACTORY!! GREAT JOB!! I could not have been happier....I actually played the bass that night at a rehearsal and was amazed at how much better it was than using the outboard pre....The outboard is good but add the PUPS and make it an onboard with the VTC and you got instant MAGIC...this thing is now a tone machine!! I added a Fatfinger to it a week or so ago and I now play this thing more than I play my NYC Sadowsky for Funk gigs!! IT IS THAT GOOD!! In fact, I did a High Profile gig last week for a Corporate BBQ and never even took the NYC out of the case!! Initially, I was afraid to because there were so many people there with minimal security and then I realized that I was having such a good time playing the Marcus that I was cool with just the Marcus....4 sets and I never once thought I HAD to pull out the Sad...

    Overall, I can not recommend this enough...I have seen enough "Average or worse" Fenders to say this though, Take your time and find the RIGHT one to modify. Be happy with EVERYTHING about it before you put any more money into it. I have no regrets and am actually considering doing the same thing to a pair of Lakland Darryl Jones (a White/rosewood 4 and a Black Rosewood 5) I have coming (maybe 1 with a Sadowsky and 1 with a U-Retro Deluxe is kinda what I have in mind at the moment) If you have access to a Sadowsky outboard you could try that out and see if it gives you the sounds you are after and just keep in mind that the onboard and the PUPS would only make it about 100 times better!!

    If you want to know what it cost me to have this done send me a PM. I don't think it would be good form to post that in a public post. Good Luck...


  3. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    Thanks for the response Tommix.

    I don't know how long I want this newest journey/bass transformation will take. I really want to unload my current bass fast and start piecing together the new creation.

    What I will probably do is look for a good Geddy or a MM. Since I'm looking to do the 3 tone sunburst I'm not sure how good the wood will be under the Geddy... I don't know if I should assume it will be good enough for the sunburst and take that risk. I'll probably be leaning more towards the MM but I really like the neck on the Geddys from Japan... I like the headstocks a lot as well. I know of a couple of places in Chicago that can color it for me. Heck, maybe the guys @ Sadowsky could do it all for me... with the pup and preamp exchange.

    I might even do it with more of a stock Fender because I'll probably be changing most of the parts out anyway. I'm up for all suggestions.

    I'll shoot you an e-mail. I have a few questions about your criteria for a MM worth of the upgrade. Thanks!

  4. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    I'm sure if you've got the cash, Sadowsky would custom build you a bass with similar neck specs and whatnot.
  5. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    Seriously look into constructing a Warmoth. Their necks and bodies are awesome and they can do just about anything for you, except assemble it. Therein lies the catch. The finished product will depend greatly on the skill of the person doing the assembly and setup. Not easy as you asked for, but for the money it can be a real bargain. Emotional attachment included.
  6. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    The only problem I see with your plan, is that if you go Fender you can't have the BAII and the bridge cover without having to relocate it. Since the BAII is longer, you'll have to shift it towards the end of the bass. BTW, here's a little picture to tide you over.

  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Just get a Valenti, you'll probably spend less money in the long run (these projects have a way of adding up). Nino doesn't do sadowsky pups and electronics .... but how 'bout some duncan antiquity IIs and an aguilar OPB-1! :bassist:
  8. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    If you take the chrome bridge and pickup cover off, that looks just like my bass.

    Fender Relic sunburst body
    Warmoth maple w/ black blocks neck
    BAII bridge
    Dimarzio Ultrajazz pickups
    OBP-1 + passive tone control (soon to be replaced by Sadowsky pre)

    Killer bass, although I may swap the Warmoth neck for a Geddy Lee neck.
  9. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    Hey again. Thanks for all of the responses. I really appreciate everyones help thus far.


    If I had the cash thats exactly what I'd do. Unfortunately all I have to work with is what I will get for trading/selling my Q5.


    Great idea. I considered doing just that but I don't want my bass' quality to be determined by my handy work. I'll leave that to someone who does it for a living.


    Valenti makes what looks to be an amazing bass. When it is all said and done, going the route that I'm starting to take now will cost quite a bit less than buying a new Valenti. If I had the cash I'd really be looking into a custom jobber over there.

    Ben Rose

    How are you going to go by getting a Geddy neck? I really like the necks on that bass. I'm considering getting a MM and putting on a Geddy.


    That looks great! Looks like my plans have changed a bit. Like you said, if I want a badass II bridge I'm not going to be able to have the bridge cover.


    Thanks for your time in the PM, you've helped me a TON thus far!

    It looks like my new plan of action is to find a sunburst MM. I'm going to see if I can use a Geddy neck on the MM bass. Then talk to the guys over @ Sadowsky and see what they can do for me with pups and electronics. I have one last questions before I start all of this... Would I have a problem switching out the neck on the MM bass for a Geddy neck? Has anyone on these forums done that?

    Thanks to everyone for the help thus far!!! :hyper:
  10. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Geddy necks show up from time to time used on ebay.
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I can if requested and have in the past.
  12. If you are going to gut the bass, I'd recommend you not start with a $500-$1000 instrument. I'd start with an SX and scrap nearly everything but the body. The SX bodies are very good quality and the finishes are nice. You will not be able to find a sunburst body for less than the $130 price of a COMPLETE SX, including pickup covers and a tort guard. After you get the bass, buy a Warmoth neck from the showcase. This will probably cost you about $250. For the pre and pickups, I'm not sure but I'd think this would cost in the $300-$400 range. the bridge will cost you about $70. Total price will probably come out at about $900.

    If you do decide to buy and mod a bass, make sure you spend some time playing the bass before you mod it. Most people find stock basses to be fine. You only really need to mod if something is broken or not adequate.
  13. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005

    STOP TEMPTING ME MAN!!!! :D :D :bassist:

    I'm going to toss you a PM in a little bit. That bass you just posted above and the Vee that you have just look amazing. I guess I'll toss out a few questions out to you in public.

    Can you do a 3 tone sunburst?

    About how heavy are your basses?

    Radius, string spacing, bridge, tuners, wood types?

    I love and hate GAS :cool:
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Yes. If you didn't know, I use Warmoth necks and bodies and the do 99% of the finishing.

    The last 2 basses I built (Geddy Vee and a similar Natural 5) were both slightly over 9lbs.

    10" radius, Hipshot B style w/19mm spacing in brass is my standard bridge, Ultralite Tuning gears.

    Woods, whatever you like. Basses w/exotic neck and body woods (not laminated tops) are sold with restocking fee.
  15. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I guess my biggest problem will come from the preamp and knob controls. If anyone else has experience with this please chime in(yes, I am aware of the MM sad thread). I'm hoping you guys can give me what you think would be the best cost-effective way of doing this. Not only cost but how I should do it. Hell, I don't even know if this is feasible or a good idea... Any info will help! Thanks!


    I'd be surpised if you could fit the pre and battery in the cavity w/out routing.

    Nino, pics of your basses always knock me out.
  16. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    The idea of a Valenti sunburst Geddy Vee makes me tremble with GAS pains . . . :D

    I gotta stop reading these threads. :bag:
  17. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Make it a Valenti Sunburst PJ Vee with a black pickguard and my knees go weak. Oh no!! Somethings burning a hole in my pocket!! :eek:
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    You could do it yourself, but let's run the numbers:

    When you figure in the price of a sadowsky pre and pickups (370 and up) a badass II (70 bucks) and a a Fender Marcus Miller (840 big ones) you are already at almost 1300 bucks add in the cost of labor, which is probably 1-200 bucks for a real quality job and a case (another hundred). So let's be generous and say that the whole project is going to cost you 1500-1600 bucks. That's probably not far off from what Nino would charge for the job. And you would know without a doubt that the quality would be great.

    Just something to think about.
  19. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    Thanks for the advice thus far guys.

    I will be selling a bit of gear and getting a Valenti bass!!! It is going to be a 4 string Tobacco Burst on an alder body, Rosewood fretboard with pearl blocks and binding and a Tort pickguard, badass bridge and vintage tuning machines with sadowsky j pups and preamp. I've scrapped the idea of the bridge and pup covers due to the size of the bridge (thanks Beav ) and well I think the bass would look great witout em.(wanna help me out a bit on a visual Beav? :cool: )

    Oh and Ben Rose I'll probably get a 2nd Valenti bass later on down the line depending on how I like this one... I'll probably go with that color scheme on a 5 stringer ;)

    Thanks for all of the input now I can't wait to sell some gear and get this dream bass in my hands!!!