1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Fender MIM Jazz Modifications

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mikarre, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    I am thinking of some changes for my MIM Jazz. I specifically got a MIM instead of a USA so it could be like a shop bass sorta, that I could do a lot of modifications. I've had it about a year and so far all I've done is add straplocks (yawn) and change the pickguard. So it's now a white bass with a black pickguard, which looks cool but doesn't effect much.

    So, please brag about your bass a little, if you don't mind:

    1) What modifications have you made to your MIM Jazz?

    2) How do you feel this specifically changed the bass (more cutting tone, better sustain, etc)?

    3) After modification, how do you feel your hot rodded MIM stands up to it's American brothers?

    4) Any troubles fitting parts? For instance, would USA Fender pickups fit on a MIM?

    Also, post a pic of your bass if you want. Thanks! :hyper:
  2. great thread! I'm gonna be working on one soon too so I'm very interested...and not to thread jack but will a Warmoth Deluxe 5 neck fit on a MIM 5?
  3. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I put a set of SD Quarterpounders in my MIM. They're about to go into a Warmoth because the MIM is a structural wreck. They're all I changed on mine, although they made a huge difference and I was really happy with them.
  4. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I put some Dimarzio Model J's into my brother's MIM Jazz and they really gave it a lot more punch, bottom and all around fatness. I personally don't think they sound good for slap but for straight ahead rock they're pretty ballsy. Lots of output and easy to install plus they're cheap! A BadAss II bridge might be a good idea plus it's only like 60 bucks.
  5. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Abuser of Thunderbird Shaped Objects. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona
    You could also use a Gotoh 201 bridge. Direct replacement for Fender bridges, and usually cost less than BAII's. I think Warmoth stocks them for $30 and up.
  6. I did a search and found this old thread - so I’m breathing new life into it. I bought a used Fender MIM P/J Deluxe that has killer action - and I bought it for really cheap because it has two slightly bent tuners, stripped pickup screws, and bridge has been trashed (striped set screws, wrong screws, etc). And there is a little hum noise coming from the J pickup. So I’m going to order new stock Fender tuners, and whole new stock Fender bridge, and new Fender pickup screws. I’m hoping I’ll find a ground wire under the bridge so when I replace it the hum noise from the J pickup will go away, and if not I’m thinking about replacing the stock bridge J pickup with a new Fender noiseless J bridge pickup (and if I do that I might replace the P pickup with a new Fender American P pickup. The only place I’ve found that sells genuine Fender replacement parts is http://basspartsresource.com/. So here is my question - are there any others that sell genuine Fender replacement parts? Thanks
  7. I inquired about this before. No, it will not. The Deluxe 5 necks have 2 extra frets. So, unless you want to migrate your bridge north to compensate, your scale length will be wrong.
  8. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    He's probably figured that one out in the eight or so years since that post! ;)
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Did lots of work to my MIM Jazz. First I levelled and recrowned the frets. While I was at it, I did a roundover on the edges of the fingerboard. Next I replaced the bridge with a Gotoh 201 - not really the best idea since the string spacing is too narrow on the 201 for standard jazz pickups - the outer strings do not line up with the pole pieces. I replaced the tuners with Hipshot HB7's, a drop-in replacement. Changed the pickups for Sadowsky noiseless and installed a Sadowsky preamp, which meant that I had to move the jack to the edge of the body and install a jack plate. Before installing the pickups I shielded the cavities on the bass and did star-ground wiring. The HB7's and 201 I installed were black, and the bass is black, so I made a pickguard of Maccassar ebony. And to complete things I replaced the nut with one I made from bone.

    Bass sounds and looks great. I also own a NYC Sadowsky, so the obvious question is how it compares. Well, as good as it is, it still is no match for the Sadowsky. The woods are way better in the Sadowsky and that is evident in the responsiveness and resonance of the instrument.

    And another question that should be asked is was it worth the effort. Well, if I had to pay someone to do all the work, then the answer would be a resounding NO. But on straight dollars spent here's how it breaks down (this does not count any of my labour).

    MIM Jazz (used) $400
    Hipshot tuners $120
    Gotoh 201 bridge $35
    Macassar ebony and substrate for pickguard $65
    Sadowsky noiseless pickups $150
    Sadowsky onboard preamp $200
    Shielding paint $33
    Jack plate $8
    Bone for nut: $6

    Total: $1017 - My actual costs were higher since I had to pay taxes, duty and brokerage fees on most of the parts to bring them into Canada.

    So why is it not worth the effort? The bass is not very good quality when it comes to the wood. The neck is not very stable and the fingerboard is developing a hump between the nut and the first fret caused by the pressure of the trussrod nut. Since the maple of the neck is not of very high quality it takes quite a lot of tension on the truss rod to keep it straight. The body is not particularly resonant so the bass sonically lacks life - even amplified. And it's a bit heavy. And if I wanted to sell it I would certainly lose all of the costs of my labour and perhaps even some of the material costs.

    So why did I do it? I won't take my Sadowsky to a bar gig - too much damage occurs there.
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I turned my Fretless MIM Jazz into a 1960 stacked knob replica I got a repro 60' electrical harness with some custom 60' repro pickups Fender sells the repro guard with all the holes drilled for the thumb rest and covers it looks and plays fantastic the bass was a pawn shop rescue.
  11. Shielding paint?
    What's is it called (name) and where do buy it from?

  12. Thank you Roger.

    I was just reading SuperShield from MG Chemicals (shielding paint) isn’t cheap but it’s better than the Stew-Mac paint?
  13. I have to admit that I haven't tried either. Perhaps others have experience????

  14. If you don't want to use paint, you can use the standard copper shielding tape. It works well & is more forgiving when applied incorrectly. :p
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Problem is where ever the joints occur. If you don't tack-solder them you may not have good electrical connection between the pieces. Some use copper with conductive adhesive, but I have found that the conductivity of the adhesive seems to break down over time. I have watched what the some of the premier builders use and have discussed with some of them about their choices, and there seems to be pretty universal agreement that conductive paint is as good as and sometimes better than copper foil. All of my tests comparing copper foil to a good shielding paint have shown that when both are properly applied they are equal. Except for the conductive adhesive breaking down over time.
  16. I would solder all the seams anyway as a matter of habit.
  17. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    3 of those are mims... the sunburst is an 01 it has a black pickguard fender 62 reissue pickups and a vintage style threaded saddle bridge. The fretless is a 97 and not modded other than the red mirror pickguard that isnt shown in the pic... and now onto the project j bass it got routed for a p pickup in the bridge position and delano p/j pickups and a badass bridge that I hate and will be replaced.

    IMAG0712 by spaz21387, on Flickr
  18. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    I have a black MIM Jazz Bass I put a black pearloid pg and Badass Ii on. It's a much beefier bridge and has more sustain. I love the way the setup turned out...really low butter playing action. I put a set of Nordstrand NJS5s on my MIM 5 string Jazz Bass. That one sounds much better with that pickup upgrade. It's punchier with hotter output than stock pups with no single coil noise. I also scored a USA P-bass maple/maple neck that I put on a MIM p bass body. That neck is fantastic! That's one of my favorite basses. The neck that came off that bass ended up on a reissue Telecaster bass body with a mudbucker pickup. That bass has absolutely no highs so it wouldn't work for slap bass, but it sounds great for blues and country. I hadn't realized how much I've done until I wrote it out like this!
  19. This Burgundy Mist FSR Jazz went from a good bass to an excellent bass, with just a few upgrades. With the shielding it has virtually no single coil hum, regardless of volume settings. Bought it already modded.

    Hipshot A bridge
    Gotoh Resolite machines
    DiMarzio Model J pickups
    Copper shielded cavities
    Fancy pants tone cap