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"frankenstein" a bass? your thoughts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by QORC, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    anyone here have a bass where they LOVED the look and feel of it, but the pick-ups were pretty average?

    Pros and cons of buying/installing different pickups and creating a frankenstein.

    Worth it? or just get rid of the guitar and buy up?

    your thoughts and experiences
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Never say that with your partner/SO in earshot.
  3. I have a 1979 Ibanez Roadstar that I have completely Frankensteined. It has a great neck and I upgraded the pickups, electronics, and bridge. It is actually more versatile than my Cirrus, Pedulla, and Trace Elliot T-Bass. It is a fantastic instrument.
  4. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    If you LOVE the look and feel, definately replace the pickups before you decide to dump it. I replaced the cheap pickup in a p bass copy and absolutely couldn't believe the difference. I went with Bartolini but there's tons of options. What is your pickup configuration? (meaning P, JJ, P/J, MM etc.)
  5. xbradx


    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    i'm close to picking up a p-bass and swapping out the neck for an allparts jazz neck(if that counts) ;) :bassist:
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Frankensteining basses is a very common practice. You get the bass that speaks to you, just fits like a glove, THEN you make it sound the way you want. A large number of session players have completely bastardized their instruments in the name of great tone, but still play a single instrument.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have done it to many basses, including my 2 current basses.

    I loved the look/feel of my Carvin fretless 6, but I put in Bartolini pups and preamp. Same on my Yamaha BB605 fretted 5. The pickups were single coil jazz type - buzz. New Bartolini pups and preamp - silent. I mean dead silent - passive or active.

    Pickups are a relativly inexpensive thing to change out. You have a ton of options. Go for it!
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Most of my basses have been "frankensteined" Any "player" I have usually changed the pickups, bridge and eq. I getting ready to change pickups in a great sounding bass I picked up a few weeks ago. Part of having G.A.S and searching for "that tone"
  9. The term 'frankensteining', to me implies disfiguring something- pickup routes done freehand w/a dremel/, chainsaw marks, etc. I wouldn't apply this term when just changing pickups or the like if it's not an obvious hack job.
    'Bastardizing' is likely properly defined somewhere, my guess would be that it means removing parts from one thing to make another thing functional(pardon all the technical terms). I repeat, unimportant- just trying to get someone to talk to me.
    As to the original question- no experiences, thoughts: if it's a well researched & thought-out plan w/a specific goal, try it. On the other hand, if you have no idea what you're doing & may ruin a historically significant piece, think at LEAST twice, wear safety glasses & don't hold ME responsible.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I would. To me, Frankensteining is, just like the book/movie, etc. to build a single unit from parts found other places, i.e. swapping necks, pickups, sometimes involving permanent physical modifications.

    Yes, anything with huge bolts in the neck always counts. :)
  11. It's pronounced 'fronkunsteen'.
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Then is it pronounced Froderick too?
  13. Roll, roll, roll in ze hay.
    Ze stairs can be treacherous.

    OK, somebody stop me. Or join in.