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Got a new bass ~ well not exactly...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Jul 16, 2002.


  1. At the end of May I was looking for a good repair shop to have a few tweaks done to my $400 Yamaha BBN5 II bass, whose sound I absolutely love. The frets were not finished the best they could have been, and the two volume pots had almost no sweep to them; they were either on or off basically. So, after a bit of looking, I found:

    www.guitarboutique.com

    I picked up my bass on Friday, and all I can say is, Whoa Batman!

    The frets which felt rough now feel just like my Stingray, the two volume pots were replaced and now I can actually blend the two pups the way they're supposed to and the bass now sounds very close to a P-bass if I solo the neck pup; something it never did before. I also had a bone nut put on and the bass has a much more singing quality to it. Surprisingly, it lost maybe 10% of its extremely aggressive growl, but , has a much more balanced sound overall. It still has growl to spare though. This is the first time I ever had this much work done to a bass at the same time, and set up professionally, and all I can tell everybody is: DO IT!
    It honestly feels like a new instrument. I mean it really is unbelievable at how much better it plays.

    now...

    The money part. Here is the bill exactly as it appears:

    Cut new nut -------- $85.00
    Complete set up ---- $65.00
    Replace pots (2x) --- $65.00
    2 pots --------------$11.90
    Zon strings ---------$ 32.95
    Two speed knobs ---- $9.00
    NYC tax (8.25%) ---- $22.18
    Total ------------- $ 291.03

    Now, I really didn't plan on spending this much, in fact I told the guy to put a new nut on almost as I was walking out the door, and that was almost $100 extra. Not cheap, but, if you had played the bass before and after you'd feel and hear the difference.

    So, I guess this brings us back to the discussion as to whether it's cheaper to buy a less expensive bass and upgrade it, or pay more up front for a higher end model.

    Well, what do you think? I know some of those prices are a wee bit high, but, the work is first rate.

    I just put my helmet on. :D

    Mike J.

    P.S. I'm always saying how great Yamaha is, and I still stick by it. I think the fact that a brand new bass needed to have the frets filed and the pots replaced is more of the exception than the rule. In March I bought a Yamaha Telecaster copy and it's 100% fine in every department. Guess I got a bass made on a Monday. :rolleyes:
     
  2. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    this makes sense, Micheal. that's a new bass! a professional setup is the best!
     
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That's what I did with my $600 Tobias, except I added a preamp and ABM bridge, but now it plays and sounds better than my Modulus. Me like.

    Congratulations! :)
     
  4. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Here are the upgrades to my Cirrus 5:
    Hipshot tuners $128.26 from BassCentral, installed by local luthier
    Fret dress $50, local luthier
    Mother of Pearl Nut $50, local luthier

    I think upgrades should accomplish a definite purpose, not to impress. The fret dress was to even out the frets after likely aggressive playing by the original owner. I didn't get new frets because I am not an aggressive player, and I didn't want to risk neck damage. The tuners replaced subpar factory tuners (Peavey uses Hipshot on it Millenium line), and the nut totally eliminated the development of ruts from roundwound strings. Now even rough handling in the gig bag doesn't knock the bass too far out of tune, and I stay in tune for hours. I won't get new pickups or preamp because I can't see too big of a benefit to justify the expense, and I would likely lose the characteristic Cirrus honk. I might consider replacing the preamp with a Millenium preamp someday, since these units are offered in the custom Cirrus basses.
     
  5. Thanks a bunch for your replies, Barroso, Angus and Rick. Now I know who my friends are. :D

    Also, this is a devilish way to bump the thread back to the top! :p

    MU HA HA HA HA!

    Good weekend guys

    Mike J.
     
  6. Blux

    Blux

    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    well, this has helped me make a decision. I will talk to Gard about pups for my Carvin LB75.

    as soon as I find work...

    thanks for the inspiration, M.J.
     
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Great news on the improvements to your axe. The only note that I might have is that you are lucky that you've got a a great luthier. There seems to be a lack of that kind of talent and skill where I live. And with the kind of money that is charged you'd think that they'd get it right.

    I'm glad that it all worked out well for you.
     
  8. Yeah Yamaha's are really great except perhaps the fretwire... I can actually see (and feel) the wear of the frets on my 3 month old yamaha bass (which sounds great BTW) but I can't see much wear of the frets on my more than a year old Squier(!) P-Bass.