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How do you make a crappy bass sound good?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by samtheman, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. samtheman


    Nov 6, 2001
    Basically, I have a Squier Affinity P-Bass, the cheap of the cheap. It is my first bass and I didn't spend much because i wasn't sure if I'd like playing bass. I know it's awful, but I've fallen deeply in love with it.
    It sounds pretty lame and I was wondering if I can improve it without buying a new one (i.e. strings and pick-ups) and if so what to buy.
    It is currently unadultered bar the vast number of stickers. I play mostly fast punk with a pick and use a Laney HCM-60B amp. any suggestions would be great!
  2. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    well you could try some new strings maybe
    have you changed the strings any?
    or are the factory strings still on?
    i dunno what they put on squiers
    but i would slap on some Ernie Ball slinkys
    If you get you some money get some
    Seymore Duncan quarter pound pickups...
    if you know how to solder stuff.. or if you know anyone who can.. search for "schematics" on the net of your bass....
    Squire and fenders are pretty easy to modify..
    i know a guy who updated his squier bullet bass


    hes a pretty cool guy..from the post ive seen.. seems nice.. i dont know him or haven't talked to him... lol
    but he put new pickups in it. and replaced the bridge

    try a badass2 bridge made by leo quan.. very good bridges =D i love em..

    i have a cheap bass also (yamaha rbx170) and i wasn't sure if i really wanted to play at first ya know but i did and im happy with my bass.. =D
    well later
  3. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Frirst thing I'd do is paint two L's after Squire. That'll keep you amused for at least 20 minutes. The thing that's great abouta Squire for a first bass is atht you can really go to town improving them. The first thing I noticed when checking out my nephew's Squire was the crappt tuners. If you can keep that sucker in tune, it's definitely sound better. Also, the factory strings are 1 grade up from bailing twine. Get yourself some good strings. I know you're just starting out, but you can generally get better tone from heavier strings. Also, the pickups aren't bad, but there are a ton of replacements that will greatly improve your tone.
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    were i saddled with the impossible task of making a squire(ll) sound good i would do the following:

    good strings and setup (DR Loriders for me)
    new pickup (EMG probably)
    new bridge (badass II or gotoh 206)
    new tuners
  5. tummage


    Apr 23, 2002
    New Orleans, La
  6. New Bridge Baddass II
    Passive EMGs or Barts
    New electronics (the stock electronics are crap)
    Strings I prefer Warwick yellow label
    New tuners
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Nothing makes a crappy bass ousnd good like a good amp cab and careful adjustment of the EQ.


  8. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    i just got 2 new basses and my friend got my starter johnson that i turned fretlessi have been trying to help him fix it up but we dont really know where to get bridges or pickups that will fit a johnson any help please
  9. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    What's so funny in Squierll? Oh, that would make it look like Squier2!!111!! :p

    It'll propably sound just fine with new strings and a good amp. You could also update the pickups to some hum-free model. Barts are propably the most cost-effective choice. I haven't seen newer Squiers lately, so I really can't comment on tuners or bridge, but I'm sure changing them won't affect the sound. Done that.
  10. Heres a list of upgrades that you can do, and I think I'd do em in this order:

    -Tuners (get some gotoh or schallers)
    -pickups (duncans are always good, bartolinis are better)
    -new electronics in general (youre jack and potentiometers will all have to be replaced in due time I f I know anything about squires)
    -neck (warmoth makes a fine neck and it would turn that squire into something very decent; fretless?)

    Always play with good cables and good strings; its like putting good gasoline in your car.

    slowly upgrade and that bass will slowly become something unto itslef and become a true testament of being unique. My first bass ( a p-bass copy made by hondo) I will never sell. I love it I upgraded everything except for a new neck which I will have soon enough (padauk with ebopy fretboard fretless); for the time being Ill play my old neck that I defretted. No other bass plays or sounds like it. All the really expensive bass's all sound almost the same and have the same tonal range, but its the cheap unique bass's that have a sound unto themsleves and have much more versatility in terms of the way they can be played. Theyre also much harder on the player and If you can master it , you can handle just about any other bass (barring extra strings).
  11. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Those Squiers have a nice 'crack' and 'pop' sound when burning. Fire can make a crappy bass sound good, of course.
  12. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Practice and a really good set up. I saw TM Stevens play a bottom of the barrell Cort, and it sent me running to the woodshed!:eek:
  13. frankosaurus


    Feb 27, 2002
    San Jose
    what scale is your johnson?
  14. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Mines and extended range 38" scale.


  16. I did an upgrade to a Squire Standard P.
    I replaced the pickups with Fender '62 reissue P-J pickups. I also installed a Leo Quan Badass II. Then strung it with Rotosound Swing Med.-Lights. It sounds great! And the parts can be gotten pretty reasonably on E-Bay.:)
  17. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    Oh my johnson is about um? ill say 7..uh to 8..inches..uh bigger than a guitar
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  19. samtheman


    Nov 6, 2001
    Thanks to everyone who gave me top info on improving the sound of my bass. Let it keep on coming!
    Not being ungrateful but advice such as 'practice' and 'lessons' are hardly likely to improve the tone of my bass.
  20. boomerang

    boomerang Guest

    Dec 9, 2001
    Just because you dont know the answer, doesnt mean you should refuse it.

    Improving the tone of your bass will not improve your tone as a bass player. Practice until your tone outshines your basses tone, its like outgrowing pants. These days people throw out fitting clothes in the name of fashion. Dont be one of these people. Outgrow your tools before you upgrade them.


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