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How far can you customize a bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Danilixo, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Im not a guitarist or anything, but I do own a few guitars (mainly since they were cheap at the time) and I've noticed that they can really be upgraded easily, unlike a bass. For example, a les Paul could be equipped with a pickguard if it doesn't have one, or even a bigsby if you wanted to go extreme. Lots of guitars also have built in tuners (not that I'd personally want one to be honest, even though it would be extremely useful since none of my chromatic tuners pick up the E string). Basses on the other hand have limited opportunities for customization. So anyways, my question is what can you really do to customize your bass and make it your own? I know you could change the pickguard to be some other color than the stock, or even draw something on it, and there always is the possibility of changing your neck to being fretless, though other than that there really isn't much customizability involved in basses. All the big bassist like Flea or Bobby Vega for example have their own "custom" bass. But in reality it's just a stock Fender that they had road worn down (and with the new paints guitar companies use, new basses will never get worn down). So what is there that a person can really do to make their bass unique to all others? I was thinking I'd change the pickups to something I think sounds better, customize the pickguard, get a new cool strap, and possibly in the future switch to a fretless neck. I would put a bigsby on my bass but honesty I have no point for it, nor do I think it would sit since my bridge is at the bottom of the bass. I know there are gonna be a lot of you saying there is no need to change your bass, it's the musician that makes it special. Or that the way that the companies make the instruments is the intended way it's supposed to be, though then what honestly makes your bass feel any special? I have somewhat of an emotion connection to all my instruments since I invest a lot of time working with them, but when I see another bass that is almost identical to mine, I kind of feel that my bass isn't as special as I make it out to be. Anyhow, sorry for the crappy question, but anyone know of any good ways to customize your bass?
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    So, I modded my MIM Fender Precision. New pickups, added a preamp, new bone nut, new tuners and bridge, fret levelling, rolled the fretboard edges, changed the strap pins to locking type, changed the pickguard to one made of olive ash burl. Stripped off the Toyota green finish and refinished with a satin walnut burst.

    Just a few things you might try.
    TimB 619, 96tbird and Danilixo like this.

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