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How long do YOU wait to make drastic modifications?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by creaturegods, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. creaturegods


    Sep 23, 2017
    I've been kicking around the idea of sanding and clear-coating the body of my bass but I know that would kill re-sale value pretty substantially. It's currently my #1 but we all know how things can change..

    If you've ever made drastic, value-altering modifications to your bass, how long did you wait? What was your tipping point that made you think "Well, I'm gonna keep it forever anyway, might as well make it my own!"?
    Share some stories and post some pictures!
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    NBD - 1. I poked four holes in my MIM Jazz to mount my Babicz FCH bridge so it could be strung through the body. Decision was made because I thought it’d greatly improve the instrument (which it did - a lot). I ordered the bridge within a couple hours of getting the idea. None of us are getting any younger.

    Edit: After reading more posts I realized this bass also has Fender Noiseless pickups, Hipshot tuners and a PIO tone cap. Did I mention I added a lovely fretless neck? The point of modding is to make an instrument into something you really want to play and can play well. Not spending more than a grand for something that’s more compelling than literally anything at GC is a plus. Love this bass but not playing it currently. The opportunity for playing it isn’t far off. I can feel it in my tea leaves.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  3. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I sometimes buy a a bass specifically to make alterations which I start immediately. On another one it took me about 40 years to get around to it.
    Artman, kentiki, SactoBass and 2 others like this.
  4. Nebula24


    Nov 23, 2017
    Norman, OK
    Year to swap stock epi bridge for supertone on my eb0. Wanted to be sure id stick to playing (bassiversary reward!) And that i still liked my eb0 (do). Still other low cost shorties i need to play but played all that i can find locally. Felt a year of playing 3-4 days a week shows i am sticking to it.

    Bigger worry was me messing it up (set up mote than basic install) but local store could do it for me but id be bassless a few days :( ...i just gauged saddle based on old bridge and intonation sounds decent enough for me. Doubt stick bridge was done better for a used cheap eb0.

    Used to mod/build bmx bikes and computers but bass worried me..hah.

    Then a few weeks and went from stock strings to tapes. Love em. Was worried about intonation and tension but so far sale as stock.


    So chromey :) dig the stock pickup now with tapes.
    creaturegods, Peteyboy and saabfender like this.
  5. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    It completely depends on the bass. Some I’ve bought with the intent to modify, and I’ve played long enough and have enough understanding regarding the mechanics of the bass I will often buy mods at the same time.
    Helix and Charlzm like this.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I prefer to play basses stock, so they sound the way the manufacturer designed them to sound. About all I usually do is change strings.

    The exception is a Squier Bronco I bought used, specifically to try different bass pickups. I installed a Gretsch 2202 pickup and found happiness.

  7. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    How long do YOU did I wait to make drastic modifications?

    About a year after joining TB.
  8. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Don't worry too much… break out the hammer and chisel and go for it! A drill may come in handy as well. :D
    creaturegods likes this.
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    What is the bass? Beware of horribly mismatched pieces of wood covered with paint!
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  10. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Oh, and to answer the question...How long do I wait?

    Forever, apparently. I've never had the urge to make a modification quite that drastic, although I did buy a bass once with the intention of routing it for different pickups.
  11. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    For real, back in the 80's many of us done all kinds of crazy stuff to our instruments. Back then, there wasn't an over-inflated vintage market like today so we didn't care.

    I modified my 78 Pass with a bridge pickup and even had another neck humbucker which I done away with. luckily the pickguard hides the holes. Other simpler mods have been done too.

    Any regrets? No! It's my first Bass I bought with my own money when I was a kid and I have no intention of selling it.

    Unless you have some quality Luthier hand made Bass, everything else is massed produced or at least to some degree and it'll never be worth the money like vintage basses from over 60 years ago.

    Do as you please because it's your instrument.
  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    No amount of time will lessen the amount of resale you will lose.

    I wait until after the warranty expires.

    Haven't ever sold a bass, had one stolen, but never sold.
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  13. wmhill


    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I have bought basses brand new with the intent of modding them. The wait is till I figure out every little nuance of the modifications. I try to be very meticulous in the planning stage and parts gathering, so the actual hands on part is quick & painless.
    My latest mod-

    DSCN1956 (2).JPG

    Stock version

    saratoga 12075050_1050169571683471_282841629345179790_n.
  14. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    I avoid having to modify my bass by just building it from scratch.
    Jon Muir, Spidey2112 and Charlzm like this.
  15. SteveBass5

    SteveBass5 It all sounds the same, It's all one song! Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    I waited 10 years before I moded my Custom Carvin LB 75. I wanted to change the electronics. Added Nordstrand pups and Sadowsky preamp. While I was at it, I had a custom ramp made and changed the nut to bone. No regrets at all.
  16. I don't actually recall how long I'd had each bass before I made these upgrades. More than a year as I recall.

    The decision to replace the pickups with a Bill Lawrence P46 in the PBass and a set of J45s in the Jazz Bass came first. Then in reverse order I installed Babicz FCH Bridges on both Jazz first and Precision second. What I do recall is the decision to modify them came long before the upgrades were finally done but I've been very pleased with the results. Two very good basses became top shelf players.

    EDIT: Should also have added the upgrades are easily reversible as both pickups and the FCH Bridges are essentially "drop in" installs. The bridges fit standard 5 screw mounting.

    mattfreeman. 00U0U_1r3XYJL2p7n_1200x900.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  17. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    Wait, guitars have warranties? Hm.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Some basses I never mod, some I mod immediately, but I won't mod a perfectly good finish.
  19. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    Pretty much every bass that I buy, is purchased with the intention of receiving some form of modification whether physical in terms of the wood, or the hardware or electronics. Now in regards to how long I wait to do the mods.....well......due to my chronic procrastination issues, I wait pretty long.......:smug:
  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    499AF581-668F-48FA-ADE0-409CDADDC58F. I never thought of modding my Ibanez until I worked at an automotive paint supply shop. House of Colors baby. 5 years it was if I remember. Memory’s a little hazy around the early 2000s.

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