1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How long do YOU wait to make drastic modifications?

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

  1. There’s lots of here info on how to set intonation and other set up tasks. If you can set up a bike, you can set up a bass:D
    Pbassmanca, Lofreck and Nebula24 like this.
  2. creaturegods


    Sep 23, 2017
    Daaang! That's rad. Excellent choice on the pickup, too!
    Pilgrim likes this.
  3. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    I fix them when they're broke.
    Jon Muir likes this.
  4. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    A while. I have to find all the tools first.
  5. dab12ax7ef

    dab12ax7ef Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2011
    If you can, maybe get an inexpensive project bass to get your major mod rocks off. This is NOT my #1, it’s my number last. Here are the gruesome picks, I bought the Hondo for $80 and tried to defret when I first got it some 15 yrs ago. It was a hack job then and still is. As it turns out, the epoxy that Jaco used wasn’t the thick gloopy glue stuff... and there’s such thing as action better than a mile high.

    So I routed it for PJ pickups recently, rewired it, sanded the fingerboard, changed the hardware, shimmed the neck, and got the action much better. It was a lot of fun in the process though. It almost plays decently, but not quite. Haha.
    I might have tried a re finish, but the body is ply wood and decided it wasn’t worth it.
    Lesson being, don’t screw up your #1, learn and have fun with a project.

    D3D1F27F-68AC-4C5D-BA57-1FD2A3F7949D. 213B895D-D4D0-46E7-9CB0-DA3D7778810F. 94039CAE-0DC3-4BC0-A961-49C0B37701DB. 9A44B457-22D6-4BFC-8F08-FFE310557071. 680EFE8F-056D-4A6B-A44B-9860379F9493.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  6. ProgressiveDoom


    Mar 31, 2017
    Immediately. I bought the bass mildly based on appearance but hated the tone that came from it and the horrible performance of the tapered neck.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    saabfender likes this.
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I think the modding bug is a stage in the natural development of a bass player. Something you’ll go through eventually if you stick with it long enough.

    Back in the late 70s and well into the 80s I was on a mod binge. I’d buy it and immediately mod it. Refinishing, swapping out hardware and electronics, putting together my own onboard preamps and gadgets, straplocks…you name it. Got to the point where I had a little side business going for awhile. Must have done close to 50 pickup mods for people using Alembic’s Hot Rod Kit. That was a super popular mod for awhile.

    But shortly after that I lost my taste for modding and started buying mainly with the intent to “play it as is.”

    I still might change a pickup, or put in better electronics. But beyond that, unless it’s broken (or I took on a restoration project), I now tend to leave things alone. There’s so much good stuff to pick and choose from today that it’s often pointless, from a sound perspective, to go overboard modding the way I used to. And what little modding I still do is reversible.

    tl:dr - A long time ago - mod immediately. These days - hardly ever.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    eh, not much lately...Now I tend to buy stuff that does not needs mods.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  9. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    I gotta ask. What's up with these pick ups?

    As far as stripping the paint goes, how about just picking up a body from Reverb or fleabay? Plenty of decent choices for under $200. and you get to keep the black one as well.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you can predict everything well enough that that method works for you, you're ahead of me. I know a lot about how to make basses sound more like I want them to, but not enough that everything works beautifully out of the box - it's not that I don't understand the Physics of what's going on in a bass, or what knobs do what - that I got, It's the non-linearities between my ears - what I'm hearing, and how to get a bass that pleases that thing, that I'm still figuring out.

    I build my basses (albeit with wood parts from Warmoth), but finishing and the rest I do myself. Once a bass is put together, I get to start evaluating what I've built. I have a couple different bridges that are on my basses - one's brighter sounding, the other a bit darker (they use the same hole patterns, so I can swap them easily. I'll also do different circuit schemes - see my avatar for some idea of how involved that can be. There there are string experiments, decisions about knobs (the look), and if the circuit experiments don't yield what I'm looking for, a pickup might need to be swapped out.

    The latest bass I built I put together last year. On that one, the neck (which I hadn't liked on a couple other basses) had to be swapped out - just too clanky. There were a couple circuit tries, a pickup swap, and (it looks like this may be the last step) I had a custom pickup wound with less turns than a standard one, to hit a target for inductance (long story). Anyway, a couple nights ago, I put that pickup and a new circuit (to work with the different impedance of that pickup in the bass), and.....the last couple evenings, I can't put the thing down. It's gone from a bass that I can make music with (I did a few gigs with it) to a bass that I WANT to make music with. Time from 1st assembly to finished bass that I'm truly happy with seems to be about 8 months in that case.

    So, how long do I wait to start modding? If I put a bass together, and it isn't inspiring, I wait one day and play it again (sometimes my attitude makes something sound goofy one day or another), and if it's still not inspiring, its open season for mods.
    saabfender likes this.
  11. When pickups sound like crap, they are immediately replaced.
    ProgressiveDoom and Pbassmanca like this.
  12. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    I drilled a bunch of holes in my Thunderbird when I put in Thunderbuckers with rings around the pickups. No regrets at all. I owned the bass for a few months before I got all the hardware and did the upgrade. At first, I was hesitant to spend another $800 on hardware after just buying the bass but the idea grew on me pretty quick. Thunderbird club will tempt you to chrome that sucker out.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  13. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    I won't hesitate to make drastic mods to a new bass... like my USA Geddy J's I bought them intending to mod them immediately.

    But a classic, it's very unlikely that I'd mod it.
  14. Lava


    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    I've always had a standard Fender jazz that I mod all the time. I mess with different PUs, bridges, preamps and electronics just to keep me from modding my more expensive basses. But I do have a Sadowsky MV4 that I want to mod with their Super J bridge pickup when their template and PU set becomes available. I'll have a fantastic tech I know do that particular job.
  15. Tom Baker

    Tom Baker

    Feb 3, 2016
    I'm too lazy/busy. Sometimes I aspire to do mods but never get around to it.
  16. drumvsbass


    Aug 20, 2011
    having worked in musical instrument retail
    all I have to say about it is this
    if you're worried about the resale value of an instrument
    don't buy it in the first place
    like buying a car and worrying about how many miles you put on it
  17. This makes sense to me. I constantly see posts on TB from people who have ordered or just laid hands on a bass and already have decided to change pickups, bridge and tuners. In many cases this isn't a bass they bought to experiment with, it's a player.

    IMO they are considerably premature to start with these assumptions. It's a better idea to take some time, play it, and try a change of strings (which makes more difference in sound than almost any other mod you can make, and it's totally reversible) before deciding IF it needs any mods, and if so, which ones.

    And if you still think you need to change the pickups, bridge and tuners, I think you that maybe you bought the wrong bass. There must be one out there which is better suited for you.
    wmhill likes this.
  18. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Just curious: just how does epoxying a bass's headstock to an owl's forehead affect the tone?

    Pilgrim and wmhill like this.
  19. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I pulled apart my American Standard Jazz about 5 minutes after getting it home and swapped the pickups and installed an Audere Preamp. Then, a few months after that, I had some fun with a router and modded it further. h5a6655a.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    saabfender likes this.
  20. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    This. Unless we're talking about a collectible vintage instrument, never let the idea of resale keep you from having what you want.

Share This Page