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How to Modify my Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Debiolator, May 12, 2001.


  1. Debiolator

    Debiolator

    Aug 20, 2000
    Niceville, Fl
    Heya, I've read a couple of post about people modifying there Fender MIM Jazz Basses, and
    it got me fairly intrested. Anyway, I to own a MIM Deluxe Active Jazz, and I was hoping you fine
    people could give me some opinions on how to modify it so that I get a fuller, warmer sound,
    something that would be perfect for slap. Not really looking at a budget, but I would like to
    keep it below the price of the bass itself. Thanks.
     
  2. Debiolator

    Debiolator

    Aug 20, 2000
    Niceville, Fl
    Oh yeah, I also meant to add, any suggestions on how I could make it more playable, IE, bridge adjustments, new bridge? string type, anything at all for a really good slapping sound, which is the main use of this bass. I'd be happy to give any more info thats needed, thanks again. I also forgot to mention, this bass is still in the direct from factory setup, haven't owned it very long.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Soundwise, the biggest change you can make is a pickup and still keep it below the cost of the bass. www.bassplayer.com has a J-bass pickup shootout that is excellent. Click on the "Gear" link if you go there. If you do get a replacement, be sure to keep your old one, since you may want to take out the high-end pickup you bought and keep it for your next bass, (MIM owners I know of usually trade up down the road

    As for playability, I'd suggest making sure it is set up well before investing in higher ticket items, like a new bridge. You could get a pro set-up by a tech at a local music store. A lot of people report this made tremendous difference in their playing.

    Plus, as you said, you haven't had it very long. Not trying to sound sarcastic, but why not make sure it's the instrument and not the player? I have a bass that I thought was unslapable. After 4 months of ownership, I have found it is slapable. It was a matter of getting used to the relatively narrow string spacing.
     
  4. Debiolator

    Debiolator

    Aug 20, 2000
    Niceville, Fl
    Thanks for the quick reply, only took a few minutes, heh, and I'll check into the pickup
    option, and I've planned on getting a getting a tech to set it up for me, I just haven't had
    much spare time since the nearest music store is about a few hours away from me. I also
    understand what you mean about the playability, but my previous post wasn't very clear.
    When I say I haven't owned it very long, I mean I've had it for about 4 or so months, and
    I really don't have any major complaints about it's current playability, it had a nice feel
    to it, I was mainly just wondering if there was any way to make it even better, and feel
    free to post modifications no matter what the price range, so that I can get a good idea
    about whats out there if I do decide to go more expensive. I already own a few high end
    basses, so this is kind of like a little project to see what all I can get out of it and to help
    me familiarize myself with the various types of equipment. Thanks again for the helpful
    info, I'll check into it. Oh yeah, do you have any specific brand of pickup that you prefer?
     
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Oh, the "feel" factor.....that's one of the qualities you pay for when you get into higher end basses. The skill of the luthier, the precise tolerances and measurements they know how to use, their knowledge of the instrument's physics, et al, are some reasons why you see big name players getting already good instruments customized and tweaked even further for them.

    A cheap bass can be very playable for some lucky people, but they're still limited by "bones" of the bass, IMO.

    Pickups? I'm going to have a custom start being built very soon. I'm most likely going with Bartolinis, even though they're the most frustrating to get information about. Lane Poors are my favorite, but he isn't making any these days. Lindy Fralin, Aero, Seymour Duncans are also faves of mine. If you go to the Lindy Fralin website, you can learn a bit about how a pickup works and why different factors, such as how winds of wire affect the tone.

    Here's a good site to check out what one luthier thinks about a variety of pickups and preamps www.kingbass.com/pickups.html