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How to pimp my bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Johnnyseven, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Johnnyseven


    Apr 15, 2010
    I'm a newbie to the forum, and know little about basses, so I apologise if this has been raised before.

    I've just started playing bass in a noise rock band (i'm normally a guitarist) in the vein of Shellac/The Jesus Lizard etc and as i'm really anal about getting the best sound/tone available, but at the moment am skint, I was after some tips on pimping my bass to make it sound as good as possible without having to fork out for a whole new bass.

    I have a Peavey Zodiac BXP which has 1 P bass style pickup and 1 J bass style pickup in it, obviously upgrading the pickups was my first idea but the question is to what? Also what kind of difference would changing the bridge to something like a badass make? Also would upgrading the volume/tone controls make much difference and if so can anyone recommend what to change them to?

    Any help would be gratefully received.
  2. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    Try changing the strings first which is the cheapest and best way to freshen up your bass.
  3. Well, you're entering a vast world of possible upgrades and mods. Everything you have asked about can be found through search.

    Its good to remember that Pickups are pretty much the most important thing you can change to upgrade your tone without buying a new bass. Check the FAQ for a place to begin, especially DR Dimento's experiments.

    Electronics i.e a new preamp doesn't really upgrade your tone but instead gives you more versatility over tweaking it.

    AFAIK, Changing the bridge won't affect too much tone wise, unless yours is broken/shoddy. (Apparently upgrading the bridge can increase sustain and what not, but I don't really know much about that.)

    Just remember search is your friend. :)
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    +1 to all that's been said.

    Before you consider modifying your bass (and probably reducing its resale value), you should first listen from the audience perspective. Either use a long cable or a wireless unit and listen carefully during soundcheck. Or have someone you trust listen in the audience.

    It's very likely the subtlety of tone you're after is completely lost out there, so it wouldn't be worth changing anything. For proof, borrow a bass whose tone sounds good, and see if it sounds any different at a gig. Betcha it sounds the same.

    Remember, live gigs ain't the studio...there's way too much volume and noise for anyone to hear subtle tone.
  5. becker4567


    Jul 26, 2008
    If your in a "noise rock" band, you don't need to worry about subtle tones or sounds. The mods you mentioned are nice, but the money/effort definitely wouldn't be worth the end results. The biggest/best thing you could do is get some new strings and play it like you mean it!
  6. Dimarzio Model J's are great. Try those for your noise-ing. Punchy and rockin'.
  7. PortugalWillie


    Jul 17, 2009
    Good to see you around in another forum!

    ss.org is great but for bass stuff, it is way better to hang out here!

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