I'd like to share my bass, the infamous Squier Bronco that I'm spending too much money on...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RavageTheEarth, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. RavageTheEarth


    Oct 27, 2020
    I know, I know. "Why'd you get the Bronco when you could have spent a little more and gotten something better??" "Why are you spending so much money polishing a turd?" "There is no sense in spending more in modifications than you spent on your instrument!!"

    Well, here I am. I have a habit of buying Squiers, tearing them apart, and making them into a monster of an instrument. It's something I really enjoy.

    I'm mainly a guitarist but I have been doing a lot of recording this year and I wasn't happy using pitch shift to make my geetar sound like a bass geetar. So off I went to guitar center with a small budget and big dreams. Being a lowly guitar player, I was aiming for short scale and cheap and found the one that shall not be named. The confused little Bronco.

    I was actually quite impressed with it and it kept finding a way back into my hands at the store so I bought the thing. I felt pity for it. But there was something special about it. I got home, set the action, and the intonation to the best of my abilities. Damn two saddle bridges making me choose favorites. It was quite an alright bass. I recorded a couple songs with it and for the price it was good, but after a few days with it my brain started doing that thing. You know.. that thing.

    I really liked the look and shape of the neck, but I didn't like the fact that it was unfinished. I prefer a glass-like finish that just glides through your palm as you are playing. I took the neck off, did a light sanding to it, and started applying Tru-Oil. I did a Warmoth neck with it and it came out absolutely perfect. I pretty much buff each coat of it on so it takes quite a few coats to build up on the wood. After a bunch of coats, I buff it with a gentle cutting compound and finish it off with gunstock wax. Your hand just glides along the neck. It is my preferred finish these days.

    The pickup was... alriiiight?? I guess? Pretty weak. A little muddy. Nothing special about it. After taking it out I discovered it was a 6-pole strat pickup. I went back and forth over what to replace it with. At first I was going to go with a humbucker, and then a GFS Lipstick, and then a rail style pickup. I'm still very interested in trying out a lipstick, I'll probably grab one for the bridge of my Tele. But I ended up finding a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge pickup used for $50. They go for $90 so I pulled the trigger on that.

    The two saddle bridge absolutely had to go. I got rid of the 3 saddle on my tele and this one is going too. I can hear bad intonation wayyy too well and once I hear it, it will never leave my mind until it's fixed. I was able to score a Fender Jazz Bass bridge with 4 saddles for $20 + shipping so that will be drilled in place of this.

    I measured the tuner holes and they are 7/16" or just over 11mm. I didn't feel like widening the holes so I picked up a brand new set of Sperzel Trimlock locking bass tuners which set me back $60. I was originally looking at some bigger tuners, but damn! I never realized how expensive bass tuners could be! Also I didn't realize they even made locking bass tuners so we'll see how they work out. These should drop right in.

    Lastly, being someone who records direct in, noise is a big concern for me and this being single coil it was on my list of worries. I spent a decent amount of time coating the pickguard and the entire body cavity with copper shielding tape. I did this with a Squier Mustang I did heavy modifications on and the thing is absolutely SILENT.

    Anyways, here are some pics. Not sure why I was feeling like writing a novel about this tonight. Might be the Red Bull. I apologize for that. This thread will be updated as parts continue to come in.

    Here is the stock Bass. Notice the unfinished neck.

    A couple coats of Tru-Oil

    A couple days of Tru-Oil

    Body cavity and pickguard shielded
  2. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I dig Bronco tales, they're perfect little basses. nearly got one for $100 last month, 1min late
    Brocephus likes this.
  3. Love it! :thumbsup: I enjoy modding cheap guitars and basses also. I recently finished up a Squier Jag short scale and have already started on another one. Both will have Tru-Oil finished necks too.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My Broncos are basically mod platforms. Here's a photo of two mod versions I've done. Neither now has the same neck, pickup or bridge since I change them fairly often.

    Heavy Blue and Nebula24 like this.
  5. Horseflesh


    Sep 22, 2020
    That looks great. What kind of maintenance does that neck finish take?

    I have a Squier Jag (full scale) and the previous owner said he replaced the pickups with some higher class Fender parts.
  6. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    Broncos rule!
    bass hello kitty block.jpg
  7. RavageTheEarth


    Oct 27, 2020
    Wow! It's nice to see I'm not the only one modding these things! I finished the neck today. I ran a light 205 cutting compound to even it out and applied some Birchwood-Casey gunstock wax with my dual action buffer. The thing is smoother than a baby's butt! Weird analogy, but that's what I got.

    My Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup is out for delivery. Bridge and tuners should be here tomorrow and Saturday respectively. Let's get this thing put back together!!

    Any reason to throw 500k pots in here? Or should I just leave the 250's?

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
    Volker Kirstein likes this.
  8. RavageTheEarth


    Oct 27, 2020
    The neck finish shouldn't really require any maintenance at all if done correctly. Just a quick wax every now and then depending on personal taste. This Tru-Oil stuff hardens like glass after it cures. It's really great for bringing out the grain in the wood.
    Horseflesh likes this.
  9. RavageTheEarth


    Oct 27, 2020
    Sperzel tuners and the jazz bridge arrived today. Sadly the bridge is stuck in the mailbox until the house manager unlocks it. The tuners are a perfect fit! I just need to drill a hole for each tuner. They are actually really nice I'm impressed with the quality.

    The SD Hot Rails pickup required me to slightly sand the pickguard to allow it to fit through.

    I'm going to solder the pickup in today, as well as drill in the new bridge and install the tuners. It should be done by tonight!
    4 Out of 5 likes this.