Improvements to NEW Fender Amer. Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pcollin, May 20, 2007.

  1. pcollin


    Dec 22, 2005
    Portland, Maine
    Well, I did it! I saved my pennies and finally ordered the Fender I always wanted...Butterscotch blond with maple neck. It's a brand new one and due to me mid-june. My question is: After getting used to it for a while, what improvements would other users of New Fenders recommend -- badass bridge? change pick-ups? etc. Open to all suggestions. Thanks!
  2. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I just got an American Jazz in sunburst with a maple fretboard and a white pickguard. I was thinking I might upgrade the bridge, pickups, tuners, as everyone around here seems to do that sort of thing.

    But having owned it for two weeks now, I really see no need to modify it. The bridge is solid and easy to adjust, the tuners haven't slipped once, and the sound is exactly what you'd expect from a Jazz.

    So I say if it's not broken, don't fix it.

  3. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
  4. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Butterscoth and maple board, that's one of the combos I've always liked. If it were me, I wouldn't change a thing. This is coming from someone who has two project basses in the works right now, BTW.
  5. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    That bass needs nothing! no badassIII, no new pups, no new tuners! Don't get into the change this change that, you may not like what you end up with! I have a MIA natural bodied/maple necked jazz that I did put Fralins in but it didn't need them, I just wanted a MIA passive jazz with Fralins in it but the pups I took out were fine! Just play the bass!!!
  6. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Why would you assume it's not perfect the way it comes to you? Basses have enough individual personality that it's definitely worth getting to know yours. In the worst case, you might absolutely hate it. Then, having it be mint and all original is your key to unloading it to someone who might like it just the way it is. Even when you make changes you are sure about at the time, you can make mistakes. I just picked up an '02 MIA Jazz that was original except for the pickups being changed out for Ultrajazzes. I thought it would make sense to put it closer to a vintage sound with Lindy Fralins. Wellllllllll...the Fralins sound good, but I'm not sure the UJ's weren't better for this bass.
    My point is - don't rush if you aren't sure what you are fixing. ;)
  7. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    If I may ask, from where did you order it that it will be almost a month before you take delivery? Is that Fender's lead time for factory orders?
  8. why don't you play it before you decide what it needs?
    also, if you just buy a bass with the plans to mod it, why spend that much when you can just get an SX or at least an MIM for cheap and mod that?
  9. FenderP

    FenderP Supporting Member

    May 7, 2005
    +1 on "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

    Play with it after you get it set up for you and see what you like, and what you don't. If you like it, don't change a thing. If things annoy you, start looking (bridge, strings, etc.).

    I would bet that other than a setup, it won't need much. A Fender bass should pretty much "just work".
  10. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    yeah - i've tried modifying fenders and i generally prefer them as they come from the factory.

    a good shielding job can reduce noise though
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree you don't need to change anything, unless your playing requires a drop-D tuner. The pickups are perfectly fine. I changed mine because I wanted to go noiseless, and I got improved tone (IMO) with Lindy Fralin's Split Jazz, but they were a luxury, not a necessity by any means.
  12. Everything on a stock MIA J is just fine, but the pickups should be replaced. You can do a bit of research on Talkbass and lean toward your own personal preferences in sound.
  13. middy


    Mar 14, 2007
    Why should the pickups be replaced RMay?
  14. Lindy Fralin pickups are awesome! It will give your bass a great vintage tone.
  15. Fender should already have a vintage vibe to it
    especially compared to a MTD or Warwick

    I personally like the stock tone and the hardware and never thought of changing anything
    the only thing I changed was the pickguard which doesnt affect tone ( that I know of ;) )
  16. terrelli721


    Mar 19, 2006
    I'm curious as well. Why should the pickups be changed???
  17. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    badass III bridge.

    i broke a lot of strings on my old p-bass thanks to the wonderful technology of the string-thru-body bridge.

    and you know what? i've never noticed a change in tone between stringing thru the body and the bridge. nor did i notice a change in sustain.

    string-thru-body i think is a stupid design and puts a pointless bend in the string. which over time with aggressive (or even moderate) playing will lead to the strings breaking. i broke dozens. all at the bridge. and yes, i checked the saddles for burrs. none. replaced the bridge, strung thru it and broke no strings.

    so, seriously if you don't like breaking strings, change that bridge for one that gives you the option of stringing thru the bridge.
  18. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Assuming everything works and sounds good, the only thing I'd switch out would be the bridge, and only because I prefer open channel/quick change bridges. I have a tendency to string very heavy, and the open channel bridges facilitate that moreso than standard bridges.

    But, other than that; if it ain't broke.
  19. I actually don't like the tuners on my MIA Jazz. As you turn them when you are getting close to pitch they become 'jerky', making accurate tuning difficult (they've been like it since I got the bass several months ago) That being said, I haven't had time to investigate yet so it may just be a matter of lubing the gears or something
  20. buzzbass

    buzzbass Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Tenn. & NJ
    Swap the stock pre for a sadowsky :)

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