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Is it possible convert Fender 5 string P bass into a Jazz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lorenzop, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    Hello experienced luthiers / bassists out there I hope you can give me a word of advice.
    I'm planning on acquiring a fender 5 string USA P bass ( the string through bridge version) and am wondering if it would make any sense to then convert it into a jazz by adding a bridge pickup.

    It's passive electronics so I guess I'd have to make do with a volume control on both pu's later unless u can install a 3 rd pot.

    What do you think makes sense?

    In the ideal case is then also de-fret it and turn it into fretless, but I wonder if you guys think this makes any sense.
    Finally I'd string it E to C and get rid of B.


  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Sure, you can do it but at what cost? Can you do all the work yourself?
    If you find a nice used one at a great price it shouldn't be to bad but if you start with a new one and pay someone to do the work the price is going to be very high and your resale value will be very low.
  3. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    Yeah that's the only hurdle but I'm thinking of picking up a used one.

    Any predictions sound wise?
    What does a fretless on a maple neck ( no fingerboard) sound like? I've never seen one. Is there a reason why they are rare?
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Well by adding a bridge pickup you wouldn't really be turning it into a jazz bass. It would still be a P bass just with a Jazz pickup in the bridge. Routing a Jazz pickup isn't all that big of a job. As far as the extra knob, You can always put it where the input jack is now, and have a hole drilled in the side of the bass for a barrel jack.

    I think for the price you would pay for having the current neck defreted, you could buy a fretless neck and hold on the the fretted one for later use if you decide you want to go back.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Or get a concentric knob. I added a Jazz pickup to my P-Bass. Pickups are EMG's and I added a BTC in place of the tone knob.
  6. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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