Jazz Bass essentials mods (MUST)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thebluesman666, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Hello, I've picked up a MIM Jazz Bass (2004) this weekend at a great price.

    I Would like to get your input on essentials mods to improve the Bass overall tone and stability.

    Without going crazy what's is a must.

    Here's a few starting points :
    - Tuners
    - Bridge (High mass bridge such as Badass or hipshot ?)
    - Pickups ( For a classic vintage Jazz Bass tone)
    - Preamp (On board, Sadowsky 4knobs)

  2. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Nothing is a must, it’s a fine bass hope you enjoy. If something isn’t to your liking, you’ll soon know what that is and then know what you want to swap.
    Who cares what any of us would change?

    If your goal is to spend money then your list is a good start, but don’t forget to upgrade the nut, the body, the neck, the pots, The strings, and the pickguard.
  3. Hey @Rabidhamster thanks for your reply I'm new to the bass world it's my first Bass, I get what you mean.

    I don't want to fall down the rabbit hole with mods. I'm trying to get more information from experienced bass players.

    I've got lots of knowledge but it's on guitars, i'm always looking to get the best out of my instruments. If it can help me play and enjoy the instrument more than it's a no brainer. Cheers
    djaxup and Rabidhamster like this.
  4. aldaa

    aldaa Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2017
    If it were me, I would only upgrade the pickups. Either Fender Custom '60s or a pair of Aguilars. Active preamps can be fun, but the bass I had one in sounded just fine without it. For reference, the preamp was a John East J-Retro Deluxe. Again, preamps can be nice but are not, in my opinion, necessary. To be fair, upgraded pickups really aren't either unless you are completely unhappy with the way your bass sounds.
  5. Since you mentioned a preamp, and these basses didn't come with one, I would very strongly recommend one of these: An Empress Para EQ.
    It will give you control over your sound that you would never have imagined, you don't have to install it in the instrument, and it will work with any other instrument.

    It will remove boominess or add warmth or whatever else you want.

    And they're made in Canada!

    A little pricey, but worth it. ;)

  6. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    I would play the bass for a while before making changes. Then you will know what to change, if anything. Personally I only replace tuners and bridges when it is functionally required. I have had MIM Fenders where it all worked great and just a couple where I had to replace the tuners. Only one needed a bridge replacement because I got tired of fixing the saddles and even the I went with HipShot Vintage to keep the original vibe. Pickup changes are generally a taste thing and only your ears can tell you that. Make sure you play it in a mix before you decide a pickup change is warranted. If so, lots of great choices out there. @aldaa made two excellent suggestions and @Michael Jewels made a really good tone shaping suggestion as well.

    Enjoy your bass.
  7. bass4more

    bass4more Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Oakland, CA
    Not a "must" but another potential mod not on your list that is useful for Jazz basses is a series/parallel switch.
  8. Hey thanks for your help @christle.

    I got the bass yesterday, I did bring her back to life with a complete setup, since it been sitting in the a case for many years.

    So basically, I've cleaned the fingerboard since it was a mess, I've polished the frets, adjust the truss rod, string action and set the intonation and pickup height.

    The bass play's pretty darn well compared to the bass I've been playing with lately. A Samik P-Bass with the action way too far from the board that I can't bring back since the trust rod doesn't seem to care anymore :p

    Like I've mentionned I'm a newbie to Bass playing. I've been a guitar player for the las 17 years.

    I got a gig has a bass player so I decided to get a decent bass guitar.

    expatmuso, djaxup, Ggaa and 3 others like this.
  9. Mark Ambler

    Mark Ambler

    Nov 18, 2017
    London, UK.
    Pickup upgrade, but nothing else as you'd be almost* definitely be better off selling it and getting a U.S. model, (the Japanese fenders are also very good).

    *Some MIM Fenders like the 'Roadworn' have a very good rep.
    imabuddha, Jazzcaster89 and GrapeBass like this.
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    What are you using for an amp? That might be a better place to spend your money rather than modding your bass.
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mods are a waste of time, money, and materials if they don't address a specific issue. I say this from personal experience, and I'm not at all anti-modding, either!

    Until you have a very clear sense of what (if anything) you don't like and--equally important--what might resolve that issue, it's not worth it. Playing it for a while--months, at least--in a variety of settings through a variety of amps will reveal whether or not you feel the need for any sort of mod(s). And don't forget the amp is half the instrument--it makes a bigger difference than any particular component on your bass.

    Enjoy your new bass!
    franvarin, Marihino, BLDavis and 21 others like this.
  12. Hey @Lobster11, very good point. Right now I'm using a Line 6 Helix (Modeler). I've built patches with classic amp such as Gallin-Kruger 800BR, Ampeg B15, Ampeg SVT.

    Path is very simple. AMP+CAB, Compressor, Volume pedal and Reverb.

    I know it's not the classic tube amp rig, but hey were almost in 2020 who's want to carry a 8x10 Cab to a Bar gig :D

    djaxup likes this.
  13. @ferma True words of wisdom here, I couldn't agree more with your statement, the GAS in me his taking over me .... :O
    djaxup, Huw Phillips and fermata like this.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Replace the tuners when they stop working.

    Replace the bridge when it stops working.

    Replace the pickups when you crave a different tone (but try different strings first).

    Get rid of the reverb in your signal chain.

    Stumbo, alack, Marihino and 20 others like this.
  15. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Make it your own, dog... replace the pickguard with something off the wall.
  16. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Guest

    Mar 25, 2018
    Did you buy the bass to play, or to tinker? You said yourself that it's set up well. You're not going to get any better by changing the tuners.
    alack, franvarin, bass_case and 2 others like this.
  17. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    All this talk is irrelevant.

    No pics, no bass.
    djaxup, Rabidhamster and Plectrum72 like this.
  18. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    Pickups are the only must-do. I’m a big fan of 60’s style single coils for jazz basses, like Fralins.
    lamarjones, staxmo, hardtop and 3 others like this.
  19. @Allan Allan Hey I'm here for some help and cues and if it turns out you guys try to talk me out of spending cash on MODS ... then it's a GOOD THING !
    I'll definetly need to pratice my poop and beleive me
    I will. I've got a WHOLE new world to discover ... Bass guitar is not a guitar, the parts and playing and main goal of the instruments are totally different.
    I appreciate more the work of my fellow bassist friend since I've picked up the Bass.
    Stumbo, franvarin and RandM like this.
  20. @Double E Okay, you got me there I'll take some pictures of the Bass when I get back home tonight. :D

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