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Jazz Bass Soapbar Mod (Big Pic's) (5 Easy steps)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by pandathe3, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. pandathe3


    Mar 3, 2009
    Ever feel like you jazz bass is lacking? Don't think it cuts through enough? Not enough low-end? Well, i have the ideal modification for you. This is a modification i had been thinking about for a while. I was going too put it in my fretted jazz but i have just put passive EMG's in it and it sounds smoooooooth. So, when i was offered a fretless AXL jazz bass, i couldn't say no.

    On too the modification:

    Step 1:

    Depending on your jazz bass you may need too do some routing, now to be honest, only the more expensive jazz's will need routing. This is what cheaper jazz basses have underneath the scratch plate.


    Yes, a nice big routed out pocket, which, surprisingly will fit a soapbar near enough perfect.

    Step 2:

    Now, my AXL bass had a set of AXL passive EMG's in it. I took these out and put them in my fretted jazz bass. I then took my Duncan designed bridge pickup and soldered it into the bass like so:




    Step 3:

    Now, with this done, go find a a Soapbar that will fit into your bass. I didn't have too do any routing, but with the pickup I chose, i would have in my fretted jazz. I found mine on ebay for £15 inclu P+P. It also arrived this morning. Here:


    I then measured up the pickup, added the E-string and G-string (Bottom and top) the measured the distance from either side until it was even, marked it off, and screwed it in. (Sorry, i don't have any pictures of the placement of the pickup) This is what you should have:




    Step 4:

    With this done, i then unscrewed the control plate and soldered it in like a normal jazz pickup. (Please Excuse the bad soldering) The yellow wire is the cable coming from the pickup, i soldered the live cable into the middle tab on the first volume pot and just soldered the earth wire too the top.


    Step 5:

    I put the control plate back on, re-string, set-up the pickups with a screwdriver and your done :) Ofcourse, if you wanted a scratch plate it would be a good idea too have a jigsaw and too do some templates ect so you can cut too fit. This is the end result:




    And there you go =) I don't currently have the equipment too do a few recordings of it but, it sounds great, especially on a fretless. I will get some sound clips ASAP.

  2. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Doesn't look bad at all. Nicely done.

    It's interesting how most basses are made for that amount of leeway under the pickguard. Will you route the pickguard accordingly or leave it as it is now?
  3. I wanted to do this on my current build but was wondering if anyone had done this before. thanks for posting t:hyper:his.
  4. pandathe3


    Mar 3, 2009
    No Problem.

    Well, i have only recently got this bass. The bass was moved from a music shop 20 miles away too another shop, the scratchplate however never. I was told they'd get it for me asap. To be honest if i do get it i probably wont put it on, maybe have a try at routing it out, see what happens.

    I think as far as routing done on basses goes, cheap basses are found with extra routing.

    Cheers guys
  5. man that was pickup set i want!

    i don't understand the soapbar in the bridge... i like my bridge to be quacky and the neck powerfull....

    please! make some recordings!
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I did a bass like that a few years ago.


    I had a nice big low end.

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