Just upgraded my MIA Fender Jazz. Let me know what you think.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Papersen, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I`ve owned a weird MIA Fender Jazz for a long time now. It`s mix a MIA/MIM parts produced by Fender in the early 90`s.

    This particular model was called "American Traditional". Despite it`s hybrid origin, ├Čt`s been my main gigging bass for the last 5 years. However, I didn`t like some parts of it and made the following upgrades:

    - Original MIM pickups were replaced with Fender Vintage
    - Original pickguard was replaced with a Black pearloid one and added control plate / knobs.
    - Original bridge was replaced with a Badass II

    Here`s the original one:


    ... and here`s the new version


    What do you think ?
  2. budget bassist

    budget bassist Guest

    Jan 4, 2009
    Much nicer :) Never did like those one piece pickguard/control plates or that "bent bit of tin" fender bridge :p
  3. I like it, although I would have been happy with the more affordable Gotoh 201 bridge. :bassist:
  4. I hope you kept the original parts. Ugly ducklings like that bass are the kind of thing that become tomorrow's vintage oddity.
  5. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    I did the same except for the pickguard on my MIM bass-and it is wonderful now. The Badass Bridge helped so much, some people don't think they help much but i could tell the difference from before I modified it and after:bassist:
    I bet you love your bass now and can't put it down!
  6. JSK5String

    JSK5String Guest

    May 19, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    Very nicely done! I have an '03 MIM Deluxe Active 5-String J Bass. It has their noiseless p/u's which I like, but I also swapped out the bridge for a BadAss like you did. Much better than their original crappy bridge. I don't know why they don't just put the bridge that's on their new American P-Bass on all of their basses, it's much better than the "bent piece of tin" they put on most of them.
  7. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Well, I`ve kept everything except the pickups, but plan to get rid of them in the near future.
  8. I have a CIJ 70's Jazz reissue. I just got a Badass II bridge that I'm about to install and I've been thinking about getting the Fender Vintage pickups since (I think) they're the same ones that are on the Geddy Lee Jazz and I like that sound. How do the mods you've done affect your bass's tone? (good, bad, different)

    IMHO, your bass looks great now! I think your mods greatly improved its looks.
  9. ClydeMcAllister

    ClydeMcAllister Guest

    Jan 18, 2008
    Lafitte, LA
    That looks great, though I dig the one piece pickgaurd. I'd like to find one of those for a Jazz I'm putting together.
  10. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    ^^^ If I'm being honest, I dislike that black pearl stuff it looks un-natural to me, but then again I like Tortoise on black and a lot of people would not like that either.
  11. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    The main difference were the pickups. I`ve upgraded them, maybe 3 years ago, and that was a major improvement. Didn`t notice much more output but the sound was clearer, punchier and improved bottom and hi end.

    Can`t say too much about the Badass bridge right now, since I`ve recently installed it. Seems to be that sustain has improved but I`m still trying to set it to my taste.

    Obviously PG, knobs and control plate didn`t affect it much :)
  12. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    I'm sure the pickup replacement was a good move.

    Personally I love the black pearl on the black body. I have that combination on my Strat and I think it looks fantastic. I also like that you now have a pickguard / control plate rather than the full one piece pickguard and that you also have the knobs to go with them.

    I was never sure there was a real difference in the sound you get from "upgrading" to a Badass bridge. It always seemed to me that there was a bigger bang-for-your-buck from changing pickups and strings than changing the bridge. That being said, I really like the look of the Badass.

    All in all, I think it was a great set of changes. It looks great!

    That being said, as lonote said earlier, this is a not too common bass so unless you plan to keep it forever because it's such a great player then keeping the original parts is a good idea in case you do decide to sell it. It would probably be worth a lot more if you can restore it to its original condition
  13. i would have put a black pickguard on it, I just don't like black basses with anything except a black pickguard.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I REALLY like the black pearloid! If the pickups made you happier, then they were also a good move. I'm indifferent to the bridge swap.
  15. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, the PUPs are probably an upgrade, but the pickguard is only a cosmetic change, and I've never found a BA to be an upgrade, but a degradation of tone. But, it ain't my bass so it's not really my concern.

    The pickguard is a nice change, but I'd hardly call it an "upgrade".

    Looks cool though.
  16. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Well, I like it a LOT better. I never cared for those 1-piece pickguards on a Jazz. It needs that chrome plate to really look like a Jazz (IMO, of course).

    Another nice thing about a Jazz is that when money allows, you can get another pickguard and easily switch them off occasionally just for a change. But it looks good.
  17. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Aside from it looking better, the key issues are which bits were made in which country. You replaced the MIM p'ups - - is the body MIM? If so, you might get a better sound from a body made from better wood. BUT... if you're happy with the sound of the bass now that you have new p'ups, and you like the way it plays, I'd say your work is done. Well done.
  18. fenderphil


    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    man, I like the original pickguard...
  19. T'CharleS

    T'CharleS Guest

    Jul 6, 2008
    I wouldn't have swapped the bridge since you put some vintage pups but it's definitely way better now imho