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Let's See Your Hot-Rodded Cheapo Basses!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Monterey Bay-ss, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Savagehenry

    Savagehenry Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2017
    Northern Illinois
    Thank you kindly,
    To me, a perfect version of the original electric bass.
    And with the fretless jazz, also my perfect vision of the other original, you have both sides of the most basic tool, like the claw hammer. And no “mission overlap”, two really different basses.
    NOW, I am planning on what those two won’t do, an active 5 string. And of course, it will fit the parameters of this thread, no doubt...
  2. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    Those go for 750 USD right now, and if I've got the math right, you paid 864 in USD, so yeah, you paid a not-insignificant "I-live-in-Australia" cost for that bass.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  3. That’s the reality - the “Tyranny of Distance” as it has been called famously. Software is outrageously priced when all it takes is a download, we can’t get the full Netflix catalogue, ours is meagre and so many other discriminations that can only be ascribed to greed.
  4. ProgressiveDoom


    Mar 31, 2017
    Good thread topic, lots of cool stuff in here.
    All of my bass purchases are usually in the $300 to $600 range and they all get overhauled to my tonal and aesthetic needs. This was my most extensive reconfiguration. This bass produces serious Rickenbacker characteristics with the two 4003 pickups, doesnt resemble a Thunderbird at all:thumbsup:
    Ironically my modded Squier P/J and modded Classic Vibe Jazz cost less to mod but get full regular usage and unanimous band preference while this beauty lives in its closed up bass case.

    Epiphone Thunderbird bass was $600
    Rickenbacker pickups were $165 each
    Gibson vintage knobs were $18
    Precision bass was purchased just for the neck $120
    Fender pickup cover was $9
    Newer D'Adario NYXL nickel wound strings were $37
    Total cost of bass without taxes and shipping - $1114 and it really does look,feel,sound and play like a bass that cost at least $1500 -$1700

    IMG_3131.JPG IMG_3133.JPG IMG_3132.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  5. ProgressiveDoom


    Mar 31, 2017
    Those are very groovy, what production year are they?.
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  6. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    Did you add binding to the body? I've never seen a bound 'bird before. I had a stock Epiphone T-bird, but sold it to fund purchase of another weirdo '80s Matsumoku bass (Westone Spectrum GT). So far, I've only replaced the jack and replaced the strap buttons on that one, but as stated somewhere in this thread, I have ideas (convert volume/tone/tone knobs w/three-way pickup selector to volume/volume/tone or volume/blend/tone ... not sure what I'd do with the switch at that point). Anyway, here it is: I'm open to suggestions, haha.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  7. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    Nice fingerboard inlays on the P-bass in your video. A Ric-ish thing would certainly sound different.
  8. Bought the preamp 2016,£ vs $USD was stronger then. It's now £52 inc shipping,lucky for me I bought 4 different preamps from them :) The pickups haven't changed though,bought another last month £16.85
    Warman Jazzbar bass humbucker. 13.31k, 8.56 H, 4 wire overwound

    Don't know about shipping to Oz but my uncle is over from Tamworth this Friday,maybe he could slip one in his baggage and post it when he's back. PM me if you're interested.
  9. That’s a very kind offer, thank you but I’m not actually looking for one. I was just blown away by the prices.
    kodiakblair likes this.
  10. ProgressiveDoom


    Mar 31, 2017
    Yes to round out the Ric vibe I decaled the edge to mimic binding. The decal material for the binding and pickguard are automotive industry strength, durable and long lasting.
  11. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Think late ‘90s or early 2000s.
    ProgressiveDoom likes this.
  12. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Great color and body by Masterbass, I always dug his choice of the small creme knobs. basic Allparts P neck neck which has been great, Delano Humbuckers which have also been very good. #1 Fretless
    Bought the loaded ESP body 35 years ago for $50, recycle a set of very hot early Dimarzios and black hardware. Splurged on a the neck and a plek job. This is probably my number #1.
  13. Fenwick


    Dec 9, 2012
    Mine started as a cheapo $375 CDN (that's like $14.50 USD) Ibanez ATK 300 (Made in Indonesia, 2007). I can't reasonably say it's cheap anymore, as you'll see I have sunk some money into it.

    Started off as a standard ATK300, ash body, natural finish, maple neck/fretboard. Here's a stock pic for reference - atk standard.

    I eventually added a Dimarzio Will Power Pickup (DP146 I believe), the 'middle' version aka the split coil, in reverse (D&G coils facing towards neck) and had a 2 pickup setup, added an additional volume knob for the split-coil. Ialso removed the original bridge to shed some weight, replaced with Fender bridge (higher mass)I don't have any pictures of it in this stage at the moment but, I eventually ripped out the original ATK300 pickup and electronics and added a 1970's Fender WideRange Humbucker (from 70s Tele basses) in the bridge position, so that it looked like this - 20180130_184905. 20180130_184913.

    I liked this setup, but new there was more. The thick layer of poly on the bass added some weight, so I removed it and had it stained walnut colored. That dropepd some weight, so I added the original bridge back for style. I also removed the flame-maple veneer on the headstock, had it replaced with an unknown piece of wood that suited, and had a catholic pendent inlaid in the headstock. I added a Fred Hammon Dark Star Pickup to the neck position, had the pickguard redone to hide routes and put some Chromes on. I'm not completely finished tinkering with this thing, but it's definitely close. It's mean as hell, and despite it's reverent looks, it sounds anything but. I run the WRHB on 250K pots instead of the original 1 meg, it's dark and growly but polks through in the mids likely because of it's positioning closer to the bridge.

    I call it my Pray TK. Or the DATK Star. Or the DarKaster.

    20181001_213855. 20181001_213925. 20181001_213946. 20181001_214042.

    When I say *I* did anything to this bass, I mean a luthier or 2 I pay.
  14. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    Found this Squier VM Cabronita on my local CL for $120. Went to check it out and it felt GREAT. Neck was straight and even with the crummy old rounds he had on it I could tell there was a lot of potential. Took it home and put a set of Precision flats on it and tweaked the setup. Played as awesome as I thought it would but the sound of that stock Fideli-tron pickup fell short. Pole pieces didn't line up well and the e string was a little light sounding. So, I bought a TV Jones Thunderblade neck pickup for about $140. (Yes, the pickup cost more than the bass...lol) This is now my favorite bass. It now sounds as good as it plays.

    Before TV Jones:


    After TV Jones:


  15. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    That stain made a huge difference! One of the reasons I haven't really been a fan of the ATK is the bland color. This is a game changer. Right now, I'm resisting the GAS, but it's now in the back of my mind.
    Fenwick likes this.
  16. Fenwick


    Dec 9, 2012
    Pretty sure the ATK 800 series come with a walnut stain in case you weren't aware
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups

    Parts bass I just put back together after close to two years. Got the neck from StewMac like 25 years ago, got the body on Ebay in the late 90's. It's plywood, but it loaded and cheap. Only thing I've got on it from the original body, though, is the bridge. Oh, and it was a straight up P when I got it. But I wanted a flats Fender, so I ended up putting it back together with EMG Geezers and Dunlop Flats, which are killin'! They're a little heavier than I like (45-105 and I would prefer 40-100), but they sound amazing and feel pretty loose for such thick strings.
  18. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Nothing new, most of you have seen it before:
    Began as a stock Affinity Jazz V

    VM Jazz V neck
    Carvin HB bridge pickup, wired Parallel and single coil
    SD blackout preamp
    Passive tone control always in circuit
    High mass bridge
    This photo shows an SD QP neck pickup, but I have recently swapped it for a Fender USA Jazz V neck pickup to better match the lower output of the parallel/single coil settings of the bridge pickup. The QP better matched the higher output of Series wiring.
    ...and stickers...
  19. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I was not!
  20. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    My current favorite isn't modded, it's bobbed.

    Ibanez SRKP4. The one with the Kaoss Pad built in.

    Normally retails for $399. I got it on sale for $199. Removed the Kaoss Pad to use for a different project. That piece retails for $169, so I basically paid $31 for the bass alone.

    Removed the preamp, which included a headphone amp, distortion circuit, switchable effects loop, and master volume.
    Removed the headphone output. Removed the plastic ashtray the Kaoss Pad clipped into. Removed the metal plate the plastic ashtray was double-stick taped to. Removed the battery box. Removed the 4 extra ground wires that had been connecting the now-removed electronic components. Removed the stereo 1/8" send and return dongles. Wired the stock pickup to a mute switch and to the jack. Added a $0.10 metal washer as a strap lock.

    Then did about 3 hours of setup work, including truss rod adjustments, fret dressing, fret sprout removal, intonation, trimming the control cavity cover to the correct size, lowering nut slots, etc.

    It is now the lightest weight, most ergonomically comfortable bass I own. I've practiced, rehearsed, gigged and recorded with it. It has a great, "neutral", tone that responds well to changes in right hand technique.
    It still looks like this, minus the pad and all the controls except for one of the chrome switches.

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