making a crappy cheap bass good.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dawgawd, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    I have this old squire P bass that I am very attached to. However, it plays like complete crap. The neck is totally messed up. The action on it is way too high because if i lower it, the strings hit the frets and buzz on every fret and make unbearable noises. The pickups kinda blow too. And it kinda sounds crappy plugged in, kind of empty and trebel-ish. My question.

    How can I remedy all these problems... would buying a new neck do it?

    I know that in theory, the costs are not justified. It would be much easier and cost efficient to buy a whole new bass, but I'm quite attached to this one. If buying a new neck would remedy it, from where could I get one? It doesn't have to be an exact replacement. Just something that will function well and fit on the body. and what about pickups... how much would a good set of those set me back?

    don't tell me I'm wasting my money, because I know I am.
  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR theory, if you bought a new neck, new bridge, and new're really looking at a new bass. And besides...if the thing is so messed up, just how in the hell are you attached to it?
  3. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    Your strange concept of logic does not apply to me.

    The body of this bass is where the style is. It's been painted a couple of times and so heavily modified. I'm completely in love with it. However, the neck has suffered some serious blows over the years and is really really screwed. I'm attached very much to the body of this bass. I'm weird like that.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Well...then, just keep the body. You know, modern art! :)

    I'm the same way about the neck on my Ibanez. I'm eventually gonna put it on a new Warmoth body. I like the neck so much. The rest of the bass can go do whatever, but I'ma keeping the neck. (well, mostly 'cause I want a 4 fretted in my lineup, and that way I KNOW I like the neck. And it'll still be cheaper than a whole new decent fretted 4)

    Seriously, by the time you punked down for the mods nessicary, i.e. neck, pups, pre-amp, ect, you're looking at more than the bass is worth. I would just get a new bass, and keep the Crapper as a sentimental peice, or whatnot.

    And fer chrissakes, its a SQUIRE! A MIM or MIA, Fender, I could see upgradeing/replacing, but a Squire, well that just not making wise use of money. And the body woods on a Squire wouldn't lend to great tone or anything even if you did go through with it. I'm not saying that it's wrong to want to. I'm saying it's stupid to do it.

    A neck might run you about 200 (already more than the whole squire), pups, about 150ish, give or take, that's 350. Add tuners, a nut (and getting it filed) and maybe a new bridge (IMHO nessicary) at around 150 you're looking at the better part of 500 bucks, which can get you some VERY decent stuff that'll blow that Squire outta the water, sentimental attachment or not.

    all just IMO.
  5. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    yeah, i know you're completely right, and i knew all that before I even posted this. However, I was just curious. someday I will get a new neck for that thing because this one just blows. I've got my mind set on that. I'm pretty sure that after i got all the parts necessary for the modifications i'd decide to get a new body too... cause i'm very very sketchy like that, meaning I'd have a whole new bass anyway. by the way, did you say they make squires out of wood now? i always just assumed it was some kind of super dense cardboard.
  6. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Yeah. It's called popular. It's just a generic wood that's cheap and takes solid colors well.
  7. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Poplar. ;)
  8. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    see, poplar even SOUNDS cheap. my guitar is made of mahogany, and it doesn't even MATTER if that's good, because just say it aloud a few times... ma-hog-a-ny... it just has so much style in the name alone.

    poplar, how boring.

    dude, I wish six string 24 fret fender jazz basses existed, i'd take 3 of em.
  9. Can't u say tighten the truss rod, fiddle with it? Take the strings off, sand the neck :)rolleyes: ), brush the frets up?

    Or buy a new neck. its up to you.


  10. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    it's got this sorta crooked warp to it that I can't really describe. I can fix necks that are bowed one way or the other, but i have no idea how to fix this. it's like, not so much warped as twisted. It's messed up.
  11. Oooh. Twisted is definitely bad.

  12. Whenever I read a post like this one it always makes me wonder if it is truly the bass that sounds bad or just an amp that makes it sound bad.
  13. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    Buy yourself another Squire P-Bass with a decent neck; put the parts you like best all together and keep it. Make a bass outof the worst parts and sell it off cheap.

    You can probably come out of it for less than $100 loss if you're careful.
  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    That makes sense. Funny that if you can find a Squier with a good neck it would be cheaper to buy than the neck by itself. ;)
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    P bass necks in both new and used from various makers can be had on ebay in the $60-90 range regularly.
  16. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    It's scarey just how well that would actually work. I know a guy who said he'd give me 50 bucks for even the crappiest bass if i had one willing to sell, but he'd be willing to pay somewhere in the 100 range for something decent and playable.

    I play a Jazz bass through the exact same equipment and have no similar problems with it. I've played the P through a lot and nothing can really save it from itself.
  17. I was just thinking aloud that no bass can really ever sound excellent with "a little crate amp, and err... some cables to plug it in with." (as per your profile). If it sounds kind of empty and trebly it likely goes with the territory.
  18. wait wait wait I think.... I think I've got something...

    new neck, new bridge, new pickups....
    new strings, new tuners...

    No matter how many times you skin it, it's still a cat

    Just cut the obvious corner and buy a new bass, keep that one on the mantle piece or something...

    Have it stuffed....oh wait