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MIJ Jaguar bridge and tuners upgrade options.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Slap_N_Slide, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Have owned a 2008 MIJ jaguar deluxe for around a year now.

    I have shielded it thouroughly getting rid of the nasty buzz they seem infamous for and have also modded the nasty battery clip, now after playing it for a while I have decided to do some further upgrades.

    I have been looking at bridge options, and seem to be settled between the schaller 2000 and the babicz. Tending to lean towards the schaller as would like to alleviate the neck dive slightly with the extra weight it offers. But would appreciate some input from any others who have experience of these bridges. These both seem to be drop in replacements, which is perfect as dont want to modify the body.

    Also, is there any benefit (except for visual appeal) to upgrading the machine tuning heads as well? And if so which seem to be the best for the job. Or is this a pointless upgrade and best sticking with the stock tuners. (I am planning on sticking with the chrome finish)

    I had looked at schaller tuners as well, do these offer any benefits over the stock ones.


    And advice would be much appreciated before I buy.
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  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    what grissle said!

    i've thoroughly upgraded a MIJ jag bass, and:

    the vintage threaded-rod bridge is great, maybe the best thing on the bass

    gotoh res-o-lights are pricey, but do indeed help the balance, way more than any heavier bridge would

    better pickups will go a long way; the dimarzio area Js do really well

    i even ditched the preamp, for an EMG BTC; it was tricky getting it wired in with the rotary knobs and all, but way worth it; better fidelity, and the center detents let you find "flat" on the EQ.
  4. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Would you recommend dimarzio dp249 area j's

    Found a set for a good price.

    Id like to get rid of the single pickup noise, but keep as much of the original tone as possible.

    This upgrade is getting expensive :)

    How would a set of ultra jazz 149's compare?
  5. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Not very much after shielding, it was really bad before... and yes i shielded everywhere inside, painted all the seams with silver conductive paint, and replaced bridge ground with shielded micro cable. I did a comprehensive job of shielding. Even did the inside of the pickup covers, back of pick guard and the battery compartment, left no gaps anywhere.

    It is only noisy when on single pickup either bridge, or neck on its own, although I recently noticed that most of the noise may be due to me being a tool, and facing electrical equiptment like the amp and a 50" plasma when playing. When I spin round and face away the noise almost completely dissapears, so I think it may be self inflicted noise. :)

    I love the sound of the jaguar, but wonder if a new set of pickups would improve the sound, or just change it. Have seen a new set of dimarzio ultra jazz pickups for around £80 plus postage

    Dont mind spending the cash if it will be worth while, and eventually upgrading the other electronics. But dont really want to loose the jaguar sound.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    nice! love the racing stripes.

    so did you just bypass the little series-parallel switching bank there?

    also, did you notch the badass saddles? it looks like the strings aren't quite lining up between the pickup magnet pairs.
  7. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Do racing stripes work for bass guitars? ;)

    I thought they only worked for baseball cap wearing idiots when applying them to a 1 litre engined car, instantly transforming it into a Ferrari :)

    Maybe thats what I need Instead of pickups, wondered why my speed was lagging.
  8. Grissle, you editing yourself out? :confused:
  9. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Oh dear.....

    That was not meant as an insult.

    People who cant take a little jest, or criticism should possibly think twice about posting on forums, im sure we cant all expect to agree with everything that everyone says.

    Think I may have struck a nerve.

    I didnt expect a reaction like that.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    didn't see the reaction, but that was a little douche-y;

    for those in the know, the racing stripe has nothing to do with fake hot-rodding underpowered cars; it's a visual reference to a short-lived series of vintage fender guitars that came stock with that look.

  11. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Didnt know that, very interesting

    Every day is a school day :)
  12. GreggBummer


    Jan 16, 2008
    Exit 4, NJ
    I modded my MIJ Jag a little differently. I drilled a hole in the control plate and added another volume pot. My Jag is set up V-V-T like a regular jazz bass. I have independent volume control over each pickup. I still have the series/parallel switching, but moved it to the control plate. The old "three bank" switches now are pickup on/off switches and a phase switch. I left the preamp alone... I think it sounds great. I shielded the hell out of the cavity. The pickups are the stock ones... they sound great.

    The bridge on the Jag is great.... all the hardware is great on this bass.
  13. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    Sounds interesting, did this make much of a difference? Was thinking of upgrading the pots at some point anyway as im sure they are not the best

    But first im going to get a schaller 2000 bridge.

    Im still not too keen on the standard fender bridge. For the following reasons.

    1....The string holes are round, and the profile of the brass part on the end of the string is a nightmare to locate properly in this, square peg in a round hole.

    2....i dont like how close the tension springs get to the strings, and feel that using springs in this area seems a bit mad when you think about it, they are going to tend to vibrate and generate noise.

    I know a lot of people rave on about the standard hardware, it works, and does the job it is supposed to, but from an engineering viewpoint, it just seems to be not really the best way of doing it..

    The schaller 2000 seems to be a far better bridge. And much better suited to the task.

    Solid piece of kit that holds the string properly in a profiled socket. And no springs anywhere in sight.

    But im with you on the sound front, not really something id like to change.

    Think ill stick with the standard pickups for now they sound awesome, a little noise on single pickup is something i can live with. :)
  14. GreggBummer


    Jan 16, 2008
    Exit 4, NJ
    I wont argue with you about the bridge. I think it is a case of personal taste. I like the threaded barrels, I feel they keep my strings in the right place.

    As far as the electronics go, the mod I have just allows me to have the Jag behave like a Jazz if I want it to. For example, I can dial back the neck pick up a bit and get some more bite.
  15. Slap_N_Slide


    Jan 2, 2013
    I agree, it is purely personal taste with everything bass related. Whats great for one may not be for someone else.

    Horses for courses :)

    Hmm, sounds like an interesting little mod. May consider that for the future at some point. Probably when i upgrade the pots.....need to change a few scratchy pots on my spector q4pro at some point anyway.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    sorry, neither of these really make any sense.

    the ball stops in the hole in the bridge, that's all there is to it; what "locating properly" are you referring to? also, when winding the string on you want the ball to be free to spin, so the string can untwist itself before you get actual tension on it.

    as for the springs, they don't affect anything at all and don't make any noise.

    the schaller 2000 is cool and all, i like that it fits right on to the 5-hole fender mounting and has adjustable string spacing (it's bizarre how hard it is to find a bass bridge that fits those criteria) but i found it a little hard to set up, in that it was tough to tighten down the various locking bolts without it moving the saddles out of alignment.

    i certainly wouldn't choose it over the stock gotoh jag bridge.