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MIM P Bass project

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jerrybob, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. jerrybob


    Apr 30, 2018
    Houston Texas
    I returned to playing earlier this year after a 15 year hiatus due to nerve damage in my left arm. With daily practice I'm slowly gaining strength and dexterity and really enjoying making music again. Another year of this and I might be ready to take it outside of the house...maybe.

    Recently I saw an open box Mexican P Bass on Musicians Friend at a good price and made an impulse buy. I already had a Squier VM J Bass but have always wanted a P, so now I have one.

    It arrived in pristine condition and after running through the setup I felt that it played quite nicely for what I paid for it. I wanted that true vintage P bass sound though so I ordered Fender pickups, a Hipshot bridge, and some flat wound strings. Easy upgrade I figured.

    Well when I took the original pups out one of the screws brought a toothpick out with it. Some yahoo at the factory had misdrilled one of the holes, then drilled a second one next to it and managed to merge the two into one oversized hole that the screw wouldn't grip in, thus the toothpick. After talking to Fender and MF and finding out that my only option was to return it I decided to fix it myself. I bored a 3/8 hole over the botched spot and hand fitted a piece of hardwood dowel in it and after the wood glue set up I mounted the new pups.
    IMG_20181101_171109. IMG_20181101_170923.

    The wiring was sloppy so I redid that as well. IMG_20181031_172427.
    Unfortunately when I got it all wired back up and plugged it into the amp, only the faintest sound came out. I don't know if I fried one of the cheap pots soldering or what but today I went out and bought Fender pots and an orange drop cap and had at it again.

    I'm not a huge fan of the standard Fender bridge. IMG_20181101_203238.
    I replaced mine with the Hipshot Kickass. IMG_20181101_205057.
    I'm really impressed with this bridge and the ease of setting it up. I got everything dialed in the way I like it and plugged it in with the new pots and cap and the sound was...magnificent.

    It growls like a P but when you roll on the treble it gets downright punchy. The Hipshot bridge gives excellent sustain and I like the tone with the supplied brass saddles. Stainless are available if you want a brighter sound but I'm happy with what I've got.

    All told I have right at $800 in this project and I think I got every penny's worth out of the deal. The MIM Fenders are decent instruments at a low price point but throwing a couple or three hundred in upgrades yields a great value for half the price of an American P.

    I'm very happy with the newest member of my family. IMG_20181102_174052.
    I can't wait until the new pickguard gets here. skulls.
  2. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    Sorry to hear about the nerve damage but its great that you’re getting back into it! Nice work on the mods. Love a black p bass with maple neck :cool:

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