Mod, or buy: what would you do...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peepaleep, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    Hello Ladies and Gents:

    I think I *need* a J/MM bass but I am not sure what I should do. Do I mod a cheap-o J that I have by adding new pups, a preamp, new bridge and new tuners (an investment of about $600 before routing and labor at the repair shop) or do I save up some dough and get one of the new Lakland 44-14's when they hit the street? I could also get a used Stingray and add a J pup to it.

    The body style is a wash for me - all three fit me well. The neck on the cheap-o J is good, but obviously not that of a USA Lakland or a USA Ray.

    So, should I spend $1000 (all together) on a beefed-up inexpensive bass, spend about $1500 or so on the modded Ray, or about $2300 on the Lakland.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. To answer your question though, you do have another option. You could get one of the new S.U.B. by Sterling by Musicman basses, which are getting great reviews, and put in a Jazz pickup. That way you already have the preamp and the MM pickup and whatnot, you just need to get the jazz pickup. You can check them out here:
  3. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
  4. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    Fryer - I have a Fender MIA J. I like it, but I want something different. And personally, I find my Lakland Skyline 55-60 to be far better than my MIA Fender in pretty much every area. The Fender may become a casualty of downsizing at some point.

    Woodsbass: do you have a SUB? Are the electronics decent? I know you mentioned they have gotten good reviews but I remember a thread on here somewhere that was not so favorable to them. But I guess that wouldn't matter much since I'm willing to swap out the pups and preamp anyway, and the labor for routing out a J pup will be less than routing out for a MM and a battery box.

    Hmm - that's intriguing. I can always give the cheap-o J to my girlfriend who wants to learn how to play. Really, all that bass needs to be very good is some shielding and new tuners.

    Thanks for the tip :)

  5. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Anything but mod.
  6. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Never spend more on parts than the instrument is worth over all. $1000 of bits in a $200 bass just seems like the wrong path to take.
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Get a used 55-02 for ~$900?
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada

    I've owned 5 sx basses and though nice, I'd go for any of the other choices without second thought.
  9. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Buy a used 44-02 or 55-02 skyline. They are great and if you get a good deal you'll be able to sell it for what you paid later on.

    Modding is always a money loser, even more so if you dont do your own work. I'm addicted to it, but I realize it's a fetish and should only be used when what you want isn't on the market.

    In your case, there's an affordable high quality option for your need. So don't mod unless you just happen to like doing so and flushing away money on it (like many of us!).
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Sell the Fender MIA J and buy what you really want. Don't overlook a used bass either. You may be able to trade your Fender for EXACTLY what you want too.
  11. RxFunk


    Dec 2, 2012
    There's also the Ibanez Roadgear series that have a MM and J pickup, and you can find them in the $200-250 range. The body style is similar to a Lakland as well.
  12. you have a clear vision of what you want. I think modding is definitely a fine idea in this instance. modding because reasons is when you're doing it wrong.
  13. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Only mod if you don't really care about resale value and you enjoy spending time on such projects.

    I am very happy with my project "Gilmour" Mexi-strat, in which I have about $700 invested in total. I'd never be able to sell it for that, but I don't want to sell it because it's so personal and awesome. :)
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I love StingRays! I've been playing a killer used SR4 that I bought for another TB'er, picked it up from the TB classifieds for like $800 or something like that.

    But you can find used dual pickup factory StingRays all day long for the 1000-1200 range, why bother with modding?
  15. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I don't agree entirely. If I can make a bass that does what I want and feels like I want for less than buying it outright, how much I spent for the bass relative to the mods is irrelevant.
  16. ABravado


    Jul 7, 2010
    My take on modding, for whatever it is worth, is that if you can buy what you are looking for off the rack (not a custom build, etc...), it is typically better to do so. If what you want is just not a thing that is being built and you don't want to/can't afford to go custom then mod away.
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The guarantee on modding: there is absolutely no guarantee on the outcome.
  18. Blairb


    Nov 1, 2007
    For a $1000 you could a killer and I mean killer new Ibanez or Carvin and the Carvin would be built to order. A custom USA built Carvin with all the touches and prime woods or a mainland China built Lakeland with lower end electronics and woods, oh and lesser build quality???
  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    Or...Go for 1 pickup and 2-band EQ! :hyper: