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Mod project that didnt quite yield expected results...suggestions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bryceg2189, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. bryceg2189


    Jul 24, 2009
    So, i decided to mod a p/j essex as a project and put a chunk of money into modding it.

    What i did was i swapped the stock pickups with a lindy fralin p bass pick up and a nordstrand nj4se bridge because i couldnt decide on which of the two i should get, and swapped the stock bridge with a badass II, AND replaced the tone circut with a varitone tonestyler diddy.

    Well...im not quite set on where it is. First off, the action is preeeeetty high...even after i cut a piece of an old credit card out and used that as a shim. It sounds interesting- in a good way, but sometimes i feel it lacks a little low end (this may be because im used to playing my stingray with an active pre amp) BUT its punchy as crap and it can cut. My band LOVES the sound though, and i would too if it werent for that blasted action...which is also giving me some buzz. Im also worried about how to adjust the height of these pickups since they have such different outputs...i know measurements would be appreciated, but i dont have them right now...

    so can this chunk of wood with some hardware sound like a million bucks or was this all just a really big waste of my time and money?
  2. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Get a pro setup before you decide it's not worth the time and trouble.
  3. +1
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    PRobably should have started with a different platform than an SX. No hard feelings to them, but IMO, this could have been avoided elsewhere.

    Get it setup.
  5. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I just got my SR5 setup about a month ago, and the difference was night and day. Get a setup.
  6. bryceg2189


    Jul 24, 2009
    whoa now, i know should get a pro setup...but im just trying to see what i can do myself. but i did look into that, and its about $90 dollars for a shim job.
  7. bryceg2189


    Jul 24, 2009
    guess its settled then
  8. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    A credit card is a REALLY large shim. "Usually" people use a piece of business card, or a strip of sandpaper.

    Did you lower the saddles on the badass bridge? Did you slot the saddles on the badass bridge?

    Compared to a stingray I'd think the Tonestyler would be majorly different tonally. COmpletely different beasts. That doesn't effect your action or setup though.

    If you're not experienced with setups it may be time to get the bass to someone who's experienced before you hate yourself.

  9. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification

    The Badass bridge sits quite a bit higher than the stock SX, so you'll need professional help to get it sorted out.
  10. If you have high action and buzzing you probably need a truss rod adjustment. 90$ is typical for a complete setup. The shimming would be part of that.
  11. bryceg2189


    Jul 24, 2009
    the saddles are as low as they can be.

    yeah, in retrospect i shoulda gotten a gotuh.

    you're right. the tonestyler does not affect my action, but its a sweet circut
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Ya, Badasses are similar thickness wise to a Schaller bridge. I've had to do different things to some basses to get the bridged to allow low action.
  13. No pics, no chunk of wood with some hardware.
  14. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Again, someone putting $200 worth of pickups and hardware on a $125 bass.... :rolleyes:
  15. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Yeah, can you post some pictures? Give us an idea of what's going on.

    I see ZERO reason you need to take the bass into the shop. With a detailed research, patience, some tools and help from us, you should be able to set up your own bass. no problem.

    Don't waste your money on "pro" setups.
    That's nearly as stupid as paying to have your strings changed.
  16. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Pro setups? Not stupid at all. There's really a lot required for properly setting up a bass or guitar really well. A good tech will set it up for your preferred strings and playing style. Additionally, they use the $200+ tuners many of us can't afford, so the intonation is dead accurate. Additionally, the tech will know how to shim, will probably use some very thin wood veneers to keep the wood-on-wood tone, and will do any fret leveling as necessary.

    For a one-time cost of $90 (presuming you can change your own strings and never vary in gauge), I'd say that's a good deal to keep your instrument playing the best it possibly can.
  17. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I see you believe in snake oil. :D

    For $270 (three bass setups), you could buy almost all of the tools needed to do all of those things yourself.

    A peterson strobe tuner won't run you too much these days on the used market.

    I understand why people take their instruments in, but I guess I'm more of a DIY type of guy. *for $90 a pop, I should get into instrument set ups! wow.*
  18. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    Alternately, he could buy a $500 bass and STILL want to change the pickups, preamp, bridge, and add the Tonestyler.

    Or a $600 bass.

    Or a $700 bass.

    Wait.... what price range do you get a bass that comes "stock" with Nordys/Fralins, a Badass, and a Tonestyler ?

  19. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I couldn't disagree more. I do try my own setups and they work out I've saved myself some money and learned something. Sometimes I need a little extra help when my own skills don't get the bass to where I want it or a mod requires tools I don't have, like a drill press. I currently have 2 basses at a great tech's shop; one for the drill press and to have a new nut made (Squier 5 to 6 conversion) and another to have a good shim made to reduce the tilt on the neck and bring the strings down. Sure I could use the edge of a credit card, but I want a good shim and don't have the tools to make one myself.

    If you have tried setting it up and are not satisfied with the results, pay someone to do it for you. When you pick it up see how different it feels and ask what needed to be done, then remember that next time you need to adjust an instrument. $90 for a shim, truss rod adjustment, intonation and possibly nut filing (my SX 5er needed a serious nut filing) is not a bad price.
  20. Learn how to setup up a bass properly... which means you need to understand the mechanics and logic behind each step of a setup. Otherwise get the bass setup by someone who honestly knows what they're doing, not just a guy working as a tech at a local shop.

    IMHO it's fruitless to change anything on a bass without playing it for awhile after getting it setup. Only after playing it could you really determine it's strengths and weaknesses and what changes may be beneficial.

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