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Modding a MIM Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by I-Love-Ratm, May 3, 2006.


  1. I-Love-Ratm

    I-Love-Ratm

    Feb 24, 2003
    Heya

    After seeing a similar bass and falling in love I have decided to "trick" out my MIM Jazz.I want to put a tort guard on and add a neck pickup cover.What would I need to do for this.Drill new holes?And what are the best parts to get?

    Cheers
    Mike
     
  2. Well. There really is no 'best' pickguard production company, or 'best' cover production company. Fender makes both parts and that should do for you what you want them to.

    As far as what you'll have to do, thats just installing the new PG in the same screw holes as the other one (no mod work at all there) and then drill some new holes in the body AND the pickguard after positioning the PU cover as you want it. Thats all there is to it.

    Also, you should look into some Mods that are actually going to affect the sound. Perhaps some new Pick ups, a new preamp (if you feel like going active). Some people will argue that replacing the bridge will also affect the sound.
     
  3. srxplayer

    srxplayer

    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I have a MIM jazz that I did mods to and I'm really happy with it. So happy in fact that I have no desire to go buy a MIA version.

    As for the neck pick up cover, you will need to drill into the body. That would concern me because if you decide you don't like it (as most people do) you are stuck with holes in the body of your bass. I would stick to stuff that will improve the tone and playability and go with cosmetic mods that will allow you change back to stock easily. Thats just my opinion of course.

    1. I replaced the plain white pick guard with a Fender perloid pick guard. It was a direct replacement. It used all the same screws and holes.

    2. Replaced the stock Pick ups W/ S/D SJB II's. Big difference. Direct replacement.

    3. Added Dunlop Strap locks. No new holes to drill.

    4. Replaced the stock bridge with a Leo Quann BA II. This made a marginal difference in the sustain and attack. I would venture to guess that the pick ups and had more to do with that but it looks cool. This mod is not nescessary so you can eliminate that one if your on a budget. The benefit , if there really is any, does not justify the cost. It's just the stamped little bridge that come on Fenders kinda bugs me. This bridge bolted in place of the stock bridge and used the original holes.

    I have about $750.00 invested in this bass including the cost of the bass and an SKB case. It sounds great and plays as good if not better than any MIA Fender I have played.
     
  4. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    There's a company called Jeannie Pickguards (with a lot of samples on sale on e-bay) that makes aftermarket pickguards.

    As far as electronics, I did the same thing once, and swapped my Fenders with DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups. A lot of people seemed to be doing that back then...nicer pickups than the stock Fenders, but retain the classic Fender tone pretty nicely. This may have since changed, but true Fender pickups are slightly larger in the bridge position, which is what DiMarzio makes their pickups to fit. The MIM Jazz didn't used to (and still may not) have different size pickup routings, so that's something to be aware of.

    I also swapped the bridge for a BadAss II bridge. It's a direct drop-in, no routing or extra drilling is required. It's a much more massive bridge than the stock Fender, and added a lot of brightness and sustain to the tone. I thought it actually robbed the bass of its warmth.

    In the end, I still didn't love the bass, even though it was about a 500% improvement over the pre-modded version...so I sold it.

    Check out allparts, Stewart MacDonald, and Warmoth as sources for parts. All have websites.
     
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Your old Bass was one of the nicer feeling MIM J's that I owned, but in the end I decided I'm more of a P guy so I sold it to a friend who's Son is taking Bass lessons. He loves it.
     
  6. I-Love-Ratm

    I-Love-Ratm

    Feb 24, 2003
    I'm not too interested in non-cosmetic mods for now.Which pickguard will fit the MIM directly because they all seem to be made for MIA's? Is there a guide to drilling holes for the neck pickup cover anywhere?
     
  7. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    get a '62 or a '75 reissue pickguard...they already have the holes in them for the pickup cover... the screw hole pattern on the 75 is a 9 hole pattern and typically won't line up with a newer Jazz, the '62 is an 11 hole pattern and lined up perfectly on my Highway one....check out the myspace link in my signature to see it....most shops should carry a '62 RI PG if they are a Fender dealer...take your bass in with you and ask them to see if the holes match up on the PG and the bass.....a tort reissue '62 guard is about $35 or so....
     
  8. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    I didn't find any when I added mine, but I will give you some words of wisdom.

    If you can, use some tape (masking or double sided) or something to experiment with placement of the cover. I would start by trying it dead center left-right, top-bottom in relation to the pickup and try playing with it using all the techniques you know. What I found was that while it was dead center, when I would doublethumb, I could not get at the G string very well. I could only get to it on the neck and I'd rather get it at the body. So I had to drill another set of holes toward the bridge and found a spot I like.

    I'm sure it would have been ok if my bass was a full size MIA bass, but I believe the MIM have a slight small body and different pickup placement. (If I'm wrong, please correct me).

    So where it is now, it's a little toward the bridge, but still looks good and I love the feel of my palm hitting it as I slap.

    I'll try and get a good picture before the week is out and I'll post it.

    Hope that helps.
    JB
     
  9. FeelTheGroove

    FeelTheGroove

    Dec 2, 2005
    I put a '62 reissue pickguard on my MIM jazz. The screw holes lined up fine, but for it to fit I had to file it a tiny bit in the corner that goes up against the control plate. Wasnt a big deal though. Looks soo much better than the stock white one. basss.

    When I bought it I was planning on upgrading the tuners, but they hold tune suprisingly well so I didnt feel the need to. Maybe someday ill put it new pickups, but the stock ones sound good enough to leave them for now. The only weak link in the MIM is the lousy bridge in my opinion.
     
  10. Search web with "fender jazz pickguard" for more resources than I can inventory. I get back my overhauled MIM Jazz from shop today. Cosmetic changes include black alum pickguard and new black bridge. Control plate pending. As people say, the OEM bridge could never hold strings in strict alignment over pickups. The OEM neck pickup was whacked out of alignment no matter what I did. My add'l MIM changes (non-cosmetic) put me way out of my league, so I needed a good shop pro, to account for truss rod and action also, but pickguard alone would have been plug and play to replace, given Fender aftermarket. Have fun!!
     
  11. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I always wondered if you kept it...I'm glad it found a good home.;)
     
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I had it for a little over two years. Bought it from you in 1/04, sold it in 2/06.
     
  13. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
  14. srxplayer

    srxplayer

    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    They sell them as "standard jazz" pick guard. I think they are the same for the MIA & MIM. The one I bought was a Fender part on Music 123 for $21.99. That was a couple of years ago. It was a perfect fit.

    I have my doubts that there is a guide out there for drilling the holes. You will most likely have to get the cover and mark the holes yourself.
     

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