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Modding my bass, yikes!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Visti, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Visti


    Aug 20, 2005
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I've decided that I want to get seriously into modding my primary bass, a Hohner Professional J/J. Now, I've had it fretless for a couple of years and decided that it was probably around time I did something more to it. But what?

    My first idea was exchanging the stock pickups, even though they're pretty good. But I don't really know anything about doing this or the differet kinds of PUs. The bass has all stock Hohner pickups, which are two Jazz-style pickups (Hence the J/J) and I was wondering if any pickup made to replace jazz-style pickups would just fit in there.
    If that's the case, then that's what I'm going to look into first, even though I really don't know anything at all about wiring and stuff like that, but I suppose I could get some more knowledgable of my friends or even a pro to do it for me. But my main concern is them actually fitting in there.

    Also my knobs have come loose and I've even lost one of them, so they're definetly on the list of what to replace. The thing here is that I've been all over looking for replacement knobs, but just can't find the right kind. There are two standard knobs, which is no trouble finding at all, but then there's this stacked double-knob, which nobody seems to know where to get. Do any companies make these? I know I've seen some on some Warwicks, maybe, but I'm not totally sure.

    Then there's the bridge. It's all sturdy and good, so I don't even know if I'm gonna replace that, but if I decide to, I still have the probably as to whether a standard made-for-Fender replacement would fit on there, because it doesn't really looks like any of the ones I've looked at. (I'll put up some pictures later today). But again, this is not one of my primary things to change.

    My tuning pegs have become slightly crooked. They're the standard huge golden ones that are also seen on Fenders, so I doubt they'll be any problem to find replacements for, but is it possible getting another, smaller design, because I'm getting slightly annoyed with the fact that it goes out of tune every time it's been in a soft bag, because the tuners are so big that they're turned. Not a major concern, but still it annoys me just a little.

    I definetly won't get a paintjob, because it's looks pretty nice with smooth curves and a natural dark colour, so that's out of the questions.

    Any ideas as to what I could think about doing to this thing. Or comments and answers to my questions and concerns. Anything would be appreciated.

    As I mentioned, I'm gonna put up some pics to give a clearer idea of what I'm dealing with here.

    E. Visti
  2. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Wow... there's alot of options here. I was in the same boat as you, and here's what I did.
    1st: Replaced all the hardware- Nut-Tree-Saddles, made them graphite (www.stumac.com ? www.graphtechusa.com ? )

    2nd: New Pup's, now you may wana check out the pup section on TB for this. But here is my own synopsis. I have DiMarzio Ultra jazz and Bartolini pick ups. The Barts sound amazing. Very versitile, and very bright. Can get alot of mids. But the upper register is a tad lacking. The pre-amp is your next issue. I personally really wana try the Demter Pre-amp, supposivly they are amazing. However there are certain tride and true pre's like the J-retro and the Aguilars (I have a bartolini pre, and its so-so, decent for the price).

    3rd: Tuners. Gotoh makes some nice tuners- again stumac.com

    I'm not familiar with that make of the J-bass. Is it a "higher end" j-bass? If it not, pick ups and electronics can only do so much. It all comes down to quality of woods/types of woods imo. I can throw my electronics in a squire, and it still won't be THAT great. If you're looking to upgrade your woods/body. www.warmoth.com can do replacement body's (and necks)
    Good luck
  3. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    J pickups come in two standard sizes. They're 3.6" / 91mm and 3.73" / 95mm. Some aftermarket pickups only come in sets of one of each, and some you can buy individually, so you'll need to email manufacturers and ask what they can do.
    There are a bajillion J sized pickups out there, so I'd buy some on ebay and try them, keep the ones you like and onsell the rest. Shouldn't cost too much.

    Read these two threads to get some ideas as to what you'd like to try.

    Most of the manufacturers have wiring diagrams on their sites, and the Pickup and Electronics Forum here will get you any other answers and help.

    Stacked knobs you can get from Warmoth (amongst others).Same with some bridges, tuners etc.

    I'd leave the bridge as is for the moment, play with some pickups, get new knobs and if the tuners are replaced, preferably with something that fits in the same holes. The Hohner isn't a particularly valuable bass, so putting a lot of time and $ into it will be lost if you sell it. However, if you can put the original bits back on, you won't get much less and can sell the others as well, so you net little loss. The advantage is that now you get a bass you like better, and the experience and learning from doing the mods.
  4. Visti


    Aug 20, 2005
    Aalborg, Denmark
    That's true, I'm not really worried about reselling value at all, because it's not a pricey bass and it will won't sell for much. But however, it IS my favorite fretless, so I really want to keep it, if not just for emotional value, but in order to use it probably I'm gonna mod it around a bit just to try. Also I'm really in it for the experience, most of my basses are completely stock (expect this one, which I defretted), so I thought it was a good time to begin dabbling in modding, instead of just discarding my lovable fretless.