Modifications to my Squier jazz bass..ANyone hook up their Squiers??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nykki Madd, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Nykki Madd

    Nykki Madd

    Jul 5, 2014
    Last Xmas (2013) my girl bought me a squire vintage modified jazz bass. Sunburst ,tortishell pick guard, Duncan designed pickups. A great bass for $300. Squier is doing wonders with the quality of their instruments for the price. Any I pulled some stupid idea that I could make it a fretless by simply removing the frets LOL. yes i'm an idiot. I ruined the neck after playing it at the time for about 5 months.It sat around all summer and fall until this recent xmas she bought me a new neck for it,cause she knew how bad I wanted to play it again. So any way I got a squire 60's style neck whick looks/feels/sounds Amazing! replaced the pick guard with a 3 ply black one to give it that 70's look, Volume and tone control knobs from a fender amp that have #1-10 and have a nice shape to them.Seymour Duncan SJb 3 pickups,and replaced the saddles with brass saddles,dunlop gold strap locls AND D'Addario standard guage strings.Its a bad ass squire! anyway figured i'd share..
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I bought a used Affinity Jazz for $90 for the sole purpose of trying out different pickups. I put a set of Fender Select pickups in it along with a set of GHS Super Steels and it became my gigging bass. Sounds great and plays as good as I need it to. Everything else in stock.
  3. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Sure, I've worked over a few!

    This is the first Squier Standard Jazz I've owned in this color configuration. At the time of this picture being taken, I'd swapped out the matte black pickguard for a Fender Black Pearl. Also, if you look carefully, you'll see I installed a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder in the neck position. I'd bought another SD-QP for the bridge position, only to find out the two pickups were identical in size.

    Not-So-Pro-Tip: I've said it before, and I'll say it again…before they were discontinued, Squier Standards had deviated from the standardized "Fender footprint" in several ways. This includes, but is not limited to;
    • Pickguard shape and hole positions
    • Bridge position pickup route (needs a neck pup, but a little too small for a neck pup cover without a little "encouragement")
    • Control plates (holes are too small for CTS pots…mini-pots only)
    • Potentiometer route (some are too shallow for anything bigger than mini-pots)
    • Neck heel (a little bigger than normal…too big to slip right into Mighty Mite neck pocket without sanding one or the other down)
    • I'm sure there are more deviations, but I haven't found them yet.
    The second one (I'd traded the first away) looks untouched, cosmetically speaking. However, I wanted to get a little bit of "The Thunder" back that I once had from a Classic Vibe Jazz. That, and I wanted to use some spare parts I had on hand;
    • A pair of CV-J neck pups
    • Hipshot BT7 Drop-D tuner (something I install on most of my basses)
    • A high-mass bridge taken from a Fender Blacktop Jazz (SEE EDIT BELOW)
    • Elixir Nanoweb 45-100 strings (at the suggestion of my local guitar tech, and they sound & feel great!)
    Someday, I might have some extra routing done to convert it to a P/J configuration using a Blacktop Jazz pickguard as a template. But for now, I like it just fine as a slightly-modified travel/beater bass.

    Speaking of said Classic Vibe Jazz; Personally, I am no fan of photo-tort pickguards. I know, I know…heresy to some 'round these parts, but until they produce an actually-transluscent tortoise-shell guard (the way actual, freakin' tortoise-shell looks like, dammit!), count me out. So, for the one I had a little ways back, I bought a black/white/black Fender guard off the rack from my local Guitar Center. It was meant for the American-made models, what with the notch for truss-rod adjustment, but I figured, "What the Hell! It'll still look better than that God-awful-tort!!" Fun fact is, it went on with 95% accuracy, meaning only one screw had to be angled a little bit, but still fit just fine.


    One other thing, although not a full-on Squier, I bought a neck harvested from a Vintage Modified Jaguar. Specifically, the all-black, active P/J model with the two dual-knobs, fretboard inlays and a black, painted headstock. Add in some black hardware and another Drop-D tuner…and violá!


    EDIT: I put the original, vintage-style bridge back on the Squier Standard Jazz for a number of reasons. Mainly, there wasn't any noticeable difference, or at least, not enough to really matter. Plus, only four of the five screw holes matched up and I didn't feel like "drilling & filling" the original holes. Besides, I may end up using the Blacktop hi-mass bridge on another project.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  4. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    sounds like your girl is the brains of the operation, marry her !
    oysteivi likes this.
  5. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    You mentioned non-photo'd Tortie?

    Get a blank from these guys: it's real swirl. They have both red and brown types:

    I've bought from them. This is what I got (brown tortie)

  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    They may swirl, but it's not nearly translucent enough to simulate true-tort. It's mostly opaque layers…as in, "light cannot pass through it". I can clearly see the black and white plastic layers underneath the top-most ply, even from the pic you posted. However, I should take this opportunity to clarify;

    I would be interested in a tortoise-shell-like pickguard made to be fully translucent, just like actual, early 20th Century items made from genuine tortoise-shell. This is not to say, "I want genuine tortoise-shell." I believe it's illegal to produce, much like actual elephant tusk ivory. I talking about a layer of swirly, light-refractive, red & brown plastic that can allow a small amount of light to penetrate down into the surface, giving it an apparent depth of more than a single-ply of thin, photo-paper print.

    Here's a good analogy…human skin. Despite what most people might think, human skin is actually translucent. That's why we see shifts in skin tone and pallor depending on health, mood, and etc. It's because we can see the flush of blood through the skin. If you take a person and cover them in opaque, skin-tone paint, they look unnatural…like a mannequin that just crawled out of the Uncanny Valley. Don't believe me? Watch any behind-the-scenes of a 3D-CGI animated film. Look carefully at the figures without the final skin render…creepy! :eek: [/ART-SCHOOL-LESSON]

    Here's what kills me; Fender makes guitar picks out of translucent plastic. Now if they would just make a high-quality pickguard out of something like this…

    Tort Picks.jpg

    …then I'd be interested. A thick layer of this stuff with a very thin, off-white/parchment layer underneath (to throw incoming light back at your eyes, while still concealing the routing and wiring below) would probably do the job nicely.

    EDIT: Yep! Trading in true-tort is illegal and has been since 1947.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    oldandbold likes this.
  7. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    Your best bet then would be to buy a stack-load of acoustic guitar, self-adhesive blank tortie sheets, stick a few of them together, then fashion yourself a pickguard from that.
  8. jmverdugo


    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    So from what I'm gathering here, any fender jazz pick guard would fit in a squire jazz bass? I'm about to buy a VM fretless and want to install a tortoise pg on it, thanks!
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.

    Took a VM Squier, swapped the pickups for Big Splits under custom covers, Nordy preamp, Hipshot A brass bridge, Sadowsky-style knobs, jack socket, did neck inserts, shielded the body cavity.
    It was a blast and sounded great when it was all done.
    Roosevelt and Woofer like this.
  10. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    Do a search for the "Tricked Out Squier Club", you'll find lots of examples.
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Not every one is a perfect match, but the VM Fretless doesn't carry one, so all you'll need to do is make sure the neck pocket, pickup and control plate notch match up. Then you can "put the screws to it".

    However, I've heard of some people using double-sided tape to hold a pickguard in place so they don't have to drill permanent holes in their bodies. So, if you decide you want to sell it, you can just take off the guard and polish off any residual adhesive.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    jmverdugo likes this.
  12. Malak. Does the Hipshot BT7 drop in Squier vintage modified jazz bass?
  13. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    The best I can say is, "Probably". The VM Jaguar neck pictured above is sporting a BT7, which was a very good fit.

    To the best of my knowledge, Squire VM's use similar, if not the same, tuners as MIM Fenders. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same for the Classic Vibes.
    Johnny Vance likes this.
  14. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I'm hoping you still have the one with the black pearl pickguard!
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  15. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    I have three that needed nothing: J Johnston Sig Jazz, the Precision Five, and the Active Contemporary Jazz Five.

    I did get the JJ with the idea of modifying the looks, so:

    From this:

    To this:

    I always wondered why Fender rarely used that Strat style 'white pickguard, white pickups' look on a bass, I thought the JJ would be the perfect candidate. White pickguard and pickup covers, Aerodyne knobs, and used Fender Yosemite Jazz pickups. All day . . . .

    As I said, none of the three NEEDED anything, I just wanted to customize the look of the JJ, and I like it a lot.
  16. If you still have the neck, try adjusting the truss rod to bow it outward (opposite of what you usually see with a high action) and fill the fret slots with plastic wood filler. When the filler dries, sand it down flat. You should be okay. Hope this helps.
  17. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    'Fraid not, JD. The one pictured above was traded away a very long time ago. However, it was for a good cause. I traded it for a Candy Apple Red, long-scale VM Jaguar which was promptly gifted to a friend's teenage daughter.

    Some time later, I got an itch to get another Satin Pewter Metallic Squier Standard Jazz, which led to me having "The Three Amigos".


    If this is starting to sound familiar, it should. After all, you owned that Squier Precision Bass Special for a little while. ;)

    But to bring things back on topic…

    Since this thread started (all of seven years ago…yeesh! o_O) I had one particular mod performed upon that second Squier Standard Jazz. It was subtle…just a bit of a "haircut", really…but definitely worth the minor expense. I had my local Guitar Center tech do some additional routing for the bridge pickup slot. Now it can take a longer pickup in the bridge position.

    jd56hawk likes this.
  18. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Sure, I've sold quite a few nice basses.
    As long as you still have some special ones, that's all that matters.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
    Malak the Mad likes this.