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Modifying Fender American Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sir718, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. sir718


    Dec 2, 2007
    I have a 2005 american jazz bass which I want to modify. Is it possible to change the bass into a P/J combo. I know I would need a new, possibly custom pickguard. Would anything else need to be done to the bass?
  2. The best thing is to sell it and buy one configured the way you want. After you chop it up making it a combo, it will have no value.

    There are plenty of good Fender P/J combos out there - don't ruin a perfectly good bass by kludging it into something you can buy over the counter. BAD idea.
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Plus, it's probably easier and less expensive too.
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL

    I say go for it if you love the bass and really want to mod it...But I don't think the mod would be worth it personally. But all you would need is the pickguard as you said and some routing would of course have to be done to accomodate the PBass pickup. Wiring would be the same, just connect the PBass pickup leads exactly where the Jazz Bass pickup leads were. Good luck, whatever you decide
  5. I would recommend buying an Aerodyne or possibly a Reggie Hamilton sig to get a P/J config on a Jazz before recommending the destruction of a Jazz Bass.
  6. bass_fish


    Oct 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    -1 to the ruin, destruction, no value stuff...

    if you like it... do it! it will be a minor mod, nothing to serious...
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I'm not sure the mod would be that big of a deal. I've seen J-bodied basses from boutique makers like Lull and Sadowsky that are convertible between J/J and P/J. (Well, I haven't physically seen them, but seen pics and posts about them on TB.) This suggests to me the routing isn't too extensive, and that once finished you can swap pickups and pickguards back and forth fairly easily.

    Might it damage the instrument's value as a "vintage" piece several years from now? Probably, but if you'll get more out of it in the intervening years, so what?

    That said, a "legitimate" excuse for a new bass is never a bad thing, so maybe you should just get a decent P/J like the Aerodyne, or, better yet, a G&L SB-2. :bassist:
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I modified my Aerodyne and and super happy with the results. New Seymour Duncan pickups, BadAss bridge and groundwound strings. I wrote about the upgrade process here, which includes sound files with PUPs in different settings.
  9. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Converting a J into a P/J requires routing the body, preferably done by a qualified tech using a router, and the cut section should be sealed or painted. This will cost you at least $200, up to $500 if done by one of those super reputable and in-demand shops.

    Doing it yourself or going the cheap route will potentially ruin the bass, and certainly lesser it's value if you ever decide to sell. You could certainly buy a Dremel tool and adecuate bits, and get or make a template, and then seal the wood with tung oil, or something.

    A agree with the others that proposed just buying a factory P/J, especially because Fender already makes excellent basses in this configuration.
  10. The 2005 American Fender Jazz body has a very wide route for the neck pickup. I never measured the width, so I am naturally curious if a split-coil will fit properly inside that swimming pool route. I would attempt to measure that stock route to determine if a P pickup will properly fit before considering an alternative. A TBer must have tried this mod by now. Anyone?
  11. zackattack

    zackattack Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    San Francisco
  12. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    +1 Also the Dimarzio Model J is a side by side humbucker that will get you 90% of the way there.

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