Modifying Squier P Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tHall21, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. tHall21


    Sep 11, 2016
    So I have a Squier PJ bass, and I want to get a better sound and improve the bass as a whole. I'd like to put in a loaded P bass pick guard and take out the stock Squier pickups. Do you think this is a good move to improve overall bass tone and feel?

    Also on the Squiers, the input jack is on the bottom of the bass and I want to move it to the front on the end of the pick guard. Is this easy or even able to work?
  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Change the strings first.
    Yahboy likes this.
  3. tHall21


    Sep 11, 2016
    Yeah I did that hah. I just wanna put those better pickups in, to get closer to a straight P bass sound.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Changing pick guard and pickups will do nothing to improve the feel. It may improve the tone. Maybe not. And it's much better to have the jack mounted to the body rather than the pick guard. I have seen many many Precisions with the pick guard broken at the jack.
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    OP, what are you planning to do with the hole on the side of the bass once you move the jack to the pick guard?
    Cyril_YU likes this.
  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    To answer your question, yes, you can move the output jack. You'll probably need a new jack though very often the side mounted jacks are barrel jacks like this:

    for a front mounted jack you want this:

    I'm with Turnaround though, you're better off leaving the jack where it is, unless your new pick guard is metal.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Leave the jack where it is. Stronger, no one will care.

    Changing pickups is a crapshoot. No one but you knows what you like. I've always found that changing to the right set of strings is sufficient. For me, those strings are Labella Deep Talkin' Flats, light gauge.
    Yahboy likes this.
  8. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Labella and GHS precision flat + Roll of the tone knob ........ and Mute foam.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I see no reason to move the jack and like already said it can break pickguards. As for pups what were you thinking? hotter? or maybe more of a vintage sound?
    There are allot of great pups but you have to have a tone you are aiming for before you swap. While your at it I would swap the pots for CTS and a good cap while your under the hood.
  10. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Check out the Geezer Butler EMG thread in the pick-up section.
  11. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    Without looking at pictures, I'll assume that the input jack is on the bottom because there's not enough room on the pickguard. The standard P bass pickguard has three mounts: V, T and input. You have a PJ, so there's probably an extra V control or a blend knob.
    If you go with the input jack on the guard, where are you going to put the extra control?
    All of this to say, the standard P bass pickguard won't accommodate two pickups.
    As for pickups, you may or may not notice an improvement. The differences in tone between "standard" type P bass pickups is pretty subtle and won't be heard in a live gig. Recording maybe. If you go for something overwound, or huge pole pieces, then you'll hear the difference in volume.
  12. I'm with the masses as well, leave the jack on the side. I just ordered a set of geezer pups for a '94 mim p bass I'm bringing back to life. They will be here on Friday. I honestly would have left the pups stock probably and just replaced the electronics with the better quality stuff had it not been for a broken wire on one of the pickups. If I were you, look at different strings and maybe redo the electronics if they are scratchy or having issues there. A wiring kit can be had for less than 20 bucks and can make an older bass sound better. If you still want different pickups, start to find a sound you like first. There are so many different pups to choose from.... Do a search here once you figure out what sound you are looking for. Lots of good info here.