Mods to Lower the Weight

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hardbassjunkie, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Just got myself a brand new Squier Jazz Paramormal and its a couple of first for me. First Bass I purchased brand new (on sale) and first jazz bass i fell in love with.

    However, one slight issue is the weight of the Bass. It is 9.8 lbs (stepped on my scale while holding the bass). If I could get it down by at least 1 pound that would be great.

    The bass is actually well balanced and I can hold it up at the neck pocket with my palm and very little movement. My first thought is to change the tuners and bridge. Hoping to get someone's experience.

    How much weight could I expect the Bass to lose by changing the bridge and tuners? Also, which ones should I buy?
    EatS1stBassist and jd56hawk like this.
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
  3. I guess that works if I'm sure if I'll never sell it. I would definitely consider it if the bass was like 11 lbs haha.
    Pauly 4001, gebass6 and jd56hawk like this.
  4. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    If you don't already have a light-weight bridge and tuner, then changing your current bridge and tuners to light-weight version should make a noticeable improvement. Hipshot and Schaller make good light-weight tuners, and Babicz makes a good light-weight bridge.
  5. Smith357


    Jul 7, 2018
    Swapping to titanium hardware will get you a few ounces, but, the only real way to remove any significant weight is to remove mass.
  6. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. In addition to swapping in a lightweight bridge and tuners, you could swap in a lightweight truss rod. KTS makes titanium truss rods. The 584 mm size might work for you.

    If cosmetics is a concern (retaining the classic design cues), then your options will be limited for lightweight bridge and tuners. For example, if you're willing to compromise on the appearance of the rear of the headstock, then Hipshot Ultralight tuners with the clover key will save you weight while looking correct from the front. But even KTS says of its titanium bridge (otherwise a classic-type design) that it won't save much weight.

    But we're talking about a $400 bass here, right? Are you really going to spend a further $300 to shed maybe half a pound from it?
    retslock, Murch, Hounddog409 and 5 others like this.
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My way of reducing the weight of the basses I play was to get a different bass. For many years I used a Silvertone 1444 by Danelectro that weighs just under 6.5 lbs. until I bought a Hofner Ignition Club Bass when they were first offered. It weighs 4.5 lbs.
  8. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Light weight tuners could save 9oz alone. Not sure if a replacement bridge would make much difference. Also, replace the knobs with lighter versions.
    yodedude2 likes this.
  9. ahbradot


    Dec 14, 2019
    You may regret the mods. I would look for another bass that is lighter to add to your collection.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  10. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    All of the hardware tips suggested should help but I would not trust that weigh in. Get a good accurate kitchen scale for the kitchen and the bass :)
    yodedude2 and Torrente Cro like this.
  11. radmin

    radmin Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2006
    Columbus, Oh
    Knobs can be heavy sometimes. Same with strap pins. Sometimes every ounce counts. There are also light straps. As a last resort you could also ditch the pick guard. A jazz control plate can be swapped for plastic.
  12. I might be out to lunch, but 9-10 lbs seems like a reasonable weight for a mass-produced, classic design long scale bass.

    Lightweight tuners may help by reducing "neck dive" and how you *feel* the weight (i.e. how the bass hangs on you), but I doubt you'll save more than a few grams here and there.

    Also, since you say the bass balances well, be aware that dramatically reducing the mass of the body may throw that off (and will for sure kill any potential resale value).

    So, IMO: Lightweight tuners, a comfier strap, or flip it for something else if the first two suggestions fail.
  13. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Did that make any difference to the sound if that bass?
  14. get some forstner bits and make it look like swiss cheese
  15. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003

    Is this the bass?
    If so changing the bridge won't save much weight at all. Best bet is to change the tuners to ultralights or Res-O-Lites. Might save 1/4 lb off the end of the head stock which is very noticeable. Other than than that most of the weight is probably carried in the body so swiss cheesing it under the pick guard could save some. Leave solid wood under the strings for strength. a Glarry for $100 the base jazz models are around 7.5 lbs. I have a GIB 5 string that I modded and got it down to 6 lbs.
    RattleSnack, Winton and zoonose like this.
  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    You're going to spend a lot of money that will not be recouped in a resale and if you start hacking up the body, will lose another $100-150. Find a bass that meets your needs instead of trying to force a heavy bass into submission.
  17. Probably better to just invest in a good wide and padded strap in this situation. If you’re doing long rehearsal days bring a chair/stool to sit on to give your shoulders and back a break here and there. That will help a lot. Maybe even a dual strap that goes around both shoulders distributing weight to both if it really bothers you. I probably wouldn’t be considering replacing hardware on a Squier. It’s just not very cost effective, yeah you’ll save a couple ounces with more lightweight tuners but new lightweight tuners are likely more expensive than you think and Squier/fender bridges for example really aren’t heavy to begin with so a bridge swap probably isn’t going to make a noticeable difference weight wise. Most people actually swap to higher mass bridges if they do a bridge swap. Like I said though 9.8 lbs isn’t crazy heavy though. I’ve had some ERBs that weighed 12- 15 lbs. those were definitely heavy and I’m not interesting in basses that are that heavy anymore. but under ten pounds really ain’t bad. I personally prefer basses in the 9-10 lbs range. Much lighter and they flop around too much when I play.
    gebass6 likes this.
  18. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    There are a lot of basses out there with two Jazz pickups that are smaller bodies, no pickguard, lighter 3/8" tuners.
    I would put the Licensed Hipshot Ultralites on it and call it a day....or buy a lighter bass with Jazz pickups.
    obimark likes this.
  19. To my knowledge the mods are just here to keep the site in order and can not assist with weight issues. (yukyuk)
  20. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    There’s very little to be done about the bridge, the bent plate bridge is already among the lightest out there. You could realistically save maybe about 3.5 ounces by swapping out the tuners, but it would be fairly expensive and a bit of work, since the lightest tuners you could get would be a different type than the ones already on the bass. It would certainly involve drilling and maybe plugging the old screw holes if you care about the looks of the thing.

    My advice would be to leave well alone. You wouldn’t get a significant weight reduction, and it would cost too much to be worth it for a bass in this price range, IMHO. Get a good, wide strap, play the bass as is, and get something lighter down the road if the weight issue is important to you in the long run.
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