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moving the output jack on a P-bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jimclark68, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    I have a 74 P-bass that a previous owner turned into a homemade hotrodded P-bass by hacking in a J-pup. I am planning to overhaul the bass to get it looking/playing as good as it can. On the new hotrodded P-bass models, the output jack is on the edge of the body, as opposed to the standard location on the pickguard. I would like to move my jack to this location so that I can use the 3 holes in my new pickguard for the 3 volume/tone controls. Has anyone ever moved a jack to this location? Is it possible at home?
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    It's not brain surgery... the only thing you will need to check is the distance between the body rout and the edge of the body to be certain it is a short enough distance for a body mount jack. I've seen those jacks in at least two lengths, so you'll want to break out the ruler before making a purchase. Other than that it is merely a matter of drilling a hole and wiring in the new jack. You'll also want to locate that hole so the end of the jack doesn't interfere with the current jack hole where you're apparently going to install another pot.

    You also have a less radical and body-altering alternative. Buy a stacked pot to control the two pickup volumes. No new holes, no muss, no fuss.
  3. The details of this modification are what is going to make or break it. As Bob has ponted out, location is critical but more important than that is proper sizing of the hole. You will first have to determine if you are going to use Tele style cup or a screw on jack plate. I prefer the cups because they protect the jack from being jammed into the body if dropped. Next determine if you are going to need a stereo style jack for battery switching. These pose a problem sometimes because they are a little bit larger than a single pole jack. The fit is tighter in the same hole but not impossible.

    To start the project, I would locate a point on the edge of the bass that is centered between the faces and allows for the shortest length hole to the control cavity. With a grease pencil draw a straight line across the face from the cavity to this location to use as a drill guide. Then, with a small bit (1/4" or less) drill a pilot hole following this path. To make the hole larger for you jack, use a spade or paddle bit. These are the wide flat bits with the long pilot points. You can get just the size needed to either fit perfectly (if even sized) or just smaller than required. Using the same marked path, begin to bore the hole. The previously drilled pilot hole will help guide you. When you've gone through, you can begin to fit the mounting hardware that you decided on.
  4. I like Bob G's idea of a stacked pot, no muss, no fuss.

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