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NBD - Squier Bronco Bass rescue

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Justice, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Been watching this 1998 Squier Bronco Affinity bass languish on a pawnshop wall for months now. It's beat up, been played, road hard and put away wet. The strings were poorly installed, the knobs wobbled and it was just a sad sight. So Thursday night I adopted it from the shop and brought it home.

    Fully functional but in need of some TLC. Got rid of the wobbly knobs and trimmed and reinstalled the old strings. Adjusted the truss rod and I now have a playable bass that still needs a little work. Some fine tuning on the setup and I need to do something about the pickup. There is a HUGE cavity routed out underneath the pick guard (looks like it was done that way from the factory) and this creates an issue when if you just tap the pick guard it sounds through the pickup which seems pretty sensitive. I think I'll find some foam and put some under the pickup and in a few places under the pick guard and see what happens.

    Other than that it is just going to get a cleaning, new strings and a new headstock decal. I'm going to leave all the rusty bits in place. Gives it character.

    The tuners look like vintage Fender tuners to me...very strange. But it is 18 years old. Who knows.

  2. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    You scored. Those tuners are better than what's on the broncos I'm familiar with.

    Also those broncos are fun. Great mod platforms too. They'll fit a whole guitar humbucker in the route inside if it's the same as the modern broncos. Also they sound great with a strat rail pickup in there.

    I put a lipstick humbucker in my old bronco. Then a series-parallel-Split switch.
    covermego likes this.
  3. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    18 years old? How long have Broncos been made?

    I would take that on as a project in a heartbeat.
    The tuners are one of the things I'd change on a Bronco.
    Looks like someone already did it for you.
    Nice. I bet you got a good deal on it too.
  4. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    I liked mine. A decent sounding bass. Good neck. Took it it practice a few times and enjoyed playing it. Sold it to a friend who wanted to learn. Nice adoption!
  5. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    First - I would leave the headstock decal just as it is. It looks great! Like you say, a good cleaning and get it set the way you like it and you've got a cool bass.

    Those basses were based on the Fender Musicmaster Basses that were MIA from 1971-1981. Very close in body shape, pickguard and pickup. The Musicmaster Bass came standard with a 6 pole Strat pickup. Not sure about your Bronco.

  6. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Yeah you know what I don't think Broncos were made 18 years ago. If that's the case someone upgraded the tuners. They might have someone else's project there. Bigger score especially if they did some fret work.
  7. jaybones

    jaybones Banned

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    Been wanting to find a Bronco to mod. Pretty sure that's a low end strat pickup there.

    When I get one, I'll be replacing the pup with a proper bass pup, probably a HB. And real bass tuners like this one already has.

    Years ago I was at a pawnshop with my bandmate Reggie, and they had an original Bronco guitar. Someone had stripped the finish and it looked pretty sad. Body looked like pine, and had an unfortunate knothole right where the arm would rest.

    I'd already bought a guitar (got a Yamaha classical for $25), and convinced him to buy it. He played a Mustang in the band we were in, so he was looking to get another offset as a back up. Bought it, went to my house and plugged it in.

    Single pup was terrible clean. Very indistinct and hardly any response to individual strings. Distorted was a different story, sounded like a fuzz pedal on all the time.

    He still has it, never done anything with it, and I've asked him if I can buy it from him. Want to do something like this.

    Instead of the tachometer that responds to the string intensity, I thought I'd put a VU meter there. And don't think I'll put the headers on (where would I get that?) or the Muncie 8 ball shifter for the 'Rose arm. But I will stuff as many pickups as I can get there, some might be dummies (no magnets) so I don't pull the strings out of tune.
  8. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    When I took the neck off, there was a 1998 date stamp on the neck, which matches up with the serial number which starts CY98
    Antisyzygy likes this.
  9. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    1998 was the first year for the Bronco and pretty collectible since I don't think many were made in 98. How much did you pay for it? It would be worth significantly more than you paid for it to the right person.
    Bugeyed Earl likes this.
  10. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Broncs make a surprisingly good platform for a low budget short scale project. Put a real bass pickup in it, and it will shine. I tried hot rais and it didn't quite get it for my taste, so I dropped this violin bass humbucker in mine. Perfect. Lots of guys have done Bronc projects, there are several threads with impressive results. Mine was NOS with the naturally yellowed PG, another quirk some have. The aged neck and vintage tuners on yours have the vintage Mustang vibe. Nice !

    Putting a contrasting pickup in the middle is like a basically pretty girl after she puts on her eye makeup. BING !

  11. Andyman001

    Andyman001 moderation must be taken with a grain of salt

    Feb 11, 2010
    It would look cool with a black PU cover
  12. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    I'd be surprised if Fender made Squier Bronco basses in China 18 years ago.

    Edit: Apparently they were made by Yako in Taiwan (China).
  13. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Clean it up and put in a Novak Dark Star pickup.
  14. Brio


    Mar 10, 2013
    Kansas City
    I had a Duncan SCBP-3 in a Bronco for a minute and it sounded great. Lot of great options out there for new pups.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  15. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Here's 2 I've modified lately. 1st, the orange one was basically free, so the parts I added to this came out to about $60.
    The 2 Hofner pickups sounded nice and full. Grafted a jazz control plate onto the stock pickguard. This was a fun little bass!
    I built it to sell it.......I do this quite often for my enjoyment and if I make a profit.......well, it funds my later-on builds!
    Second one I finished yesterday. It's an '05 with 3 hole (originally for the concentric pots jazz basses) plate grafted in. I opened the pickup opening a bit and installed a Carvin Stacked Humbucker Jazz pickup. The original route worked fine except I had to chisel about 1/8" extra for the pickup to fit. This sounds sweet. These Carvin pickups have, I believe, 13 pickup poles in them, so they're utilized on 4, 5 and even some 6-string basses. Those black tuners I'd had for a couple years. Plugged the original mounting holes (yes....toothpicks), sanded, tinted, hogged out the holes to accept these and they turned out nice.
    Didn't mean to derail the thread, but I read these all the time and get ideas. Just figured I'd share mine. I absolutely LOVE IMG_0451.JPG IMG_0574.JPG modding these! And..........this red one goes up for sale today, right here on TB and that "other" site.
    Duder, Bugeyed Earl and pudge like this.
  16. bnolsen


    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    Even a GFS lil killer mid winding pickup sounds great on these. Slap on some GHS pressure wounds and yer good. covermego: what bridge do you use on your rebuilds?
  17. Very cool score, count me as another who didn't realize the Bronco bass has been around that long. I'll definitely take a closer look when I see a Bronco in the future, I'd like to own an earlier version too...

    Here's my 2010 Indonesian Bronco, trying its best to look like a Duo-Sonic:

    Duder, Papalampraina and xaxxat like this.
  18. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    New headstock decal arrived today I had the guy who made it copy the Mustang font.

    bronco bass.jpg
  19. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    Since it's already got a swimming pool route, get a custom three ply slice of brown tortloaf cut for it that allows for two J pups slanted with the G end fore. Then, rock it.
  20. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse Guest

    Jun 5, 2009
    Always have had a soft spot for the old Broncos. Nice and cheap a few years back and then just good little basses to get your hands around and all of that.

    Congrats on your score and I'm glad the bass found a good home that'll appreciate it and put it to good work. :)

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