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NBD-Squier P-bass Special.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rip Topaz, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Making a trade later today. Giving up my SX jazz clone that doesn't get any playtime lately, reading even up for a Squier P-bass Special.

    It's the model with the mirror pick guard. 6u5upugu.

    My question is for owners of the P Special. What mods have you done, and why?

    The bass is in like new condition, and since I'm more of a P-bass guy, I'm figuring this will bridge the gap and let me get some cool bridge pickup tones.

    So let's hear/see 'em!! Tell your stories and inspire me.
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Nice....Squier has really upped their game in recent years. I think you'll like it if it's a solid player. I have the Fender MIM passive P-Bass special in Arctic White/maple neck. All I've done to it was replace the anodized gold pickguard. No mods necessary for me.
    I think you'll like the p/j configuration.
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I'm sure I will.

    Has anyone replaced the pickguard on theirs? Where is the best place to find one that fits?
  4. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
  5. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Awesome, thanks.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I love it as is.
  7. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Yeah, I'm sure I'll like it. It's what I'm currently after, a P-bass with a bridge pickup.

    I was just wondering how everyone liked theirs long-term. Do they still have them or sold them on, that kinda thing.

    What mods (and source), whatever.
  8. I've owned a couple of those. Liked them A LOT.
    The only reason I don't have them anymore is because I traded them for an Ampeg tube Preamp...
  9. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    The only thing that I would consider "modding" is a noiseless pickup for the Jazz pickup. Unlike a Jazz bass, a P/J will still hum even when both pickups are full on.
  10. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Rip; I think you're really gonna enjoy it! Now, I will freely admit that I'm very biased, after all…


    …it was this Sexy Beast that convinced me to buy my first bass.

    The only mods I've done so far is to replace the pickguard screws with black ones. Beyond that, the only thing I'll probably ever do is to put on a Hipshot Drop-D tuner. (love 'em!) Call me nostalgic, but I don't think I'll ever change the electronics…hum or no hum.

    As far as replacement parts, you might be in for a bit of an uphill climb. I've had a lot of experience with Squier's Standard line. Over the course of time, Squier's hardware "footprint" started deviating off of Fender's. Here's some photos for reference;


    That Standard Jazz, sister to My Sexy Beast, has a few compatibility issues. The route for the bridge pickup was a little too small for a replacement, or at least it's pickup cover. It would've had to be routed out and widened a bit. Also, that pickguard normally goes onto an MIA Jazz. I had to attack the neck pocket, pickup route and the edge along the control plate with a Dremel tool to make it fit. And speaking of pickguards…


    This is a 2001 Squier Standard P-Bass Special. Note the extra pickguard screw on the left. I bought a Fender 14-hole guard to replace the (boring!) white one, but several screw holes would not match up. I had to paint that bad boy myself. Fortunately for you the Chrome Edition you have is much newer and has the more-common thirteen holes. Your chances of a match are better, but that's still no guarantee it'll be a match with an MIM or MIA pickguard. I recommend you trace out the guard onto graph paper and take it to a music store to see if it lines up with a prospective replacement.

    One other thing, I bought a used Black & Chrome P-Bass Special earlier this year. I wanted to use the neck for a parts-bass I was building. Unfortunately, the heel was just a little too big to fit into the pocket of a Mighty Mite (re: Fender standardized) body. Another example of the Standard Line slipping off the "footprint". It's likely you'll have to do a little sanding off of a replacement unless you get a custom-made one.

    Either way, enjoy the Hell outta that lovely bass. I know I still love mine, compatibility be damned. :cool:
  11. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I got it.


    I'm not sure about the thin neck yet. I still gotta set it up. Tomorrow is another day.

    The pickups are strange. I didn't open it up to see if the wiring has been changed, but there's something weird going on there. I'll add that to my list of things to investigate further.

    I'm digging the P+J thing, which is my reason for making the trade, but I'm gonna have to see about better matching these pickups.

    The mirror pickguard is cool, I guess, but this is where the bass cuts corners. It's a very cheaply done mirror guard, I may seek out a higher quality one if I decide to hang onto it as a mod toy.

    All in all, I dig it even if there are a few changes and tweaks to be made.
  12. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Figured I'd update since I've had a few days with it.

    The pickguard bothers me. Not the cheapness of it so much as the little crack near the output jack. I'm ordering a black one to replace it, and will probably cover the mirror one with tolex like I have with several of my other basses.

    The tone of this bass is actually REALLY nice considering the cost (new, I got this one in a trade). The P pickup sounds like.. A P-bass. With it solo'd it sounds just like you would expect a P to sound. The weak link in this bass is the J pickup. I've got a few different ones laying around that I can swap in and pick the best one. I may at some point outfit the bass with those REDActive pickups from GFS. Haven't used it with a full band yet so that will be the final test.

    After a setup I'm pretty impressed with how low I can get the action without buzzing. I'm planning on trying some Chromes when I wear out the DR's that are on it at the moment.

    Cool bass. I dig it. Matching headstock really looks cool to me, too.
  13. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    does it have the small Chinese pots? If it does, I would switch out the pots and cap before changing the pickups.

    Every one of these that I have played were fantastic. I'm not sure why I do not own one.
  14. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Maybe that's what I'll do then, just rewire it with full-sized pots. I'm really enjoying it at home this week. I've had lots of time to goof around and get to know it. I'll be sure to swap the pots before the pickups, though.
  15. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Bangor, ME
    I'm a fan of Squier and affordable basses in general. My Squier Matt Freeman was awesome as is but I had some SPB-3's put in just to kick it up a notch. Great score man.
  16. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I believe you MIGHT need to route the control cavity a bit to accept full size pots, I needed to on a Squier Standard J ... just as with the J pup cavity if using a conventional sized Fender bridge pup replacement (as mentioned), as all the Sq Stand Series J pups are of the neck pup length .. or you could just use a J neck size replacement pup.

    The Indo made Squier Standard line did not make a straight P, this P/J is their version of a P, and this one uses the Sq Stand Jazz neck ... one of my fav profiles of neck ...

    .. I kept many of the necks off of these, but as complete basses, the several I have had were all quite heavy, around 10# range ... many consider these Black/Chrome Series Sq Stands as some of the best modern day Squiers prior to the intro of the VM and then CV lines

    Enjoy !!
  17. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Needed to do for CTS pots on the one I had.