not sure what to do (frankenbass content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sickest beast, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. THE BASS: (note: this is my only bass)

    I've got a completely stock Fender Highway One Jazz. It's served me well but it's gotten really boring. I want a P bass more than anything right now, so I was thinking of creating a "best of both worlds" bass.

    I could buy a Fender P neck for about $500 + $120 for a new bridge. I'd also put a Precision pickup in the neck position to create a P+J config. I'd need a custom routed pickguard so +$40.

    I understand that I would have to route the body behind the pickguard to make room for a P pickup. I've accepted this, and would route it in such a way as to be able to put the original Jazz pickup back in if I wanted the bass back to original.

    so around $6-700 for the Frankenbass I want. Keep in mind I only have about $300 into this bass since I traded an old, cruddy drumset for it.


    I would also probably want to refinish the body (not 100% sure yet). It is currently a very chipped, very reliced transparent red. I would like a natural finish on the body, a rosewood fretboard on the P neck, and a tortoise shell pickguard.


    Option 2 is: leave the body the way it is. Buy a MIJ 70s reissue maple P bass neck with Black binding and black block inlays (geddy lee style, but Pbass thickness) buy a Babicz adjustable bridge, still do my P+J configuration but with a custom white pickguard instead of tortoise shell.

    I haven't considered my control plate yet. I could use split pots and switches to create some pretty cool options, OR i could just leave it alone and keep it as traditional Vol, Vol, Tone.

    I'm currently paying for a 1977 Marshall Super Bass so I won't be doing any of this until early to mid 2012. But i've been thinking about this every night for the past month or 2. So I'd like to open up a discussion and get other opinions. :bassist: :help:
  2. Passifid


    Apr 24, 2011
    if u really want a pbass trade it for a pbass or sell it add your cool 700 to it and get a pbass?

    or if u wanna project, route the pickup for a pbass, get a pbass neck, w.e bridge, a drop d tuner and have fun
  3. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I recently did something very similar to what You're contemplating, with the exception of staying with a Jazz width neck. Routing for the P bass pickup isn't very complicated, and can easily be done without a refin.

    The stacked knob thing is very cool, as I have it on My 51 inspired build. I will give Ya the heads up though, that it is an acquired taste (a bit awkward feeling to begin with) as some folks seem to prefer the V-V-T setup.
  4. JMac4Strngr, that's actually very close to what I want to do. Awesome. Thanks for posting that picture. You even have the same bridge I was contemplating.

    A few questions:

    Where did you get your pickguard? Did you order a blank and route it yourself?

    How is the sound? I owned a P special a few years ago with P+J setup and I was able to get some really chunky, heavy sounds out of it. Are the pickups positioned in the same place as other P+J basses? Did you use the pickguard to mark the P pickup hole? or did you measure?
  5. 500$? for a neck? what kinda neck are you buying cuz thats alot.
  6. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Got the pickguard here: eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
    Started with the pickguard using it as a sort of stencil, with bass assembled minus pickups to check string alignment using the pickguard in conjuction with the pickup covers. It actually ligned up very well with the factory drilled pickguard screw holes. Once I got the pickguard placement correct. I pulled the pickguard covered the approximate route area with masking tape, re-installed the pickguard, traced the pickup opening with a pencil, pulled the pickguard again, cut taped area to be routed with an exact-o knife making sure to cut through the finish, routed it with a stew-mac template and bits, tweeked the pickup routes as needed with a dremel, finished bare wood area, and sheilded.

    Tone sounds very similar to My other PJ basses, I will note that there is a subtle difference as the position is a tad bit closer to the neck. I did however swap the P pickup to a 62 Fender P, instead of the SPB-3. IMO- It has a very thick meaty sound, a bit different to my ears than a traditional Jazz bass.

    Yea, those Babics bridges are a winner, and I am actually begining to like'em more that a badass 2.
  7. $400+ shipping for a MIA or MIJ genuine Fender neck with Fender Deluxe tuners is actually pretty decent.
  8. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Yea, for what You're wanting(P width, Blocked and bound), a Warmoth would be about the same price. There are some lower cost options (Allparts, Mightymite), but they may not offer what You're looking for.
  9. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Not worth it. If you're going to spend $600, you may as well keep the bass you have and get a used MIA or MIJ.
  10. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    This. There's a whole lotta good P's out there for the kinda scratch you're talking about.
  11. I see usa p necks here with tuners for around 350$ shipped often
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