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Original vs Mod'ing a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nicktunz, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. nicktunz

    nicktunz Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2008
    Miami, FL
    Mesa Boogie, Arc Effects, Small Sound Big Sound, Earthquaker Devices
    So, I have a Fender Highway One P Bass. It's awesome and would be almost my ideal bass if it just had a jazz pickup in the bridge.

    I am torn between adding a pickup because I feel it would kill the value of the bass. But then again, what value does this bass really have? If I end up keeping it for the long haul(which probably won't happen) does it matter the value?

    Does anyone else have this struggle? Fender doesn't seem to really have a passive american p bass with a jazz pickup. And their only American option is pretty expensive. Not that there is anything wrong with the MIM p deluxe but still.

    Any opinions? Just trying to feel out what I should do.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Very good question. I'm loath to mod Fenders irreversibly after seeing unmodded 70's Precisions go for over $2000. But my 76 Precision just didn't sound great till I modded it with a new P pickup and added a J pickup in 1982. Did a series of other mods to it as well. So the only mods I did to the 09 AmStd Precision I got earlier this year were reversible...pickup and pickguard. Don't really miss having a J pickup in it, so that wasn't an issue.

    A lot of folks say a Highway 1 won't have any appreciable value hike in 20 years, but the truth is nobody knows what it'll be worth in 20 years because those same people would have said the same thing in the 70's and 80's. So you have to decide what's worth more to you...a modded bass or a bass you can sell for more money down the road.
  3. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Years ago I use to mod every guitar or bass I had. Now the extent of my modding is perhaps a bone nut or an occasional bridge change. As far a that kind of mod goes, it's up to you. The Fender Highway One doesn't have a huge resale value to begin with. If you are afraid of killing the resale, find a used Squier or low end bass and try the mod first to see if you really like it before routing the Highway One.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Meh. It's a tool. Make it do what you want it to do. I just bought a 2008 Precision V and I will be slapping a double J at the bridge when I get time to read some reviews and pick one. To me, collecting is for baseball cards. Basses are meant to be played.

    Also, I think part of the reason that older Fender basses are collectible is that so few of them (relatively speaking) were even made to begin with. Your bass is one of a gagillion. So it probably will never be seen as "rare". (Mine either)

    So put the pickup in it and play it with a big grin!
  5. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I say go ahead and mod it. Its your bass you can choose to customize it to how you think you want it. You Will kill the resale value but does that really matter if its the sound you want?
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You have to decide whether you buy musical instruments as a financial investment, or as a means of making music. If it's the former, I can assure you that there are many other investments that are far more valuable, more compact and/or lightweight, and that appreciate in value much more rapidly than Fender bass guitars. If it's the latter, then upgrade & modify at will, and don't worry about resale value. When/if the time ever comes to sell, take what you can get for it, and move along. In its own way, the music you will have made with it will be worth far more than any additional cash you might have received for it. :eyebrow:


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