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P-Bass Upgrade Time!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Unchain, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I finally got together some money and want to upgrade my bass...alot. I love my P-Bass but lets be serious, it could be better. Here are the upgrades I'm thinking about. Please, suggestions are great!

    Pickups: EMG P/J set
    Bridge: Leo Quan Badass II
    EQ: EMG-BTC System
    Tuners: Hipshot Ultralite w/ Extender
    Nut: Graphite

    Thats it for now, but I'm considering later on getting a Modulus carbon fiber neck.
  2. I'd keep it passive, and get some vintage sounding pickups like SD Antiquities or something. Seems you're going for something much more modern, though - looking good!
  3. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    My style is like Stanley Clarke meets Dirk Lance meets Cliff Burton meets Flea.

    A lot of hard hitting slap bass. I'l see if I can find a bass with Antiquities to try out. Thanks!
  4. oldgreyOlds


    May 12, 2005
    Delta, BC
    how good quality is the wood on a standard fender p bass? Ive been looking for a solid bass that I can upgrade for a while now.
  5. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I am considering similar upgrades for my MIM P Bass Special.

    I will be replacing the bridge 1st. I'm not sure I love the BAII, and am giving serious consideration to the Gotoh bridge.

    Gotoh Bridge

    After the bridge, I will consider changing the PUPs, but will probably go for a more vintage tone.

    Good Luck, and keep us posted on how you make out.
  6. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    i am planning to upgrade my MIA Reissue as well
    I finally agree that one cant go without a P
    Long ago, i replaced the stock pup with a set of Bart...hotter output..modernized sound...but that may not be the ultimate solution.
    I am really thinking about the Nordstrand P pup. Need to Talk to Blueburry J
    I love BA bridge, but the slotting task is somewhat... well...
  7. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    My '96 MIA P will stay as stock as it is now, (has a push/pull all controls bypass), until it is pried from my cold, dead hands!

  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    So what's going to be left, a painted chunk of wood and a piece of plastic?
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Definitely upgrade the string trees. Fender has a reputation for putting secondary quality string trees on their basses. I upgraded my string trees to 'high grade, large mass, hand-made-custom-machined" aftermarket string trees, and it made all the difference in tone and playability. To this day, I think, I wouldn't be half the player I am now if I hadn't changed out those string trees.

    Now some people, some people will tell you that string trees won't change your tone, nor will they affect the action on your bass....but don't believe them. THEY DON'T KNOW. It turns out that by precise and measured downward pressure on the strings, you'll get that smooth buttery action that MADE guys like Jaco, Geddy, Flea and Les.

    It's one of the BIG secrets that Roger Sadowsky WON'T tell you about. He HAND GRINDS each and every string tree for every Sadowsky bass made. Fodera goes a step further, and personally etches each one with a dental pick by hand, to match the requested string guage. Jens Ritter sculpts each tree out of surgical grade titanium, and does all his work with a hammer and chisel (talk about old school european craftmanship!) and polishes each one to a glossy sheen using an ermine pelt. You WANT your Fender to sound just like a Fodera or a Sadowsky, don't you?!?!? The power is at your fingertips now!!!

    There are other considerations...Do you want full sized, or maybe lyte style? I hear the lyte ones can not only combat neck dive but are also great for COMPLETELY ELIMINATING dead spots. Do you like the tone of brass (your Fender could sound JUST LIKE a Warwick)? or maybe it's case-hardened steel for you...Howzabout a graphite/carbon fiber blend or titanium? I hear that there's a custom shop in the UK, that for a price, can install LEDs in the string trees for you that will flash in a chase pattern.

    So yes, I say go for it! Do this mod!!!!

    While you're at it, make sure you change out the next most important part of your guitar...the strap buttons.
  10. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    Look for a used Raven Labs PBR-1. You will retain the good, passive qualities of your bass, while adding some flexibility.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    You have any clue how hard they are to find? I've been looking for a while!
  12. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I'd look at something other than a badass II..

    I'd also check out the Nordstrand pups!
  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    The LAST thing I'd put in a P bass are EMG pickups or preamps. I'm not bashing them (although they are not my sound), but EMG is exactly the opposite of "Pbass" tone.
  14. crud19


    Sep 26, 2001
    I'm going to pipe in, in defense of the Badass bridges. I have them on all four of my P-Basses, and I think they're wonderful. Lots of sustain, and they retain their saddle height and intonation very well. File the saddles carefully or have someone who is experienced do it for you.
  15. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    Yeah, It took a little time for me to find one too. One pops up for sale every once in awhile at the dudepit.

    Also, I've heard rumors that something may be developing in the future. I'd be surprised if we didn't see some version of this cool little device someday. It's just too neat!
  16. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Like cheezewiz I'd also dissuade you from putting EMGs in your P-Bass. I know this has been discussed often but I'd still consider them sounding kind of "sterile".

    No Prob if you can try them and decide that you actually liking them... but really try to give them a listen before you buy.

    Personally, I'd prefer a passive solution, like SD Quarter Pounds or smthg like that.

    otherwise.... looks good!

  17. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Wow! Thanks for all the info. Thats awesome. One upgrade that I WILL be getting.

    Already done. Schaller Straplocks.
  18. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Really? This guy sells them.
  19. I know :rolleyes:

    Why own a P-bass if you want a different sound?
  20. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't want a different nsound just a better sound. I like the way my p-bass responds but wish it was more flexible.