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Project: Squier Deluxe Active J 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rojo412, Apr 14, 2010.


  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I am about to be the proud owner of a new project bass for myself. NEW being a bit of an overstatement, I guess, but hey, it's new to me.

    Tomorrow I go to pick up 2 basses for a silly deal: a Squier Deluxe Active Jazz 5 and a Rogue 6 string for $225... for BOTH! And while I am not so much a fan of the Rogue, I have wanted a Squier DAJ5 ever since I sat down and gave one a chance at GC San Diego and it was the best sounding bass they had at the time. It was amazing how nice and clear it was for such an inexpensive bass. When I saw this listing, I was pumped.
    The plan is, spiff up the 6 and get rid of it. The $$$ that I get subtracted from $225 equals practically nothing for this bass. For me, that means UPGRADE TIME!!! I mean, this bass is going to be the understudy to my American Jazz Dlx 5 with the J Retro Dlx pre, so it better sound good.

    Funny enough, this is the first bass I've bought since the AMJDLX5 took its place in my collection - the only! It wiped out my need for anything else and its been my only bass for... 4 years now! HOLY MONKEY! I didn't even realize.

    So anyway, I pondered getting one of these for a while. I always said I'd get one if I had to sell my main axe. They are dirt cheap new and don't really drop in value used, so why not? Well, I probably would have never pulled that trigger, as I will never get that desperate (the AMJDLX is mine forever). But at this price, I'd be a freaking idiot to say no.

    At the same time, I have been thinking about making a custom bass and trying out different preamps, pickups, etc and maybe even trying my hand at painting, custom shaping, and the like. Well, what better way than a cheap J bass that's made pretty decently? If it costs me practically nothing, any upgrades I do, spending up to its actual value, are all gravy. And I am not worried about such mods on a bass like this. It's not like it's a rare, US made, collectable piece. It's a player. GO NUTS!

    So tomorrow, it arrives. It even starts as a project! No strings and a battery wire needs to be fixed. LOVE IT! Obviously, I'm gonna make it work and give it a bit of a test at band practice, so the heavy stuff will come later here. But I am on the hunt right now as to what I plan on changing. The way I see it, whatever I buy for this can always be taken out, should I find a better candidate for nice parts. But as it stands, it's like a blank canvas for me. I will post pics as soon as I can and will keep this thread abreast of its progress.
     
  2. Woofer

    Woofer

    Sep 24, 2008
    OBX
    Stealth it out. Black hardware, black strings, the works.

    Someone on here has one that they routed for Big Singles. Looks rad. Probably sounds it too. I vote for that as well.
     
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    The stealth look crossed my mind, however I think if I go in a direction with this, it's gonna be vivid. My main axe is black, so I'm thinking something sparkly... Pearl White or Red metalflake perhaps.
    I did like the way a flat titanium silver looked that my buddy used to paint his roll cage in his car, so that was an option too, but I am trying to avoid an evil look and make this funky looking.

    As for the rout, I was thinking the "EMG 40" size may be a good way to go. There are tons of options in pickups that shape, even if they have the single coil jazz configuration inside.

    First thing's first, though... preamp and shielding. I am thinking really hard about the Aguilar OBP-3 and customizing it for a passive tone control and push-pull volume knob active/passive.
     
  4. AgIdoc

    AgIdoc

    Nov 17, 2008
    Huntsville, TX
    i have one & i never, ever, ever use the "slap" switch. always though it'd be better if that switch was active/passive
     
  5. shackled

    shackled

    Jun 25, 2009
    Western NY
    Hell of a deal!
    Subbed.
     
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    If my plan works, it will be 5 knobs (well, 6 because of the stack), 2 push/pull for mid freq and active/passive, and include the passive tone control.
    Personally, I never really loved the Fender preamps. The lack of mid frequency selection, a/p operation, and passive tone control were the reason I got my East preamp.

    Anyone have any shining endorsements for other pre's besides the Aggie? There are so many more than there were 5 years ago when I did my other bass and all of them are cheaper than the East. The Aggie just seems to have a lot of features for the dough.
     
  7. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    CinCinNati
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    DSCN0001.
    DSCN0002.
    DSCN0006.
    No strings, no battery lead, missing knob. But it's the phenolic board that I wanted!
    So, dusted it off, fixed the lead, strung it up with Ken Smiths, tweaked the bridge so far. Added a b.s. knob. And here's that:
    DSCN0014.
    DSCN0013.

    Now I have to put a battery in it and test 'er out.
     
  9. Woofer

    Woofer

    Sep 24, 2008
    OBX
    Nice! I wonder how this would look with either a tort or black pickguard?
     
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Funny you say that... I was just about to ask about pickguarding this bad boy. I am used to my other bass having one and it being a comfortable player. This one, the strings feel like they are a foot off the top of the bass and it's weird.
    I may have to try to fit a basic replacement one if possible, otherwise I have to go custom. Not that I would mind that, but if it saves me time and money, it's PG time.
    I didn't narrow the color choice down, but I think black is out. Too bland. Tort is promising, even a cream color would be cool. But my other one is pearl moto, so I like that. Black pearl? Maybe. Anyone know off hand if there is an easy fitting guard that is readily available?

    BTW, just picked up a Warwick Rockcase for it, so it's safe from harm.
     
  11. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Played it at practice and it started out rocky...

    The bass sounded thin and blah. The strings were still a bit far from the body. Tone felt limited.

    After a few tweaks and the strings breaking in, it started to sound a lot better. I like this bass a LOT. It's nothing like the AMDLX, but it's a really awesome bass for the money. If you can handle the neck width, it's a great bass and I recommend it strongly for people looking for great tone cheap.

    Just sent a PM on an Aggie OBP3 from a fellow talkbasser, hoping to hear back very soon.

    In the mean time, I traded the other bass in this deal for a 4 string MIM Jazz from 96. It looked like the typical abused J bass... so as I started to clean it up, I realized it would come out great. So... Project 2 is happnin at the same time!
    4.

    I'm gonna start another thread on that... http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=649907
     
  12. These are sweet basses i am debating buying a 4 strting model.
     
  13. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    The MIM Jazz looks awesome as is!
     
  14. heb9_28

    heb9_28

    Jul 1, 2009
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I saw that deal on the Cleveland CL as well. Insane.
     
  15. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    That 4 was killer deal! Bummer, man!

    This bass is getting the OBP3 with the N-Tune that was for sale. More to come as things arrive. Problem is, the 4 string project is seeming like a keeper as well.

    I will let y'all know, though. I'd say these Squiers are probably the best bang for the buck I've ever seen, though.
     
  16. dabbler

    dabbler

    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Mine was a scratch and dent for a good deal, but not as good as yours:
    P1010383.

    welcome to the club! :cool:
     
  17. Subbed. I just sold one of these guys for my own reasons but for a cheap, awesome little bass I think I will be reinvesting around tax time. I modded with Hipshot Ultralites, Bart pickups and NTMB 5 knob, 1 switch(mid centre) pre and it just punched you in the face. My current bass it a lot more 'high end' but the tone I got from the Squier killed. I think next time around for pickups I will use Dimarzio Ultra J 5's. Had to do some routing for the Barts but apparently the D's are a perfect drop in.
     
  18. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    If the pre is good but the pickups are "eh", Dimarzios are next.
    And +1 on Hipshot tuners. These stock ones are causing a little bit of neck dive. The heavy bridge helps, but can only do so much.

    If I have one major gripe that is no easy fix, it's the lack of string through body. This is easy to feel with the AMDLX to compare. The string tension is a bit lower and not quite as much twang to be had. If I do the bridge, I am considering thru-body ferrules.
     
  19. I agree - I have previously owned an 06 ADJ5 with the strings through body and the stringing through, although I dont see a change in string tension that some people say they detect, I though it did alter the tone in a positive way. Fuller somehow.
    Hipshot A bridge plus ferrules from Brian at www.bestbassgear.com I reckon. Great guy to deal with. Get your tuners through him as well.
     

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