separate bass upgrades, ideas for either appreciated

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SureShot, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. SureShot


    Mar 3, 2011
    At this point in time I have two basses, not much of a collection but the most I've owned. A yamaha rbx170, and an ibanez sr 305 dx (3 seperate knobs, 1 conjoined bass and treble).

    The yamaha I have defretted and installed new machine heads and flatwound strings on, surprisingly finished successfully.

    The ibanez has had nothing done to it besides slight damage over the years, and a variety of unimpressive strings that have been replaced with no improvement.

    So, if you're still reading and care to help: I would like any basis of opinion on how to get these basses into better order, givin i'll only be able to spend about $100 more on each of them.

    The fretless yamaha will be used for jazz/reggae and (strangely) rap recording. Nut, bridge, and pup ideas PLEASE!!:help:

    The ibanez I will be using for recording as well, but for speed metal and less ambient music where individual notes need to stand out. I have really dry skin so roundwounds make it tedious to record and mix cause of excess noise, would groundwounds be the answer? (dont understand half-wounds either)

    I have been playin for about 8 years and always relied on my amps and pedals for tonal simulation, realizing there's more to tweak now. Any advice appreciated but if you detail i will apply to the upgrades, as long as it takes to learn and use.
  2. theJones


    Mar 26, 2011
    They still sell "ground-wounds"?? I'd stay well clear of those (metal splinters, ouch)
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Obviously, flats for the Yamaha. Then coated strings for the Ibanez.
    Add a good setup and you have your $100. No need to change parts that work fine.
  4. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    There are only a couple of basses that I let "get away" without giving them a home myself, and one of those was an upgraded Yamaha like the one you've got. I've always like the feel, playability, and weight of those budget RBX basses and this one merely had a better bridge and pickup installed. It was fantastic and in it's used condition, the shop was only selling it for $120-$140.

    Of course when I went back maybe the next day to pick it up, it was already gone. I've put better electronics systems into mediocre basses and learned my lesson when it didn't work out, but that Yamaha convinced me that with a little after-market McLovin', that particular bass can take a big step forward.

    Sorry that I can't remember what the heck was swapped into the bass I'm talking about, but the bridge had more mass (it wasn't a BadAss II) and the pickup may have been a DiMarzio or even a Bartolini.
  5. SureShot


    Mar 3, 2011
    Sorry I'm just getting back to this I've been so busy with other **** lately I only find time at night to get onto things I care about (bass precisely).

    Haa yeah apparently ground-wounds are still around.... Somewhere... Haven't been able to track any down but online which I'm not comfortable with. I like to buy things for my basses/guitar I can hold before I buy.

    Coated strings? I'm not sure what that implies, does that mean what they're plated with?

    Also bridge is a growing concern so I'll check out the BadAdd II even if that's not what was on the other bass. Function > Form.

    Thanks for the replies!
  6. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    What kind of improvement are you looking for on the sound of the Ibanez?
  7. SureShot


    Mar 3, 2011
    On the ibanez it may just be strings. I keep the action pretty damn low but that's where I want it for playability. But if anyone's changed out electronics on the same bass for better, i'd like to know.

    Individual note impact. That's the only way I can say it. Even if it's one note in a constant riff or line, I want flats/sharps to stand out and not blend in to sound like a un-tuned note.

    I can get it like that but only with the mid settings up high, and I don't like that tone.

    Strings, electronics, whatever... I just don't have money to try it all out so I could use some direction.
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Did you ever get this worked out?
  9. Bozendoka


    Mar 13, 2011
    I've got an SR 405 that I swapped out the pups for SD Basslines (ssb-5) - I like the passive tone more and this helped a bunch. I went nuts with the wiring, it's vol/vol/varitone select/varitone level. All three knobs are push/pull, one vol is a cutoff, the other is series/parallel, and the tone knob changes from a mid scoop to a high cut. That ran in the neighborhood of $150, if I recall.

    I've used Ken Smith slick rounds (groundwound) and liked them, Juststrings has had them in stock anytime I've looked.

    By coated I believe he meant Elixer type strings.
  10. DR makes coated strings, check them out: K3 Technology Coating

    I've heard the black beauties are really easy on the fingers.
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