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Should I add a jazz route my 1980 P bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by aproud1, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Do it and keep it.

    22 vote(s)
  2. Noooooooooooo!!!!

    85 vote(s)
  3. You have consumed too many carrots and can now see beyond.

    15 vote(s)
  1. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    So I have this p bass for sale which I really love. Has a very similar neck to my 76 Fretless which is probably the only bass I will never sell :ninja:

    I love the bass but need another pickup. I was planning to sell it but my dremel tool started calling to me in the night :help: I have reached out to two local guys who could do the routing for me because me and the dremel tool have a checkered past. So what do you guys thing should I just route and keep it or sell it?

    Here is the victim.

  2. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I'd do it, but then I like P/J basses.
  3. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    You can put a J pup on it and it will still be a P Bass. :bag:
  4. I would keep it as-is. Hand-routed pickup holes rarely look good, and the value of the bass would drop in half (or more) if done poorly. As it is now, that bass might sell for $1500 or more on a good day.
  5. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    Just kidding there, I actually like P Basses and that one has some nice Mojo. I like the cream colored pup and chrome hardware way better than polished brass stuff that was on it. Hopefully someone will rescue this bass before the dremel comes out.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I routed a late 60s/early 70s telecaster (internet wasn't around those days to get the exact date), and wound up regretting it. Time goes by a lot faster than we think it will, as does the rise in value of Fenders. If you want a PJ, buy one. There really ain't nuthin all that super special about that bass right now, except for maybe the matching headstock. 10 years from now it's specialness will blossom.
  7. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    Sell it, and buy a perfectly good used P/J for half of what you sell it for.
  8. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    I've never liked PJs, so I vote no, but if you installed a pickup set that has proper balance between the 2 I'd change my vote to yes. I don't care terribly much about resale value; I play bass I don't invest bass.
  9. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Yes. It will be much more versatile. Choose a pickup that compliments the P, like a Fender noiseless jazz, Seymour vintage stack, DiMarzio J or UltraJazz, Fralin or Aguilar end-to-end, etc. Put a 3rd knob on the front following the arc and spacing of the existing jack and controls, wire it V-V-T by moving the P volume to the new hole, the J volume in the old hole, leave the tone and jack where they are, and go for it. That's what I did on my custom bass, and it has proven most versatile.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.

    Or just buy a PJ and put this one under your bed. :)
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I would never do it unless it was a rescue that had no potential value but if you feel you have to do it I would buy a beater and practice
  12. I'd keep it and buy an MIM P/J if you can possibly swing it financially. I wouldn't mod it for the reasons listed above.
  13. quarryman


    Sep 14, 2008
    My 83 P bass has Alembic P J pickups in it, and I love it!!!
  14. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Usually I would say no because if a bass isn't what you want, buy something that is. There's no guarantee a bass turns out right after the extreme mod.

    But you need to tell us the story on this old Fender because it doesn't seem original at all to me:
    A matching headstock on a 'standard' model? non original bridge and reverse tuners?
  15. Luckie


    Jan 1, 2010
    Northfield MN
    An expensive, but ideal option, would be to buy another body and finish it to match the headstock. Then you could do whatever you want to it and keep the original body safe.
  16. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    If this is an original finish w/matching headstock, I'd be more inclined to restoring it instead of butchering it.
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you think you need another pickup, get a J bass. Don't mess with this one, because you love it the way it is.

    Why do you think you need another pickup? Did the Pickup Police write you a citation for not having enough electronics?
  18. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    No, that bass is too pretty. Buy a different one to mess up.
  19. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    Go cut up a chair if feeling the need. Mutilating that good looking bass is a crime you'll hate yourself for for years... Or others will
  20. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    If really like how it feels and plays, and you like the P-J setup, then just do it. Make it right for you.

    One thing I've noticed is that many pros have oddly modified instruments that fit their needs above anything else. Lee Sklar's frankenbass had EMG pickups in very different locations from the normal. Abe Laboriel put an early Seymour Duncan P into his Fender because "it didn't have any personality" before. I've also seen Abe with a Fender Pbass set up much like Sklar's frankenbass. Jimmy Earl's (white) jazz has a P pickup located right between the stock J pickups. All of Gary Willis' mods on his Ibanez SR885s led to the signature instrument he has today. Or look at Marcus Miller's jazz, or Jaco's fretless, or Gary Grainger's Stingray (w/P pickup), or Anthony Jackon's Fodera, or Mike Pope's Fodera... Those are just a few examples.

    Yeah, you can screw it up, but it's just a tool and if it does everything else you want/need and adding a pickup completes the package, then why not? Who cares what anyone else thinks about it?

    Just make sure that YOU want to do it.