Should I fix my Jack Casady or Darkstar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Harpo61, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    I have a Jack Casady that the electronics are trashed and need work since I have it all apart I thinking of going with a DarkStar .What do you think
  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I think a DS would be absolutely badass on a Casady.
  3. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    It's your bass so you can do what you want with it, but the Casady pickup is the key to the sound of that bass. I wouldn't change it. Darkstars seem to be very popular around here though.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    My first choice would be try getting the pickup working again if you cant get another one i would say the darkstar would be a great second choice.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    True i think Jack even said he likes the newely designed pick up on his model better then tje ones in the Les Paul Bass.
  6. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon

    May 13, 2005
    I would also suggest trying to fix the original electronics. It may turn out to be something simple. I think the vari-ohm transformers can go bad sometimes. Maybe just a loose connection.
    Problem is, nobody can get parts from Epiphone anymore for some reason. Not even dealers. Has anybody else had this problem?

    As much as I'd like to sell you a Dark Star I think it's worth repairing if possible. A DS pickup will give you a whole different sound. You'll get a wider frequency response but you'll lose that signature midrange bark.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Yeah i have heard that it is almost impossible to get replacment parts from Epiphone.
  8. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    The the transformer is part of the problem it would need to replaced
  9. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    I emailed Fred Hammon about doing the same thing to my JC; he said the tonal difference is very slight. He also said it's one of the few basses he wouldn't necessarily recommend for the swap.

    I had electronics issues with my JC too. It's a pain to do it, but if you can pull everything out and redo the soldering, it'll do wonders. Replace the ****ty pots, caps, and jack while you're at it. Epi will email you the schematic if you bug them enough.
  10. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    The Problem is I need a new Transformer and If is going to take forever get a new one everthing is going to be replaced since I kind of got mad at it and trying to fix it .It was a big learning experiance working on it but . I am going to put a Dark Star in Something and since this bass is aleady gutted
  11. If that's true, I would think that the Jackbass will be discontinued soon.

    NOTE: I'm not starting a rumour, it's just my thought.

    And if the Jackbass is discontinued, they would only go up in price. (but how much? :confused: )

  12. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon

    May 13, 2005
    If you have no alternative a Dark Star would be fine but like I said, it will sound like something different from what people have come to expect from the JC pickup. Your going to get a less focused midrange but maybe a broader sound overall. My experience with this modification is that it still has the inate sound of the bass itself but just a few more stops pulled out. (Hammond B-3 analogy). Plus you don't get the benefit of hum-camceling...yet. I'm working on a dummy coil idea.

    For the record I love the sound of a functional JC bass as is. I have a sunburst model. I also have a DS modded one that I bought gutted from Guitarbage Man in Nashville. It didn't have a bridge ground wire attached and I couldn't figure out a way to put one in with only f-hole access. That particular project is shelved for the time being. It did sound pretty good though. Just noisy without the bridge grounded. There is also a problem with internal shielding since there is nothing but space below the pickup. The center block isn't attached to the top except way back by the bridge. It's difficult but not impossible to shield.

    Michael Dolan did a Dark Star modification on a JC bass for one on my customers and it came out pretty good. He's satisfied with it anyway.
    Here it is:


    Maybe an Ibanez Artcore? They're inexpensive.


    Another alternative would be to use a T. V. Jones "Thundertron"
    They're small and humbucking like a JC pickup. I 've only heard good things about them.

  13. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    If I can get the transformer I will keep the JC pickup if not it is the DarkStar
  14. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    I brought My Jack to a Authorized Epiphone Service Center in Clearwater and I will Give a shot on replacing it I should know in a few days . If not I will take matters in my own hands and do the Darkstar. Fred I must say you are in a standup guy you could have made a sale but I feel you gave me some options if I do not put a Dark Star in the Jack Mayby I will do
    A Epi eb-3 I could pick one up cheap
  15. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Have you tried contacting Jack directly thru his website?
    FWIW, when I had problems with the bridge pulling out on my JC bass, I called or emailed (don't remember which) the service info I got at both the epiphone and JC sites, and gibson as well. All three sets of people were responsive and helpful.
  16. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon

    May 13, 2005
    Hey. The last thing I want to do is get Jack pissed off at me. I wouldn't even be making these things if it wasn't for him and he has graciously allowed me to use his image on my website. ( I haven't asked Phil yet)
    Plus, as I stated I'm a fan of the JC Sig bass as well. I play 'em and I like 'em.
    You'll never get any Dark Star hype from me...if I can help it. I leave that to my customers who collectively have much more experience than I do with their various applications.
    I'm not ashamed to flash some photos they've made around in the forums though. I'm very proud of them.

    BTW. I recommend the Epi EB-3L over the Epi EB0 for DS modding...I think. Actually no one's actually done it yet...maybe...?
    It really helps that you like the bass, at least fundimentally, first before sinking the price of DSs into it.
    It would be wrong to mod a bass just as a vehicle for Dark Stars. It has to be a combination of factors to end up with a really good instrument that's going to (hopefully) be your "go-to" bass. Choose wisley!
  17. Harpo61


    Dec 15, 2000
    Tampa Bay
    The repair shop called me today and they can put back together and they were able to get the transformer and I should have it in about 2 weeks