Show Your Pandemic Mods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, May 18, 2021.

  1. Mister Molina

    Mister Molina Mister Molina Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2020
    I also have this 90's forgotten Stu Hamm Urge MIM model screaming for an extreme makeover... I know money-wise, it is not worth it, yet the modding process is so enjoyable. I'm on the fence about it, but this thread is giving me M.A.S. :nailbiting:

    IMG-20200820-WA0001 (1).jpg
  2. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    IDK I Would leave that beautiful bass as is. MHO:)
  3. Black Out Jazz

    Black Out Jazz Suspended Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2021
    location is overrated
    Oh, come on, man! Imagine how bad a tort guard would look on it. :D
  4. bnt


    Jan 7, 2011
    Less of a Pandemic mod, since I've been working most of the time, but I was recently off work for seven weeks after major heart surgery, which had been some time in the planning. So I got the bits together to replace the stock pickups in my Harley Benton MP-4EB with active EMGs. You might think that's a lot of money to spend on a fairly cheap bass, but the solderless installation means changing or even removing the EMG installation will be fairly painless if it comes to that.

    I wanted to hear what this beast sounds like with decent pickups: the originals are OK but unbalanced: the Roswell P is an absolute unit (DCR 15k) that would clip the cheap active EQ circuit that came with the bass. The MM could not compete in level at all. So I got some EMGs.

    HB MP-4EB EMGs.jpg HB MP-4EB EMGs Closeup.jpg

    It's a VVT installation of a P and a MMTW. The latter is a dual mode pickup: standard humbucker or stacked humbucker (for a more Jazz-ish tone), controlled by a pull pot. I had originally planned to install a switch too, but position #3 (the empty hole) is close to the output jack and can only accommodate a small control, and both the switch and the pull pot (now in position #2) are too big for that.

    The only hiccup was having to enlarge the wiring tunnel between the MM position and the control cavity. It was about 7mm, but the MMTW's wiring connectors needed 10mm. In the end it took some cheap 300mm drills from Amazon and about ten minutes. I did try it with needle files first, but it was far too slow, and heavy manual labour is generally considered inadvisable while one is recovering from open heart surgery. :rollno:

    The verdict: I think the HB needs this level of electronics to show off its overall build quality. I would describe the sound now as "smooth" or "balanced". The tone from the P is so even, I can't easily distinguish between strings except for open notes - and even then it's tough since this is a zero fret setup. I wonder if the Reverse P layout helps there. The MMTW is less to my taste, but both tones are useful to have. I really want to hear this bass through a good amp at some point: I think it will shine.

    I am planning split outputs as a future project: that will require more woodwork to install a second output jack, a la Billy Sheehan's basses. It has be two because it will be two separate active circuits that share only a positive battery connection.
  5. Jigmay


    Mar 24, 2004
    Great thread concept! I've never modded a bass in 40 years. I've been trying Aero pickups, moving away from active preamps, and swapping necks.
    1) Replaced Bronco pickup with an Aero pickup. Now it sounds very good. (no pic).

    2) Removed John East pre from Lakland DJ4, and it sounds as good as or better without the preamp.

    3) Tried Moses fretless neck on Alembic/Fender.
    4) Bought a white reliced MJT body w/ Tony Franklin guts, and tried with several necks. I DO NOT like the sound of this with the Bass pick, what am I missing (first time with this pup config.)
    IMG_7712.jpg IMG_7631.jpg

    4) Installed custom made AERO MM pick in MusicMan Old Smoothie, removed MM active preamp. Notice the pickup magnets now line up with strings, sounds really good now.
    IMG_7801.jpg IMG_7754.jpg
  6. Fernando Costa

    Fernando Costa

    Aug 4, 2013
    I turned a Fender PJ Performer into a more user-friendly instrument for everyday work. A more versatile bass. I replaced the original bridge with a hi-mass, installed pickups more to my liking and a blend and tone controls. A front jack, of course, as it should be. Now I have a good P bass and almost a J bass.

    IMG_0970.JPG IMG_0975.JPG IMG_0988.JPG
  7. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Put some Fralins in my 74 US reissue Jazz. Stock winds with raised poles for better string to string balance. These are a huge improvement over the stock pickups which I really didnt like. Too brittle and spanky sounding.

  8. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yah, I agree - these basses are pretty much ideal "as-is" even if "most people" aren't aware or interested in them. I put them in a similar category as a Kubicki Ex-Factor. Why mess with perfection?
    EatS1stBassist, JimmyM and AudioTaper like this.
  9. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Did it not have a pg located jack stock?
    EatS1stBassist and JimmyM like this.
  10. Fernando Costa

    Fernando Costa

    Aug 4, 2013
    Not in front.


    JIO, EatS1stBassist and JimmyM like this.
  11. Mildew Jones

    Mildew Jones

    Dec 18, 2014
    Only got around to 1 real mod...




    Happy Friday...
  12. I added a tone cap switch to my p bass to select between 0.047uf and 0.1uf caps... surprisingly versatile and definitely different thump when the tone is rolled off on the different caps. Exceedingly happy with the results. Cheers




  13. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    Put some hip shot ultralites, bridge and knobs and a new pickguard (original was bright white, this one is parchment Pearl) on this SBMM also added a Delano pickup. I love how it turned out and it sounds and plays like a bass that costs 3 times as much.
  14. I started this August 2020 and had to let it sit due to coastal humidity and have started painting the fretless headstock (clear coat currently curing before level-sanding "orange peel"). It was originally a Squier Jaguar in sunburst.

    20210522_133053.jpg 20210522_133133.jpg
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Wow, that is badass! All that carving...are you doing that on the front, too?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. There are some darn good photography skills on display in this thread and it makes the bass pern that much more enjoyable, so thanks for that!
  17. Those are decals I bought on Etsy (assuming you mean the gold). Yep, here is the front. My inspiration is Dick Dale's "surf burst" and it morphed into Atomic Era (hence the gold). I'm going for an LAX Pan-Am VIP lounge circa 1961 vibe (Imagine Rod Serling ordering a G&T with a pilot and JFK).


    FWIW, have a Mint green guard and putting SD Antiquity 1 (Alnico 2) with SD Apollo in the bridge.

    Here's a rough outline: 20201019_151459.jpg
    Reedt2000, JimmyM, StevieMac and 5 others like this.
  18. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    843A1645-D094-49D2-AD25-FD14FB92EEC3.jpeg BF1480F3-71A9-43E6-A909-963A77443471.jpeg

    Mini P
    Replaced the incredibly small strap buttons with the old ones off my JBS
    Sprayed the pickguard and made the wenge thumbrest (1st pic)

    The tuners were kinda iffy, so replaced them with Gotohs, and added the black string retainer
    The girlfriend got me an EMG GZR pup for my Bday, and I changed the knobs.(2nd pic)

    Black Hipshot bridge arrived today, once that’s on, should be about done
    JimmyM, Jigmay, seedokebass and 2 others like this.
  19. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    JimmyM likes this.
  20. A lot of great looking Basses, pieces/parts and that guys gf turned out real well...!;)

    That first stimulus brought a project to life. Some good luck on getting a Warwick Masterbuilt solid Brass bridge for $200 was great, but not as cool as the no cost 3D printed pickup adaptor and free Aguilar DCB G3 pickup from a retailer made a sweet Masterman 5 that is making someone very happy.

    Sorry, no pics...:(

    I got my costs
    out of it selling it to a retailer and grabbed some Warmoth and did this...
    Then a series of unfortunate events led to this Bass turning into a cashier's check for all costs and recycled into this...
    Grabbed it local private sale, Gold to Nickel with another Masterbuilt brass bridge, cannabilized and sold off all original parts and installed a Dark Glass Tone Capsule and Dingnord Wallstrand FD3-n pickups. My friends at Hipshot did their first set of USA HB-6 Nickel/Black tuners, too.

    It's a MONSTER!

    A bunch of fun, creative juices and ended up with a low A that works, string spacing that is comfortable and a devastating electronics package in a mint 10 year old German Warwick..Plek'ed, too!

    What a long strange road it's been... :cigar:
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 26, 2021

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