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Squier Affinity J Bass Mods - Smooth Round, Jazz tone the goal

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Charlie97L, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Charlie97L


    Jan 15, 2011
    Can you guys recommend some mods for my squier J bass affinity?

    I've been playing it for a while, and I while it sounds just fine, I'd like to take it a little more in the direction of smooth jazzy round tone than it is now.

    I figure new pickups and some new strings?

    Is there a good setup for that? Not looking to break the bank. I could also replace the pots if it'll make an improvement in the tone.


    edit. if there are drop in tuners, i wouldn't say no to those either, just ready to give it an overhaul. :)
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Best mod ever, get rid of it, or at least set it aside. No kidding For the price of new p'ups and tuners you can likely pick up a used VM jazz and have all that. 1/2" tuners, Duncan p'ups. It's only 299 new! you may be able to trade up for close to the same amount.
  3. This. Or...

    1. Swap the body for a VM Jazz body.
    2. Swap the neck, hardware & electrics for those off a CV Jazz.
    3. Enjoy your new fixed Squier.
  4. Charlie97L


    Jan 15, 2011
    Ok. I definitely considered that. :)

    I'll think on it some more.
  5. I concur. Squier VM or CV are awesome and cheap. Check them out, they can be had used for about $200.
  6. Charlie97L


    Jan 15, 2011
    Ok, so the affinity isn't really a viable mod platform?

    Good to know. I have had great success with bullet strats, but I seem to remember those being more highly regarded than the affinity models.
  7. Well, it is a viable mod platform but if you're thinking of modding to improve the bass but actually hate modding, just pick up a VM or CV. If you want to mod to learn and love to tinker, then go for it.
  8. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Don't worry, you'll end up wanting to mod whatever bass you end up getting. I like to change out the pickups for used Seymour Duncans or Dimarzios. I've got a few really cheap Jazz basses that play and sound better than my Marcus Miller.
    jallenbass and BaticaBG like this.
  9. Charlie97L


    Jan 15, 2011
    well one of my buddies has been eyeing it for a while, so if he's willing to buy it i'll probably pick up a VM, there's a nice one on CL in my area right now.
  10. Affinity models have cheaper everything. It's not that it isn't a good starting point, it's just that for the money the VM and CV are a better choice as they come with decent hardware and therefore need less mods to get to the goal. A better starting point.

    I own a VM jazz and like the sound of the stock Duncan inspired pups, but it comes with a matte finish.

    The CV has a much nicer gloss finish but has cheaper pups so if I wanted to mod a J style bass on a budget I would start with a CV jazz and upgrade the electronics for starters.
  11. Modding a cheap bass is almost always a money loser in the sense that you can improve the instrument (sometimes greatly) but if you go to sell the bass later, you won't likely get back what you spent in mods. There's a TB member named Chunger who's been upgrading/modding SX basses and going way further than I ever would on such an inexpensive bass. The thread is very cool though and shows what can be done when money is no object..
  12. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    It's cheaper to buy a pre-modded bass, but why do that? Doing the mods, setups, tweaks is half the fun!
    jallenbass likes this.
  13. Yes and findng a pre-modded bass that has the exact mods that YOU are looking for can be a challenge.
  14. jlr


    Jan 15, 2006
    Rocheport, Missouri
    I vote for buying another bass too. The VM and CV fish are decent upgrades, but so is the new 2010 model Squier Jaguar. I recently bought one. It's the 4 knob - VOL, VOL, BASS BOOST, TONE, and is active, w/ Duncan Designed pups. I liked the tone on this one better than the other Jags, and it's only $200.
    It's not the same bass as my MIM Jazz or MIA P Special, but it's a giggable bass and it's loud.
  15. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
  16. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    CV and VM are just nicer. Just move on up and leave the affinity as is. The only reason I modded my VM was to add more black to match the black binding, fret blocks and PG. My brand spankin' new CV '50's P will be left alone.

    The main reason I personally would move on from the Affinity is the tuners. They have them itty bitty gurl tuners. An E string deserves to be wound around something that is 4-5 times its diameter, not 2-3. So, to mod them and put on some open gear 1/2" tuners you need to re-bore the head. If you are really handy it can be done, with the right tools, without making a mess. Or you pay someone to do it. Either way if you don't have the gear, it adds cost.

    Read this: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/squire-p-bass-gets-new-lease-life-581201/ He ran into problems with pickups too.

    Of course if you like itty bitty tuners please disregard my comments. But it sounds like money is an issue and that's why I say retire it. If money is no object and you want to have fun, go for it.
  17. And although you may already know this, there are 2 broad types of mods: Cosmetic and functional. For me, functional mods should come first (after all, you want your bass to sound and play better). Some folks don't even bother with cosmetic mods. YMMV..
  18. +1 on the tuners, my point is similar. You will likely spend more upgrading your Affinity than it would cost to buy a VM or CV and mod it, and in the end you will have a nicer bass for less $.

    I have played many a MIM Fender and am very impressed with the VM and CV. They are comparable with respect to playability, not so much on the hardware and pickups.
  19. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    +1 on this.

    I love modding. I've had great results with many project basses, but over the years I've learned that you need a quality starting point.

    In order to really bring your Affinity up to scratch, you'd need to swap out the body and neck. At that point, it's not really a "modded Affinity" any more, is it?

    Find a used VM, CV, Schecter, Cort, or ???, then go crazy. It'll be much cheaper in the long run.
  20. Charlie97L


    Jan 15, 2011
    Thanks guys! I think some of my posts got eaten, but I am going to sell my affinity to my jamming buddy who loves it, and get a VM or CV, whatever I can find used locally.