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Squier P-bass modding ideas?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NightTripper, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    I have a Squier Affinity P, all factory parts. I've been thinking that in the future it might be fun to customize it a little. Does anyone have any suggestions that might improve the sound or playability? Maybe new pickups, neck, hardware, etc.?

    Also, being completely new to this, I don't know how these things are done. Will the employees in a music shop change your parts or is it better to do it yourself?
  2. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    they don't have the neck feel quality to mess with generally....but if so inclined ...change the pick ups ......
  3. This is what I did with a MIM Fender P-Bass. Originally, it was black with a white pickguard, with a standard Fender MIM rosewood over maple neck.

    I bought a Mighty mite Lefty neck on eBay - $97.99 w/ free shipping. Removed the lefty nut and flipped it over to make it a righty and glued it back on - (already had some wood glue laying around) - free. Sanded and painted the headstock black (rattle can which I had lying around) - free.

    Bought a black bar type string tree for it on eBay - $7.99

    Bought split block MOP decal inlays on eBay - $19.99

    Bought a Fender abalone decal for the headstock on eBay - $15.00

    Bought an Allparts black pickguard on eBay - $17.00

    Bought black pickguard screws on Ebay to replace the chrome ones - $5.00

    Replaced the pups with Fender Original USA P-bass pups from eBay- $60. Soldered them in myself using the original pots (I have a soldering iron and solder) - free.

    I drilled the holes in the neck for the neck and tuner screws and painted the headstock and let it dry overnight, everything else was assembled in the course of about 2 hours with a phillips-head screwdriver the next day.

    All the parts I used were readily available on eBay and all of them fit perfectly (and will fit your Squier, too). So, for a couple hundred bucks and about 4 hours worth of easy work, I now have a custom bass that runs circles around the old one in both looks and performance.

    Go me. Here is what she looks like:


    I recommend you do a little research and do everything yourself. Be patient and buy the parts as you can afford to if you can't afford to just rush out and buy them all at once (I acquired the parts over a month and when I finally had them all I got to work). It's fun, plus you'll learn a lot about your instrument and get a feeling of accomplishment when you're done.

    There are a ton of resources for do-it-yourself projects both here and all over the web and Youtube if you get stuck or don't know how to do something. Teaching yourself how to replace hardware and do your own set-ups will save you a ton of $$ in the future.

    Good luck and have fun with it! :bassist:
  4. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    Wow, that bass is a beauty, and I like how the tuning pegs are facing down. Thanks for the info!
  5. I have a 2002 Affinity P as my #1, dead stock. I've considered mods quite a bit. I'm about to order a set of Jazz Bass knobs as my first upgrade. Someday, I'd like to make it a P/J with some good pickups, or just upgrade the P. I LOVE the feel, look and sound of this bass. Best $100 I've ever spent. It's got a lot of sentimental value, so I'd like to keep it around for a long while.

  6. What's wrong with the sound or playability right now? What do you want to improve?

    I have an Affinity P that's been kicking around for a while, and honestly, the only thing I would change is the pickups. The stock ones are a little weak for my tastes, but I haven't swapped them out as of yet. Otherwise, the bass is set up well and plays fine. IMO, there's no need to swap the bridge, wiring or neck since the original pieces are working as intended.
  7. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Add a noiseless J-bridge pickup.
  8. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    Only thing I have done is shield mine
  9. As long as there's nothing wrong, and you don't actually hate the way it sounds/plays, don't change anything. The only thing I've done to either of my Squiers was minor stuff and only for looks. The best thing you can do first is maybe change the strings and get it professionally setup. You'd be surprised how much that alone will improve things. Changing stuff like pickups and will definitely change the sound, but it won't necessarily improve the sound. You may find you don't like the new sound, and then your stuck with an expensive doporstop. The hardware? Unless for whatever reason you don't like the tuners or the bridge, leave them, too, there's nothing wrong with Squier's hardware, except mayb the tuners on the Affinity basses, and then again, not all of those are messed up.
    Again, change the strings and get it professionally setup and see how you like your bass then.
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Yep. This is the thing that will cost the least AND make the biggest improvement immediately.
  11. zackthompson

    zackthompson Endorsing Artist: MJC Ironworks Strings Supporting Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    Add a j pup in the bridge, change the p pup to a fender custom shop one, change the electronics and the bridge.
  12. No. Don't do any of that until after you get it setup and decide that you don't like it.
  13. Get yourself some Fender P-bass Bridge Covers, I got the J-bass ones on my squier vintage modded jazz bass. :D
  14. Bridge upgrade (high-mass, quick-release or whatever suits your needs)
    Pup upgrade (again; whatever suits your needs)
    Nice quality tuners
    Maybe a special pick-guard

    For most of these you have several choices of color. Pick something that not only sound delicious but also looks!
  15. DaniKettu


    Aug 18, 2008
  16. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    You can do whatever you want, it's up to your taste. Some guys mod until the only original part is the body, and some keep them stock.

    It'll cost more than it's worth to have some hack at a shop slap your parts together. Best to learn to DIY and save a bunch of money.

    The 'best' mods I've done to cheap basses include shielding, new electronics, new pickups, new tuners, new bridge. If you find those things suit your needs, then do cosmetic mods like pickguard, inlay decals, etc. There are a number of place to get all those things online, including the TB Classifieds.
  17. I have a CV 50's P bass that is slightly modified.

    CV 50's P bass: $350.00
    BassLines SCPB-3 quarter pounder: $60.00
    Pickguardian 3 ply BWB guard: $45.00
    Dunlop strap locks: $18.00
    Q-Parts knobs: $24.00
    Bridge cover: $10.00
    Copper shielding - pickup and control - deluxe job: $20.00 (est.)
    Deluxe Gig Bag: $30.00

    Total: $557.00

    As you can see; "modding" your Squier bass is a great way to make it cost as much as a Fender if you bought that at the get-go.

    Luckily, I bought the above described bass for $300.00 from an awesome TB'er.

    Then, once I had it, I added a pickup cover: $10.00
    Chucked the Strap Locks and installed Gibson strap buttons: $5.00
    Spent $5.00 on Muriatic acid to "age" my hardware
    And, didn't even replace the nicely broken in Chromes that came with it when I bought it. (another $20.00 spent/saved on this bass if you want to keep adding).

    Here she is:

    You can see I even rusted the screws a bit.


    Here is a close up of the headstock - check out my "aged" tuners:


    I don't plan to relic the body - but I love the look of tarnished hardware.

    This is a true player - light and solid - great sound - nice neck - a keeper for sure.

  18. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Love it!!
    How'd you do the rust?
  19. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Pickups are normally the most common things I see owners mod on Affinity model Squier basses.
  20. Thanks Rip!

    I watched a video on you tube and this guy took off the hardware (basically all of it) - and you put all the parts and screws in a zip-lock bag - then put that in a cardboard box and shake the hell out of it.

    Then, slightly scuff the surfaces with 0000 stainless steel wool.

    Next, place the pieces in a tupperware style container - then set that into a larger tupperware container with a lid that you can close.

    Pour some Muriatic acid into the larger tupperware and close the lid. (Caution! this stuff is a hazard to your health and anything else it touches) - and it can't be that new "safety" Muriatic acid - it MUST be good old fashioned Muriatic that releases acid fumes into the air like crazy.

    The guy on the vid did it for 2 minutes.

    I did it for 2 hours.

    (Note: the metal pieces are only in contact with the vapors - the acid in liquid form must not touch the pieces.)

    Then, rinse and re-rinse the hardware off with water and dry thoroughly before re-assembly. (let it dry at least overnight).

    It really looks great in person - "softens" the look of the instrument.

    Just be careful if you do this - goggles and gloves reccommended and if you have a stainless steel sink it will stain it if you are not careful.