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The prodigal Jazz Bass overhaul....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SidNitzerglobin, Jun 25, 2020.


  1. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    I wound up reacquiring my first bass last weekend after several years away, this 2001 MiM Jazz Bass Standard:
    ZIerRI5.jpg boB2FuP.jpg
    I was always pretty darn impressed w/ how it setup & played & it's been a very comfy bass for me, but felt it wasn't doing what I wanted it to sonically & rather than start down the rabbit hole w/ pickup swaps in the unfamiliar territory of basses, I wound up moving it along to a friend. Since getting it back I think much of my previous sonic dissatisfaction was just in the nature of it being a Jazz Bass while I was looking for a different sound & I found I was actually enjoying it quite a bit when deciding if I wanted to bring it back home.

    Never the less I decided I would do my usual tinkering w/ it as a welcome home present & the first of the parts to make that happen arrived today:
    AgCiEm8.jpg
    Didn't want to reinvent the wheel so much w/ this one, kinda just amplify/nicen-up what it is stock for me so here we've got a Hipshot Vintage bridge w/ .75" spacing, Emerson .047uF PIO cap & 250K pots, a set of Pure Vintage knobs &, probably the biggest gamble, a set of Fralin +5% wound Jazz Bass pickups.

    Still on the way is a set of Hipshot HB7s in nickel w/ the lollipop keys & a couple sets of Labella RX nickel wound .045-.100 rounds (which unfortunately don't look like they'll get here until Monday...) I also have a slot w/ my luthier friend to make a bone nut for it on Saturday.

    I'm half debating if I wait for the Labellas (have really liked their feel & sound on the LP Jr.), use a set of the orange packaged Rotosound Swing Bass nickel wound rounds (a totally unknown quantity for me, although the blue packaged/silk wrapped ones have seemed great on my 4003S), or go for flats w/ a set of the Rotosound RS77LD monel wound I've had on hand for a bit (love these on my B-301 but I can't quite decide if I want flats on this bass or not). I really want to ditch the NYXLs that are on here now ASAP one way or another...

    Hopefully I'll get the bridge on & some headway made w/ the rewire tonight/tomorrow.

    Thanks for taking a look!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Whatever else you need/want to do, you're on the right path with Fralins. Good choice.
     
    Nedmundo and SidNitzerglobin like this.
  3. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    That's good to hear!

    I was surprised at how little feedback I was finding here on them, but I kinda gave up after an hour or so of clicking threads & trusted my previous experience w/ his pickups in guitar land.

    We'll see (or hear rather) pretty soon here. Flew right through the wiring of the rest of the electronics in just about 35 minutes. I guess it's a lot quicker when you're not doing a bunch of stupid wiring tricks :):
    ytABXIe.jpg
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  4. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    Wired up the pickups, pulled the strings, swapped bridges, strung it back up w/ the NYXLs & roughed in a setup:
    Qej0EZz.jpg
    yOOA7uD.jpg
    dfHKKvB.jpg
    I think I need to add a bit more shim under both pickups & I've yet to intonate it, but I'm liking it a lot such as it is through the FrankenRig of the Power Station 2 w/ the UL210 & PF115 driven by the Orange Stamp. Seems like a pretty versatile voice & hopefully what ever strings I put on there will dampen but not altogether kill the springy pop of the attack on the 1st 2 strings. Seems to be less prominent w/ the Fralins so far & I'm really liking the enhanced detail of them generally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  5. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I have a 2001 Standard Jazz bass neck on my parts bass, and I love that neck! Good luck with the mods :)
     
  6. klejst

    klejst

    Oct 5, 2010
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Always cool to hear stories about reuniting with an "ole friend" bass/gear. Looks great!
     
  7. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    Congrats on reuniting with an old friend! I'm jealous how nice and tidy your wiring looks and all the components are top notch so you should get some great sounds. Only thing missing are some Gotoh Resolite tuners (GB528) which would take at least 4oz off the headstock if you still have the Mexi tuners on there. They're lighter than the hipshot ultralites and look great. Enjoy your new bass!
     
  8. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks guys!

    I've got a set of Hipshot HB7s w/ lollipops tracking to deliver sometime today on the tuner front. I think they're in the same general neighborhood weight-wise as the stock Mexi tuners, but I was mainly looking for the upgrade in smooth operation than weight as this bass seems to have a nice balance point for me & has a very manageable weight for me already. I think the lollipops look cool too :)

    Unfortunately the LaBellas are still tracking for Monday delivery despite having arrived at the regional distribution center a few miles from my house last evening, but maybe I'll get luck & they'll show up today/tomorrow anyway. If not I think I'll go ahead and use the flats when I swap tuners. Also gonna add some more shimmage under both pickups

    After that once I get the bone nut on there & dial in the setup, pickup height, & intonation I think I'm going to be completely stoked on this one :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
    EatS1stBassist and mikecd1 like this.
  9. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Wow! I bought the exact same bass in 2001 when I was 17. This takes me back. However, didn't yours originally come with the strat style knobs? Also, did you get the Fralins in the bridge size cover or change out the pickguard? There were some odd minutae on those early MIMs.
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  10. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    I bought it used originally w/ the JB knobs, really hadn't changed anything but the strings & putting the sticker on the guard. The Fralins are just the standard +5% set I got from Darren Riley, everything seemed to fit w/ the stock guard/routs aside from the height of both pickups being just about exactly the height of the glued on bar magnets of the stock ones shorter on the Fralins.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  11. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Interesting. I wonder if I had a 2000 model, the neck pickup was the same size as the bridge and it had strat knobs. Exact same dark blue color however.
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  12. Rabidhamster

    Rabidhamster

    Jan 15, 2014
    Shim the end of the neck slightly and raise the bridge saddles slightly to keep your action where it was relative to the fret surface. This should make a huge difference in the odd attack on the upper two strings you mention. Better break angle, better transfer of energy, and most importantly for your issue will better keep the saddles in place on a heavy pluck.

    let me know if you need more info


    I like window weather stripping foam for Under the pickups, you can stuff it full but it compresses a bit so it’s not too fussy. Pool noodle will also do in a pinch but not quite as pliable
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  13. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Awesome beautiful bass. I love to mod my Basses. Looks like you have all the right stuff. I love my La Bella White Tapewounds and the black as well. Robust thick sounding. Flats never did it for me but the other day I acquired some TI’s which I could never afford. I got them used from a friend here on TB. WOW! I love the feel and sound of the TI’s. More akin to Tapewounds in feel and sound. Everything I love about the Tapewounds is what I love about the TI’s. Any way have fun with your reacquisition:):thumbsup:.
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  14. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    I'm more referring to what I've come to categorize as a feature of the Jazz Bass tone, just described badly. It's the slightly metallic high mid profile of the attack, mostly from the bridge pickup, that I'd associate w/ being perfect for slap but seems very cool in moderation for my finger style tones (probably over emphasized for me by the strings I've got on there).

    It doesn't really seem to be related to the sitar/wolftone/harmonics thing I'd associate w/ insufficient break, but I do appreciate the suggestion & I could certainly be wrong :) I think I actually have more break angle now w/ the Hipshot bridge & I think it's likely plenty, but I'll make sure & have my luthier friend weigh in when he's got it on his bench tomorrow for the nut.
     
    EatS1stBassist and Rabidhamster like this.
  15. Nice color and great you reunited with it again..yours is giving me "GAS" now:rollno:...need to seek help on that..LOL.....This is my 2000 MIM....with the strat knobs as it came when i bought it in 2007 used obviously, but in mint condition with no scratches anywhere......I bought this thing on a whim while drunk surfing ebay at 3am, wife wasn't pleased...haha...I was looking for a cool color like yours, or a red, besides the sunburst, but the excitement of owning a J was too great....Since this pic i've added a hipshot bridge, Dimarzio ultras pups and solid opaque p/g
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Rabidhamster

    Rabidhamster

    Jan 15, 2014
    Oh yes that makes sense, of course. I guess I got carried away looking for an issue lol. I know what you mean there, I often find myself playing with the treble pickup rolled off to 30% or so.
    It’s a great looking bass, that color is excellent and looks even nicer with the hipshot!
     
  17. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks man! I'm really loving having that pop available to blend in w/ the bridge pickup pot this time around w/ this one, I think I was a bit too shy to roll it off enough in my previous go round w/ it. I think it's the heart of its tonal flexibility for me.
     
    Rabidhamster and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    I got the tuners swapped over this evening:
    Ul2x5jF.jpg psHXIQ9.jpg
    The strings were reported delivered at 7:00PM but there's no sign of them... Hopefully they show up tomorrow.
     
    Rabidhamster and EatS1stBassist like this.
  19. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Those are nice man!:thumbsup:
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  20. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    The last of the stuff for this one got here this afternoon.

    I got started pulling the NYXLs & installing my one pure bling bit for this one:
    vBs5y5n.jpg
    Added some more shim under the pickups, strung it up w/ the LaBellas & intonated it.:
    WN3Ss4H.jpg
    & then got it over to my luthier friend for his usual great job on the nut & a bit of fret cleanup:
    O65b2yH.jpg
    mDFX3T7.jpg
    He got the action to 5/64" across the board buzz free as long as I'm not Kong-ing out on it.

    Couldn't be happier w/ the feel & sounds through the frankenrig & I think it should only get better as the strings break in :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  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.

     
    May 11, 2021

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