TLC for my "new" Fender MIJ P Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fffreddy, Nov 11, 2016.


  1. Just picked up a Fender MIJ E-Series P Bass that needs some TLC. Luckily the huge Pittsburgh Penquins sticker was removed before I picked it up although much residue remains to be cleaned off. Needs strings, possibly better electronics under the hood, setup, etc.

    First things first, this baby wants to be playable and the saddle height screws are messin' with my palm muting. I could cut them down, install new ones or even put in new saddles. What doth ye say, gurus of the luth?
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  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    If you have a dremel you could cut them down, cleaning up the threads is a PITA though. If you have a music store near you I'd just spend a few bucks on shorter screws, much easier. Well in your case a few loons.
     
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Don't deal with the saddle screws until you have dealt with everything else. Get the strings you want. Set up the bass- relief, string height and intonation. Adjust the nut as necessary. Check for fret eveness and address that if there are issues. Then you will be in a position to judge if you need to cahnge anything with repect to the saddle screws. It's worth noting that the bridge is currently badly adjusted, so dealing with the small details like saddle screws is very premature. And before you go chasing shorter saddle screws, look at the break angle of the strings over the saddles. If it's a bit shallow you should be looking at the neck/body angle first. If that's adjusted you may need to raise the saddles and the current adjustment screws might be perfect.
     
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    For future reference, the easiest way to clean up threads after lopping off a screw is to first run a nut down past where you will chop it off. Once you are done, remove the nut and it will pretty much clean the threads up for up as it comes off. Of course that is provided you got a clean cut and did a little smoothing prior to taking off the nut. I usually use the edge of a cutoff wheel to do the chopping, then the side of the wheel to clean up the cut.
     
  5. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    Look at the pitted corrosion, rust and just gunk on and around that bridge! It's... beautiful. :thumbsup::thumbsup: Clean it, but don't go crazy.
     
  6. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I would shim the neck so the saddles would be adjusted higher. Easier than using a dremel, or finding shorter screws.
     
  7. Thanks to Turnaround and the other commentors as well--especially to tbplayer59: my idea of TLC does include keeping the mojo alive. It took me days to read thru all the info here on tb about the mij e-series, 32" scale p basses, but it helped me realize that this bass has a unique place in the overall Fender story. Now I just need to tweak this baby into a play-worthy part of that story.

    Turnaround is right--I've jumped the gun and need to decide on strings first. I'm thinking flats but am having a hard time deciding. I've had a great experience with La Bella tapewounds on my Guild ABG but don't want to go with lower tension (the MIJ PB is 32" scale). I'm considering La Bella 760F's Std (.045-.105) or Med (.049-.109), but do not want to give up too much articulation with stiffer string feel, so I'm also considering a custom Std set with only the E-string at .109 OR maybe half-rounds. I don't want this thread to morph into a subjective "these are a few of my favourite strings" discussion, but some insight about these choices specific to my bass would be appreciated. Then I'll move on to nut adjustment (if req'd), relief, string height, (shim the neck?) intonation, fret evenness and finally... the saddle screws (cut down, clean off, new screws, etc).

    Stay tuned.
     
  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    While you are debating strings, take the time to makes sure all the screws, dodads, thing-a-ma-jigs, and dohickies, work. Nothing like trying to set up an instrument that has frozen bits on it.
     
  9. Thanks for the advice, sissy kathy. Being from Canada, there's nothing I hate more than frozen bits!
     
    sissy kathy likes this.
  10. 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.

     
    Jun 12, 2021

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