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to mod or not to mod .... this is my conundrum

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wabbit, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. i own a MIM 1995 fender precision "cowpoke" special and as far as i know, they were only built in this year ..... i am thinking that these might be fairly rare in the future

    i am contemplating swapping out the j and p pups for nordstrands so no problem there

    the problem i am having is that i am also thinking of swapping out the onboard preamp for an audere preamp ..... for anyone that owns one they would know that they come with an LED battery level indicator as well as a Z-mode switch (which i really like the idea of)

    i figure the LED can slip into a small hole in the cavity cover on the back of the bass but the Z-mode switch would require me to drill a hole into the face of the bass :(

    do i go for it and potentially ruin a future investment opportunity or should i keep the bass original?

    i realize that the nordstrands are mods but they are easily reversible


    PS i have already changed the bridge and tuning pegs on this axe to black anodized so the mods have already begun (no new holes however)
  2. Sorax


    Sep 9, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Well that bass has two knobs... the Audere has 3 at least (correct?). So you're looking at drilling some holes anyway.

    Or can you get an Audere with 2 stacked knobs?
  3. LookIt'sSteve17


    Oct 31, 2006
    I totally think that bass will be collectible sometime in the near future, if it's not already... that being said, as long as you're just doing a drop-in job with the pups, I'd say go for it.
  4. the preamp i am looking at is the configurable 3ZB model ..... it seems that they would configure it for me with two stacked knobs (volume/balance and treble/bass) ..... from the pictures on the website, it looks like there are two stacked pots, two switches (z mode and active/passive) and several single pots for EQing ..... i think it's completely up to me as to how it's configured

    i am never planning on selling this bass myself but my son has recently taken up bass as well :) ..... i may pass it down to him or say "to-hell-with-it" and get buried/cremated with it :p

    or ..... maybe i should look at another preamp that doesn't require drilling holes into my beautiful axe ..... any recommendations?

    EDIT: just talked to david at audere and he said i could get two stacked knobs (volume/volume and treble/bass) ..... great guy by the way :)
  5. well ..... the audere preamp has been ordered and will be on its way shortly to me ..... i am excited indeed :hyper:

    i figure life is too short to worry about the 'what-ifs' ..... i want to have my axe be all that it can be and with the nordstrand pups and audere preamp, it soon will be :D

    thanks to all that replied and be kewl :cool:
  6. lonotes

    lonotes A place for everything, & everything out of place

    Oct 15, 2003
    Port Richey,FL
    This is just a thought, but can you remove and store the pickguard, and replace it with one that has holes drilled for the switches? That way, all of the mods are reversible.
  7. unfortunately with this bass that is not an option but thanks for the suggestion :) ..... as you can surmise from the pic, the pickguard has no routing underneath to accomodate the switch (i use singular 'switch' as i am getting the preamp without the passive/active option) ..... it's pretty much for aesthetics and i guess pick guardiness

    be cool and don't let your meat loaf :smug:

  8. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Generally speaking (although I have broken this rule), I don't do mods that aren't reversible. I think your bass is definitely on the "future collectible" list. However, only you can decide which is more important - playability or collectability.
  9. lonotes

    lonotes A place for everything, & everything out of place

    Oct 15, 2003
    Port Richey,FL
    Ah, I see! Well, in the words of the late, great Emily Litella/ Gilda Radner; Huh? What? Oh...Never mind. :D

    But seriously, what about a push-pull stack, similar to an East J/U Retro?
  10. lonotes

    lonotes A place for everything, & everything out of place

    Oct 15, 2003
    Port Richey,FL

  11. i hear ya eric ..... i try to NEVER do unreversible mods and especially with something collectible

    i figure when it comes to the point where i have the preamp in my hands and am installing it and i'm looking at the switch and pondering and analyzing and looking into my soul of whether or not i can go through with it, i may just decide to set the switch in the position i prefer and leave it in the cavity ..... would be nice to be able to switch impedances between songs when required though

    i also thought that seeing as i'm already making a hole for the LED in the non-original cavity cover, i might try to replace the toggle that the preamp comes with with a high quality slider switch and have it come out the back as well ..... i dunno ..... the internal (and now external with TB) debate continues :meh:

    i'll have to look into the push-pull stack but it would have to have 3 positions like the switch (push/pull/nudge?) :p
  12. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    I never worry too much about collectability of an instrument. I want it to play and sound the way I want it to.

    The fact thay you own an instrument that may be worth a lot more as a collectable, maybe consider getting a Warmoth p-bass body routed for P-j config with controll cavity in the back, get the same paint job and put the Fender body away safely where it can appreciate. You can even get Warmoth to pre-drill all the holes for the pre. An alder body with paint will probably cost less than $400. (probably around $300) Just a suggestion.

    Looks to me like they can match your finish 100% with "Transparent MaryKay Finish"
  13. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Wabbit, I've never seen one of these. Without a doubt one of the coolest basses I've ever seen. :bassist:
  14. thanks steamthief ..... i thought that exact same thing when i saw it hanging in my local music store ..... i saw it, the sky opened up and there was a chorus of angels ..... not only does it look cool, it sounds great and plays like a dream ..... it also only cost me around $500 canadian :D

    it was one of the most distinct fenders i've seen ..... active, dual stacked knobs (volume/balance and treble/bass) ..... the neck is relatively thin in cross section (large radius) and is slightly tapered at the nut somewhere between a p neck and a j neck ..... very well balanced overall and the head stock is a sort of cross between the p/j style and the telecaster like this:


    collectible? ..... i say YES!!

    the preamp is starting to go on it though so that's why i'm modding it

    be cool :smug:
  15. I say... I hope not cuz I sold mine!:crying:

    It's a cool bass alright, very playable. I wonder how collectible it will be though, since it's Mexican made. In any case, hold on to the original electronics.

    A pickup and pre amp swap will turn it into a tone monster.
  16. I say go for it with the Nords, but you might want to look at a different preamp. There are others that sound quite good for a lot less, that wont require you to drill a switch hole, thus damaging its future value. I say look into those (Agulair, Bartolini, EMG, Seymour Duncan, etc).
  17. 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.

    Jan 16, 2021

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