Turning a Bronco into a Mustang. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thedudebrah, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. I may have an opportunity to get a short scale Squier "Badtz Maru" Bronco bass for free. I've always kinda wanted a short scale, mainly a mustang, to mess around on, but never pulled the trigger on one. If I end up getting the Bronco, is it worth it to upgrade some parts? At the very least, I wanna take the weird guard off and put on a standard bronco guard.

    If I get deeper into it, I may replace the pickup with a split coil mustang pup, upgrade the bridge and go for the control plate/pickguard of the mustang. I'd probably also shoot a nice color on it when it gets warmer.

    I want to make this:

    Look like this:

    Opinions? Am I polishing a turd here?
  2. Free? Desire?

    Mod the pants off it.

  3. Shadi

    Shadi Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 22, 2008
    Carbondale, IL
    Endorsing: D. Lakin Basses
    In the money you'd put into it, you could just go buy a Mustang bass...
  4. I almost purchased a Musicman bass about a week ago.... I think I could have purchased it for like $250.00.... So +1 to the go buy a mustang bass...

    Well... First take the free bass.... Sell it.... Then go buy what you want! =)
  5. Well the problem is that the bass currently belongs to my girlfriend. I don't want to sell it and look like a greedy ass and get myself in the doghouse.

    Is that bronco decent enough without any mods?
  6. Hahahahahahaha did I miss that part or did you leave it out??? What a sweet gf! She's a keeper!
  7. Lol I left that part out. Even if I don't end up modding it, hey, free bass!
  8. Even if she doesn't clean or cook.... hey..... SHE GOT YOU A BASS! She is a keeper....

    I just get :scowl: or :rollno: from mine when I get one!! hahahaha

    Best of luck with the Bro-stang
  9. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2004
    it's gonna cost you a lot changing the fretboard :D

    nah, just leave the bronco as is, it's kinda cool :) most of the sound will be there, just get the rights strings and a proper setup...
  10. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    I turned my standard-issue Bronco into a pretty nifty baritone guitar. I also have a Badtz-Maru Bronco in storage, but I'm going to hold onto it for awhile until I find a Hello Kitty fanatic who wants to pay me $$$$ for it.
  11. I dig that name for it!

    I was gonna leave the neck as-is. I figured that will be the most expensive thing to replace.
  12. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Here's what I would do:

    Replace the electronics with a humcancelling single coil size pickup, like the ubiquitous Hot Rails. This is actually quite common for Bronco upgraders. Wire the coils for parallel, sounds more like a single coil, but no hum. Change the pots for better quality ones. Put on flats or tapes. Set-up. Done.
  13. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I turned my standard Bronco(not Badtz Maru) into a Prostangish(P pickups, bronco, Mustang look) thing. I'm pretty happy with it and I think I only have about $125 in it including the $75 I paid for the Bronco. If you want a project, sure. But the Badtz Maru doesn't have the same routing as the standard bronco. This is both a plus and a minus. On the plus side, the control panel will be easier to place. On the downside, you'll need to do alot of routing. There's a 1 piece pickguard on ebay that is made to fit a bronco but look like a mustang... not sure if that's the way to go tho.. Standard Mustang pickguards don't fit the standard bronco very well....
  14. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    I bought a regular black Bronco for $80, never taken out of the box from a guy whose wife didn't know how to bass shop.

    I play it as is right now, but have plans to upgrade the tuners and pickup/electronics.

    A real Mustang pickguard won't cover all the routes for the Bronco pickups and electronics cavities.

    I'd take any bass for free, much less a rare-ish one like that. I'm interested to know what the routing is like under the pickguard of the Badtz-Maru
  15. Man, if you wanna be the true hero in every blues session - buy an original 1952 Fender Telecaster, and mount the pickguard of the bronco on it.
    No matter how bad you play - everybody will know you in the future.
  16. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Absolutely do not mod it!

    A "Badtz Maru" is a much-sought novelty item and you can easily sell it for more than you probably would expect if you can get it set up right and ready to play, then buy what you want.

    It's always a bad idea to try to turn a bass into a different one.
  17. I was unaware this thing was rare and sought after.

    I also didn't even think that the routing could be different. Maybe I'll just grab it and set it up and hold on to it as-is. I doubt I'll ever gig it, I'll probably just noodle around with it at home.
  18. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    If you are sure you'll keep it start mods with the tuners.I put a GFS rail strat p.u. in mine worked out fine,did'nt feel a need to "upgrade" the bridge.BTW the rail p.u. id just slightly bigger than the original so oyou'd need to open up the pickguard just a little.Unless you're stuck on the looks of the 'stang bridge a regular flatmount would be fine.
  19. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    I'd only put a serious pickup on it and some shielding. :)