Upgrade my MIM P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JFLWP, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. JFLWP


    Feb 14, 2004
    I just got a new Fender MIM P-bass. It doesn't seem to have any dead spots, has a good setup, and the craftmanship looks great to me. I had a washburn that sounded 'rubbery'. In comparison, my new P sounds 'woody'. I like the tone. And I've compared to the MIA Ps, and to me, the extra cost doesn't seem justifiable. Although not in the best setting, at the store the MIA just sounded a little hotter/louder, but not really tonely different.

    I mainly play guitar, but have gotten into bass for recording purposes. Midi bass is lame. I won't gig or travel with my bass. It will only be played in my home studio and kept in a hard case. I record direct into a Boss GS-10 and into my computer's Delta sound card.

    Now, I read on the net that everybody does and says, "Get a MIM P-Bass and replace the pickups and bridge."

    If I'm only using my bass at home, is the stock bridge good and sturdy enough and hold up? Does it really affect the tone that much?

    I was thinking of getting the Fender 'Original 62 P-Bass' pickup. I want something that will enhance the tone I have and make it better. Is this a gamble if I already like the tone or is an improvement pretty much guaranteed? Has anybody upgraded their MIM pickups and gone back? Can these pups be dropped in simply with no re-drilling?

    Is the MIM P-Bass a solid, quality bass in it's own right or is replacing the pups and bridge a mandantory no-brainer?"

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    For me i would replace pups and bridge. Ive own a MIM jazz and the bridge sucked. The saddles were constantly moving downwards and messing upp my action/intonation. The pickups werent bad but can easily be better.
  3. I have been thinking about upgrading my pickups too. I was thinking about getting the '62 RI pickups or the Seymour Duncan antiquity pickups.
  4. If you like the bass how it is there should be no need to change anything in it...from my readings here its seems the MIM fenders are made very differently and you have to play lots of them to find a good one...so it seems you have found a good one
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I bought a MIM P Bass a year ago for my "Jamerson / Dunn project" ( a just for kicks thing!). Like you, I was lucky and found one that sounds great and plays wonderfully. The set up required minimal tweaking.

    I was surprised at how good the stock pickups sound. they are very decent, but I decided to upgrade them anyway. After a couple of weeks of reading posts in the "pick ups forum", I decided on the Seymour Duncan Hot P Bass pick up, and I've been very happy with it. I must say that I also noticed great TB posts on the Fender vintage, SD antiquity, and Dimarzio pick ups as well. I've used my bass for both live and recording purposes, and I can attest that the SD Hot P Bass set sounds great.

    If you want the vintage P Bass tone, I'd leave the stock bridge alone. IMHO, the stock bridge allows more of the woody tone to come through. If you want a more modern tone, upgrade to the Badass or one of the other more contemporary replacement bridges. They will give you a more modern tone with more sustain, more lows and highs, and punchy attack, etc.
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I bought a MIM pbass (used) to mod a year and a half ago. It sounded great as is, It felt great. Back in Dec I changed the pups and installed Lindy Fralins. I decided to go ahead and do the mod because I had just replaced both pots. The bass has an old school sound to it and I am very happy with it. As far as the bridge is concerned I would leave it alone, If dropping saddles become an issue just use a drop of clear nail polish or a bit of lock tight.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Thats true but it isnt the pickups/bridge that vary in quality. I dont seem to find a difference in those.
  8. Fair enough...but i still dont see why you would need to mod a bass when you like it as it is...each to there own i guess
  9. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    I'm always confused on why some people have problems with MIM Fender's. I would think that the person would inspect the instrument and look else where if its not good. When I bought my Jazz I seriously couldn't believe it was made in Mexico. I liked how it sounded right from the shop but I still did some mods. I added a badass II and 60s custom shop pickups. I'm thinking about adding a J- retro :smug: