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Upgrades for Fender Jaguar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by r05c03, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    So I just picked up one of these. It seems good. I traded an older Singray-5 for it and Ampeg amp. I know that I will regret getting rid of the 'ray but I did not need 5 strings and I need more amplification for bass and synth rig so.....anyway I have this Jaguar bass and I am wondering what major improvement people have made by upgrade components. I think Fender bass bridges, in general look wimpy. I am not saying they are wimpy, just compared to, say, a G&L or a MM, they look wimpy. I was thinking about changing the bridge for aesthetics alone, but what other things can be done to really make the bass shine?
  2. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I like mine just the way it is. :)

    I'll give my standard advice, here. If I were you I'd play it for several weeks, then decide if there is any need to change anything out.
  3. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Don't be in a hurry to change out the bridge. With a replacement bridge, the strings will not always line up over the pole pieces of the PU's. That is the case with the Gotoh 201.

    The stock tuners on the Jag are not great. You can go to a Gotoh or Hipshot upgrade on those if you want. Choosing the model with the same backplate size and screw pattern to avoid drilling any new holes.

    The main thing with the Jag is the noise. If your Jag is quiet, no worries. If not, then a grounding and reshielding is in order. It's a bit time consuming but very satisfying if done well. When you can go from hissing and humming to dead quiet with a bit of bench time, that's a good day.

    Usually with a factory bass, it's worth removing the neck and cleaning out the neck pocket of all the foreign matter - of which there can be lots. So the neck will seat as nicely in the pocket as possible.

    With the Jag, however, when you pull the neck, the pocket is whistle clean. That's a pleasant surprise indeed. So probably no need to check the neck pocket unless you can see signs that the neck isn't seating properly.

    Other than that, like the man says, play and enjoy, then re-evaluate down the road.
  4. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    i threw a pair of peter florance jb's into mine. great jamerson AND jaco sound.
  5. Why did you buy it if it needs to be upgraded?
  6. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Getting a bit personal aren't we?

    Well, the 'ray was just a straight up better bass and I will miss certain qualities in it. I have never been floored Fenders, but I have always liked the Jags. I participated in a pretty much straight across for things that I need, a good four string bass and more amplification. The Jags have been out for awhile now and I was just curious what those out in the community may have done to make a sweet looking versatile bass even better. My question does not even remotely preclude me from not making any changes at all.
  7. Andy2


    Sep 29, 2000
    + 1 - I like mine as it is !!! :hyper: ( I dont have the noise poroblem that ohters have) . Bridge is ok for me, also the tuners.
  8. Fat K

    Fat K

    Mar 7, 2008
    Hong Kong
    The only fix need is that frigging battery case. Scare the shXt out of me when I put the back end a wee bit hard last night!

    Apart from that absolutely fab bass. Need some photos and get a no. from the Jag Club.
  9. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I am thinking of putting Gibson Thunderbird Pickups in mine. A bit scared to make such an investment of time and money though.
  10. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    If it wasn't active I might consider swapping pups with a bit more bottom end. But these work well with just a tad of the bass boost available.
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Be careful about "upgrading" the bridge. It tends to take the body wood out of the equation a bit, giving you a more "modern" and less woody/resonant tone at the same time as it increases your sustain (and thus reduces the impact of the note attack).

    I have lately become a fan of those old stamped Fender-type bridges. Crappy as they are, they really are a part of the sound we love.
  12. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, the pickups are bit on the bright side on most settings. There are so many tones in this bass though that you can tweak it to your desired liking. I actually like the look and feel of the Jag but want a Thunderbird sound. I dont know if the Jag would do it with the T-Bird pickups or if I would just have some mucked up cross between the two. :meh:
  13. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Will do! It is the sexy red....my first red bass. It make me hard.

  14. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    this is an old picture of mine awhile back. In the pic it has a chrome BadAssII bridge, SD quarter pounders and black pick guard. Now it has a black BA II bridge, Fender CS pickups, black Hipshot tuners, black PG and string tree and DR Black Beauties. Jag.

    Dont listen to the people talking about keep that factory bridge, it's garbage. I kind of miss the SD pickups compared to the Fender. I realize why I dont have any other Fenders with factory pickups in them. I never play this thing anymore though which is sad because it was my main bass for almost a year. :( If someone offered to trade me their white Jag, I'd do it.
  15. I put SD Vintage pickups in mine, slapped a stamped "F" bridge cover over the stock bridge, shielded the cavity and bought an aged pearloid pickguard from Jeannie. It's sweet! And quiet--finally!
  16. J Hud

    J Hud

    Feb 18, 2006
    I have one, love it. Very authoritative natural tone to it (meaning it sounds just as ballsy unplugged, always a good sign). I Have the black and I’ve done the following to it –

    • Leo Quann BA2 bridge and grooved the saddles to line the strings up with the pups appropriately
    • CTS Pots
    • Fralins
    • 4-ply tort guard
    • Straplocks
    • Corona CA neck plate (had one laying around so why not, even though it says CIJ not 2 inches above it)…

    Someone previously mentioned the tuners are crap, and they pretty much are, but the bridge is worse  I’ll be replacing the tuners on mine at some point too..
  17. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    I have heard what Fralin PUs can do for a stat....can they do the same thing for a bass?
  18. DaveF


    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    LOL Parsons, that's EXACTLY my bass (except for the pickups).

    It's creepy, almost like you broke into my house to take a picture... :ninja:

    I have done the following to my HRR Jag:

    - Black Glossy pickguard from Jeannie

    - Gotoh 201 Bridge (Direct replacement; no drilling or filing)

    - SD Vintage hot pickup (neck)

    - Took the battery out to make the Active/Passive switch a "Mute" switch

    I do kind of wish I'd gotten the Sunburst one, but hey - it's a great bass and I can only see it getting more and more popular.
  19. DaveF


    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    Really? I'm using that bridge with no problems at all...
  20. rickon


    Sep 26, 2006
    The stock bridge is a very simple design. Thus it must be bad. NOT!!

    It's sublime in it's simplicity. I never had a good reason to change it out.

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