What are "must have mods" to Amer J-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zapp, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Zapp


    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    I am leaning hard to picking up and American Deluxe of standard J-bass as my second [actually third] playing bass. considering a 5 since I already got a killer 4..... dunno. played a 5 Stingray a long time yesterday and frankly it had me missing my cruise bass's bottom end [more blossomy]. it may have been the sorry amps in the music store... what a disappointment. fenders, ampegs, swr, nemesis....i didn't find one that really sounded like 'good' .... little articulation. but I digress..

    Assuming I get a gently used American driven only by blue-haired old lady on sunday afternoons.... what are the MUST HAVE MODS I need to do? I see a lotta guys immediately ditching the bridge and going to a BA or Gotoh. is that the ticket? Pickups? EMG's I already got so something diff would be at least another voice. Sads?

    thanks experts!
  2. well, i'm sure someone will prove me wrong, but my suggestion is to play the bass first and see what it needs according to what you want.
  3. this should be a good one.

    I would have to say the pickups... and thats about it.

    i changed the bridge, but then it wasn't an Fender American Jazz Bass anymore. I took it off, and put the stock right back on!

    my vote: pickups.
  4. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    There is nothing wrong the American bridge. If it was a MIM, I would suggest a BA or Gotoh, but you should have no problems with the MIA bridge.

    PUs are a matter of taste, some feel the MIA Fender Jazz PUs can sound a little thin, at least in the standard models.
  5. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    There are no gotta have mods for any bass. Go play a bunch of basses, buy the one that just feels right. Take it home and play it!

    I did put a BAII on my MIM Jazz. I was looking for a certain sound from this bass and got it with my current setup. My next Jazz will be left totally stock and sport Labella flats.
  6. John Coxtosen

    John Coxtosen Music Geek/Bass Nerd

    May 25, 2005
    Duluth, MN
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    1. BadAss
    2. Fralins
    3. J-Retro

    = :bassist:
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Nothing. Fender USA basses do not need to be modified in any way.
  9. Lalala


    Sep 15, 2005
    The Netherlands
    If you're in need of modding a Fender MIA you might want to consider a different bass... I did like the idea of a P pup though :D J pups are so not my thing but I love them combined
  10. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    +1. I think they sound great strait from the factory.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You only do mods when something is messed up. I think there's too many mod-happy people who mod just because they see someone on TV with a modded bass. My 98 Jazz is totally stock and I wouldn't have it any other way.
  12. Fralins are awesome people!!! nothing wrong w/ coil tasting...
  13. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I don't think the buying philosoophy should be: Let me buy a bass and mod it out. Maybe if you found a wreck of a bass or a skeleton of a bass that would have to be restored you would consider mods, upgrades, etc. Why wouldn't you look for the bass with what you want in the first place. Try a bass until you find what you need, what you like, what inspires you, floats your boat.... Don't guess that any modification will make it better, it just might not. If you already have an idea of what you want as your final sound, you will know when you find it in a bass. If not you need to become familiar with what can be modified to enhance an aspect of the sound you are looking for. Sustain? Bridge issue. Thin sound? Pickups, maybe a preamp. Lower action? Strings, setup, fret job. Different sound? How? Too many different parameters to just say change anything and everything
  14. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    if it's your bass do whatever you want with it...that's my motto.

    That being said I think MIA Fenders are awesome straight stock.


    I modded mine with a Badass V...a little difference in tone (not too much at all really) but mostly a difference in the "hardness" of the strings. Was it necessary? Absolutely not but it's my bass and I felt like it. :)

  15. Zapp


    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    this is more fun than an argument over acoustic guitars!

    you guys are nothing if not opinionated: look back through these posts and see loggerheads all over.

    To those of you who say "why buy if mod"..... I have a whole diff perspective. I learned to play on my first love: acoustic guitars. I'll save you the sermons, but I know my way around that field. You ALWAYS modify the guitar somewhat because not everyone's hands are the same, not everyone's ears of the same, not everyone stays the same from year to year, some axes are good at one thing and lousy at another, yada, yada yada. MY other perspective is motorcycles: nobody buys a motorcycle and just leaves it as-is. at least no one that has ridden more than about 2 hours total.

    i think what I'm hearing is "Stock is pretty good on the target acquisition" and the rest is up to conjecture. But the reason I want help from you Pro's is that I do not have a way to hear the effect of bridge, pickup, or even string mods.... or nut for that matter. So I am VERY interested in what others have found out.

    We're havin' fun now! :D
  16. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think the most important mod is to mod that J-bass into a Bongo.
  17. thats what i said to you...i didn't say stock is how you should do it, but like you just said, "because not everyone's hands are the same, not everyone's ears of the same, not everyone stays the same from year to year..." why not buy the bass, see what you feel is missing in the sound instead of having some schmuck like me tell you how your bass should sound?
  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Only must-have mod there is is a Hipshot.
  19. Leave it stock unless it's actually broken.
  20. Zapp


    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    hey Super: you ain't no schmuck!
    I have seen some in my time, but you ain't one of them