What mods for drop tuning?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 4stringfiend, May 19, 2012.

  1. 4stringfiend


    Jan 15, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    Hello all,
    I recently picked up an 81' Aria Pro II CSB 380, which is essentially a P bass. After a nice set up it is exactly what I want. After acquiring this gem, I have an old Squier Affinity P bass that I want to still be useful and not just my backup bass. Now rather than just throw some flats on it, I want to put a couple of hundred into this bass and make it so I have two really great P basses.
    Despite being a Squier, this is a nice playing bass. The neck is straight and the frets are good. It also has a very attractive aged white/blonde color which I do not see on too many basses.
    Going on to what I want to change, I think a new bridge would serve this bass well, to give better tension on drop tunings. Of course drop tuners and I'm thinking flatwounds, just so I can have the variety in strings. I'm thinking a new pickup would be nice too, although the Squier one works ok I want to try a new one out.
    I appreciate any opinions and advice about the mod, because I have never modded a bass before. And any opinions as to what pickups and bridges to look into as well, because once again, I have no experience with aftermarket parts.
    Rock on :bassist:
  2. KingLucCole


    Feb 25, 2012
    My advice? Save the prices you'll spend on modding for a more professional piece of equipment. Sure, you can always mod the hell out of a cheap bass, but then you're sinking a bunch of money into a piece of equipment that would never quite be up to snuff.

    But hey man, do what you gotta do. If that's what you're feelin', then okay.
  3. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    A different bridge will have about zero effect on string tension. Larger or higher tension strings will.

  4. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Indeed. Best thing to do is buying thick strings. Something like the Power Slinky from Ernie Ball will do.. If the neck holds it..
  5. Higher gauge strings, a new nut and a setup is all you really need to drop down.
  6. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    No need for a new nut. If the current nut won't accept the string gauges needed the slots can be widened. Do not make them deeper and keep the bottom of the slots rounded and slanted toward the peg head. Do a search for BEAD four string conversions.

  7. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    I actually just use the new strings like a saw to widen the slots :bag:

    I get away with it way more often than I should:p

    Flats are gonna be higher tension than rounds of the same gauge, so take that into consideration. And the bridges on those basses are perfectly functional.
  8. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    I totally disagree. If you have a bass that you like, cheap or not, and you want to personalize it, then modding is worth every penny. I have a tricked out affinity I would put against anyone’s and you will really have to bring it, to shoot it down.

    I agree that changing the bridge and nut may not buy enough improvement in sound compared to cost. Same with tuners, if your bass stays tuned. But these modds can really dress up your bass. If it’s a affinity, get rid of that ugly PG. As for sound, changing electronics w/o changing values may not give you better sound, but will give you better reliability. Now for sound, PUPs, strings, pots, and cap values (ie 250K to 500K or vise versa) will change the sound.

    Here’s what I did: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/hi-i%92m-name-goes-here-i%92m-mod-aholic-860203/

  9. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Put some nice '62 reissue pickups in there to improve the sound, or some Dimarzios or something.
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