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What should I mod in my '96 MIM Jbass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cjsolis, Jul 19, 2012.


  1. cjsolis

    cjsolis

    Feb 28, 2012
    I have a 1996 MIM jazz bass (the only bass I have ever owned, and the best one I have ever seen-I live in a small town) and I've got some extra money and a new band and I'd love to do some modding on it. Problem is, I really don't know any bassists in real life, and as every other bass I've ever seen has been a squier or worse, and I have no experience with this sort of thing. So, I'm asking you guys a few questions:

    1. I already had my truss rod fixed, should I expect any future issues?
    2. What kind of pickups should I be looking at to replace mine?
    3. What things (Other than the pickups) should I be looking at upgrading?
    4. What other work should I get done (like a fret job... I have no idea what that is)?
    5. Is there anything else important I should know about before I do this?
    6. I assume this question has already been asked, is there another thread or website you could direct me to?

    I've been playing for 4 years now. It's weird to realize how little I really know.:help:
     
  2. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    1. I already had my truss rod fixed, should I expect any future issues? Only if you're changing to a heavier gauge with more tension than what your bass is used to.

    2. What kind of pickups should I be looking at to replace mine? Depends on what sound you need (for the band) / like (for yourself). If the current sound is fine for the band/live setting, then you don't need to change a thing (for now).

    3. What things (Other than the pickups) should I be looking at upgrading? If it sounds fine, then nothing. Other than the bass, up the amp. Better amp > better bass is the usual rule of thumb.

    4. What other work should I get done (like a fret job... I have no idea what that is)? Rolled frets, decent setup (to your playing style) and a pickup height adjustment.

    5. Is there anything else important I should know about before I do this? Do not use any power tools blindfolded and when you do mod; make sure you have a decent amount of space and room to move around. A work table helps too, that, or spread a blanket on a leveled garage floor.

    6. I assume this question has already been asked, is there another thread or website you could direct me to? Search function on TB or go to the HARDWARE, SETUP, REPAIR section. PICKUP section for if you want/need to replace the pups. STRINGS or talk to Jason of BassStringsOnline for strong recommendations to your and your band's style of play.
     
  3. tabdog

    tabdog

    Feb 9, 2011
    Get a Fender Original 62 pickup.
    They are clearer sounding. I like
    um.

    You can spend a whole lot more
    money probably with little results.

    On the rest of it, my theory is,
    " if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

    Tabdog
     
  4. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    with all due respect ....spend your money on improving your ability and knowledge of your instrument ...

    with all due respect ... I can tell by the questions you are asking, you have not exhausted your instrument to the point that you need to improve it ... and I don't mean that rude or insulting ... to say it a different way, your MIM Standard Jazz (AS IS) could be brought on stage by any pro in the business and do the gig ... he may want to set it up to his liking by making adjustments (and maybe strings), but he would not need to replace any components ...

    BTW, most of the pick-ups that people will recommend to you, wont fit without routing the bridge pup slot ... your pups are the same size, what tabdog just recommended are bridge about 1/8"+ longer than neck ...

    also BTW, glanced into your profile ... your Peavey Basic 112 is 50 watts, not 150 ...

    if you need to spend money because it is burning a hole in your pocket, find a local pro that you can relate to, and spend some time with him, paying him for lessons if needed ... or invest in a good quality book/CD series and devour that ... they can take away anything you own, but they cant rob you of your knowledge ... JMHO
     
  5. cjsolis

    cjsolis

    Feb 28, 2012
    I've been trying to find a bass teacher for months now, I really just can't do it.

    My instrument is in no way exhausted, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like it to sound better, and I don't know what would sound better. The setup right now sounds ok, but I've got nothing to compare it to, and I've been playing it without improving it for years.

    Essentially, I'd like to make improvements but I have no idea what would sound better.

    Two other points: I set my profile up years ago and I was confused, having never really looked at my amp before.
    Also, could you suggest a book/cd series for me? I mostly play alt-rock.
     
  6. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    Owner and Luther for Bennett Music Labs

    1. this bothers me a bit. exactly what do you mean by "fixed" or did you mean "adjusted"
    a truss rod with an actual problem that requires "fixing" is a weak point that will likely come back unless the rod itself is "replaced" this is not an area to monkey around with. know for sure what you talking about when discussing the truss rod.

    2. there are sooooo many choices of pickups out there that really all I can say is. Go play as many basses as you can and make note of what pickups were in it.
    sidenote: is perfectly OK to never replace your pickups if your likeing the sounds your getting now.

    3. pots, jacks, hardware and keys can be upgraded with good results.
    theres several cool and simple mods that can be done under the neck pocket for increases in sustain and basic overall tone.

    4. fret jobs are more about maintiance than anything.. but obviously you can have larger or smaller frets installed if you see the need of it..
    most of the time, a fret job is done only when your frets start showing very deep divots in them or your notes start to sound buzzy or unclear due to the general play wear on the frets. and then there are things like scalloping your frets.. if your the adventurous type.

    5. you need to have played a LOT of other basses before makeing any serious mods to your bass. you also need to be a pretty bad a$$ bassist too. otherwise you stabbing in the dark. that said... here is what I tell many bad a$$ bass players when they come to see me about what to starting looking for when they want to define a instrument to their playing style.
    its as important to know what you DON'T like as much as it is what you DO like before you go modding willy nilly.
    the only way to find these "preferences" out is to play LOTS of other basses. and make notes of what featuers were useful and what features worked against your style.
    when a good player begins his quest for the instrument that best suits his playing style he has to be extremely aware of all aspects of his playing he has to have a real command of his instrument and be able to define its short comings very clearly. this takes years of play time. do not get in a hurry . be the best "Player" you can before you become a "re-designer"

    6. yes. thousands of times.. do a search for mods, you'll find months worth of reading material.
     
  7. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    "sound better' is too vague for most to give you a constructive suggestion ... we have absolutely no idea what your are hearing, and what you like and dont like without more specific inquiries ... "how do I make my bass sound better?" is impossible to answer without telling you what I like, and that may be just the opposite from what you like ...

    Again, there is no pre-requisite that says changes need to be made to a bass after "X" amount of time playing it ... if it works for what you are doing, why change ?? .. especially without a specific objective ... sounds more like you are bored with it, rather than it needing anything specific ...

    strings have a LOT to do with sound, are easily changed, and just as easily un-changed if not your cup of tea ...
    maybe go that route ...

    ... maybe try a comparable P style bass?? ... if you have never played any other than what you have, that would expose you to the other side of sound/neck size/etc ...

    just a heads up, but it could get very expensive chasing that elusive 'better sound', especially without a specific sound in mind ...

    I would suggest you start another thread with your inquiry regarding an instructional package ... I have looked at a couple in the past, and thought Roy Vogts 'Teach me bass guitar" (or something along those lines) looked very good, and quite challenging actually ... but there is also a LOT ... and I mean a LOT of free info out there floating around that should keep the average bear challenged for quite some time, without spending a dime ... if I had the time, I would absolutely scour the instruction and technique threads on here, and I am sure I could find more than enough to make me forget about making changes to my bass, just to make changes ... :) ...
     

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