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What to do to a Standard MIM Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by skit_skittson, Jan 8, 2002.


  1. I recently got a MIM Standard Jazz Bass. It has a basslines bridge pickup. What other changes should I make to the bass? You can see my bass on one of the previous threads. It is something about Check out my bass on Ebay.
     
  2. new pick-ups?
    fretless conversion?
    new tuners?

    Try a search in places like pickups and setup to get some good ideas.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  4. I'm definately not going with the fretless conversion. Should I add another basslines in the neck or should I change the basslines back to the stock. And, would new tuners make that much of a difference.
     
  5. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I wouldn't suggest switching back to stock MIM Jazz pickups. They don't put out very much output. You might find you like the Basslines already in the bridge position. Then again, you might not. Bass Player magazine put out a good article some time back discussing Jazz replacement pickups. I'd suggest that as a starting point to your pickup selection.

    I'd also give some thought to a J-Retro, as Pacman said. I haven't played through one, but from what I hear, once you go retro, you won't go back;)

    Swapping tuners will only make the tuners better (assuming it's an upgrade;)). It won't change the tone. But, better tuners are better tuners. What you'll get is something that may feel a little more solid and tune up easier.

    You could also change the bridge. There are a lot of replacement bridges out there, depending on how much or how little you want to actually change your bass. One bridge, made by 2-Tek, requires you actually rout a hole in your bass so the bridge can occupy part of the body. It's a lot of work, and you can't change back if you don't like it. The flipside is that people who use them, swear by them. I swapped my bridge out with a Badass II bridge.

    Other miscellaneous things you could try, if you wanted, are to change the pickguard, which some people actually do. You could put on straplocks.

    Really, the important thing is that you're happy with your bass. Any change you make will end up costing money, and some changes will not make you happier. Others may. Give some careful consideration to what you do before you do it. Good luck:D
     
  6. I've got a MIM, and i upgraded with a new pickguard and a set of EMG active pickups. My next thing is an EMG-EX enhancer, i highly suggest going active.
     
  7. I already have an active bass. My SR885. I wanted another passive 4 string. I already own a 79 Peavey T-40. I'll probably change the pickguard to one of those gold vintage ones.
     
  8. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I'd suggest you replace the neck pup if you've got the cash and aren't especially attached to it. The pups are the weakest part of the MIM Jazz, IMHO.

    If you're in for a bargain upgrade that you can easily reverse, I'd go for new strings. On my old fretted J, I changed my stock stainless steels for some Fender nickel rounds and was pleasantly surprised. While still ridiculously overpriced, strings are probably the cheapest upgrades you could possibly do, and are very easy to install and deinstall.
     
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Badass 2 or a Gotoh 201.
     
  10. Tim Schnautz

    Tim Schnautz

    Jan 30, 2000
    J-Retro

    And LQ BAII

    But the J RETRO is all the mod you need.
    best investment for a J bass I've found yet.
    Tim

    Tim
     
  11. I have a MIM J and have been looking into upgrades myself. From all the Talk there is deffinatly a J-Retro in My future but I have decided it would be best to start with the pups as the stock ones realy suck. I got to compare with another MIM the other day with Barts in it and even this newbie could tell the difference right away. But i also agree that U should probably change the strings first thing, i am going to try some DR Low Riders and see what happens.




    I want to Slap!! Help me I can't slap, I need to slap.
    SLAP SLAP SLAP .....OWWWWWWWWWW.
    Momeeeyy Momyyyy Munjibunga slapped me!!
    Shutup and play Son SLAP
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Mike 88 -

    You might want to drop in the Retro first. I did with my Jazz, and I found out that the stock pickups sounded great - saved me some cash in the long run.
     
  13. CraigV

    CraigV

    Jan 8, 2002
    Okay, stupid question time. What's a J-retro? From the posts, I'm assuming it's an addon that's not a pickup replacement. Who makes it, etc.?

    I'm so happy with my new Ric I may never play the J-bass again. But then again, if I ever get a gig in a dive bar, I'll need to be armed.....
     
  14. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Not a stupid question! A very good one!

    J-Retro is an active preamp that is designed to drop into an everyday jazz bass with no routing. It is active, so it requires a battery, but the battery is neatly housed underneath the cavity cover. This preamp is switchable between active and passive operation, and has a 4-band eq.

    I've only seen pictures, never seen one in person. One place I know you can buy one is from www.r2musical.com, though I'm sure there are others.

    Similar to a J-Retro, by the way, is a U-Retro, which is exactly the same thing, but designed for rear-routed bodies.
     
  15. CraigV

    CraigV

    Jan 8, 2002
    Thanks for the info! I've looked at some of the active pickup retrofits, cuz the MIM Jazz pickups are the noisiest I've ever heard. My two problems:

    1. Justifying a ~$150 outlay for a $300 instrument.

    2. Having to remove the cover every time I replace a battery can't be a good thing for the screws or the body. I certainly could route a compartment in back, but then there goes the finish. Perhaps someone makes a compartment cover with a trim bezel to cover the routed edge?

    Oh and I almost forgot...regarding the original post; I'd never replace the tuners unless the bass wouldn't stay in tune because of them.
     
  16. 250$ for the J-Retro and thats without the Battery :D

    i am looking at it this way. I can spend double the cost of My MIM and make it sound amazing or I can spend 5Xs the cost and get a MIA Jazz and never do anything but change strings and worry about wheather every ding and dent is going to devalue the resale.
     
  17. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I bought a used MIM jazz for $200, and put about $400 bucks into upgrades including:

    1) Badass bridge
    2) New vintage style (reverse) tuners
    -which BTW does improve the sound
    3) Fender Custom Shop 60's pickups
    4) Professional install of all the above plus adjust/setup and fret dress.

    This improved the quality and sound of the bass about 1000%. Then I bought an Aguilar outboard preamp and ZOWEEE!
     
  18. I take that as a plug for the MIMs.;) Does anybody have Bartolini 9W4Js in their MIM Jazz? A local luthier/repairperson recommended those pickups and replacing the pots and jack with Switchcraft. Sound like a good idea?
     
  19. Well it's really a plug for My MIM, I have tried a couple of others at GC and Mars just to compare and i don't know wheather they needed setting up or if the quality control is just poor but I didn't like the feel or the sound of those few that i tried.

    Those are the Barts that I was looking into, I like what they said about it in the shootout and thats more or less the sound i am looking for. Or possibly some 60s reissues but i have yet to play anything with those on it or hear them at all.
    What i am looking for right now is somebody in Miami who sounds like He/She knows what they are doing when it comes to working on a bass, so far all the guitar shops i have been to have been full of mouth breathers, maybe they are all drummers:D