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What to do with this bass??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alanloomis1980, Oct 8, 2019 at 11:10 AM.

  1. Do the bare minimum, keep as backup

    37 vote(s)
  2. Fix it, sell it, own one bass

    5 vote(s)
  3. Fix it, sell it, buy a cheap J

    4 vote(s)
  4. Make it real purdy

    19 vote(s)
  5. Something I haven’t thought of

    8 vote(s)
  6. Something involving carrots. Maybe soup

    13 vote(s)
  1. filwitheneff


    Feb 22, 2008
    If it's just a backup, my suggestion is to make a minimal investment to get it up and running so it's ready if/when you need it (and you may never need it).
    Leave the pickups. They might not be great, but they'll function in an emergency...which is what a backup bass is for.
    Honestly, the only thing I might change is the output jack. IME, those are the first things to fail on these cheaper instruments. This is a really inexpensive upgrade.
    If you're not comfortable with soldering, take it to someone that can re-do the wiring to make it work again. Heck, maybe you have a neighbor that would do it for free.
    IMHO, there's just no need to invest a bunch of money into a bass that is nothing more than an emergency backup.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  2. $135

    That's a set of quarter pounders. Slap them in it, and enjoy a $300 great bass guitar.
    Rabidhamster and alanloomis1980 like this.
  3. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    If it can be set up to play nice...

    I would gut it, strip it to bare wood, fill the J pup hole, prime, put on an awesome large flake gold metallic finish.

    Once it’s blinged out, a decent P pup.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  4. nickpc


    Jul 23, 2012
    I think "Make it real purdy" means fix it up and keep it. That's what I'd do. The sound can be modified, but the feel is something that isn't easy to change. I have a couple of basses that play wonderfully and will one day sound just as good, once they reach the top of the budget priority list.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sounds like it has good bones so I think pickup/controls/wiring/jack upgrades are warranted. That's what I've done and would do. I've used several P bass pickups over the decades buy my personal favorite for tone is the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II. Since I'm not a fan of any J pickup in the bridge position and never use them, I'd leave it disconnected and wire it like a P bass.
    alanloomis1980 and Zoobiedood like this.
  6. Mo cowbell

    Mo cowbell

    Mar 2, 2017
    I had a similar “problem” when I bought one of these for $150. Thought for the money I would care how it sounded but after 6 months I had to part ways. If you “love” the neck, I would say a new set of pu’s would do the trick. Or, as someone mentioned, stick to the P pu. I had the BC Rich NJ Warlock back in the 80’s....their cheap Warlock...anyway, I had a set of EMG’s installed and it was a tone game changer.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  7. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Keep the bridge pickup and put one of these in Curtis Novak Bs-DS pick guard by pickguardian
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  8. I have 2 issues with pj. First, at no point will the jazz bass pickup be humbucking. The other is that the output on a jazz pickup is typically much less than a p pickup. In my experience the best way to make it work is to install a good quality side-by-side humbucking jazz pickup. I would then probably wire it volume, pan, tone so that I could combine the pickups and equalize volume output of each, or solo either.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    turn it into a 5 string, add another pickup and put on a bunch of stickers …. then play the heck out of it

    View attachment 3560733
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    +1,000,000 :thumbsup:
    Fresh Eddie and alanloomis1980 like this.
  11. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    EMG Geezer Butler PJ set. Solderless installation, and they sound amazing. You're welcome!
    alanloomis1980 and Rabidhamster like this.
  12. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    " I love the look and feel of it, the neck is fantastic."... this pretty much says it all. Why not put in some great pups? I'd make sure the J was humbucking, and give it a pullpot to do series/parallel of the J coils.
    alanloomis1980 and Malak the Mad like this.
  13. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    Were it me, I’d pop for the P pickup you want to try, get some good pots/cap/jack in there and wire it up with the stock J pickup as VVT.

    Then play it for a bit. See if you like it as a P bass. Or see if you’re using the J at all. Or if you still can’t bond.

    If you like just the P, then I’d disconnect the J.

    If you feel like you like the J, then I’d consider upgrading to a better (and possibly noiseless/hum canceling) J pickup.

    If you still don’t gel, throw the stock P back in and let it go.

    oh, and definitely use the black pickguard.
    alanloomis1980 and Malak the Mad like this.
  14. alanloomis1980

    alanloomis1980 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Just online demo recordings , not in person. At least not that I know of! But thanks for the info, they are something to consider, and plenty of recommendations coming in for them.

    Not really chasing tone, parts are simply not working. I actually like the sound of the P solo. I’m just trying to figure out if I don’t like PJ in general, or I just don’t like this PJ.

    Thought of that, but when I was using the J I liked it just a little backed off behind the P. If I did any alternative wiring, it would probably be series/parallel!

    This has generally been my philosophy!

    Good points! Jack is getting replaced for sure. But now I’ve got this flats/rounds idea, and I have to decide if I want my rounds bass to have a J pickup!
    filwitheneff likes this.
  15. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Yep! That's exactly why I suggested this earlier. You'd have a fully functional P-Bass, but with the flick of a switch, you have two more modes at your disposal should the need suddenly arise.
    Thank you for posting this piece! :thumbsup: It sheds light on an odd mode of thinking I see cropping up again and again throughout TalkBass…a mode of thinking that I, personally, find to be counterintuitive. Specifically, I find the idea that an inexpensive bass isn't worth investing a reasonable amount of money into is kinda silly.

    I know more than a few people will disagree with me, probably quite vehemently and I'm cool with that, but hear me out.

    In hard, objective terms (not the subjective "polishing a turd" or "'cuz it's a Squier" arguments), why is it unreasonable to spend more than a few bucks to upgrade an inexpensive instrument that feels just as good as an expensive one? Like @drumvsbass says, "the hard work has been done". If doubling the cost of a $180 instrument yields something that sounds and feels just as great as an off-the-shelf instrument that costs $800, $900 or possibly even more, I'd call that a supreme "WIN". Like I told a definitive gear-snob earlier this year while watching him trying to reconcile the excellence of the neck on one of my Projekt basses with the brand-name on the headstock, "A good piece of wood is still a good piece of wood, no matter the country of origin." (Personally speaking, the "smoke pouring out of his ears" effect was priceless!)
  16. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Unless you want "nothin' but 'thud'", I'd recommend one of two brands, it all depends on how much brightness you want to color your sound. For a nice, balanced mix of thumpiness and brightness, I go for .100-gauge D'Addario Chromes. For more brightness, but still tamed a bit by the flatwound construction, I'd recommend .100-gauge Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats.
  17. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    TI Jazz Flats are like no other flats I have ever played.... very low tension and flexible. I love those and LaBellas quite a bit (LaBells are more traditional in feel, heavier and stiff). IMHO, the key to flatwound tone is to let the newness go away and then they will begin to thump.
    Oobly likes this.
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Carvin LB-20 1.JPG Well, you could always do what I did with this '06 Carvin LB20; Set it up as a BEAD bass. The original owner spec'ed it out to be a lefty Rickenbacker substitute, since that was the year RIC quit making a lefty anything. And, hinted that they might never make them again. It really does a remarkable job of faking a 4003, but since I have a 4003 and a 4001, a faux Rick was... surplus to requirements, shall we say? But, what I didn't have - and was curious to try - was a bass strung BEAD. Now I do; it makes a really nice one, too...:cool:
  19. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    What I am meaning is right now. The OP sounds like modding it and experimenting with it is not enjoyable. I would play music for awhile and come back to it, or sell it and get a different modding platform.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  20. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    I don't understand a lot of you guys.
    How you somehow end up mindlessly buying basses you don't like,don't want,don't need and can't use!
    And then ask others what do I do with this bass?

    alanloomis1980 likes this.

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