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Who Believes In Leaving Basses Alone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by plangentmusic, Nov 28, 2010.


  1. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    Manhattan
    I know it's commonplace to tinker. And it makes sense that if a bass feels great but doesn't sound great a simple pu can lead to the ultimate bass. And why not add a beefier bridge? New tuners wouldn't hurt. And so on and so on.

    The problem is...the total rarely adds up to the sum of the parts.

    And after all is said and done, you've invested another couple of hundred dollars into the instrument on a "guess."

    I've seen guys replace perfectly good parts on Squiers because they think they're somehow inferior. Meanwhile, they're as good as any other. Tuners aren't crankcases. Bridges aren't chassis. Just play the damn thing.

    I'm not saying it can't work out. I have a Frankinfretless that is awesome. But that was more of an accident. :)

    The way I see it, every instrument has a vibe and you either like that vibe or you don't. And sometimes those low tech touches add to the vibe. A P bass with super hot active pu's isn't a P bass.

    But that's me.

    Anyone else?
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i leave some of mine alone. i don't really own any cheap/budget basses, but after more than 40 years of restoring/repairing and building thousands them, i have a very good idea of what to expect the results will be when i do.
     
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    See my sig.
     
  4. Depends on the bass. If it don't need fixing, don't fix it.
     
  5. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    I never changed anything on all my basses
     
  6. I totally agree! mods usually add up to be the difference in price between a new MIM and used MIA on Fenders for example. While there used to be only a slight difference in quality, the newer MIA's leave the MIM's in the water.

    If I want to change a lot of things on a bass after buying it, it gets taken back. I have never understood replacing Fender pups with EMGs etc... because I would think the reason to buy a Fender is to sound like one. Right? And don't even get me started on replacing a P bass pup with an active one. *** is the point of the Pbass sound then? buy something else! don't ruin the mojo!

    The only time I have modded anything is the bass I have in my avatar. I sold all the chrome hardware and replaced it all with black hardware of the same parts for looks alone and the result was very pleasing to the eyes. Black and Red mmmm....!
     
  7. Tonegasm

    Tonegasm

    Mar 22, 2010
    NJ
    Blasphemer!
     
  8. I went back and forth with pups for my '08 MIA Fender Jazz V - it drove me crazy. At first I swapped out the bridge pup, wasn't happy with that so I swapped out the neck pup so I had 2 new pups in the bass. I liked the sound, but not as much as I did with the American Standard pups in there. So I got rid of the Bartolini's and put the bass back to stock.

    But then . . . I went back to the Barts and thought I liked the sound, but once again I didn't like the sound of the Barts as much as I did the AS pups. So this time I left the bass stock and haven't gone back since.

    The bass sounds great stock and there no longer anything that I would do to change it.
     
  9. Some of my basses are 'hands-off' basses, meaning nothing changes on them but strings. Others are bought with the sole intention of being mod-puppies and they get the drill as soon as possible. But the mods are usually more than a simple bridge or tuner swap. Usually it's something involving a router in order to change a dual soapbar bass into a P/Bar or something like that.

    But that's how it goes here. I won't mod a bass that was not acquired for that purpose.

    Right now, I'm in the no mod-g.a.s. zone.
     
  10. I actually bought an SX Jazz bass because I had a set of Fender SCM pickups in a box. I wanted to use the pickups, so I bought a bass to put around them.
     
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I don't see how one can make such a dogmatic statement supposedly to cover all circumstances - even if this is the Internet. :rolleyes:

    Indiscriminate, compulsive "upgrading"? Sure. That can be a waste of time and money.

    But there are plenty of cases when a well-considered, strategic upgrade can turn a mediocre instrument into a good instrument - and a good instrument into a great instrument.

    Two likely cases in point: Brice. And Carvin.

    I rest my case... :smug:

    MM
     
  12. that's what I thought on my yamaha trb5-II...(sounds good everything looks good) until a couple tuning pegs got destroyed, 1 of which on the night of the gig while I was tuning up...(D string, intonation was messed up, I'm left handed so I didn't know anyone I could borrow it from, and had no replacement).

    My thought is that some basses (esp for me since i'm left handed and there's not really any choices of basses, unless I would get a 5000$ custom one that I can't try before buying it) have a lot of parts lacking quality (some cheap parts made in china or wherever else). Therefore when I got my tuning pegs replaced I got gotoh so I knew they were quality even if they were a lot more expensive, I'd like other things replaced but I'm a university student so funds are limited...
    DONATIONS WELCOMED :hyper:

    But on the other hand I think ur right in the way that some people over do it just to make it "sexier or better" but it actually doesn't... why not buy a bass that has the bassics of what you want then change hardware and other minorish stuff if needed.

    PEACE
     
  13. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Sorry, not me.

    That's half the fun, getting inside them and trying out different strings, pickups, bridges, pots/caps, and stuff on my basses. It's a part of the hobby I really enjoy.

    I learned a helluva lot doing this, and it made me a better judge of instruments and gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for them.
     
  14. I've never swapped anything out but am thinking about now to a bass I got for free.

    But, it probably has something to do with making it your own. People do it to their cars, for example, all the time. Tint the windows, new wheels, wider or taller tires, new stereo, stuff to the motor, ect... Sometimes it doesn't do anything but make you feel better, sometimes it does a lot, depending on what it is you did...

    For others it's probably about the search. In many things it's not the destination that's great, it's the journey...
     
  15. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    well, good strings and a good setup will get you 90% of the way... I mean, people that sound like crap on a cheap bass will probably sound crap on an expensive one anyway... Been there, still there :p

    then again, why not experiment? cheap basses are great to mod, you don't wanna do it to a Lakland or whatever...
     
  16. Other then set-up, I leave mine alone . They are only original once. If I dont like the way one sounds or plays, I sell it and buy another. You never get your money back out of a bass that you spend money on to "upgrade".
     
  17. meatwad

    meatwad

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I have always swapped pickups, tuners, bridges, whatever I could experiment with, until I got my Ray. Same for my Tobias, even though it was slightly modded by it's previous owner before me, I've not changed a thing on it since the day I bought it ten years ago.

    Those two basses have saved me a lot of G.A.S money over the last decade. ;-)
     
  18. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    How about because it's my bass and I'll do what I want with it?

    I haven't yet modded any of my basses in a significant manner. I am, however, going to change the pickups and preamp in my LTD to try to make it a bit more versatile.
     
  19. I try to make myself change things on my basses. But I just can't bring myself to spend money changing something that already works just fine for me. Also, I can't afford it.:D
     
  20. xjeremiahx

    xjeremiahx

    Apr 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    No longer a slave to GC.
    same. I've changed a pickguard once, but that's it haha.

    I've thought about modding my old mim jazz that i have, but just don't see the need for it...
     

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