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Why did you modded your bass(es)?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Thomas Kievit, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Alright, probably there have been a dozen of these threads, but I would like to know from those or you who've modded their bass(es) : Why did you changed you pups and / or preamp?

    I'm always interested in story's of people, searching for their own sound and what they needed to do to accomplish that :)

    So if you modded your bass, tell it here (and show some pictures if you have).
  2. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    I have 2 G&L 2500s Fretted and frettless. Through the G&L fourm here on TB I found instructions and diagrams to change the MFH PUs to give me complete coil tapping on both PUs.
    Therefore; I had the actives removed for two reasons, 1 because I never used that feature and 2 I did not want to drill an extra hole in my G&Ls to keep the stock look and be able to change them back to stock if I ever want to.
    I always loved the sound of my G&Ls but the actives were over the top for me. I now have many sounds to chose from, but find most of the time I'm in single coil on both pu. I should say that I run Fender flat wound strings on my fretted and LaBella tape wound flats on my frettless through a GenxBenz 6.0 with 2x12T cabs, no effects and it is the sound I've always heard in my head.
    That is why.
    Thanks for asking
  3. redzebra6


    Mar 31, 2010
    Exiled in Texas
    I'll bite.

    Why not? I feel like I don't own it till I open it. My opinion, if people improve their houses and modify their cars with aftermarket products, why not instruments? Afterwards, they seem to sell for more than what they are worth. And it's all about perception, what the value of something is to a certain group of people. Granted, there is a slight bit of a difference between houses, cars and basses. Resale value? I'm not worried. If I ever do sell any of my stuff, I know where to sell it. I'm not looking to get top dollar for something that's been used, and I would be a fool to think so.

    Again, my opinion. Usually, whenever I see this pop up it's at the tail end. Also, don't be surprised if this gets moved or not too many responders.
  4. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    I mod almost all my bass's. After owning about a dozen bass's and a half dozen amps, i just can't find anything off the rack that im happy with ( this includes custom built one of's for substantial scratch ). Thru alot of trial & error I've settled on upgrading cheaper bass's with
    with good active pick ups. Currently i have epiphone thunderbirds modded with active emg's ( hb's in the neck & jazz at the bridge ). I've also done this with an epiphone les Paul bass and have 2 more that will receive the same treatment. I've found this set up works best when playing with guitars that have high gain. Full contact bridges ( as opposed to 3 point and brass nuts also ). But its all so relative to genre, amp and current gigs you have.
  5. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    When I bought my bass, it was a very cheap, poor quality instrument and the electronics were terrible...they sounded like a cardboard box. Under my guitarist's guidance, since I didn't know anything at the time, I got and installed a Dimarzio Model P and it worked for me for a long time. Eventually, I became discontent with the tone and started seeking a different sound, at which point I switched to a Lollar pickup. It made a ton of difference and I'm happy with the choice.

    In short, people mod because they're looking for something different than what they have, and often to upgrade poor quality components, as well.
  6. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Many years ago I picked up a MIM Active Jazz Bass for a really good price. I was very happy with the sound and never thought about modding or changing anything out in the bass. Then I had a pickup crap out and stop working. So I upgraded to the SCN Vintage Noiseless pickups which are fantastic. So my very first mod was out of necessity, but it also involved improving the sound of a lesser expensive bass with better electronics.
  7. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Haha, yes you are right there! ;) But what if people have high end basses like Marleaux, Mayones, Brubaker, etc.
  8. miiitch


    Nov 27, 2011
    i tokk out the bridge pickup on my 7string, because it was heavy.
    and i don´t need it at all.
  9. Bassics101


    Feb 3, 2011
    My 2007 MIA Jazz lost the bridge pickup, so I guess I was forced into modding. Though I could have gotten the replacement, I decided to try Seymour Duncan QP's. Nice, but I might try something more 60's sounding next.
  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I mod my basses to make them do what I want them to do, which might not be what they do stock.

    It makes it more personalize that way and helps you find your own voice. I built my own basses as an extension of this.

    One size does not fit all. :D

    Some of it depends on how long you have been playing, and what you are looking for in a bass.
  11. Till now I only have modded my G&L L2500 (glockenklang 2 band preamp, parallel/sc/series for each pu, spacers between the saddles to obtain 18mm string spacing, 2 string trees for BEAD strings)

    Before modding it, I had a love/hate relationship...actually it was more hate than love. Now I love this bass, it´s like a chameleon....

    I´ve decided to mod it because I wanted to make it mine. I knew I wanted to have single coil, wide string spacing, a strong B string and versatility to go from passive traditional to active modern.

  12. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I bought a Squier Jazz Deluxe 5 string a year ago for really cheap brand new as I wanted a bass that would have a vintage look as my other basses at the time were MTD KZ5 and a Peavy USA custom 5 string fretless.

    When I received the bass I was amazed by the sound with what was stock on it. But I decided to get it a little further tone wise so I changed the pups with Lindy Fralin passive ones, replaced the preamp with a Bassmods BEQ12-34M and the bridge with a Babicz.

    The result was phenomenal and it became my main axe for one of the project I play with.

    And it was really fun to do...:D
  13. Up until just recently, I really didn't think about modding my basses. I did my research and bought basses based on the sound I wanted (Stingray HH, Pbass, Jazz, etc) and I never found a real reason to mod. And I certainly won't mod my Stambaugh, Chris built me a stunning one-of-a-kind instrument that is perfect for me.

    Not long ago I did mod my Jazz V though, mainly out of curiosity. I put in an Audere JZ3 preamp and Basslines Quarter Pounders and am totally happy with the result. I'm also toying with the idea of swapping out the bridge.

    Because of that, I've started looking at basses more as a starting point, much like buying a car. You find a model you like, and then customize it with things like nicer rims, tinted windows and a stereo to really make it your own.

    I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Squier VM Jazz V specifically with the idea of it being a "project bass" and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I want to start by relicing it. :eek: lol

  14. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    The never ending quest for The Tone.
  15. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I mod stuff. I've modded my Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (gouged routings by previous owner, I had them fixed by professional luthier) my Fender Am Deluxe Strat, my Jazz basses, guitar amps (different tubes, speakers).

    I (officially) received an MIM Jazz V Standard for Christmas. Officially, because I bought it several months ago on eBay, 2012, mint, $399. I put it away, in my wife's closet, for her to give me for Christmas. She bought her own gift the same way. We each got smaller surprises.

    Anyway, I already have a set of Quarter Pounders, a set of SCNs and a bridge Norstrand noiseless, all for 5s, all of which I bought cheap, used here on TB or on eBay. I also bought a new Audere pre, which is in my sock drawer. I have been buying Hipshot tuning machines one at a time over a period of months, in anticipation of this bass. I did have to order and pay retail for the treble side machine.

    Anything I don't use, I can sell again on eBay, usually for the same price, maybe a couple bucks less.

    If I decide to sell the bass, the original stuff goes back on (almost as much fun) and the good stuff goes up for sale, or on another bass. Whoopee :hyper:

    I find it interesting to do the research, find the bargains, do the work and setups and sell it all and start over.

    Taken just for you. Modded many more than shown here, but like I said, half the fun is selling and buying new stuff.

  16. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    On my J-basses and my s/s/s Strat, I've swapped pickups primarily to go noiseless, because I can't stand single coil hum. In two cases, one of the basses and the Strat, the tone improved as well. I have also changed pickguards for cosmetic reasons, and added drop tuners for flexibility. I also added a tone control to my SB-2 for more versatility.

    More recently, for the first time I bought a bass with mods planned in advance, which was to serve as a backup for my MIA Fender and G&L basses. I found a near mint and dirt cheap 2010 MIM Jazz, black/rosewood, to which I added some parts I had lying around: a gorgeous tort guard; Gotoh bridge; and Fender American Series pickups. It has worked out beautifully, because it looks great, has decent playability, and sounds fantastic. As a backup, it's perfect.
  17. dvlmusic


    Jul 24, 2010
    Alameda, CA
    I've modded two basses - my MIJ Jazz and my MIJ Precision. The Jazz was my first experiment - it was a $375.00 new bass and as a new bass nerd I kept hearing all these great things about the BadAss bridge, the Hipshot Bass Xtennder key, etc. After doing those mods I decided that the original pickups sounded weak so I replaced them as well. That bass was my main instrument for 15 years in that shape.
    Recently I was kicking around the idea of doing the same to the Precision, so that was my Christmas present to myself this year. This was a bit different as I added a J pickup to the P (I've never cut into an instrument before).

    I mod as a way to make an inexpensive instrument sound and perform the way I think it should. The Jazz was my bass at hand at the time, but the P always played like a million bucks but sounded lik the $175.00 bass it was. Now it sounds like the million bucks I knew it always played like.
  18. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    Depends on the mod. I have a j-style that I changed the tuners because one broke, so I upgraded the whole set, I changed the bridge because the original bridge was huge and gold, personally I prefer black or chrome, I removed the preamp because it had a hum and I didn't like the overall tonal effect when I set the eq onboard, and then the pups because they were designed to be used with the preamp and sounded flat without it. Once that was done, I modded the electrical schematic several times, just to nail down the tone I wanted and eliminate hum. So now it has all new hardware (for quality and appearance) new pups (for tone), new shielding and electronics (for tone, versatility and silence, now it has an s-1 switch-v-v).

    Finally, after all that, I still wanted something a bit thicker and more vintage sounding, and a bit lighter for comfort, so I took a look at an old p copy I had. I stripped it down to the body, stripped the finish, removed a few pounds of wood (completely removed the lower horn, took about 1.5" off the top horn and bevel), did a fully custom paint job and finish, found used vintage parts for it (mid/late 70s japanese fender copy neck, late 70s fender tuners, still shopping around for a good bridge, but running fine with the original fender copy), and hand carved pup/control plate covers, and strung it up with rounds. Now I have that growly, aggressive low end/smooth top end vintage meets modern tone, complete silence when I'm not playing, on an extremely lightweight, comfortable instrument, that is completely personalized and all my own.

    In my case, I've modded some out of necessity, some for tone, some for cosmetics, and some for personality.
  19. subdude67


    Jan 18, 2010
    a few years back i bought a yamaha RBX375 from an online shop in the UK for less than 50% of the retail price. it probably was so cheap because of the original colour mustard pearl, what were they thinking!? anyway, i immediately stripped and painted it black.

    the active electronics in the bass sounded really good and had a surprising versatility. however, i found that i rarely needed all the different tonal options the pre amp gives.

    after 2 of the stock pots started to have trouble i bought a set of quality pots and ran the bass in passive mode (2 tone and 2 volume controls).

    i am really happy with the result, the bass sounds much more the way i want it to and i don't have to remember unplugging;)
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I dropped a Mike Pope Flex Core preamp into my Sadowsky Metro UV70 because I like a mid control. So I've got two mid controls now, and I like it a lot. I put the same preamp in my Lakland 55-94 because the Bartolini preamp was too tame. Turns out the pickups played a role in that, too, so now the Lakland has Nordstrand dual-coils and quad coils in it. Sounds bitchen and is mondo versatile.

    I changed both of my F Bass BN5s from Volume/Volume/Tone to Volume/Blend/Tone. It's just my preference.

    I put Nordstrand pickups in my Fender Mustang RI. It beefed up the sound a little, but nothing major.