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Would you modify a US Fender 75 RI?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by static0verdrive, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Sure... why not?

    9 vote(s)
  2. Swap the bridge only

    0 vote(s)
  3. Swap the tuners only

    0 vote(s)
  4. No way! Don't touch it!

    3 vote(s)
  5. Carrots (please explain how none of the other options apply)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Hi guys,

    I forgot to take pics last night so I'll hold off on the NBD thread for now, but I just got my first US Fender yesterday - the 75 Reissue jazz in natural with maple fretboard and black block inlays. She's beautiful as is, honestly, and perfectly balanced. Here's the sale thread with pics for now, but I will take more as I've been meaning to get a new family photo including the rig...

    Here's the deal: I can't decide if I want to mod it. I usually like to add my own spin to basses here and there mostly so they're not exactly like others of the same model. Sometimes it's simple, like just a pickguard swap, other times I'll swap the bridge for a high-mass and/or light-weight tuners for balancing, or just to get away from chrome.

    I already have a spare black control plate and I'm considering blacking out the bridge and tuners while I'm at it.

    Aside from colour, I love the Hipshot A-style bridges for not having to pull the string through a hole (and therefore straighten the top of a used string) if cleaning or adjusting with the intent of reusing the same strings again. This also let's me throw a high-mass on at the same time rather than the stock bent-plate. However this thing has no balance issues and doesn't really lack sustain as far as I can tell... But as far as that style goes, it's worth it for the simplicity of stringing/restringing and it does come in aluminum as well if there's no need for a heavier one.

    I'm also undecided about tuners. Love the ultralights because hey, less weight is great; and I may want to get Y-style or lollipops as opposed to the clover style. Again, not so much to combat neck dive, she's pretty damn perfect as is.

    So do I go for it? Aside from ending up a little close to Scott Devine's blonde jazz when I'm done (this is why I might not go lollipop style), it would look great and not so stock, and I could perhaps shave off a bit of weight. Would you go for it or save the cash? The nice thing is these are easily reversible mods, but at the same time, if it ain't broke... My head is running around in circles!
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I'd play it for a while and then see if the mods are just
    not necessary.
    static0verdrive likes this.
  3. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    It's your bass. Do as you please but.....keep all original parts in case you sell someday.

    If you mod it and cannot restore it to its original configuration, it is no longer a Fender '75 RI. As soon as you mod it, it is no longer a '75 RI. It is a modified '75 RI.
    static0verdrive likes this.
  4. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Just leave it alone and play it for a while. Maybe throw a tort pickguard on it or something.
    static0verdrive likes this.
  5. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    Keep the original parts. As long as you don't cut into the body no harm done. When I see a bass with upgraded parts and the original parts included I perceive it as more valuable.

    And even if you do dramatically alter it so what it's yours to enjoy!

    static0verdrive likes this.
  6. Do what you like with your new bass. But just so you know, there's no reason to straighten the strings in order to pull them through the bridge holes. Once the string has been drawn out to the bridge, just move the string to a 90 degree position (ball end to right hip if you're a righty) and UNSCREW the string's coil through the hole carefully. Reverse the procedure to re-install.

    Of course this only works for top loading. String through bridges and bodies need not apply.
    static0verdrive likes this.
  7. Thanks for all the replies so far guys. Validation is a beautiful thing lol and yes I meant to say they'd all be reversible changes, and of course I'd keep the stock parts in the case. Squiers are so far the only basses I've been willing to drill into for a "true" modification. All things considered they are almost purely aesthetic side-grades in this case, so I like the idea of waiting a bit to see if I still feel the need to...
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    All changes should be kept reversible, as already noted. Personally, if it ain't broke, I don't mod it.

    But it's an RI, not an original - so not a critical issue.
    static0verdrive likes this.
  9. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    The only thing I'd change is the pick guard screws to black. It's your bass do what you want.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    in my totally subjective, personal, "tech hat removed" opinion, black hardware would make that higher-end american classic look like a cheap squier, or at least like a generic parts bass.

    OK, [tech hat back on], i could see a different bridge just in order to fix the G saddle sliding around and to allow for correct 20mm spacing to line the strings up between the pickup magnets. (the '70s bridge is just not as good a design.) my vote would be just to throw vintage '60s style threaded saddles on the stock plate.

    lightweight keys would still be sweet, they can't help but improve balance and overall "lightness" of the feel. i suppose non-standard button shapes are an option as long as the string post is still the right size, but i don't see anything besides the correct gotoh reso-lites going on without drilling or exposed holes on the back.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I tend to agree that black or gold hardware cheapens the look. Unless it's part of an overall theme. Chrome or nickel is the only way to fly.

    Same on the threaded saddles rather than the whole bridge. I prefer machined locking bridges, but only because i have a terrible playing style so i need all the help i can get keeping my strings from being pulled out of position, but i can get by with the threaded saddles for most applications. IMO it's the best bang for the buck when it comes to improving on the single saddle slot L plate bridge. You can spend a crap ton more, but unless you are a member of the small minority of players who dig too deep too often, the simple saddle swap is hands down the way to go.

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