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Thread: Upgrading a P-bass?

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    Default Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    The Gotoh is a chunkier version of the ol' Fender idea. Its advantages are greater mass (I wanted this for on-strap balance reasons) and guide tracks for the height adjustment grub screws. (These prevent the E and G saddles from being pulled sideways during "enthusiastic" playing.)

    Having said that, the replacement bridge on my Fender '75 Reissue Jazz Bass is a pre-owned Badass II. It had to be really. It looks right, sounds right acoustically and fits with the overall Seventies vibe. (I was aiming for a sound somewhere between Geddy and Marcus.)
    Funny thing. yesterday I told some people in my band i was going to upgrade my bass and one of them said: "...youre upgrading a bass? seriously? why?"

    his point was: its bass. its barely heard. why are you going to waste money on that?

    seriously, i dont see it as a waste of money. as a guitarrist, i dont feel like I need too many basses. I have 2 precision basses, 1 standard one and 1 that has a jazz pickup too. I'm not going around gigging, playing bass at shows.

    What I want to do is take an already decent bass, and make it great.

    the bass is a squier.



    Which is an awesome bass. problems? the tone is very good, but I want something deeper and punchier. i heard that a quarter pounder even makes the bass LOUDER, which i dont know is fact, but oh well.

    also, the bridge on it is rusting, and the height adjustment screws are stripping at the top. I will have to take measurements to be sure what size the spacing and the screws are, but I am almost sure that these fender specific bridges will fit. (5 screws on my bass, identical to a friends mexican jazz bass).

    Because, if all you need is ONE bass, for recording and ocassional gigging, wouldnt you want to make it awesome?

    right now im wondering this, when one is considering buying a replacement bass pickup, what specs do you have to look for? DC resistance, like a guitar?

    is there anything else i can upgrade? tuners? nut?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    The bass in the photo looks like a Squier Standard series, made in Indonesia.

    I have a few instruments in the same quality ballpark.
    1) Modified Yamaha Attitude Plus. (The cheapest variant. Gotoh 201 bridge, SD Active EQ Bass series APB-2 pickup.)
    2) Modified Yamaha RBX200F. (Gotoh 201 bridge, SD/BL Lightnin' Rods P pickup, EMG active Treble/Bass EQ.)
    3) One of uncle Lambert's Buildabass Signature J-Bass efforts that bear such a close resemblance to the Squier Vintage modified series. (Cheapo OEM stamped steel bridge baseplate, upgraded saddles, Bartolini 8S and 9J-L1 PJ pickups.)

    Depending on the "flavour" of Precision Bass that you desire, I happily recommend any of these pickups.

    The old Active EQ series P is a gift for any recording bassist. The Lightnin' Rod is more "authentic" but still sounds modern. The Bart is waaaaaaaaaaaay huge WITHOUT PP3 assistance.

    The other obvious candidate pickup is the EMG-P. This would imbue the Squier with a definite EMG character. People hearing recordings of it would never guess that the instrument is a Squier.

    If your posting stays in one place for long enough, I might get around to adding some suggestions for nut and tuners.
    Last edited by Funkfingers; 02-07-2010 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Nomenclature error
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    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    I went through a similar process about a year ago with my MIM P-Bass. I figured, even though I'm a guitarist, I only own one bass so I might as well make this one better.

    I ended up upgrading the pickup and bridge. As far as I know, all the information you use to compare guitar pickups still applies (DC resistance, etc.). I went with the SPB-3 Quarter Pound and I love it. If you're looking for "punchier" this is it. It's like getting kicked in the chest, in a good way.

    I went with the Gotoh "heavy duty" bass bridge. Gotoh makes a "standard" and a "heavy duty" model. The standard is just like stock Fender ones, with the bent metal baseplate. The heavy duty is just what the name says...it's got a thicker baseplate and seems sturdier overall.

    Standard:
    http://www.gpdusa.com/Gotoh_4_String..._Chrome_2.html

    Heavy Duty:
    http://www.gpdusa.com/Gotoh_4_String..._Chrome_2.html

    The new bridge not only improved the tone and sustain, but I was also able to adjust the intonation better. The tracks under the saddles are a big plus as well, it keeps everything where it's supposed to be when you're really digging in.

    As far as tuners and nut upgrades go, I look at it like I do on a guitar. Don't bother with the tuners unless there's something that needs fixing. I like locking tuners on my guitars, but that's unnecessary on a bass (I don't even think they make them). If they're slipping, it's worth it, but otherwise, who cares? Same goes for the nut IMO. If it's not binding and the slots are well cut, it shouldn't be an issue.

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    yesterday I told some people in my band i was going to upgrade my bass and one of them said: "...youre upgrading a bass? seriously? why?" his point was: its bass. its barely heard. why are you going to waste money on that?
    Who is this guy? He needs a slap. Unless you are a White Stripes / Seasick Steve tribute band, bass is vitally important. IMO, it is not so much that the bass is not heard as that your friend is failing to listen to it. Big mistake.

    Anybody with the faintest understanding of music/harmony theory will know what havoc can be reeked by shifting the relationship between the bass notes and the chords.

    Beatles without Paul. Motown without Jamerson. Led Zeppelin without JPJ. ZZ Top without Dusty Hill. They'd all be farked.

    Final thought. Does the bassist in your band know that the others think so little of his/her contribution?
    Last edited by Funkfingers; 02-07-2010 at 11:04 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    My wife always has it in her back pocket.

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    KatyPerryologist astrozombie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    The bass in the photo looks like a Squier Standard series, made in Indonesia.

    I have a few instruments in the same quality ballpark.
    1) Modified Yamaha Attitude Plus. (The cheapest variant. Gotoh 201 bridge, SD Active EQ Bass series APB-2 pickup.)
    2) Modified Yamaha RBX200F. (Gotoh 201 bridge, SD/BL Lightnin' Rods P pickup, EMG active Treble/Bass EQ.)
    3) One of uncle Lambert's Buildabass Signature J-Bass efforts that bear such a close resemblance to the Squier Vintage modified series. (Cheapo OEM stamped steel bridge baseplate, upgraded saddles, Bartolini 8S and 9J-L1 PJ pickups.)

    Depending on the "flavour" of Precision Bass that you desire, I happily recommend any of these pickups.

    The old Active EQ series P is a gift for any recording bassist. The Lightnin' Rod is more "authentic" but still sounds modern. The Bart is waaaaaaaaaaaay huge WITHOUT PP3 assistance.

    The other obvious candidate pickup is the EMG-P. This would imbue the Squier with a definite EMG character. People hearing recordings of it would never guess that the instrument is a Squier.

    If your posting stays in one place for long enough, I might get around to adding some suggestions for nut and tuners.
    Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Precision Bass Features:
    Agathis body
    Maple, C-shape neck
    Rosewood fingerboard with 9.5" radius (241 mm) and 20 medium jumbo frets
    One Duncan Designed PB101 Split Single-Coil Pickup with Alnico 5 Magnets
    Volume & tone controls
    Standard 4-saddle bridge
    Machine heads
    Standard chrome open-gear tuners
    3-Ply black/white/black pickguard
    34" (864mm) scale length
    Width at nut
    1.625" (41 mm)
    Dot position Inlays
    Knurled chrome dome control knobs

    I remember reading "indonesia" on it, if im not mistaken.

    the duncan designed is supposed to be like the "vintage" model.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    anyone think this would be cool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post

    Depending on the "flavour" of Precision Bass that you desire, I happily recommend any of these pickups.


    just the tone, not the look.

    now, i kind of want to make the bass look like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Precision Bass. I remember reading "indonesia" on it, if im not mistaken. the duncan designed is supposed to be like the "vintage" model.
    Fundamentally good instrument, including the pickup. Only change the parts with which you are not happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    anyone think this would be cool?

    Yes, until it gets dirty.

    Screwhole alignment between an American plate and an Indonesian guitar could be an issue. (Not fatal.) Alignment between the edges of the "controls" area of the USA plate and the Indonesian rout may prove more problematic. Try before you buy.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    My wife always has it in her back pocket.

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    Wow! Gorgeous, man. It's like Mary Kaye with gun oil. I'd play that in a heartbeat.

    The scale looks short. Is that just my eyes deceiving me?
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink Unicorn Horsey View Post
    Wow! Gorgeous, man. It's like Mary Kaye with gun oil. I'd play that in a heartbeat.

    The scale looks short. Is that just my eyes deceiving me?
    i think your eyes are playing tricks on ya.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Fundamentally good instrument, including the pickup. Only change the parts with which you are not happy.



    Yes, until it gets dirty.

    Screwhole alignment between an American plate and an Indonesian guitar could be an issue. (Not fatal.) Alignment between the edges of the "controls" area of the USA plate and the Indonesian rout may prove more problematic. Try before you buy.
    ...dirty? this thing gets tarnished?

    and.. im not happy with the bridge and the pickups. so i guess im going quarter pounder and gotoh/badass2
    Last edited by astrozombie; 02-07-2010 at 10:05 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    i think your eyes are playing tricks on ya.
    Too much gin.
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    ...dirty? this thing gets tarnished?
    Oh, yes. Aluminium plate + Steel screws = dirty black discolouration. You can even buy them "pre-distressed".

    http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...1%26ie%3DUTF-8


    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    im not happy with the bridge and the pickups. so i guess im going quarter pounder and gotoh/badass2
    Go for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    My wife always has it in her back pocket.

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Oh, yes. Aluminium plate + Steel screws = dirty black discolouration. You can even buy them "pre-distressed".

    http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...1%26ie%3DUTF-8




    Go for it.
    this kind of white thing?



    thats not so bad in my eyes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrozombie View Post
    this kind of white thing?



    thats not so bad in my eyes.
    That is faked ageing, done with a washing-up scourer, but the basic idea of discolouration is hinted at in that product image. Look closely at the countersunk screw holes. They tend to rust up.

    Guitar cosmetics are a matter of subjective taste. My main concern over the authentic 'guard is that it might not properly cover the non-authentic Indonesian control cavity.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    My wife always has it in her back pocket.

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    That is faked ageing, done with a washing-up scourer, but the basic idea of discolouration is hinted at in that product image. Look closely at the countersunk screw holes. They tend to rust up.

    Guitar cosmetics are a matter of subjective taste. My main concern over the authentic 'guard is that it might not properly cover the non-authentic Indonesian control cavity.
    maybe 35 dollars for a guard is too much for experimentation.

    any other colors that would look good on a white bass?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
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    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Who is this guy? He needs a slap. Unless you are a White Stripes / Seasick Steve tribute band, bass is vitally important. IMO, it is not so much that the bass is not heard as that your friend is failing to listen to it. Big mistake.

    Anybody with the faintest understanding of music/harmony theory will know what havoc can be reeked by shifting the relationship between the bass notes and the chords.

    Beatles without Paul. Motown without Jamerson. Led Zeppelin without JPJ. ZZ Top without Dusty Hill. They'd all be farked.

    Final thought. Does the bassist in your band that the others think so little of his/her contribution?
    Totally agree. The bassist in my band a) is an awesome guy with an awesome instrument and b) lays the foundation for me (rhythm guitar and singer) and our lead guitarist. We tried playing without him once, it sounded totally wrong.
    Ministers and superstars
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    KatyPerryologist astrozombie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingrel View Post
    Totally agree. The bassist in my band a) is an awesome guy with an awesome instrument and b) lays the foundation for me (rhythm guitar and singer) and our lead guitarist. We tried playing without him once, it sounded totally wrong.
    absolutely!

    its like i said, if i rarely play bass... why not sound as best as i can?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingrel View Post
    Totally agree. The bassist in my band a) is an awesome guy with an awesome instrument and b) lays the foundation for me (rhythm guitar and singer) and our lead guitarist. We tried playing without him once, it sounded totally wrong.
    Thank you, Gingrel.

    I am in the (possibly) fortunate position of playing both guitar and bass. When I play bass, I try and lay down something over which my guitarist side would enjoy playing.

    Remember, your audience shakes its collective booty to the drums and bass NOT the sweep picked arpeggios or the soloing. (Honourable exception - the audience on the "Rush In Rio" DVD singing the riff from "YYZ".)
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    My wife always has it in her back pocket.

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    KatyPerryologist astrozombie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading a P-bass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Thank you, Gingrel.

    I am in the (possibly) fortunate position of playing both guitar and bass. When I play bass, I try and lay down something over which my guitarist side would enjoy playing.

    Remember, your audience shakes its collective booty to the drums and bass NOT the sweep picked arpeggios or the soloing. (Honourable exception - the audience on the "Rush In Rio" DVD singing the riff from "YYZ".)
    yeah, that audience was mind blowing! i dont know how the trio got through it all without lookin at each other and laughin.

    is that the one where alex calls geddy the guy from epanema?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    It's a federal crime to transport A Minor across state lines for purposes of blues.

    http://www.facebook.com/gegjm

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