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Which part to replace first?


NickT

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Which part should I install first?

 

Electronics - J-retro pre amp

 

Pick-ups - Dimarzio Model J

 

Bridge - Badass.

 

Eventually I want to install all of these into my Squire J...but which bit should I replace first?

 

(I'm thinking pick-ups)

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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Well.. several ways to look at this...

 

The Bridge will be your cheapest upgrade, & the J-Retro will be the most expensive ... which obviously leaves the pickups somewhere just above the bridge on the $$$ scale.

 

There's also a chance that with the J-Retro, you may be very surprised at what those stock pickups will do for ya, at least until funds are available for other upgrades. I'd bet money that the J-Retro will make the most significant difference in your overall sound/tone/versatility. G'Luck!

-Mike

...simply stating.
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One other thing that should seriously be considered:

 

If you're considering all these options for a Squier Jazz, keep in mind that resale value, should you decide to upgrade the entire bass altogether... will not be greatly improved... in fact.. I'd be incredibly surprised if you got back anywhere near what you're gonna put into it.

 

Of course all this is totally up to you, but... if it were me, and I was more or less happy with the playability and construction of this particular Squier... I would get the J-Retro only (should make a huge difference), but KEEP ALL THE ORIGINAL ELECTRONICS, so that you can keep your J-Retro for your next Jazz, or resell it seperately from the Squier... you're likely to make much more of your investment back.

 

-Mike

...simply stating.
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One way to look at this is from a "signal chain" perspective. The hardware of the bass comes first; the sound it produces is detected by the pickups; the signal produced is then shaped by the preamp. So why not begin at the beginning? Who knows, maybe one improvement will satisfy you enough that you won't need the next one; and on the other side, upgrading further down the chain first may only enhance what's wrong back up the chain, leaving you unsure about the value of the upgrade. (And, as has been said, this sequence is identical to the less-to-more-expensive sequence, which is nice!)
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i have to disagree to that last statement about selling the bass

 

my jackson c20 has a neck that i wouldnt give up for any other bolt-on i have ever played

 

if i wanted to change some stuff on it, i would do the same as NickT is

 

perhaps he has a part of the squier he doesnt want to give up and isnt transferable to another bass, hmm?

.~.
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You may want to consider trying some Thomastik Infeld strings. I was considering buying new pickups for my 5 string, but ordered some TI's, and don't want new pickups anymore. Plus, you won't have changed anything on the bass that might effect re-sell value.
Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I am investing this money in a Squire...because...it responds well to my touch. The sound is pretty good at the minute. It wears Rotosound nylon coated flats at the minute and gave a lovely recorded sound when plugged straight into a PhatMan valve (tube) compressor, then into Cubase.

 

Also, given the amount of "character" that this bass has developed I don't think the resale value will be very high anyway.

 

The main thing that bugs me about it is a lack of punch and that darned 60 Hz hum...which is why I am thinking...pickups first. The DiMarzios are only about £120 and I can install them myself.

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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NickT, I'm in the same situation, I want to install new pickups but also want a good preamp, wich is why I'm getting the preamp first and the see if I really need the pickups. Ok, I understand that your squire developed some character, thats why I didn't sold my J bass, it's just became so familiar with my hands. I understan you. Oh and that's a J bass squire your talking about huh?
Got bass?
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The DiMarzio UltraJazz will probably do it, since they sound good, are punchy, and cancel hum in all volume settings. Do that, & that might be all you need, since it sounds like you're otherwise happy with that instrument.

 

If you go that route, I'd recommend wiring them in series. I've got them wired for switching between series & parallel, but it turns out I only use the series setting, anyway.

 

120 quid sounds like a lot...I got my set for $60 on a killer sale. If you look around, on eBay ferinstance, you might be able to do better, even with shipping added.

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dcr...I was thinking about the UltraJazz's, I think I may have even picked your brain about them...or at least done a search for your posts on the subject.

 

The reason I am thinking about the model J's is that comment in the BP round up of "the Marshall killer". The bulk of my playing is done in bands with at least a guitar, keys and two vocals to push through. It can get as bad as two guitars and a Hammond (actually a Roland Hammond emulator). I want punch and I want it now. The UltraJ's are apparently a little more "scooped" sounding. (Something born out by the frequency response charts on the DiMarzio web-site.)

 

As I think I said somewhere before...I love the idea of being able to musically jump up and down on the guitar player, leaving big bass cleff imprints on his sound.

 

(Insert maniacal cackling here)

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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Nick - two things:

 

1. If your bass sounds good unplugged (and as you can already get a good sound from it then it probably does) and plays well then it may well be worth upgrading. If you want more punch I doubt a Badass bridge will help, and I suspect pickups will do more for your midrange than a preamp would.

 

2. Check your email!

 

Alex

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