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How do you customize yours?


hags2k

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I'm curious about how and to what extent you customizers out there have modified your instruments (or amps, if you're into that as well). How crazy have you guys gotten? How unique? How has it helped? Any do's and don't's you'd care to share?

 

I'll get this party started. I just completed the latest modification to my favorite bass. I started with a MIM fender p-bass, but I decided this one was really worth sinking some money into, because, as many have noted in these forums, the quality can really vary from one to another, and I found one of the gems. It's got a gorgeous finish and a figured maple neck, and has a feel that is superior to most every other bass I've played since, including several very nice american and American deluxe fender p-basses.

 

So, anyway, it now has a basslines lightin' rods active P pickup, new pots and knobs, a parchment pickguard (looks great on sunburst), a high quality nut, straplocking buttons, a massive gotoh bridge, and the latest (and possibly last) upgrade was installing the retainers and stringing it through the body (which made a much bigger difference in tone and sustain than I was expecting...). I've moved it from a good instrument to a great and different instrument that sounds great through all my amps with no eq, no effects, no nothing...simple and easy, the way I like it.

 

It's got some battle scars (which I try to tell myself are a personal modification to the finish...) but it's my special, unique baby.

 

What about yours?

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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I've never done any amp/cab mods. I do wonder if a pair of those Eminence DeltaLite 10s (neodymium) would work in my SWR Super Redhead combo, saving me some weight and increasing the power handling. However, I will probably get a new rig before I actually seriously investigate that.

 

The only mod on my MM StingRay5 fretless has been two new nuts. The first because the nut broke about 7-8 years ago. The second recently (2 wks ago) because the nut came loose and I decided it was a sign to experiment. I put in a graphite nut. Sounds great, as always, w/ no noticeable differences. I will probably leave this bass alone.

 

This past year I changed the pickups and preamp in my Carvin LB70 fretted 4 to Bartolinis. This has definitely improved the sound of this bass. I like having selectable midrange freq and I now have an active/passive option (not on my older version of the Carvin pre). Generally I like the voicing of the preamp EQ better. The p'ups, humcancelling in-line dual coils (vs. the stacked Carvin H50Ns) are a little more open-sounding or "fuller" to my ears.

 

I really took my time deciding whether to make these changes because my Carvin was a solid bass as it was. I then took my time choosing replacement pickups. I'm glad that I did, because I went thru the mods more confident in the potential outcomes.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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All of my mods are cheap and purely aesthetic.

 

I put new knobs on my black American standard P-bass... they have mother-of-pearl tops and silver sides. They're also shorter than the stock knobs.

 

I covered the Fender logo on the headstock with a cunk of black gaffer's tape.

 

I removed the Mesa-Boogie logos from my cabs and added two chrome "mudflap" girls to the grilles.

 

I covered the round logo on my SWR SM-500 head with a special circular "fist" sticker. And there's a little picture of me under the gain knob. Because I'm sexy.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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i am really in love with my 2001 Jackson C20 bass, however it tends to exhibit some high harmonics on the e string when fretted

 

i have played around with different nuts and bridges to see if I could get the sustain to fix this, but no such luck

 

however, one mod that I have kept was some new wiring and a new jack

 

the standard jack kept coming loose, so I put one of those jacks from the ibanez btb series in it and that works like a dream

 

also, a new ground wire helped get rid of the slight hum, as well as gave me a chance to organize the wires (all 3!) and get them untangled and unbent from their stock position.

.~.
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Originally posted by CMDN:

And there's a little picture of me under the gain knob. Because I'm sexy.

You're too sexy for your amp, too sexy for your amp, too sexy for your amp...too sexy... :D

 

I've seen pictures -- I doubt anyone on this board would ever deny your claim that you are indeed one sexy specimen of a man! :D

 

BTW, Erik, you forgot to mention the graphite nuts on your instruments. :)

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Ah... I DID forget the graphite nuts on my guitars... actually my guitars are pretty heavily modded... but my P-bass is all stock except for the gaffer's tape and new knobs.

 

My guitars... and guitar amps... those have had a lotta work done. Graphite nuts, Anderson H-3 p-ups, solid steel jack plates, bridges epoxied into the bodies, etc, etc. I just figured I'd only mention the stuff I've done to my basses...

 

But I AM dead sexy. That's the truth.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I changed out the pickup in my Stingray for a Bartolini MMC and put on a Hipshot De-Tuner. I also put a hipshot on my Zon Legacy fretless.

 

Otherwise they're stock. The Stingray preamp works very well with the Bartolini pickup.

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My Jazz bass has been lightly modded, with DiMarzio humbucking pickups, new push/pull volume pots for series/parallel switching, chrome knobs with knurled sides, & a black pickguard to match the black body. It came from the factory with a chrome Leo Quann bridge. So it's all black & chrome, with a maple fretboard w/ black block inlays & black binding. I like it.

 

My Ric 4003 is dead stock except that I took the capacitor out of the neck pickup circuit. Now the volume between the two pickups is even. A nice set of steel rounds & she's good as gold.

 

My MM is dead stock, & will always be.

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I replaced the black pickguard on my MusicMan Sterling with a clear one so you can see the beautiful tobacco sunburst finish.

 

The knobs on my black and white Fernandes P have been replaced with knobs with a white pearl inlay on the top. The original pickup was replaced with a Seymour Duncan Antiquities.

 

There's a scrunchie around the peghead at the nut on my Carvin LB-76.

 

Everything else is pretty much the way it was when I got it except for the wear.

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