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73 P Bass


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I have recently bought a 73 Precision which is ok but perhaps not THE ONE. Whilst I continue the quest I was considering tinkering with this bass and would appreciate any ideas specifically relating to a)replacement pickup options (the current one is not the original), b)the bass has been refinished some while ago - would it be a crime to remove the gloss from the neck and refinish it? c)the G string slot seems way too big so should I perhaps get a new one fitted?
'The most important thing is to settle on a bass then commit to it. Get to know your bass inside and out and play it in every situation you can.' Marcus Miller
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Why not? It sounds like this is a "player's" bass, not a collectible, so some reasonable modifications wouldn't really damage the value, & might make a real difference.


Note that I said "reasonable." The whole point of getting a vintage instrument for a player is to get its special mojo. Don't cut into it, replace as little as you can. (I saw an old 50s single-coil P Bass on eBay recently, which had a huge square cut out of the middle of the body, in which a split-coil pickup had been inserted, & then wood filled in in the remaining gaps. I want to find who did that and cut a big square out of HIS middle! :mad: )


That said, if the pickups aren't stock, you might as well drop in what you like. Do a search on that, & you'll find recommendations. I don't have a P bass, but I've heard great things about Seymour Duncan pickups, especially the Antiquities for a vintage vibe.


I'd also say go ahead & replace the nut. (Heh heh, you said 'nut'.) There's no reason not to, & it could make a real difference, esp. in sustain. I also don't see a problem with refinishing the neck (maybe someone will disagree with me), but personally I'd rather have an expert do it. (Then again, personally I wouldn't refinish it to begin with.)


It's hard to know whether just a little work will really turn a bass around, or will just prolong your dissatisfaction. There's really no substitute for getting the one you want the first time. But old dogs do learn new tricks sometimes; and the price of new pickups & a new nut doesn't seem like to much to me, to take a chance on improving a bass.

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Contrary to the name I have a 73 P-Bass. It is all original, except for the solider and wires (wasted time trying to make it quieter). If it has already been refinished, I see no harm in having it finished the way you want.

Definitely fix the nut.

As far as the pickup, you have a ton of options; Seymour Duncan, Fender, DiMarzio all make great replacement pickups.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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