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Standard Jazz Bass Mod's


bass buddy

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Hi guys! I'm new to this forum and figured I could draw on some of your collective experience.

 

I have played my whoel life on an old 60's P bass. It's been all I know! Last year I thought I'd add a Jazz Bass, to have a second bass as a back-up, just for a change. I had read user reviews that the MIM Jazz's were really good value for money.

 

Well yes and no. I've only played it a few times,but the tuning and adjustment kept going out, and I realized it was the bridge was losiung adjustment as I played!!!! Also the pickups hum like a buzzsaw. I wasn;t expecing perfection, but this is no use to me.

 

Reading more user reviews, it seems like a BAd Ass II bridge, and DiMarzio Ultra Pickups are popular mod's. So what do you think? Woudl I throing good money after bad here, or coudl these mods turn the MIM Jazz into something useful?

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I have a Jazz bass, and it has both a BadAss II bridge & a set of DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups. It is one honey of a bass. It came from the factory with the bridge, & I installed the DiMarzios to eliminate hum.

 

On a J bass with single coils, it will hum unless both pickup volumes are at the same level--except in the MIM ones without matched pickups, which hum all the time. I had an early 90s MIM, which was a super nice bass except for the hum; the pickups were so noisy you'd get noise when you touched them, or if the body rubbed against you! Now that's noisy. Consequently, the mods you mentioned are probably the most common on MIM basses.

 

All that to say, yeah, good idea. (Or, just get a MIJ & be done with it!)

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Welcome to the Lowdown Bass Buddy! :wave:

 

(Or, just get a MIJ & be done with it!)

:D:D

 

Badass II and new Pickups(lots to choose from). However, make sure that the bass is properly set up.Also if you don't have the cash for new p'ups you could have the cavity shielded. I don't know how the MIM's are but Fender isn't big on proper shielding. Copper tape is cheap.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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If you are gonna go with the Ultra Js (they sound FANTASTIC) then change the pots from 250K to 500k pots as the output will probably be alot hotter than the stock pickups. Also get them installed by a pro and have them shield everything that they can possibley shield. These babies are more susceptible to inteference from light fitings than any other pickup I have played. (I think it is a DiMarzio thing.)

 

If you turn the lights of they are whisper quiet, just like a well mannered humbucker should be. I am going through the whole, shielding, changing pots process at the moment. If you want to know the results, drop me a PM and ask. (The final stage will be done next week. I'm planning a J-Retro preamp next.)

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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FWIW, I'm running DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups with 250k pots, & it's fine--no problems with noise. (Someone else on this board once changed from 500k to 250k with the Ultras, for tonal reasons.) Then again, I know that Nick has been having some unusual difficulties with his in certain settings.
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Thanks guys! This is valuable advice indeed. Contrast this with the advice I got taking my MIM to a local shop and the fellow saying he'd never heard of problems with the MIM bridge but that I could put some adhesive on the bridge screws to stop them from moving! In any case, I will proceed first with the Bad Ass II bridge, live with it and then look at changing the pups. I'll let you know how she goes.

 

On another curiosity tack - my old Fender Precision is I believe a 1964. It has a distinguishing feature that I havn't seen on any other P basses. The tuning keys are a true clover leaf shape,ie. without the dimple on top. Is this common? rare?

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While we're on the jazz bass mod topic, I wanted to ask something real quick...

 

I'm going to replace the pickups in my MIM Jazz. Now, I love the sound of the Geddy Lee (as has been discussed quite a bit recently), and I know that it has Fender "Original Jazz Bass" pickups in it. Now, I've considered getting these, but I've also been intrigued by DiMarzio pickups, and I especially like the adjustable pole pieces, which is one thing the Fender pickups lack, and I REALLY want to be able to tweak the string to string sensitivity, like I can on my P by changing the angle of each half of the pickup. No matter what, the Geddy Lee Jazz is a good example of the tone I'm reaching for.

 

I can't demo the pickups, but I know several of you have Ultra Jazz pickups, so I was wondering how they compare in terms of sound?

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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Hags, DiMarzio does make a J bass pickup with adjustable pole pieces, but the Ultra Jazz isn't it. Check out their website.

 

Bass Buddy, I'm afraid it's may sad duty to tell you that, based on the information you've given us, your P bass is utterly worthless and useless. Please PM me for an address to send it to--er, I mean, appropriate disposal protocol. ;) Sorry I can't shed any light on the tuners, but my eyes got really big when I read "64 P Bass"! :eek::love:

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Originally posted by dcr:

Hags, DiMarzio does make a J bass pickup with adjustable pole pieces, but the Ultra Jazz isn't it. Check out their website.

 

Bass Buddy, I'm afraid it's may sad duty to tell you that, based on the information you've given us, your P bass is utterly worthless and useless. Please PM me for an address to send it to--er, I mean, appropriate disposal protocol. ;) Sorry I can't shed any light on the tuners, but my eyes got really big when I read "64 P Bass"! :eek::love:

I can feel my eyes turning green, thinking about that P...

 

Thanks for the info, dcr.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to all for your sage advice. I installed a Bad Ass II bridge and the results are great thank you. The MIM bass stays in tune and intonation is dead nuts easy to set. I'm a simple guy, now I have hope that my MIM can at at least function as a useful back-up bass.

 

It is just me, or does the current Fender line up leave anyone elase a bit dizzy. American, Amercian Vinatge, Standard, Highway, Squire??????? Aren;t they overdoign it? What about just prioducing a good bass and letting it be. I can't understand why anyone would produce a bass (MIM) with a useless bridge.

 

Following my last rant, I misled you. My old P Bass is not a '64, but from checking serial #'s is actallly a '67. Does that diminish the professed appeal?

 

Thanks again for your help. I'll live my with (updated) MIM and consider pickup changes in the future.

 

Keep the faith!

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Fender (or any other company for that matter) is not in business to produce the perfect instrument of all time. They are in business to make the tallest pile of money humanly possible.But that's a good thing because it makes it possible to have many choices. I love Capitalism!

 

Following my last rant, I misled you. My old P Bass is not a '64, but from checking serial #'s is actallly a '67. Does that diminish the professed appeal?

Absolutely, You should get rid of it at once! :D

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Fender depends on confusion with many models that all look about the same and have similar names to sell more product. Lots of people buy the NAME and not the specific model, or individual instrument. They've made themselves into a commodity - like toilet paper.

 

Smart buyers count the plies and the size ; }

.
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I've noticed that too. The new Musicians Friend catalog comes in the mail, and the array of Fenders & Gibsons is just baffling. I guess it's the attempt to offer someone to every potential buyer possible, but I wonder whether it sometimes backfires--whether people sometimes say, "Aw, screw it." The situation seems to me far worse in guitar lines than in bass lines, though. Even so, the ideal thing is just to have one fall into your hands & say, "Call off the hounds." Then the labels don't mean a thing.
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