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  1. #1

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    Hey guys reached a new high in my bass proficiency level recently. I currently have a squire j bass that come with my starter pack and I decided its time for an upgrade to a new bass. I was looking at a fender standard but then I realized the trap I was falling into. I ultimately want a much higher quality bass so eventually the fender will just turn into a bass that sits on the wall and collects dust. At this point in time I have about 7 guitars and really don't want to fall in the trap to buying multiple basses before I get the one I want. My first bass carries sentimental value to it and I will never sell it so I have decided to upgrade it and turn it into a better bass and play it till get a really good bass.

    So I was wondering if you guys can help me through the upgrade process I plan to post before and after and periodic progress pics and sound bites on my journey. So here is my possibilities:

    change pickguard (stock white right now)
    upgrade tone and volume knobs
    Upgrade pickups
    upgrade bridge
    upgrade fingerboard
    upgrade tuning knobs

    i am thinking of changing the pickups and pickguard fist and new strings.

    Where should I start and what brands of after market parts should I look at?
    What pick ups should I get (will play jazz and blues mainly)?
    Are there better things I can do?

    thanks!

    CM

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conman View Post
    Hey guys reached a new high in my bass proficiency level recently. I currently have a squire j bass that come with my starter pack and I decided its time for an upgrade to a new bass. I was looking at a fender standard but then I realized the trap I was falling into. I ultimately want a much higher quality bass so eventually the fender will just turn into a bass that sits on the wall and collects dust. At this point in time I have about 7 guitars and really don't want to fall in the trap to buying multiple basses before I get the one I want. My first bass carries sentimental value to it and I will never sell it so I have decided to upgrade it and turn it into a better bass and play it till get a really good bass.

    So I was wondering if you guys can help me through the upgrade process I plan to post before and after and periodic progress pics and sound bites on my journey. So here is my possibilities:

    change pickguard (stock white right now)
    upgrade tone and volume knobs
    Upgrade pickups
    upgrade bridge
    upgrade fingerboard
    upgrade tuning knobs

    i am thinking of changing the pickups and pickguard fist and new strings.

    Where should I start and what brands of after market parts should I look at?
    What pick ups should I get (will play jazz and blues mainly)?
    Are there better things I can do?

    thanks!

    CM
    I just got a Squire bass too. You should read the reviews of the Bill Lawrence pickups. People rave about them. I just ordered a p-46 for my p bass.

    Bill Lawrence P-46 Pickup mini review (BEST P Pickup I've EVER tried)! | TalkBass.com


    http://www.wildepickups.com/Bass_Pickups.html

    Last edited by Stevebol; 08-05-2014 at 10:48 AM.

  4. #3

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    Quick background. My main gig is on bass in a rock band. P-bass works best for this group’s music so that’s what I play. But, I started on J-Bass. These days I use no effects and prefer tube amps but will sometimes use a solid state depending on the gig. I definitely lean vintage tones but dig modern players too.

    To your question, pickups make the most sense and I think it depends on your goals. Jazz and Blues can still encompass a wide range of sounds and approaches. Do you have more specifics on the sound you want to achieve, maybe players or recordings that you want to emulate?

    I experimented with Rio Grande, Fender Custom and others but always end up with Duncan Antiquities. Or in the case of my main P-Bass (57 AVRI), left it stock. I found the greatest mileage was gained from changing/upgrading amps and speakers.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanktx View Post
    Quick background. My main gig is on bass in a rock band. P-bass works best for this group’s music so that’s what I play. But, I started on J-Bass. These days I use no effects and prefer tube amps but will sometimes use a solid state depending on the gig. I definitely lean vintage tones but dig modern players too.

    To your question, pickups make the most sense and I think it depends on your goals. Jazz and Blues can still encompass a wide range of sounds and approaches. Do you have more specifics on the sound you want to achieve, maybe players or recordings that you want to emulate?

    I experimented with Rio Grande, Fender Custom and others but always end up with Duncan Antiquities. Or in the case of my main P-Bass (57 AVRI), left it stock. I found the greatest mileage was gained from changing/upgrading amps and speakers.
    One of my favorite baselines that is well known is Van Morrison Moondance so I like that sound the best however I want something with a little bit of a wide range there isn't many jazz musicians looking for a bass player here

  6. #5

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    The bass player on that album was John Klingberg. There's a thread on Talkbass with quotes from his family that say he used a J-Bass body with a P-bass neck: John Klingberg | Page 3 | TalkBass.com. I'm guessing he also used flats.

    I may be mistaken but, I think "Moondance" was recorded in the late 1960s and not released until the mid 1970s. Antiquity IIs are spec to mid-1960s and might be pretty close to what was used on the album. There are a also wide-range of vintage voiced J-bass pickups available in all budget ranges. I mentioned Rio Grande and Fender Custom. There's also Fralins. And though I've not used them, as the earlier post mentioned, Bill Lawrence pickups are well regarded.

    Best of luck. Hope this was helpful.

  7. #6

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    Thanks for the info guys I might bite the bullet and get a fender American j bass

  8. #7

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    I just got my Squier p bass a couple days ago. Love it but it's so heavy! j bass is nice too. I thought it would take a couple months to receive the Lawrence pickup but it took 4 days
    I'd forgotten how much I like to play the bass.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conman View Post
    Thanks for the info guys I might bite the bullet and get a fender American j bass
    I know plenty of great players who consider a stock Fender bass to be an axe for a lifetime.

  10. #9

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    Just curious...what's a MIM Fender Deluxe jazz bass selling for nowadays? 4 years ago I bought it new...I had it set up and played it half a dozen times...thinking about moving it
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I know plenty of great players who consider a stock Fender bass to be an axe for a lifetime.
    I bought a MIM jazz fretless bass six months ago, and doubt I will ever buy a second bass. I love it.

    Guitars on the other hand...