#1
Hi folks,

It's been a while, but I figured to poke my head in here to say "hi".

In August, I had the opportunity to go teach bass at a band camp in Petaluma, and also had the chance to get the ultimate gigging bass.

At that time, I owned a Jazz and a P-bass, and I ended up lugging both basses to gigs to cater to the individual tunes. The Jazz had a nice growl, and the P-bass was modded to look and sound like a '62 P-bass--complete with chrome pickup covers and a sponge under the strings at the bridge.

I needed to slim down the gigging equipment, so I started to look for a hybrid instrument to cover the duties of both basses. The Variax bass came to mind, but I had seen in the reviews that its response was not so good--it had issues with a delay betwen plucking the note and the sounding of the note--very bad for bass players in general. I wanted a real instrument that I can gig with that looked very classy for my flamenco, rock and reggae (yes, reggae) groups. I wanted a PJ bass.

(Note: Fender doesn't make PJ basses anymore that are passive--the newest ones are all active--probably pretty good for the money, but I wanted a passive bass that I can plop in my own configuration of pickups and electronics.)

I came across THE ONE. A 1999 MIM 3-tone sunburst Fender Precision Special Deluxe Edition bass (yup, that's the title!). It had a Jazz PU at the bridge and a P-bass PU at the neck. For $300 it came with a hardshell case--perfect for what I needed.

It came with an ugly gold anodized aluminum pickguard. Bleah.

I went to www.angela.com and bought a Vintage '62 tortoiseshell pickguard (that nitrocellulose smell makes anyone swoon), the aluminum pickguard underplate, a chrome P-bass pickup cover, and a Vintage '62 Precision PU.

I went to www.guitarelectronics.com and got a stacked pot and knob set and a Seymour Duncan Hot Stacked Jazz pickup.

I went to OSH and got some snail repelling copper tape.

I went to www.stellartone.com and bought a Bass ToneStyler pot--16 positions, each with a different EQ tone curve, with a smooth (non-detented) pot.

1. I removed the ugly anodized pickguard and cleaned the body of the bass--wiping the debris and removing any particulates left from the manufacturing process.

2. I carefully shielded the interior cavities with the copper tape from OSH.

3. I plopped in the Vintage '62 P-bass PU and wired it to the stacked pot.

4. I plopped in the Hot Stack J-bass PU and also wired it to the stacked pot. The PU had 4 wires, so I was able to wire the pickup so that it can be either series or parallel with itself. A push-pull switch under the tone pot took care of the switching betwen the two configurations. SECRET NINJA SWITCH!

5. The Stellartone pot was placed where the Jazz PU volume origianlly was--the stacked volume knobs opened up the hole for this. Using the Stellartone pot, I can make the bass sound very bright, very boomy, or anything in between. It is not like a simple tone knob--each of the 16 positions gives a different EQ curve--when you turn the knob quickly, it sounds a lot like a wah pedal. And it is passive!

6. With all of the electronics in place, I grounded the shielding and replaced the pickguard with the tortoiseshell pickguard and placed a finger rest where it should be located. I also installed the chrome neck pickup cover for the Precision pickup.

7. The final touch--I used steel wool and masking tape to rub out the corrosion on the frets, and installed classy Fender "F" logo tuning keys--replacing the cheap non-logo keys. This bass looks good from ALL directions. A few turns of the truss rod nut and the neck was straighter than any of my other basses--and the low action was a welcomed plus!

The Precison PU nails the Motown and "old school" reggae vibe authentically, and the Jazz PU can do fingerstyle funk, pop and slap, and get the Geddy Lee growl as needed. Blending the two PUs and utilizing the Stellartone pot gives a WIDE range of tones to play with.

This is MY bass now. As far as I know, it is unique and I can proudly state that I had a hand at making it the unique and quite beautiful bass that it has become. In all I spent about $350 on the upgrades and about 6 hours of work on the bass. So it is worth about a $1000 when all of that is factored in.

I just had to share this process of taking a stock bass and taking it to a higher level. I tried to upload a photo of it, but the darn forum setup does not allow me to input photos of 50k or greater. When I get a chance to shrink down the 147k photo to meet the limitations of the forum posts, I will put up some photos of this bass.

If you have stories to share about your heavily personalized bass--not just stickers on the body--please let me know! I would love to hear about the mods you did to it. Thanks!
Jaco de Lucia.

The Zen of Duh: How low can you go? Zero Hertz. That's the lowest anyone can go. Just turn off your bass amp and not play.

Q-tuner PUs (0X0 configuration) and HG Thor Labs for the best fretless bass tone. MWAH FACTOR!!!
#2
Sounds great man. Can't wait for the pics.
Speaking of which, I know I have posted images in the forum of over 150kB. Are you using photobucket to upload the pics? If not, you might want to try it.

Anyway, as far as mods go. I will soon be adding an ebony ramp to my fretless and replacing the nuts on both my warwicks with the original brass JAN. I was also considering a D-tuner for my $$, but I am not entirely sure whether I will tune down often enough to justify it.

Other than that, I have been thinking for a while about building a P/J or a P/MM for a while. Probably put together a Corvette-style body (hopefully out of Afzelia), throw in some barts and an OBP-3 and call it a day. I've been too busy with school to do it yet, but I should at least have the basic design together in a few weeks.
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#3
I was planning to do that to my bass, but never got around it. No money.
But the bass sounds sweet. Look forward to those pics.

And one more thing. "Snail repelling" copper tape?
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#4
I. Need. Pics. And. Sound. Clips.


Srsly.

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#5
Quote by Beast_Within
Sounds great man. Can't wait for the pics.
Speaking of which, I know I have posted images in the forum of over 150kB. Are you using photobucket to upload the pics? If not, you might want to try it.

Anyway, as far as mods go. I will soon be adding an ebony ramp to my fretless and replacing the nuts on both my warwicks with the original brass JAN. I was also considering a D-tuner for my $$, but I am not entirely sure whether I will tune down often enough to justify it.

Other than that, I have been thinking for a while about building a P/J or a P/MM for a while. Probably put together a Corvette-style body (hopefully out of Afzelia), throw in some barts and an OBP-3 and call it a day. I've been too busy with school to do it yet, but I should at least have the basic design together in a few weeks.


On the D-tuner note... it's always nice to have it and not need it, as opposed to need it and not have it. If you don't need it, just get it and do some cool slurs down to the D in your own time Dave Peacock of Chas n' Dave does it a lot.

Guess I should detail my jazz mod.

NOTE: THIS WILL BE DONE! I JUST HAVE ANOTHER PROJECT I'M WORKING ON ATM!!!!

Anyways, the body is currently done with the finish- silverburst. It will receive either a normal or birdseye maple neck with ebony fingerboard. Fretless and unlined. It shall receive a John East JRETRO preamp, CGI pickups if I can wrangle it, and a black pickguard. And now I want a d-tuner. No thanks to Beast
#6
Quote by shotbythepope
I was planning to do that to my bass, but never got around it. No money.
But the bass sounds sweet. Look forward to those pics.

And one more thing. "Snail repelling" copper tape?


Lol--in No. California, garden snails are a plague. Snails hate copper, so people use copper tape to put around the base of plants to stop snails from eating the plants. Thanks to Jaco De Luca, I now know its a fantastic shielding tape for Precision basses--I used it on my mod, when I put in new Pickups on the AccuBass.

For lack of funds, my current mod project is a bit dead at the moment, but the tuners, bridge and pickguard are next in line. I'll have to check out the options for pickguards on angela.com
#7
this is a thread of great loveliness.

I shall return with the final concepts for my Ibanez mod- I'm trying to make it as good as possible without spending any money, except for my friend to paint the fretboard.
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#8
Might as well show off my baby.






Stripped the paint, added the fretboard stickers, changed the pickups. I am in the process of routing new pickup slots and a new control cavity.
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