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Modifications

Guinny
Posts: 114
6 months ago
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Warning - LONG POST.

“We are the Mods, we are the Mods, we are, we are, we are the Modifications!”

A few months ago I picked up a used Squier Affinity Jazz Bass and for what it is, this bass isn't bad at all. I am really surprised at how good this thing sounds and plays. If I am not mistaken there is only the Bronco beneath this bass? So again, for what it is I am very surprised at how it performs.

I bought this bass so I could learn more about setup and make some mods and not have to worry about screwing something up of value. I picked this bass up for $150 and I negotiated a set of authentic Fender tuners for another $25. I have not yet replaced the tuners as I will need to widen the peg holes and to do that I need to get my hands on a reasonably priced reamer. Which I have not been able to do, yet.

My idea is to mod this thing from head to body, including a total paint or stain job.

So, I have been fiddling around here and there. My setup skills have become strong, thanks in large to Marco, who taught me how to setup a previously temperamental floating bridge hollow body, and to Dave, from YouTube fame Dave's World of Fun. I've had the chance to see some of Dave's collection first hand and it is very nice.

This past weekend I was replacing the old jazz style tone knobs with some Chrome nobs. I was having a lot of difficulty removing the volume knobs and used too much force and pulled the entire shaft out on both volume knobs… Yeah. I have a lot to learn.

I've now decided to replace the electronics completely (lol) and have a Obsidian Wire solder less wiring harness on the way from New Zealand. From everything I have read on this unit it is top notch and should provide a better over all sound. Certainly better than the Chinese components that came with the bass. God are they cheap. So now what I want to do is replace the pickups and I would like your feedback on which ones to go with.

I've narrowed my choice down to 5.

1.Fender Custom 60's http://www.guitarbass.ca/collections/fender/products/fender-custom-shop-custom-60s-jazz-bass-pickups
2.Fender N3 Noiseless http://www.guitarbass.ca/collections/fender/products/n3-noiseless-jazz-bass-pickups-by-fender
3.DeMarzio DP-123 https://reverb.com/ca/item/2270171-dimarzio-dp-123-model-j-bass-pickup-set
4.Bill Lawrence J-45 http://wildepickups.com/Bass_Pickups.html
5.Tone Emporium TE 07 http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Tone-Emporium-TE-07-Custom-Jazz-Bass-Pickup-Set-fits-Fender-/131475952544?hash=item1e9c93d3a0

You are probably familiar with the Fender pickups and I would still like to hear your opinions on them, but I am also interested in hearing if any of you have experience with the DiMarzio DP 123 and more so, the Bill Lawrence J-45. Apparently these pickups are out of this world. I doubt anyone has even heard of Tone Emporium. They are a small Canadian company.

I would also be interested in any suggestions on bridges. Any advice/feedback is appreciated.
Sidsquishus
Posts: 1499
I dislike very much the N3 Noiseless - weak, pathetic, pale bastards to my ear
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
I would'nt spend another $100 on pick ups for a bass that you already paid $149.99 too much for! Wilkinson do some really good pups for a really low price, I'd take that route and use this bass as a test bed for your modding skills, then further down the line go for a Mex Fender, these are really good basses with room for improvements such as EMGs, Kluson tuners, Badass bridge etc. Really good to see you doing this though, I'm a big fan of customising cheap (ish) guitars
2nick3
Posts: 193
Why stay so "stock' on the pickups? Why not go a little crazy with some Seymour Duncan SSB4-NYC-s (http://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/nyc-bass-set-4-strg-3) or SSB-4s Soapbars (http://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/passive-soapbar-set-phase-ii)? The NYC's will probably need a new tone circuit, but that's another mod that steps away from the Affinity.

I have a Silvertone SB-11 ($60, used) that I plan on converting to the point where only the body and neck are original. It will take some time, as I already spent the whole mod budget on the Seymour Duncan SPB-3, but I have more plans, including the tuners, bridge, tone circuit, and maybe adding a jazz/humbucking pickup in the bridge position (which will require some woodworking as well!!). The idea is to get it to the point where someone will look at it (and hear it) and say, "That's a Silvertone!!?!?!?“ and not ”That's a Silvertone…"
Guinny
Posts: 114
Thanks for the feedback so far guys.

Like 2nick3 I am looking to do a total mod on this bass. Eventually it will be stripped down to the bare wood and refinished. It's going to be a total mod. I want to build this to be top notch and make it mine. It plays well and feels good, although it is a bit heavy, but that isn't a real issue. I simply want a better sound from it.

I'll check out the Duncan pups and remove the N3's from my list. I am still leaning towards the Bill Lawrence J-45's, I just wish that I could find more examples of how they sound online. I'll also look into the Wilkinson's. I have heard good and bad.
Dig out your headphones and enjoy…





Guinny
Posts: 114
Thanks, Jay.

I've watched what seems like a 100 of these videos, but had not seen this one.
Quote:
Thanks, Jay.I've watched what seems like a 100 of these videos, but had not seen this one.
I guessed so. I like the Lindy Fralin in the bridge position. Maybe Nordstrand in the neck position.

Guinny
Posts: 114
The Lindy Fralin's do sound good.

I'm narrowing things down. Out are the DiMarzio's, both Fenders and Tone Emporium. I am going to check out more on the Fralin's, Duncan's and Bill Lawrence. Still leaning towards the Bill Lawrence pups, but they are expensive…

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