Bass Modifications

In the summer, I was re-tracking a few instruments before finishing my album. My biggest issue was with the bass tracks. They seemed to fall a little flat, and despite experimenting with pick gauges/materials, cobalt strings, and DI boxes, my Mexican J-Bass single coil pickups just weren't cutting it.

So after a little digging I found the holy grail of bass mods: the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder (with cheese) P-Bass pickups. Now, if you follow Fender's left handed line, you know that they do not make a left-handed P-Bass in their Mexican series, and you also know, that an American series is waaaay too expensive for a semi-basses #guitarplayer musician simply wanting to lay down some bass tracks. So I figured I would bite the bullet and somehow try to put this P-Bass pickup in my J-Bass. 

It was a bit of a project, and I was very afraid I would cut my precious fingers off, but I am very pleased with the final results. Now, back to tracking with these amazing new pickups. 

Here are the original, noisy single coil pickups that come with the Mexican Jazz Bass. Note I'd already done some modifications by making it road worn.  

The original. Noisy single coil pickups.

Here is a picture of the pickup template I used. I got it off amazon here for $7. It got a little beat up during practice runs, but it was absolutely necessary to get the job done.

Finally I faced my fears and set up the router, all ready to cut out the pickup shape!

Okay, I did it! The wood colour part is the part I cut, and man was it scary to use a router, it turned out well, but I was pretty afraid for my life.

I bought a custom pick-guard off of Warmouth, and wired to new pickups to the volume and tone pots. It took a little bit of time to line up the screw holes, but it was really starting to come together at this point.

And finally, restrung and play tested. Thank you Seymour Duncan! I finally have a bass tone I can rely on! #SeymourDuncan