Upgrade Day! Anyone Else Upgrading?

So today was “Bass Upgrade Day”!! My new knobs, thumb rest, and Babitz bridge showed up in the mail so I took a break from Josh’s bass lessons and spent the afternoon having some fun doing some actual upgrades to my Yamaha TRBX174EW. Even though that particular model is listed as Yamaha’s ‘Entry Level’ bass, simple upgrades will make this axe shred $h1t with the best of 'em…

First off, the plastic knobs that come stock on the TRBX just HAD to go! A simple ‘cosmetic’ upgrade - like putting lipstick on a pig - but it certainly makes this Mango Veneer axe a little more ‘stage worthy’…

Second, I’ve always used Babitz bridges on all of my 6 string Fender Tele’s and love how they work so I HAD to replace the stock bridge with the BABITZ FCH. Everything lined up perfectly as far as mounting holes were concerned, but I did measure all of the string heights to the bridge BEFORE I removed the stock bridge so that I would have a good starting point to set string height with. And yes, I also replaced the strings with another new set of vintage nickel round-wounds…… (Hey,… I’m ‘Old School’)

Third, the absence of a decent thumb rest on this Yamaha was evident from the start. The new thumb rest however, was pretty damn simple to install - just figure out where you want it, drill a couple pilot holes and screw that sucker on… I ordered the wooden rosewood rests to match the ‘wood’ motif I’ve got going on with this bomber. A definite upgrade for anyone with this style Yamaha since a bridge anchor point with a gahdamn screw on the top of it kinda makes the right hand thumb feel like it’s hanging out on a friggin’ peg board!!..

So… Bottom line,…… A very productive day!.. String height is pretty close (still gotta play a bit to check buzz) and intonation is pretty close (for now)…. Gotta let these new strings settle in and then I’ll intonate the $h1t outta damn this thing! Right now I’m intonated to the 12th fret so for the music I like to play,… I’m good…

Gonna go for some good tuners next… But right now, these stock tuners are just fine and keep tune, but over time will definitely start loosening up and loosing tune (been there on 6 strings)… I did take the time to remove one and measure the hole size in the head, and the shaft size of the tuner so that when it does come time to make the replacement, I’ll have all the information I need to purchase the right set…

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Awesome! I was wondering about the TRBX174. It looks like a really nice inexpensive P/J. It sounds like with what you’re doing here it will be similar in effect to what @Korrigan did with his Mikro - take an excellent bass body and neck for the price, and replace the parts that made it inexpensive and end up with a much nicer instrument :slight_smile:

I may or may not have some upgrade news later today, depending on shipping. Mine’s not DIY though :slight_smile:

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Thanks Howard! It is a pretty decent inexpensive bass which is why I went with Mango… I’ve tore apart tons of entry level guitars, and made some pretty decent on stage shreders… (At least for my grandkids who play)….

Our society is funny on certain things - PRICE is one of them… Granted, you (for most of the time) get what you pay for… BUT, when it comes to this industry (music), there are SO many different variables that confusion (and desire), start to intermingle and typically drive the final conclusion - at least as far as “Will I play better” is concerned…

I’m very ‘Old School’ and believe the ‘opposite’ of what ‘New School’ focuses on… For me, start with the least expensive tool and use it as the ‘Base Point’ to work up from… Play it,… Learn on it,… Modify it,… and get really good with ‘that’ particular tool… When the time comes, move up… Kinda like a mechanic might start out with Craftsman tools before he moves up to Snap-On’s… They all still do the same damn thing, except one might last longer, might be easier to use, and has a better warranty…

I’m not a professional bass (guitar, banjo, acoustic) player - I do it as a hobby (along with the hundred other hobbies I have), but, I have spent a TON of money on cr@p that I wish I had back now that I’m retired… One thing I do know for sure is that if more people would spend their resources on GOOD LEARNING instead of high priced learning equipment, maybe,… just maybe, there would be more people interested in GOOD MUSIC…

Damn,… My old age soapbox just went into over-drive…. My apologizes….

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I hear you for sure. I’m gaining a very solid appreciation of the used market, myself. Or as my boss put it, taking advantage of someone else’s GAS impulse buy :slight_smile:

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