Upgrade Day! Anyone Else Upgrading?

@howard you are correct, many ways to get to the same place, some of it is preference, some of it is what we think we hear, and some is ‘feel’.

Certain genres/songs just sound better to my ears on one type of bass/pickup/preamp, etc.
Think about the average working or pro musician. They are not playing wildly differnet genres or music all the time like the hobbist might (unless they are in a wedding band, and then, well, does tone really matter / or perhaps a cover band but still…is the rest of the band really going to dial in to exact tones and so does the bassist dialing in matter).

To me its part of the hobby, for me…certainly doesn’t have to be part of it at all and is equally as good.

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Actually - that’s interesting. At first I agreed then realized no, I think the opposite is true. I think session bassists play everything.

Think about, for example, Pino. Now that’s a broad career.

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Absolutely some of the passive pickups already have built in hum canceling feature. That said it makes for a different sound altogether when you coil up.

A good example would be the single coil guitar pickup on a Stratocaster. If you get the humbucker winding on the pickup you’ll lose the single coil snappy magic. Company like Emg solved the problem by building a single coil but combat the 60 cycle hum with active electronics. My RetroActive crossroad does just that. You can get the Clapton sound without any hum. Jazz pickups are another good example.

I love all pickups, lords know how many brands I’ve tried, but only one brand I use nearly every time on a live performance is EMG. There’s no surprises. Nothing’s ever gone wrong at home, but would you know bring it to a live gig small bumps here and there the next thing you know you are getting cracked sound or weird hum. Lol.

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Chuck Rainey is another. Louis Armstrong to Joe Cocker to Steely Dan

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Oooh. Good point forgot them.

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I’ve been looking at pickups for my Aerodyne, as it is really bright, and I don’t want to go to flats. I’ve looked at all the EMG pickups and they all seem to have strong upper end. Maybe EMGs and some tapewounds. Haven’t opened up the back to see the cavity yet to see how much room for a battery.

Thus stuff is tougher than it looks

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Yep that was the same for me too, I like brightness but boy it’s bordering on Stingray brightness for me. I swapped one out to nylon and I found the tone I like. I still have the brightness but more pleasing to my taste.

As for the cavity space, it’s possible to fit a battery in there but it requires some finesse and you definitely want to get shorter shaft option if it’s possible.

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I have a set of half rounds as well as tapes on order, surely one will help.

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Well decisions have been made. Will be doing the following upgrades to my Player Jaguar when it get here in several weeks.

For the P

For the J

The vintage and the Apollo pickups are supposed to be a killer combination.

New control plate

This will make all the hardware black

And last

New potentiameters

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I decided to take the Hamer J-Bass in for a little TLC and I found a Luthier about an hour and half drive from me in Freehold NJ (that’s where Bruce Springsteen comes from) that had some great reviews. I’m going to get a setup, strings and maybe a set of new pickups. Anybody have any thoughts on a brand of pickups I should stay away from?

I’m a big fan of Tom Brantley pickups. He custom winds all of Geddy Lee’s jazz bass pickups & makes the same spec available to the general public. You also can’t go wrong with Lindey Fralin. His pickups are amazing. And he offers pre-wired control plates w/CTS pots, 60s wiring, and Switchcraft output jacks.
That’s what I put in my jazz bass & love it.

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Time for another upgrade! My MIM Fender P has gone through several already, but today it’t time to replace the stock “Barrel”style bridge with a Hipshot “Kickass”…. The UPS driver should be here sometime this afternoon, and I’m ready!!

I’ve replaced every bridge on all of my guitars and bass’s over time and am always amazed with the results. I’ve used both Babitz and Hipshot on my bass’s and tend to enjoy the Hipshot Badass bridges over the Babitz… I do love the Babitz on my tele’s though….


I’ve already upgraded the electronics and the PUP’s on this one, so the bridge should finish off the bottom end of this bass…. After this falls deer season I’ll (hopefully) be able to build a new nut from that big ass buck I’ve been after for the last few years and also upgrade the tuners….

More photos to follow once I get the bridge in hand….

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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I’ve put a Kickass bridge on one bass and really like it. I plan to do a couple more. Easy not too expensive mod to install.

How do you like yours?

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@Wombat-metal,… I’ve put them on two of my other bass’s and love them…. I also have a Babitz on my BEAD bass and love it, but for the price, the Hipshot Kickass rules on my bass’s. The Babitz is the only wayI go on my telecaster guitars though…. Both great bridges, and one does not realize the differences a good full contact bridge can make for tones and playability…

I’ll post more photos on this upgrade once I have the bridge in hand and do the upgrade…

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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I too love the hipshot kickass bridge. The tone improvement is amazing!

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What do you notice changes with a bridge upgrade?

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I would call it a fuller/rounded, clearer tone, more sustain.
When I did the Squier, I changed the bridge first, wish I did a before and after.
I will also say that the Squier stays in tune for days and days on its own between this bridge, the hipshot tuners and a very lucky Squier neck on it that is just solid.

The Ray Ross bridge (put on a Fender P) is very interesting as well, and rings of sustain for days, but also brightens up things. Adding the Optima gold stirngs on that made it even brighter. Lots of punch there on that one now…it awaits the Les Claypool pickups.

So bridge design matters for sure.

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I think it makes sense that the bridge would matter (even more than the tonewood really) because it’s in physical contact with the vibrating strings. And is what transfers the vibration to the wood.

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It all matters, how much is another story, meaning some ‘mattering’ might not really.
Electronics overall / strings / bridge / pots themselves / tonewood is the order I would put things in for mattering.

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Yeah. I’d be surprised if tonewood is more than 5% of the overall tone. I pick it for weight, not sound :slight_smile:

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Bridge installed, truss rod adjusted, action set, and string intonation complete…… Time to let it all settle in and then start working those strings and fine tuning each one tomorrow…. Already sounds deeper, fuller, and richer…. And, some may not believe this, but on my bass’s with full contact bridges, I can kinda feel the sound a bit more…. Hard to explain…

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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