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Mike Masuda's Fender PJ bass (part 1 of 2)





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Uploaded on Mar 29, 2010

Back in 2008, I bought this 3-tone sunburst Fender Deluxe Precision Bass Special on CL from a guy in Petaluma. The bass was in decent shape, but the frets were corroded and the body had some dried gunk on it as well. With care, I removed the gunk and carefully polished up the frets with steel wool.

I proceeded to modify the bass as follows:
1. Removed the anodized aluminum gold pickguard and replaced it with the Fender vintage '62 tortoiseshell pickguard. Under the pickguard is a layer of aluminum to shield the interior.
2. Installed the finger rest bar (the "tug bar") for cosmetic reasons.
3. Removed the stock neck pickup and installed a vintage Fender '62 P-bass pickup.
4. Removed the stock bridge pickup and installed a Seymour Duncan Hot Stack Jazz humbucking pickup.
5. Installed a chrome pickup cover (for cosmetic and practical reasons). James Jamerson plucked out all the bass lines for all those Motown hits using just one finger ("The Hook") and rested the other fingers on the chrome cover--so its placement does serve a purpose in enforcing a certain plucking style. Marcus Miller also uses the cover to rest his forearm as he slaps the strings with his thumb. very useful cover. Plus it looks way cool.
6. Installed a BassMute string muting system (
7. Removed the stock bridge and installed a Leo Quan Badass Bass Bridge II. Adjusted the string spacings a little closer for my needs.
8. Removed the neck volume pot and installed a concentric pot stack--to independently control the volumes of the pickups.
9. Removed the bridge volume pot and installed a StellarTone ToneStyler Bass circuit (passive, similar to a Vari-Tone, but with many more tone settings).
10. Removed the tone pot and replaced it with a push-pull pot (when pulled out, it makes the humbucking bridge pickup a single coil Jazz pickup).
11. Installed a brass nut.
12. Installed deluxe Fender tuning keys.
13. Lined the body cavities with copper tape shielding and grounded the cavities.
14. Installed Dunlop Straploks so that the strap does not come off in the middle of a gig.
15. Replaced stock knobs with vintage US Fender knobs.

Anyways--the video goes through most of these mods. If anyone in the SF South Bay area is interested in having their stock Fender bass modified "secret ninja style" (i.e., without appearing as if it had been modified), please feel free to contact me! Cheers!

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