Upgrading Squire PJ Bass Hardware

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by heshan, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Hi guys
    I got myself a rather budget Squier Affinity PJ bass for some recording I needed to do. And since it really plays well and I like it a lot, I thought I'd spend a little bit on it to upgrade the hardware. I'll probably change the pickups to some Duncans or something later on, but for now, just the hardware should do

    First of all, the bridge: I don't want to be doing any drilling...and I want something that'll be a bit more solid and possibly improve the tone (?). The current bridge feels very cheap, and the saddles slide around, and all that. But I really want something that'll drop in to the existing holes on the body

    Secondly, I'd like to change the tuners, which are really cheap, and drop tuning if I bend the string etc. Again, I want something that'll fit right in without any modification to the headstock

    Obviously, I don't want to spend a whole load of cash on these, considering I got the guitar for like $150. But I don't mind spending $100 or so on this, coz I really like this guitar and will probably not want to sell it anytime soon

    Thanks!
     
  2. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    Check out Wilkinson stuff. Good quality for little cash. Don't know if it's all compatible with the existing Affinity holes but it's worth a look.
     
  3. Shaunpski

    Shaunpski Tele-Meister

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    I put a Gotoh bridge (direct replacement for a standard bridge) and Hipshot tuners on my parts P. The only issue with the bridge was it sets a little hire than the thinner vintage version. Might have to shim the neck for it. I didn't, but it was close. Good luck!
    Shaun
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Thanks guys. The Gotoh bridge looks very suitable. I found it on StewMac for pretty cheap

    The tuners, on the other hand, are not that cheap! I was expecting less. I saw a Hipshot tuner for $27 and thought that it was for the set, haha. I guess I'll have to find something a bit cheaper or up the budget
     
  5. Shaunpski

    Shaunpski Tele-Meister

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    You're welcome. I can't remember why I bought those tuners. It might have been a made in USA thing or I just liked the machining. I'm sure there's an equally functional alternative in your budget.

    Shaun
     
  6. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    I'm having a bit of trouble finding a suitable set of replacement tuners - regardless of cost. Looks like everything will require some drilling or something, which I'm not comfortable doing right now - even on this cheap guitar!

    This is the only one I've found so far: http://www.guitarfetish.com/Wilkinson-Elephant-Ear-Tuners-Chrome_p_878.html

    If anyone knows a set of decent tuners (Fender, Gotoh, or any other brand that'll be an improvement from the stock), please let me know

    I've attached a pic of the tuners I have so you'll hopefully know what'll fit

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

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    The gotoh bridge is a nice bridge.

    For the tuners, I have squier basses and don't have a tuning problem, so maybe look for a used set of squier tuners.

    I think MIM bass tuners might be the same due to reading stuff on the web, but I don't have empirical evidence on that.
     
  8. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

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    Also ebay for the tuners.
     
  9. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My son's Squier CV Precision is an awesomely good bass. Shortly after he bought it, I put in a Switchcraft jack and good, full-sized pots. The pickup is pretty good as-is.

    When it developed a rattly tuner that made all sorts of weird overtones, I hemmed and hawed on replacements. I really hated to spend 70 or 80 bucks on good tuners for a $270 bass, but in the end went with the Schaller vintage-style tuners. They were a bolt-on replacement for the originals, and I figure the bass 1) was worth the investment, and 2) will never need another set of tuners. The alternative was another set of the Squiers, but we already knew they were junk. No regrets on buying the Schallers.
     
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  10. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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  11. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Going from memory (I'm not home to check) I bought the Schallers from Bass Parts Resource. The original Squiers are stock number 007-4938-000, $36.99. The Schallers are stock number TK-0791-001, $89.79 (Gah!) Looking at the specs, I may be misremembering the bolt-on part. I might have had to drill a few small screw holes. Either way, solid tuners are worth it.
     
  12. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Rich! The part numbers help a lot :D I just looked up the specs, and approximately measured my Squier Some specs match up, but one or two don't. I'm starting to realize that replacing tuners is nothing like replacing a bridge...there doesn't seem to be any direct replacement!

    I don't want to dump $80 on a set of tuners only to find they don't fit, especially since I'm not in the US, and returning them would cost me a lot on shipping. I'll probably ask a local tech here to have a look, and see if he has any good tuners that'll do. I was hoping to avoid going to a tech who I don't know, but there might not be another option!
     
  13. BigDaveyTwinkle

    BigDaveyTwinkle Tele-Meister

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    The Schallers are top notch. StewMac's generic elephant ear tuners are excellent for the money.
     
  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The stock high mass bridge Fender puts on the Squier CV Basses is also a good replacement bridge although I think it runs about $10 bucks more than the Gotoh.
     
  15. Shaunpski

    Shaunpski Tele-Meister

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    The body I have is a CV (pictured above) and I replaced the bridge with the Gotoh. I'm pretty sure the CV bridge would require drilling. I had to plug and re-drill for the Gotoh (which was a drop-in for my old MIM P body. Heck, if someone wants the CV bridge, just PM me.

    Shaun
     
  16. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    I was also checking out the StewMac generic ones. But I guess they too require drilling?

    I'm all set on the bridge, but I don't want to get it till I know what I'm doing with the tuners too - don't want a half-done job on this guitar!
     
  17. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Or I was also thinking of just getting a set of Standard Series tuners by Fender, which are cheap, and I'm sure are a step-up from the cheap ones on the Squier. This set: http://www.fender.com/guitar-bass-p...way-one-series-bass-tuning-machines-chrome-4/

    I'm pretty sure I'll need to drill for the screws, but I hope the peg-holes are the same size? I found out that the Affinity P bass tuners have a 11/16" peg hole size - so even though those tuners look different to mine, I assume my guitar has the same size peg holes too. And the Fenders I've mentioned here also have the same size, so I think I'm good. I'll give it to a local guitar guy if it needs drilling (which it will, for the screws)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  18. Bubbalou

    Bubbalou Tele-Meister

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    I have those same Hipshot tuners on my MIM Jazz bass and love them plus they have a 27:1 gear ratio. A bit pricy but very nice!

    Have Gotoh's also and like their tuners as well. The ratio is typically 20:1 which is decent.
     
  19. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 TDPRI Member

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    As a suggestion before you change the tuners... turn the headstock over and look at them... see that great big #2 phillips screwdriver thing in the middle/center of the gear? Try using a #2 phillips screwdriver to see if like a 1/8th turn (sometimes less, sometimes more) tightens them up. Chances are, tightening that larger phillips head might tighten up the tuners so they don't slip...

    See link:
    https://imgur.com/a/MCoa2Ei

    If you tighten it too much the tuner won't turn, so just adjust it gradually.

    Chances are you already have a screwdriver in your toolbox... (??) -- worth a try...

    -------------------------------

    FYI, not a bad idea to go over all of your screws and nuts anytime you change strings. on a bass or a guitar. On some guitars (not all) they have a hex nut you can tighten on the front side of the headstock... its amazing how many guitars I set up that these are loose and wiggly... When buying a lesser expensive guitar (not bass) I always look at the tuning keys and see if they have a small phillips screw in the end of the tuning button. Those can be tightened up, whereas tuners minus that screw cannot. -- I like to buy el-cheap-o Epiphone Les Paul (Special II, etc) and if they have the screw, good, if not I pass them by.

    Here's a picture of a Grover guitar tuner with an arrow pointing to the set screw on the end... if the tuner is sloppy, this screw will tighten it up, many other brands of (guitar) tuners have this same screw...

    See link:
    https://imgur.com/3LQiyrL
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you haven't replaced the plastic nut yet, replace it with a Bone nut. You'll be glad you did.
     
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