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Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:43 am
by mikefiction
Finally tearing apart and upgrading the Squier Bass VI that I bought a couple of years ago for this purpose.

Shielding it and putting in some Curtis Novak vintage wound Bass VI pickups. Staytrem bridge, Fender American Vintage tremolo. Rewiring it with cloth wire, orange drop capacitors, CTS pots.

Adding a closer to ‘vintage correct’ tort pickguard though finding actual celluloid nitrate for this body has not been possible so far, at least it’s not brown like the modern Fender tort pickguards.

When I’m done this should be a great instrument!

I've found a few wiring guides, anyone have a definitive 60's one with bass choke on 4th switch?

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Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:41 pm
by mikefiction
Bass VI rebuild complete! Everything does what it’s supposed to do. Now I just need to do a setup and then rock n roll!

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Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:14 am
by mikefiction
Just wanted to post a followup now that I've played this a bit.

It went from an instrument that I rarely picked up because it just wasn't very nice to play (didn't sound great and was just overall uninspiring) - to an instrument that is now quite the opposite - a pleasure to play and super inspiring. I played it for 2 or 3 hours this past weekend without realizing the time that had passed.

The Novak pickups sound amazing.
Replacing the bridge with Staytrem, the tremolo with AVRI and the strings with LaBella's vastly improved playibility.
Action and intonation are now excellent without shiming the neck.

WIth the shielding/grounding it's practically noisless. Interestingly, it's the quitest single coil I currently own, including MIM and American Fenders - there is hum, but it's barely there compared to the signal.

Overall I feel it was absolutely worth upgrading everything.

Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:34 am
by mbene085
Awesome, those are totally worthwhile mods and I agree that some new electronics and hardware turn these basses into real gems.

I replaced the same parts on mine, I just chose different replacements :) Active pickups, drilled the control plate for a blend control with stacked treble and bass EQ, emptied out the switches and hid 2x9v batteries in there for 18v electronics. Staytrem bridge, hardtail plate drilled for ball ends of bass strings so I could assemble a set with a .105 for the E.

I call it the Bass Invader.

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Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:21 pm
by mikefiction
Very cool, I really like that black pickguard on black look!
mbene085 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:34 am
Awesome, those are totally worthwhile mods and I agree that some new electronics and hardware turn these basses into real gems.

I replaced the same parts on mine, I just chose different replacements :) Active pickups, drilled the control plate for a blend control with stacked treble and bass EQ, emptied out the switches and hid 2x9v batteries in there for 18v electronics. Staytrem bridge, hardtail plate drilled for ball ends of bass strings so I could assemble a set with a .105 for the E.

I call it the Bass Invader.

Image

Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:39 am
by evanforbass
mikefiction wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:43 am
Finally tearing apart and upgrading the Squier Bass VI that I bought a couple of years ago for this purpose.

Shielding it and putting in some Curtis Novak vintage wound Bass VI pickups. Staytrem bridge, Fender American Vintage tremolo. Rewiring it with cloth wire, orange drop capacitors, CTS pots.

Adding a closer to ‘vintage correct’ tort pickguard though finding actual celluloid nitrate for this body has not been possible so far, at least it’s not brown like the modern Fender tort pickguards.

When I’m done this should be a great instrument!

I've found a few wiring guides, anyone have a definitive 60's one with bass choke on 4th switch?

Image

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Did the CTS pots fit in the control plate or did you have to mod/replace that? Looking at diving into a similar project. cheers

Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:07 am
by hexes
evanforbass wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:39 am
Did the CTS pots fit in the control plate or did you have to mod/replace that? Looking at diving into a similar project. cheers
not OP, but I drilled my plate to fit CTS pots I had laying around. the cavity is tight, so I wired any capacitors underneath the pots, but I used a way oversized mallory that I had in a parts bin.

Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:29 pm
by evanforbass
Hey people. As I’m looking at getting this Squier VI project going, I see that Novak charges $30/pup for a cover and claw. This seems kinda bonkers. Would I just be able to remove the claw and cover from the Squier pups and fit on the Novak? Or just buy some cheaper claw and cover for a Jag guitar?

Re: Squier Bass VI Upgrades

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:23 am
by Lost In Autumn
evanforbass wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:29 pm
Hey people. As I’m looking at getting this Squier VI project going, I see that Novak charges $30/pup for a cover and claw. This seems kinda bonkers. Would I just be able to remove the claw and cover from the Squier pups and fit on the Novak? Or just buy some cheaper claw and cover for a Jag guitar?
Yes. You’ll have to unsolder the claw and resolver it to the new pickup, but it isn’t difficult