Electronics Upgrade on the Fender MIM Precision

The Original Electronics

Several months ago I updated the Pickups (PUPS) in my MIM Fender Precision Bass. The change to Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder PUPS was a great (and noticeable) upgrade – especially for the style of music that I love to play (Classic Rock/R&B). This upgrade takes things a step further by replacing the stock potentiometers (pots) with premium 250k pots from StewMac along with a 47mf capacitor and vintage wiring (and wires).

Before I started the project I decided to make a recording of a song that I play quite a bit for warm up, and just play because it’s a fun song to play bass to…. “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray…

Recording Using Stock Pots and Wiring
The “Components”

The kit from StewMac included both Pots; Plug-In; 47mf Capacitor; and Vintage Wire (along with coaxial). I started with a clean pick-guard and installed and soldered all of the components as per the wiring diagram that was included with the kit… NOTE: P Bass’s are probably one of the most simplest and straight forward bass’s to re-wire… I’ve done numerous upgrades to my guitars and other bass’s, but the “P” is one of the easiest…

Most of the wiring complete…

Once I had all of the wiring complete on the pick-guard, I soldered in the PUPS and the plug, installed the pick-guard, and was ready to test everything out…

So, you be the judge….. Did you notice any difference (other than my mistakes)…. Here’s MY personal synopsis….

First, for the price (about $35-$40 USD), upgrading the Pots, wiring, and capacitor were well worth every penny.. As a player, I noticed first hand the sound and tone difference between the stock and upgraded versions. One of the things that I noticed right off the bat was the absence of “muddy-ness” with the new pots and wiring. As a player, I could play notes faster with more concise tones – in other words, the bass notes just didn’t mix in with all the others during transactions. This alone will help make me a better bass player since it will be much easier for me to focus on using the fingers on both my hands to assist in accentuating or muting strings in order to achieve the tones that best suite the music that I’m playing.

Anyway, for the cover song, “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray was written in 1970 and originally recorded by John H Kurtz in 1972. The song was later given to soul singer Dobie Gray who made it a hit, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the final pop hit for Decca Records in the US.

Keep on Thumpin’!

Lanny

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