Jan 30, 2017

'92 Squier Korean P-Bass Review and Mods

A few months ago after messing around with an 8-string guitar, I decided that I might as well stop muddling about in-between guitars and basses and go all the way into bass territory.  A trade yielded this old Korean Squier P-bass, and after a little work it's been a fun, very usable bass to play around on.

This bass had been sitting around for several years without much care put into it, so there was a little basic restoration needed, but it was pretty well taken care of, no dings in the mile-thick poly finish.

The headstock is an older design that features the Fender logo much more prominently and tucks away the "Squier Series" label into a much smaller area.  Maybe a little misleading at first, but it looks just a bit classier from a distance.

The pickup and electronics were in severe need of replacement.  The pickup was held in with some dirty hot glue, cracked and missing screws, and the potentiometers were old and crackly.  Gonna need a full pickguard swap.

Surprisingly the action needed little adjustment.  After tweaking the intonation it was pretty spot-on playability wise, not super low action but no dead frets anywhere.  I'm much more a guitarist than a bassist so I can't elaborate on the finer points of bass-ology but it looks like a bass and does the funk thing when you slap it, so I figure it's alright.

Other than that, it was looking pretty good, the thick poly finish resisted scratching quite well.

The fretboard was a little dirty after all this time though, and needed a bit of scrubbing to thoroughly clean it.  After cleaning rosewood fretboards, oiling with mineral oil is always a nice touch.

The replacement pickguard assembly came in under a week, at under $15.  Not top-notch quality, but a major improvement over the hot glue mess before.

Swapping the pickguard and electronics was a cakewalk as far as these things go, just slacken the strings, unscrew, disconnect a ground wire, and reverse that order with the new pickguard.

Unfortunately it wasn't quite a perfect fit; it took some sanding and shaving right around the neck pocket to make the pickguard match up.

Afterwards, it's much cleaner, and more stylish in my opinion too.  White pickguard on black Fender is the most bland, overdone guitar scheme ever done, the black-on-black-on-rosewood is a little different and sleeker in my opinion.  

All-in-all not a bad bass for under $150  (in my case).  I wouldn't pay over $200 unless it's in better condition and a very good player, but it's a respectable starter bass, and makes the P-bass sound that is so simple yet so versatile.  I'll probably keep finding ways to tinker around with this one - stay tuned in the meantime!

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