Fender Jazz Bass

Year: Mid-90s
Finish: Midnight Wine
Origin: Mexico
Acquired: 1999
Mods: Schaller straplocks, EMG pickups, Q-Parts knobs
Still owned: No

The Story:
This was Kat’s, with heavy prodding from me. I love Jazz basses and thought she would find the slim neck more comfortable than a P-bass, as I do. It was a made-in-Mexico Fender, which I have always found to be great values for the money.

What I don’t know is why I convinced her to upgrade the pickups to EMGs. They’re active, which means that they run on a battery…which was located under the scratchplate. Why would I push for active pickups if I had to remove the scratchplate every time the battery died? I have a memory of this being one of the factors that made me willing to part with it when Kat said she was happy to let it go. Sold it when we were still working at GamePro, I think, so the battery issue became someone else’s problem. I did keep the purple Q-Parts knobs (which did NOT match this bass — again, what was I thinking?) and later used them to greater effect on the charcoal Dean Razor.

Either way, this one taught me a lesson: Sometimes, improvements don’t improve anything. If the thing looks good and sounds good, maybe you’re better leaving well enough alone.