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Squier Bronco Mods. Project (next) Lockdown


barrycreed
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Had one of these before and the action/intonation was a pain in the *rse. I upgraded the pickup which made a difference.

Thinking of getting one again, used this time, and using it to practice some mods.

Would you believe I've been playing guitar since 1990 and I've never learned how to solder, or set up my own guitars. Disgraceful really!

So to cure some short scale GAS and learn the ropes, I figure the bronco is small enough and light enough on details to not f*ck up.

I suppose, with this, you could upgrade everything, but based on the last one I had, I'd upgrade the pickup for sure, possibly the bridge as well.

Are there any bridges that you would recommend of semi decent quality? Tuners as well maybe?

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Hello! 

I did exactly that earlier in the year. Great wee bass now. 

I'm still looking for a bridge. Needs to be 17 or 18mm spacing and Hipshot do a vintage one that drops right in with individual saddles but I'm trying to keep it cheap so waiting on a 2nd hand one. Tuners on mine are just Squier ones I got for cheap, involved drilling holes but I think any tuners would involve drilling to fit them. 

Good luck, great platform to start with! 

 

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Don't put another guitar pup in it, for tuners Wilkinson do some decent and reasonably priced one's. Else I've found the tuners on a full sized Squier with the same covered backs will fit with a small amount of fettling. These pop up used especially on eBay a lot.

For pickup this is a drop in replacement...

https://www.homeoftone.co.uk/blogs/news/new-squier-bronco-bass-upgrade-kit

 

Edited by hooky_lowdown
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I've been looking around online and have seen a few suggestions for upgrading the bridge. I wouldn't have an issue drilling holes etc (or getting it done for me), as long as it improved the intonation.

The last Bronco I had didn't intonate well at all. Was pretty high around the 12th fret, or higher than I thought was necessary. Neck could have been banjaxed too, but it felt more or less ok. 

I got rid, maybe too soon, instead of looking at a bridge upgrade.

So, any semi decent bridges with the correct spacing? I've seen that hipshot do one, so will keep an eye out for a used one.

Edited by barrycreed
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7 minutes ago, barrycreed said:

I had a look at the pickup linked above. Seems steep at £128, but if a pickup made specifically for bass works better, it might be worth looking at...

This is another drop in replacement (link below), again a little pricey, but you'll not going to get a cheap bass drop in pickup for the bronco.

An option is to buy a cheap 51 style single coil pickup, you will need to enlarge the pickguard pickup hole a little for it to fit. I have a Wilkinson alnico 51 pickup in my parts box, DM me if interested.

www.aeroinstrument.com/musicmasterer.html

 

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I bought a Squier Badtz-Maru Bronco here a few years back that went through some changes. 

The headstock suffered catastrophic damage when I was tring to rout out for new machines, so the body sat under the bed for a while.  I bought a loaded 1978 Fender Mustang neck from the US, but the truss rod was maxxed out and it had a horrible front bow (it did look superb if nothing else).  The body sat under the bed for a while.  Got a second (third?) neck from the Stratosphere - a Squier one, all maple - which fitted like a glove.

The stock bridge was a bit crap, so I eventually fitted a Mustang bridge.  Finally, I was doing a project for someone else and I had a hotrail pickup left over...I think it was a Warman...so I put that in for a hoot, it had to be better than the stock pickup, right?  (I was shocked to see that under the cover the original pickup was a six pole Strat style one.)

I think I gigged it once, much to the amusement of everyone on the bill.  It sounded bright...quite shrill, but it didn't suit live; it was a bit like a toy.  Used it on a few demos, then the Lulls arrived and the rest is history.

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15 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

I bought a Squier Badtz-Maru Bronco here a few years back that went through some changes. 

The headstock suffered catastrophic damage when I was tring to rout out for new machines, so the body sat under the bed for a while.  I bought a loaded 1978 Fender Mustang neck from the US, but the truss rod was maxxed out and it had a horrible front bow (it did look superb if nothing else).  The body sat under the bed for a while.  Got a second (third?) neck from the Stratosphere - a Squier one, all maple - which fitted like a glove.

The stock bridge was a bit crap, so I eventually fitted a Mustang bridge.  Finally, I was doing a project for someone else and I had a hotrail pickup left over...I think it was a Warman...so I put that in for a hoot, it had to be better than the stock pickup, right?  (I was shocked to see that under the cover the original pickup was a six pole Strat style one.)

I think I gigged it once, much to the amusement of everyone on the bill.  It sounded bright...quite shrill, but it didn't suit live; it was a bit like a toy.  Used it on a few demos, then the Lulls arrived and the rest is history.

ahh, my old bronco!

I can only remember gigging it once myself, at the most disastrous gig I ever played (not the basses fault, it did it's job fine) I often think of it and would probably have done the same mods myself if I hadn't sold it as it was quite a nice instrument, I bought it from @mcnach a few months before i sold it to you.

 

I do find myself looking at Bronco's but i think i would go for a standard black one and then have a pickup made for it this time.

 

 

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked up my black bronco yesterday. That's part 1 sorted. I notice on the affinity squiers, the necks feel unfinished, or at least there is a very thin finish.

I'm open to experimenting with finishes here. Worth trying linseed oil or something similar? I wouldn't be too bothered about not keeping any logos on the headstock.

Playing around with it stock, the tuners and bridge seem fine though I am wondering if it’s down to string gauge as well.

String spacing appears ok so not sure if I would update bridge or not yet. Pickup and wiring yes.

If I can source a black pickguard, happy days. Black volume and tone knobs too.

Maybe string it with flatwounds.

Edited by barrycreed
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  • 3 weeks later...

The bridge on mine (the red one) was one of these Goldo bridges from Thomann- https://m.thomann.de/gb/goeldo_hw50c_bass_3d_steg.htm?o=88&search=1604047006 

Since then I swapped it out for a HipShot KickAss which is much nicer and also has adjustable spacing. One thing I really didn't like about the Goldo is that it has those grub screws that set the saddles in place by tightening into the channel in which the saddle sits and they're a pain to set up. I really don't know why a few booteek builders use them, I would rather a cheapo BBOT myself.

Are you going for 17mm spacing because that's what the original bridge has? Mine is set up as 19mm so it's the same as my other bass and plays just fine. The KickAss would allow you to experiment though, so still gets my vote.

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@soldersqueeze yeah, was going to go for 17mm as it seems to be based on the original. Whatever I go for doesn't necessarily have to look vintage either, as long as it's better than stock. For whatever reason, I am slow to spend the new price on a hipshot (as the bass itself was cheap)! :/ HS Kickass is a lot cheaper than the vintage, 17.5mm might work too for spacing?

This is my second bronco, and seems to feel better in general than the previous one I had.

Edited by barrycreed
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I originally put the Goldo Bridge on that red Bronco. They are a pain to set up but once done you can forget about it. The spacing is adjustable but at it's minimum is slightly wider than original set up. I've got one on my Musicmaster as well. If you have a little patience, they're a cheap fix.

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