Brice Douglas 5-string bass any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by megatron, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. megatron


    Jul 9, 2003
    I am wanting to get feedback on these basses and how they compare to an Sx bass? They are on rondo music's web site for $199 are they worth the price or am I better of with an SX? Thanks for any feedback guys
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Plenty of information on this subject in the Essex Megathread. Short answer: from what I understand, all the Brice basses are a significant step up from the Essex brand. They are made in Korea, the Essex line is made in China. Big difference. If I didn't have a Fender Jazz 5 I'd probably buy one of these.
  3. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Brice Douglas 5 (Swamp ash, Maple/Maple).

    Alright before I post my opinions and observations of this bass let me say I’ve just received it and have only been able to play it in a band setting (last night) once.

    I believe I should give you a description of my modest rig prior to bass reviews. I use a Hartke 3500 head going through an Xaudio (lowend brand bought off eBay) 2X15. The 2X15 is perfect for my applications and is plenty loud and full. I also us a Tech 21 Bass Compactor which is a compressor and 2 band active EQ pedal. I do not use the compression…only the two band active EQ which I set to 100% on both Bass and Treble. I never vary this setting as it provides much needed output for most passive basses. On the Amp the bass and treble knobs are set at middle “zero” position (neither boost nor cut). The graphic EQ on the amp is set flat except for the 250Hz which is boosted 100%, the 5KHz is boosted 80% and the 8KHz is boosted 100%. The settings above are exactly what I used last night with the Brice, Douglas 5.

    When I opened the double boxed Brice box I was amazed at what I saw. The bass itself is beautiful. The finish was flawless…yes…I mean it was totally flawless. The neck is nice and tight; the hardware is decent (I will not be changing any of the hardware). The bridge is exactly the same bridge as used on the Schecter Diamond Series Robert DeLeo Sig model bass. The ashtrays look nice but I immediately removed the bridge cover as I could tell it would get in my way. Strap locks are very big but I replaced them with Schaller strap loks last night after practice. The bass is nice and heavy. I’d say it was between 9 and 11lbs. Noticeably heavier than my Warmoth P bass 5 string. The figuring in the ash is beautiful and grabs your attention.
    Neck - The neck feels similar to a SR5. Extremely comfortable and very fast. The neck has a clear coat on it but that’s fine with met. The nut was cut very nicely. No frets stuck out past the fretboard. The frets seemed to be dressed nicely. There is a little fretbuzz but not enough to warrant an action adjustment or truss rod Adjustment (yet). The neck has zero relief…completely flat which I prefer and the action was very low…perfect for my playing style. String spacing is 5/8 (.6250mm). While this spacing might be a little tight…I prefer it this way. I’m solely a fingerstyle player and never slap. The fretboard is a nice slab of maple with black block inlays. The inlays looks nice. Overall the neck on this bass is much more comfortable than my Warmoth P bass 5 stringer. Much easier to get around.
    Body - Very nice looking. Totally vintage Jazz style with the BWB pickguard. Knobs seem fine….pots don’t stick. HEAVY…but therein lies tone. Clearcoat seems nice and thick…I happen to like that…you may not.
    Pickups/Tone - Pickups are overseas single coil jazz that definitely hum when not at equal volumes. The output seems fine. I may or may not change them…right now I’m happy with the tone. The tone…MAN…going through my rig/setup this bass has a guttural growl that commands “LISTEN TO ME”. The lows are extremely low-mid heavy thanks to the 250Hz slider being at 100%. The highs are cutting but not the Nu Metal Clickety Clack ala Fieldy (can’t stand that). Actually….it sounded almost like I was playing with a pick (love that tone). I kept the basses V/V/T set at 100% in the band situation all night as well. I dimmed the tone not while playing with the other guys just to assess what it would sound like and it did mellow the tone enough for ballads or mellower songs. My guitarist and drummer both commented on how great the bass sounded and how well it cut through the mix. Personally I’ve never had luck with a jazz bass cutting through…they all seem to get lost in a loud band setting. I’m not worried about this one though. The only changes I’ll be making is getting rid of my Tech 21 bass compactor in favor of a Aguilar or Sadowsky outboard preamp…haven’t decide which yet.

    The above opinions are expressed only after one night of playing. If something changes any of my above statements in the near future I will post on this thread. I hope the above helps any of you Tbers who had questions about the Douglas Brice 5 Swamp Ash. If I’ve not answered your specific question please let me know and I’ll do my best.
    I was planning on immediately re-wiring this bass to Series as soon as I received it but after last night I’m leaving it stock for a while. The tone is definitely there.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    did you really have to post that 3 times???
  5. did you really have to quote the whole thing just to point that out :rolleyes:
  6. Great review Bazz! My GAS for one is growing!!!

    hopefully soon I'll be taking the trek to Rondo's store front
  7. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yeah...I really did have to post it three times. I figured I've seen so many flames on members caused by trivial mistakes in language, lack of "IMO" and talkbass procedure...I figured I'd try it and see how many scratches I recieved. ;)

    Thanks, Speddling! I don't think you will be disappointed...just don't go comparing it to your Benavente! :D Man...that's one bass I've got some gas for! Liked your MP3s as well.
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I was at Rondo Music a few weeks ago & I played the Lake Placid blue (Alder? w/Rosewood board $199) the Natural (Ash w.Maple Board-$299) & both basses played & sounded really nice. I didn't play the natural one too mych casue the pickup covers are annoying to me but the Blue one was really nice ESPECIALLY for $100 less!!!!! I agree with everything that bazzanderson stated about the bass.
  9. JBassDeluxe


    Nov 20, 2014
    Northern California
    I've purchased a few items from Rondo in the past, but I don't have much experience with the offered brand and in fact had never heard of Brice until a couple of days ago. The one model that I find intriguing is the Brice a Defiant 53437. This is a five string, multi-scale, mahogany bass. The scale is 37" on the low B and 34" on the G. It has 24 slanted frets, rail pickups and passive electronics. It goes for about $560. I've never played a multi-scale bass. Anyone here have any experience with these?
  10. JBassDeluxe


    Nov 20, 2014
    Northern California
    Scourgeofgod, thank you for posting the link.
  11. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    No problem, I'm looking forward to more Defiant 53437 info myself.
    JBassDeluxe likes this.
  12. JBassDeluxe


    Nov 20, 2014
    Northern California
  13. Stickman393


    Dec 1, 2014
    I picked up a multi-scale bass - a 53437 in fact - for the first time last night. Adapting to the frets was no problem - the only issue was that my hand tended to try to play two frets higher than I expected. By the time I put the bass down 20 minutes later, this was not an issue. I have more trouble with wearing glasses and playing bass at the same time.
    JBassDeluxe likes this.
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