NBD - Douglas 53437

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dabbler, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Okay, it's here:


    Wow! Where to start? OK first off I am primarily a J style Long scale 5 string player.

    I like the looks of this bass, not flashy, just functional. The 2 halves of the body aren't matched all that well, but I've had worse. The primary reason I got this bass was to see if there was anything to fanned frets. Short answer: there definitely is!

    It came out of the box with the A, D and G strings pretty much in tune, and the B and E a little flat. So I plugged it in and tuned up. Someone else who has a Douglas fanned fret said that the B felt like an E or A feels on a normal bass, they weren' exaggerating! My right hand was definitely happy. Adjusting my left hand took a little while (but not long) especially for fingering near the nut. Whereas, Dingwall places their "normal" (perpendicular to the neck) fret at position 7, Douglas has theirs at fret 9. Having never played a Dingwall, I have no idea which I would prefer, though, just an observation.

    Tone-wise this is, of course, darker than what I normally play and quite a bit more growl. I put on a CD and played along. I had played for a while when I heard something not quite right (I was playing around the 4-7 fret area). When I checked the intonation, I found it off more than most basses I've gotten from Rondo, I had to move the saddles more than a quarter inch back. After fixing that things started sounding better.

    Well, I do think I got my money's worth, but before I take this out, if I ever do, I would like to mod it so I can play the pups split and with the coils in parallel (yes the pups are 4 wire) and I'll change the controls to VVT.

    For now, I'll play it at home and decide whether fanned frets are for me.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    bholder, 5below, ed morgan and 3 others like this.
  2. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Nice bass. Fanned frets are a great idea, nice look.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    congratulations! good luck in getting adjusted/familiar with your new instrument.
  4. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I am with my Defiant! I look forward to your assessment as you get time with it and your possible upgrades. BTW, on mine the pickup output is really hot(which I like), is yours? I'm really curious about changing the wiring and controls to the way you want. The only thing is I'm finding with the limited adjustment options it has I'm really tuning in to the variations in tone from technique in stead of fine tuning the pickups. As far as the darker tone, that is what I found to. My other basses have Nordstrand Big Splits, passive VVT and usually flats. I'm running the Defiant with Payson SS Rounds and loving it.

  5. I keep looking at these - such a nice looking bass, but I don't like the look of the rail pups - do you know if they are a standard size that could be swapped out?
  6. Bozendoka


    Mar 13, 2011
    I know one member here swapped them out with Lace Alumibars and had to chisel the corners a little but otherwise they were a fit. I've been itching to get one of these and do that myself.
  7. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I don't know but I can check. I'm not crazy about how they look either, but they are functional, so I can live with them.

    Hot, yes they are. I think that is one of the things that makes it growl so easily. It's also what's making me think that I'll have decent output when I play them split.

    Speaking of pickups, one other little observation, which doesn't really mean anything, is that I had to raise the neck pup on the B side to get even balance across the strings. And the spring, or whatever pushes up on the pup is weak, I'll probably replace it with surgical tubing.
  8. Lespinoza1545


    Nov 6, 2016
    Can you post a YouTube video or sound clip? There's only one single video showcasing this i can find
    I'd really appreciate it if you can but if you can't its all good :)
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Thanks for the review, this is my primary interest in them as well, as a "starter" fanned fret tryout.
    JCooper likes this.
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    That's a sweet looking bass. How's the balance and weight?.

    I think the rail pups look really cool, but that's just me.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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