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NBD Mods Complete (douglas Pisces)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aproud1, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Been itchin to buy a 51 P style bass for awhile now. Had a Sting but it weighed a lot and the pickup was a bit out of alignment (sounded fine but drove me nuts). Had been eyeing the Douglas Pisces for a couple of years now. After a disappointing try at a Fender FM tele and finding out the pisces now has a jazz neck I pulled the trigger.

    I have bought several SX basses (most before the headstock change and one after) and have always been impressed by their overall quality especially for the price. This is my first experience with Douglas... if that matters. I have tried many of the CV Squier 51 precisions or whatever they are called and just couldn't find one I really liked.

    -So I received the Pisces two days after placing my order. Opened it up and except for the headstock it looked good. Played it a bit and it played pretty well out of the box but had some major fretsprout. Figured no big deal, it happens. Also checked out the frets with the fretrocker and she was a rockin.
    -Plugged in it sounded decent but was very noisy more so than I expected, bummer. I pretty much planned on buying another pickup anyway.
    -The tuners worked great, but they are possibly the heaviest tuners I've ever had.
    -Nut was obviously cheap but totally functional.
    -The pots on the control panel were so tight that it bent the panel holes, so I needed to replace the control plate.
    -the side jack was installed cockeyed
    -Pickup was perfectly aligned, which was my main concern.

    So summing up while it played decent it needed a lot of work to reach full potential. I bought the bass prepared to do a complete fretjob, electronics overhaul and bridge/tuner replacement. If you are looking for a bass that is ready for you out of the box this bass is likely not for you.

    Now I'm not known for my woodworking skills (because I'm terrible at woodworking) So I was a bit nervous about the headstock reshape. It took a fair amount of time and I learned about some new (to me) files that help out a lot. I think the headstock turned out pretty good. Kind of like a P bass and Tele headstock had a slightly misshapen baby.

    Stripped the entire neck except the headstock face so I could retain the Douglas logo. Don't care what the name is on the headstock as long as there is something on there. Took whole neck down to 600 grit, rolled the front edge of the board and did a complete fretjob. Then finished with Watco Danish oil.

    Had to order some 500k mini pots and decided to go with a Fralin Humbucking pickup. It did need some filing to get it to fit in the cavity. But I got it in there and everything was pretty well aligned.

    I had hipshot UL tuners and a hipshot a Style bridge in the parts bin. They went on without much problem. Was able to get spot on intonation with out any problems. another thing I've read has been an issue with these basses.

    I do really like the finish on the two piece body and the quality of the grain and the matching of the two pieces is on par with most fenders I've had. Pretty much everything else started out kind of crappy:meh: But we got there and now it sounds and plays very, very well.

    Are the newer SX basses still the same quality as they were several years ago?

    Anyway here are some pics.

    In the beginning


    First rough cuts


    Almost there


    And done

  2. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Whole bass pics


    Back of headstock is a little rougher than I'd like but I had to stop somewhere

  3. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    That looks great, man!
  4. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Thanks! I'm happy with it.
  5. Nice work, aproud. The Pisces is such a nice looking bass for the money; a great pity that the costs escalate when trying to get it to Europe. The core aspects are just right and your mods make it look a seriously decent instrument. Quite envious!
  6. Very nice! How does it balance?
  7. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Congrats, and I'm kinda jealous. I really like your Pisces in burst, mine is plain old white. As for the quality of SX basses now, the last 2 I bought were actually 2 of the best I have bought.All of my others are old headstock ones.
  8. Looks good man! I Like that "Like a Virgin" vinyl in the back ground! I love the 80's :bag:
  9. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Actually that is a laserdisc. Doesn't get much more 80's than that.

    Good to know. Now that I know I can reshape the headstock into something I like. I may get another SX.

    Balances great. Thought I did use ultralight tuners and a brass bridge which I'm sure helps. Even with a steel bridge it would probably balance well on a strap.

    I wouldn't have used a higher end bridge if I didn't have one laying around but the Douglas bridge was a little shorter than a Fender and the string holes were rough. I actually had a bridge from a MIM Fender on but changed to the Hipshot before final assembly.

    Thanks! You guys do seem to get some unique stuff over there across the pond though. I've had some excellent Ibanez basses that were exclusively European releases.
  10. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I had one of these for a while and sold it to my next door neighbor. It was a pretty decent bass, and if I had the same patience as you, I could have modded it into a good bass. The problem for me was not really liking the neck profile, and my neighbor was quite happy to have the larger P-style neck.

    Anyway, nice job, and I hope you have a blast playing your new creation.
  11. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Thanks Woody!

    The new ones now come with jazz necks now. Just sayin....:ninja:
  12. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Sat in with a blues band last night with this bass. Wasn't sure how this would fit in the mix but man it sounded perfect! Just plopped right in and sat exactly where you want the bass to be.

    The Lindy Fralin split coil is very impressive. Sounds great! A little hot and totally noise free. My second Fralin pickup and I'm sure not my last.:bassist:

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