TBD - Transformed Bass Day

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by two fingers, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    So, a while back I bought (trade plus cash) a custom LeCompte bass. It just looked too cool to pass up. It was a bad deal. The neck was twisted. The whole saga is covered here.

    Do NOT buy, or trade, anything here via PM (under the radar).

    During all of that drama, @rojo412 reached out to me. We began a conversation about not only replacing the neck, but also replacing the (boring.... almost timid sounding) preamp and pickups. If I was going to invest in a neck, I figured we would go ahead and make the thing BA in every way.

    First off, during the whole process, he was GREAT to work with. He was geeking out with me while we were discussing electronics options. I wanted a passive BEAST. And I got one.

    I'm going to describe what we came up with. But I'll defer to him if I describe something incorrectly.


    Neck - Nordstrand Big Split
    Bridge - Nordstrand Dual Coil

    Controls. This is where it gets interesting.
    Series/Parallel switch for the pickups (both pickups in series or both pickups in parallel).
    Series/Inner Single Coil/Parallel switch for the bridge dual coil.
    The tone pot is a pull pot that switches between a .1 cap and a .047 cap (in essence, a brighter circuit and a darker circuit).

    Knowing I was going to post this today, I spent about two hours playing the bass last night. As an experiment, I would pick a song in my head. Then I would go about coaxing that tone out of this bass. It seems as though it would be a complicated mess. But it really isn't.

    If I soloed the bridge pickup and began playing, and it was too burpy, I would simply throw that pickup into series, pop out the tone pot, and dial back ever so slightly. Boom. Punchy Stingray-esque tone.

    Before I was done, I could easily predict what settings would get me where I wanted to be (maybe a tiny tweek of the tone knob needed). Everything makes a big difference. Nothing is subtle. And this bass will do it all.

    Does it "nail" a P bass? Nope. But the neck pickup soloed with the dark cap engaged and a slight roll back of the tone knob really does get close.... plenty close enough. And it's a very warm passive tone that will growl a little when I dig in (just like a P bass).

    The neck?

    First off, it looks amazing. He made it from scratch and matched the style of the original (with some tweaks to the profile). My phone pics don't do it justice. It has some very nice grain, including the fretboard flaming. It has illuminated top dots. (I'll let @rojo412 describe how he made them. They're ridiculously hard to get a pic of with a phone. But I'll post my sad attempt anyway.) Stainless frets.

    It also feels great! Last night I was plucking, picking, tapping, and even a little slapping. Getting around that neck is a breeze.

    I haven't decided what to do with the head yet. At my request, he left it blank. Something will come to me.


    Release the Beast! (While choosing pics I realized I never got one of the whole front, and/or the front of the head. I'll fix that later.)
    20200617_194132.jpg 20200617_185503.jpg 20200617_185831.jpg 20200617_185612.jpg 20200617_194334.jpg 20200617_191303.jpg 20200617_185653.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Super cool ! Rojo does great work .... congrats, my friend !!!
  3. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Wow. Really cool looking bass. Probably sounds just as cool!
  4. Final product: Sweeeeeet.
    No doubt the sounds are fantastic. The versatility of the electronics are really cool.
    Congrats on a great project.
    Mr Cheese, Fat Freddy and two fingers like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    He really does. That neck is the perfect balance somewhere between flat and chunky. Maybe he could describe the shape better than I can.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    that ax looks great! but if it plays well for you = you're the big winner! congrats on your "transformed" instrument! :thumbsup:
  7. Far from the madding crowd, this bass is.

    Play it in good health and enjoy!
    two fingers likes this.
  8. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    Wild looking bass. Looks good.. glad you were able to make it into something enjoyable.
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    First off, gotta say I'm extra stoked that the bass is working well for you @two fingers. This one was definitely fun to make into a good working project. While the circumstances leading up to what needed to be done weren't ideal, the end result is really what matters.

    When we were discussing the neck replacement, there was nothing holding us back from changing spec. But since you were into the way it felt overall, I tried to keep that in mind. You said you wanted it feeling kinda meaty, so I got it to a place where it was comfy and meaty and left it. The "D" profile is something I always kind of dug in other instruments, so I'd say this ended up like kind of a fat Status neck, for feel.
    Since we didn't want the reliability issues to come back, the 4 graphite bars in the neck were a definite win.
    And honestly, stainless frets are amazing because they basically don't wear out, which is why I use them in my builds.

    The glow dots though, that was something that basically came from comparison shopping. I looked into Luminlay and basically, they'll sell you a 60mm tube of it (2.36" long) for $20 + shipping from Japan.
    For $5, I was able to get a carbon fiber tube, glow powder and super glue and have enough for over 610mm (2 feet) of glowing side dots.
    Does that mix contain whatever magical super-glowing substance they use to make Luminlay? Probably not. But it works really well for a LOT less. I did it for a neck for @rogerbmiller as well and he liked it, so it's become something that I'm glad to do in the future. Some of the other people in the Luthier's Corner have even clued me into other tube material that's even cheaper and works great. So yeah, as cool as Luminlay is, this is pretty sweet for a lot less.

    Here's a full-on shot for you, David:
    five7, Ghastly, Spidey2112 and 13 others like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Thanks for chiming in. As I suspected, you did a better job of describing the neck than I did. :D All I know is that I dig it!

    Based on what I've been able to gather from the interwebz, I would say your version of dots works about like the expensive brand name ones. If you shine a really bright light on them briefly, they will be bright... briefly. If you put it in sunlight (even through a window) for a while, they last a lot longer. It's almost like plugging them into a charger. If you only "charge" them for a minute, they won't last long. If you leave them exposed to bright light for a while, I can totally see you getting a show out of them. I haven't tried the special little flashlights they sell for such things.

    And thanks for posting the full frontal!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  11. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    Glad to see you got a bass you are happy with in the end!
    two fingers likes this.
  12. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Hot Diggity that is one truly remarkable looking instrument!! Congrats on your TBD!
    two fingers likes this.
  13. A beautiful instrument but wouldn't a whammy bar really be the finishing touch on that masterpiece? DSCF0903.JPG

    Obese Chess, rojo412 and two fingers like this.
  14. Dude - you scored on one of the basses on my bucket list, a Lecompte STSS! :woot: :drool:
    Looks fantastic - hope you're thrilled, and like the new sound!
    Ghastly, Obese Chess and two fingers like this.
  15. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    Cool I remember this one...Enjoy!
    two fingers likes this.
  16. Mookev2


    Mar 17, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    Really cool.
    Hot Rod.
    Light pin striping on the headstock to compliment that on the body.
    Totally turned my head.
    I apologize now, because I'm totally going to steal that look on my next project.
    Great job.
    Jim Kernan and two fingers like this.
  17. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    Not yeah...but DAMN YEAH! :drool::drool::drool:

    Love the p/up + electronics configuration on that beast too!
    Ghastly and two fingers like this.
  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Love it! The pinstripes look really cool too. Great looking bass that will totally stand out for the right reasons wherever you drag it. Nice job guys.
    two fingers likes this.
  19. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    very very nice!
    two fingers likes this.
  20. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    two fingers likes this.