Time to fix up Rogue... (warning, long post)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by darkfinger, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this because it's not really a ground up build so if it needs to be moved ,my apologies and please move it to a new home where it will be welcome...:D

    So a bit of history;
    I started playing bass around 16 yrs ago. My first bass was a Squier p bass that I was forced to sell due to being young and stupid and getting into some serious money trouble. I had that bass for just over a year and had started playing in an originals band when I had to sell I was heartbroken.
    Enter, my best friend's father.
    I was relating the story to my friend (who was also the lead singer), practically teary eyed, explaining to him why I had to quit the band (no bass or amp and no money for a new one) when my friend's father, who had been listening from the other room came in came in and said something along the lines of "you can't stop playing bass, you're just starting to really figure it out." followed by "you two come with me."
    My friend and I headed to the car with him and he drove us to a storage facility without saying where we were going or why.
    He disappeared inside and came back with a battered to s*** guitar case that was covered with dirt and water damage and says, " I've had this thing in storage for years, you're more than welcome to use it until you can buy a new bass," and disappears back into the storage room a second time while my buddy and I open the case onto a Rogue P Bass copy.
    The bass was in playable condition (sort of), but needed new strings and the input jack had fallen into the control cavity.
    Minutes later my buddy's dad rolls out a Garnett 200watt pro (I think that was the model...it's been a while.) on a 1 X 15 Garnett cab.
    "Here's an amp that I've had since the seventies that you can use as well."
    I was floored.:hyper:
    Long story short:
    I played that bass every day for two years before saving enough to buy a bass of my own.
    On another note I played through that Garnett amp for 5 years until it literally burst into flames one day on stage.
    Fast forward until today:
    I was over at my friend's dads place early this afternoon having a coffee and a visit when I notice the old Rogue propped up in a corner of his garage (man cave).
    I asked him he was playing it over the squier p that he'd picked up a couple of years ago and he answers "no, it's broken and I just haven't thrown in out yet."
    I take a look and sure enough there are some issues, but I'm fairly certain it's fixable and tell him so.
    He says, "if you want to fix it it's yours but I'm not willing to put anything into this thing when I can buy a new one for the price of parts."
    So, after 13-14 years this thing is back in my hands.

    Here are some pics:




    you'll notice that the bridge saddles are buggered and the neck is lifting at the neck pocket....among other things.




    I have no idea what year this thing is, but I would guess 70s-80's?

    I'm going to do some upgrades but I have no idea what to get as far as electronics (the pups in there sound kinda crappy after plugging it into my bassman), I'd like to get a nice p-bass on steroids sound...if you know what I mean. :p

    Since I have to replace the bridge I'm thinking Badass, and the nut is busted so I'm thinking of picking up a brass one...
    How much does the nut actually contribute to tone? would a brass nut on a maple fret board make this sound harsh? (hard wood and brass?)

    Thanks for reading guys and once again this thing just sort of fell into my lap so any suggestions or direction as to where to take this project would be much appreciated!
    ICM likes this.
  2. kuso


    Feb 25, 2010
    Plymouth, MA
    Well I'm more or less brand new to this: I'm currently overhauling my Galveston 5 String. Most likely built in the late 80's/90's.

    I will tell you this: if you're planning on stripping the finish, do not sand it off, unless you have a woodshop at your disposal. I took that route, having only basic hand tools (square sanding block and random orbital sander.) Bad idea. I lost alot of the shape around the ends of the horns and had to spend quite alot of time an effort meticulously hand sanding them back into shape. I wouldn't suggest a sanding removal of finish (okay, maybe the outer coating) unless you have a router/table available, and a belt/cylinder sander.

    That being said, I would go a chemical route. If you do decide to refinish the body, be prepared to paint - I was lucky enough to be able to see that the wood grain underneath was good. But with a cheaper bass that doesn't have any grain showing, you don't know what it will look like. Chances are they didn't select the wood based on physical appearance.
  3. Thanks for the advice Kuso,

    I've been reading tons of threads on refinishing but I can't decide if it's worth it or not as I actually like the finish (warts and all), and don't mind the worn look.

    However, if I was going to refinish it I would totally use a chemical...
  4. i personally wouldn't bother refinishing unless you just want the experience of doing so. it's cool to get that back, and could be a cool bass when it's all done! i guess i didnt realize that rogue had been around for that long.
  5. kuso


    Feb 25, 2010
    Plymouth, MA
    With an instrument with that much history to you, it might be best not to refinish it. Digs and dents can add alot of character.
  6. Frankly neither did I, however I was just ball park figuring...I gathered by the patina of neck and the addonized(sp?:ninja:) pick guard...I suppose it could be from like 1990-or something.
  7. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    leave the finish alone and replace the electronics and hardware. Keep an eye out in the classifieds for used parts. I picked up a G&L SB2 Pbass pup for $50 from a talkbass member. There are always plenty of bridges and tuners. Even used strings can be gotten in the talkbass classifieds.
  8. ^ leave the finish , clean the hell out of it. You will have to put alot of time into stripping it +money and its not really worth it. A nut doe not chnage the tone much at all, i would get a seymour duncan SP-3 pickup for it , post a wanted add for parts.

    Its a very cool looking bass not like the modern Rogues
  9. Yeah,
    I'm gonna leave the finish alone, I was on the fence about it briefly but frankly I like it the way it is and I'm too lazy to strip it, sand it, etc...

    Good call on the seymour duncan AST. also good call on picking up some used bits.

    I took the neck off to have a look, and on the end of neck there is a little 76 printed in pencil under the gloss...could be the year it was made? could be however many necks that guy did that day.
  10. i wouldnt be surprised if that was a 76 it looks like and old 70's import to me. And yeah i think the sp-3's will be the sound your looking for i have had 3 sets of them , good pickups and readily available for around 40 bucks used on TB.
    penguineman likes this.
  11. It would be cool to have an old import in the stable for kitsch factor alone, especially if it sounds good, even if it's newer it still has that 70's vibe to it.
    40 bucks or so ain't bad at all. I'm gonna have to start looking.
  12. Kevin J

    Kevin J

    Mar 22, 2017
    I know this is an old thread, but if you're still around thanks for the pix. I came across one of those Rogue's a couple of weeks ago, and spent $25 for it. Not bad for a 70's MIJ bass. I'm in the process of putting it back together, but as i do I'm scouring for any information on these, specifically factory of origin. Thanks again.
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