epiphone used to make 5 string basses as you mentioned. They sounded alright(I hated the fingerboard, looked like someone vomited all over the fretboard) other then that it was ok. Fender has some 5 string basses as well. I've tried a jazz V liked it better in looks then the t bird, and it was black with a maple fretboard, i dislike basses with that mix(i wouldn't want to own one but hey everyone has their own opinion and preference)(maple fretboard with natural finish FTW) Another 5 string(well its close) 6 string ibanez gio 206, hated the feel of it(felt cheap and as if it was missing something, maybe it was the neck I'm not sure.
Id recommend fender but that's only because I've had terrible looking fretboards and the epiphones I've pryed open look terrible. electrical tape everywhere, too many wires/too much wiring(really now 6 ft wiring for a terminal connected only a few inches away, maybe 3 ft would have been more reasonable, like I realize you need give in case you want to move stuff or w/e but 6 ft?) but i suppose i shouldn't jump to conclusions because I've only opened up one fender and it was older/it was evident it had been opened before. If the modern player jazz V s are good Ill let you know, already ordered one should arrive tomorrow or so.
so i guess if epiphone fretboards didn't look so bad id love em if I never had to pry one open and see it has taped together wiring rather then soldering.