Earliest Fender 5 string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mimaz, Jan 17, 2014.


  1. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been doing some searching, but can't seem to find a solid answer. Here's the full question:

    When did Fender first start making "low B" 5 string basses?

    I know that they did the "high C" basses for awhile in the 60's, but I'm interested in knowing when they started continuous regular production of the "more common" low B instruments. I'm sure there were likely some one-offs and custom instruments, but I would like to know what the first line of 5's was that Fender produced on a regular basis.

    Any experts?
  2. alembicbones

    alembicbones

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    My guess the first production 5 string Fenders with a low B came out in the early to mid 90's.

    Bones
  3. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    I was thinking something similar, but can't really find anything specific, like what year, what model, etc.

    Was it a P? A J? Something different I'm not remembering?
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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  6. jim nolte

    jim nolte

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    The first one that I saw was called an HH model with very narrow string spacing ,5/8 of an inch in 1991. The first one that I bought was a Jazz Bass Plus 5 with Lace Sensor PUPs and the same string spacing that same year. Jim
  7. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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  8. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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  9. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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  10. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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  11. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the info Chuck, but per my original post, I'm already aware of that one...that's a "high C" bass, and I'm looking for the earliest instances of the "low B" that many (most?) consider to be the standard 5 string configuration today.
  12. jim nolte

    jim nolte

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  13. drTSTingray

    drTSTingray

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    The bass V and bass VI models of the 60s are not what the OP means. The V had a very short fretboard and a high top string to allow people to play across in one position rather than up and down the bass - the VI is more associated with guitarists playing low twangy melody lines a la Duane Eddy. Needless to say these curiosities didn't stay in production long and were not very successful - in fact not at all in relation to more traditional 4 string Fenders.

    The fact is Fender were extremely late to the party producing a five string but this is not terribly surprising. When was the first model? 90s or after 2000?

    The five string with a low B became popular as bass guitarists needed to play the lines which keyboards took over increasingly in the late 70s through the 80s and had notes lower than E. Musicman Lakland etc all had popular 5 strings of this type before Fender I believe.
  14. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    Jim, I was working in a retail music store up through 1991. I vaguely remember the Jazz Bass Plus 5 now that you mention it, but I have no recollection of the HH in that time frame.
  15. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

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    My bad I can't read.
  16. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    No worries, and thanks for your efforts!
  17. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper P is the Key. Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

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    Bass V in 1965 was the first they offered, but it was weird. 15 frets, EADGC.

    Squier HM 5 in 1989 was their next offering, this time with standard BEADG tuning, if you can count that (being it's a Squier).

    Jazz Bass Plus came just a tad later in 1990, as the first official Fender branded 5er with the modern tuning.
    Not longer after, or around the same time, there was the Fender HM V. Also a 5er with 3 J pickups. They also had the MB-5 from '93-95ish, as well as a MIM Standard Jazz V from 1992 on I believe.

    In 1995, they reintroduced the proper USA made instruments, and the now regular (but then new) American Standard Jazz Bass V was made with the line. They did the same to the Precision in 2008.
  18. jim nolte

    jim nolte

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    Now that I think about it that first one was called a HM model. It was a dark blue and the dealer told me HM stood for Heavy Metal! I think it had 2 Jazz PUPS close together by the bridge and a third one closer to the neck. My Jazz Bass Plus 5 had a natural finish with a rosewood board. Bought it in 1991 was my main bass for the next 5 years than traded it toward a EBMM SR5. The Lace Sensor PUPs on the Jazz Bass Plus sounded pretty dull compared to the EBMM. Jim
  19. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

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  20. jim nolte

    jim nolte

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    Yup,that's the model I had. The Kubicki X-factor bass was a big deal back then and the fact that the Fender had a similar pre-amp was a good selling point. The neck was a little chunky at the first position and I developed a little tendonitis in my forearm after 5 years. Also the SR5 had a little wider string spacing at the bridge 11/16ths compared to 5/8ths on the Fender. Must say that I preferred the body contours of the Fender when playing it high up on my chest though. Jim
  21. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    I had a 1992 Jazz Plus 5er with Kubricki electronics. It was one of the earlier ones IIRC...

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