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Need Some Guidance

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by omfgnotthatguy, Dec 15, 2012.


  1. omfgnotthatguy

    omfgnotthatguy

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Hey there.
    I'm looking to buy a 5 string and string it E A D G C, to do a couple of covers and write my own material on (mostly solo bass stuff, see Evan Brewer for example). However, I'm having trouble deciding between a few. My budget is around $1000-2000, but since I live in Australia (instruments get bumped up in price over here), it makes it hard to find my perfect bass for that price point.

    There are a few things I am looking for in this bass, including:
    - 24 frets
    - 34 inch scale
    - A "fast"/thin neck (obviously good construction etc)
    - Natural finish + nice looking woods (aesthetics aren't THAT important, but always nice)
    - Active pickups and preamp, possibly bartolini

    At the moment I have picked a few basses I have found online, and I was hoping anybody with some experience with these, or just 5 strings in general could give me some info. If it's any help, I currently own a SBMM Ray 34 and Ibanez SRX 360.

    First off: The Ibanez SR1205 Premium.
    Pros:
    -34" Scale and 24 frets
    -Fits nicely into my price range at around 1500 new here
    -Thin neck and nice woods (IMO, anyway)
    - Fairly common in music stores locally
    Cons:
    - Im skeptical as to how the Nordstrands will work with the sound i'm going for - from my understanding they replicate the sound of a single coil, just in a humbucker housing.
    - Many people seem to dislike the quality of Indonesian Ibanez's, however only having owned Indonesian-made basses I don't see that being an issue

    Musicman Bongo 5
    Pros:
    -34" scale and 24 frets
    -Thin neck (A little thicker than the ibby)
    -lots of tonal control
    -Fairly easy to find in stores locally
    -American made
    Cons:
    -Expensive
    - Non-natural finish and strange body design (once again, aesthetics aren't a huge issue) Basswood isn't my favourite tone wood

    MTD Kingston KZ 5
    Pros:
    -24 fret
    -Bartolini pickups
    -Nice aesthetic
    Cons:
    -35 Scale may make the High C sound odd
    -Difficult to find Localy

    So with all that information in mind if anyone could give me a bit of direction about which bass might be best for what i'm going for, it would be much appreciated. If there are any other basses that you think I should consider, i'm open to suggestions. Thanks very much in advance!
     
  2. omfgnotthatguy

    omfgnotthatguy

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
  3. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    You've got 3 very good options there. You won't be disappointed with the tone of either the Ibanez or the Bongo - the Nordy's sound super clear but are thicker in the mids than a narrow single coil, and can get aggressive if you bump the input gain on the amp. The Bongo is one of the most versatile basses in existence, but its 'everything center' tone is so good that I never feel the need to mess with the EQ when I pick one up. I'm usually drawn to the HS configuration. The MTD KZ is another strong contender, but it's not quite at the same level as the other two. It's common for folks to change out the electronics of these basses, either with top shelf Barts or Nordy's and a good pre like a Nordy or an Aguilar. You might find the tone to be just fine, however. Try to get your hands on one before buying if you can. I believe this is just a testament to how well built these are, folks are just trying to get the electronics up to the same level as the rest of the bass. Overall, you got three great options, but I think your best bang for the buck is in the Ibanez. The Bongo would be cool if you found some extra cash somewhere, and it comes in a myriad of finish options so I know you could find something you dig. The KZ could be really cool if you want to make a project out of doing some electronic work, or if you like how it already sounds could be a great player with the wider string spacing and asymmetrical neck.
     
  4. eddododo

    eddododo

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Ibanez alll the way, at least based on whata you said youd want (especially the fast neck. ESPECIALLY)
     
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  6. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    South Jersey
    I very much like the quality of the Premium Ibanezes. those guys were taught by the Japanese craftsmen and produce very nice instruments. They are very nearly as good as the Japanese instruments that run 70% or more.
    And you can't go wrong with a Bongo - don't worry about the basswood body. If it feels good in your hands it will get you the sound you want, or very close to it. That pre is a TON of fun, you may well end up playing it more than you might think just to mess around with that pre :) The MTD is a very nice instrument too, they all are really.

    I would likely get the Bongo myself, and used if at all possible. I think you've got a better chance of finding one of those used than the Ibby or MTD.

    love that handle too LOL
     
  7. omfgnotthatguy

    omfgnotthatguy

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Thanks very much to all above. At the moment i'm leaning a little towards the Ibby, but i'm intrigued by the Musicman. The MTD is most likely out of the picture.
     

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