Six String Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thunderbroom, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Thunderbroom


    May 7, 2002
    I want a six string bass. I don't need a six string bass.

    My main basses are a G&L L2500 Tribute and a Bongo 5HS. The former has flats; the latter has rounds. I'm in my late 40s and play in a power trio that has a Soundgarden vibe.

    I don't want to spend a ton (over $2k) and don't want to cheap out (sub $600). Ideally, I'm thinking around $1k to $1.5k. I'm open to buying used.

    Any specific suggestions?
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

  3. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    +1 and you can probably get a great deal used, but it will be more fun to get one built to your specs and it will still be in your price range.
  4. tobias3469

    tobias3469 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2013
    West Los Angeles
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. Thunderbroom


    May 7, 2002
    Carvin seems like a solid, and one of the only, choices in my price range.
  7. Goteky45


    Oct 30, 2009
    schecter stilleto studio 6. Very well built and has a great sound
  8. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    I've seen some very affordable Bongo 6's as of late.
    Getting past the looks, they play and sound damn good...
  9. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    This is way below your price range, but my local GC (Carle Place NY) has a new Ibanez GSR206 for $200. It's normally $300. Maybe a good place to start to see if you like it. If not, it shouldn't be hard to sell. I played it and it sound great, but I don't play sixers and the string spacing is tight.

    It would suck if you spent over a grand, realized immediately it's not for you, and then got stuck with it.
  10. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    I bought a brice fretless 6 because I didn't know if I wanted to play a fretless, or a 6.

    I love the sound of this bass. The on-board 2 band is useable, but I usually keep it flat and adjust the balance. It came perfectly set up, with labella flats. Great fundamentals, silky smooth. I've got my eye on the defiant 6 now. Damn that gas.

  11. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    If you can find a used MTD KZ6 out there. In fact I think there may be ine in the classifieds. I am on my phone so I cant post the link but look in there and check it out. I have a KZ5 great bass.
  12. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    At last check, there were some used Elrick Gold 6string classics in the classifieds. Pretty near the top of your price range but incredibly well made, hand-carved basses by Rob Elrick in Chicago. These had wenge necks, for some reason two different TB'ers selling the same bass at the same time. That's great for a buyer. Don't know if they're both still avail, think one was going to ebay.
  13. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
  14. Thunderbroom


    May 7, 2002
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking through the classifieds. It would be great if there was a way to easily filter out non-sixers in the search. I put up a wanted ad, so maybe some folks will contact me.

    The Elricks look nice, but I don't really want to go above $1.5k and would prefer closer to $1.0k. I'm just looking for a solid instrument to try out. I can't imagine the extra string is too much of a stretch from a fiver. I'd like to experiment with chording in my band.
  15. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Uncompensated: Kalium Strings, Fractal Audio, Dingwall basses
    Well, you don't need a 6 string (or even a 5 string) to play chords :p.
    But, if you like your Bongo 5HS, I'd look at a 6HS or 6HH, personally. I love my 6HS and my 5HS fretless. MTD Kz6 is another option, but tonally way different than a Bongo. About the only other 6er I could at all recommend would be a used Roscoe.
  16. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    You can do a lot of chording on a 4 or 5-string, though yes the 6 lends itself to that perfectly. That extra string up high is a far bigger adjustment than going from a 4 to a 5 with a B-string, in my experience.

    Ibanez BTB or Soundgear. Someone mentioned Schecter - I play several high-end basses and was quite amazed when demoing a Schecter Stiletto 5-string (acoustically, couldn't plug it in - fit, finish and playability were superb). The 6'ers range from $850-$1150 per their website. Used LEJ.
  17. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Check out ESP LTD's B1006 - comparable to anything in the price range.
  18. Thunderbroom


    May 7, 2002
    You are correct.

    I have done some chording on my 5s. I think having that extra string would open up some possibilities that don't exist currently.
  19. All i can add is after owning many basses over 3 decades of playing and being a busy complex power trio type bassist myself, ive come to a low b is vital to me, tone is most important to me next, then playability, then range, then looks.

    Ive had a great six and played others. I love them but havent found tone as good as my fives yet. In your range u can get great tone (mm or carvin..... diff but both great), but i no longer play ltd schecter ibanez etc after years on those brands. Its personal. So if u like bongo tone and gl.... get one in a six (which limits u 2 bongo). Imho

    If u prefer bart tone.... stick with that. But choose carefully or eventually the honeymoon will end.
  20. jojoslap


    Jan 28, 2014
    I have an Ibanez 1206 Premium, for about $1200 it's an awesome six string bass. Great tone and it's pretty light so it's great for gigging.
  21. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Buy an SX six string. I just bought one and was very pleasantly surprise how nice it felt and played - at any price, let alone for under $200. You can always upgrade later if you feel the need.