Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

35", 5 strings, SR5 style. What to buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrelwood, Feb 21, 2005.


  1. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    We started a process of building a custom bass for me with a local semi-pro luthier, but seems like I have to come up with a different plan.

    I need a bass that has 35" scale, 5 strings, bolt neck, cost max around $1200. 24 frets and maple or ebony fretboard is preferred. I'm aiming for the SR5 energy, but eventually it will have MM/J pickups. I'm ready to put the J in myself, or even replace a bridge J with a MM.

    The bass has to be quite light. I've got back problems, so a big mahogany bodied bass (like my current) is no option. The bass we were going to build would've had an ash body with big cavities in the body. I also like the sound of ash better.

    You must all be screaming "Lakland" by now. I tested one but the strings are so incredibly far from each other, I would never be comfortable with that! 1-3/4" (43mm) is max for the nut width, 2-5/6" (72mm) for the bridge string spread. Fender Jazz 5 is too wide. Stingray is good. MTD Heir fits the specs but it felt somehow quite boring, could've been old strings.

    So far a SUB 5 w/ added J seems like the best option, but it is not 35". Perhaps I should just find another budget luthier? I live in Finland.


    Please help me out here!

    Thanks!

    -Aki.
     
  2. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    How about a used Elrick?


    dcr
     
  3. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    Must be astonishing. $2600 is the cheapest 5-string in the catalogue. Finding used for $1300 _shipped_ might be a bit of a problem.

    -Aki.
     
  4. Bigwan

    Bigwan

    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    How about a Lakland Skyline 55-02?
     
  5. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    Umm... A quote from my original post:
    "You must all be screaming "Lakland" by now. I tested one but the strings are so incredibly far from each other, I would never be comfortable with that!"

    But other than that, yes it is a very good instrument.

    -Aki.
     
  6. Bigwan

    Bigwan

    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Sorry mate! Missed that!

    What about a Peavey Millenium 5 string?
     
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would second the Peavey Millennium 5 because I love mine. I would also suggest a Lakland 55-02/55-94 or a Kinal 5. In fact the Kinal 5 is true custom and is very competitive price wise with the Lakland 55-94 since Kinals are Canadian.
     
  8. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I'm not sure if it's 35" (unit conversion comes out to about 34.5" scale), but the Mephisto offered by http://www.phantom-guitars.de/ seems to be what you're looking for.
    It's 1265 Euro, but I believe that's list.

    Esh is also another alternative.
     
  9. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    I find the Kinal SK5-B very appealing, but too valuable. The Esh web-page is unfortunately down. But the Phantom Mephisto I 5 is actually very, very close to what I want! Since 34.5" is a step in the right direction, if someone cares to do this middle model, it should be good enough for me. Anyone of You have experience in playing these Phantoms? I'd love to hear how they feel, anywhere near StingRay5, etc?

    I still have the option of contacting a luthier school located elsewhere in Finland, as I did 5 years ago when making my current bass. I do have a pretty good picture what I want, and even the Phantom would have to bought without trying first.

    -Aki.
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    LAKLAAAAAND!
     
  11. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I was about to suggest an Esh, but then remembered they are only made in 34 inch scale (or were when I priced them). Also I don't even know if they are still in production, certainly finding any info about them is pretty difficult, at least in the states.
     
  12. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Peavey Millennium 5. This bass never really got its due. Most people haven't played one so they have no idea what a fine bass it is! Has a much better B string than some considerably more popular instruments. ;)
     
  13. Tone_Hz

    Tone_Hz

    Feb 21, 2005
    I recently was looking for a long-scale (35") 5-string, and bought a used Roscoe with active EMG pickups for about the price you mentioned. It isn't light, though--swamp ash. I love the tone and the terrific playability.
     
  14. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I've never played a Phantom, but every review I've read about them were raves. They use Le Fay pickups if I recall and they come highly recommended from what I understand. But, if you'd feel more comfortable commissioning a bass from a more local source, that's totally understandable.

    Sandbergs and maybe Mayones are other options.
     
  15. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    Great suggestions, guys! This is exactly what I hoped for, finding out brands I didn't know about!

    -Sandbergs are all 34", and the nut looks really wide even in the pics. Although the Basic 5 looks really nice otherwise.
    -Mayones is more Warwick or "gentleman style", none of which I need this time.
    -Roscoe doesn't have the pu configuration I need.
    -Kinal and Elrick are too valuable.
    -Esh is under a rock somewhere.

    But the Phantom Mephisto is definitely worth checking out. I sen't e-mail to the manufacturer, hope they'll get back with a few details I asked.

    I'm quite surprised about this Peavey thing going on here. I'm basically looking for an alternative to a ~$1200 MusicMan SUB 5, and people keep offering a ~$300 Peavey. I think I found the reason though, there are two very different Millenniums around. Millennium BXP (Basswood, rosewood, 34", JJ) and Millennium (Alder, Pao Ferro, 35", M/J).

    Our local dealer has a brochure on the 35" Millennium:
    http://noretron.fi/sendfile.php?site_id=2&act_id=9&manu_id=94&file_id=1277
    Although, the same dealer was very surprised about that brochure, since the BXP is the only Millennium in the price list. He promised to find out and let me know. The non-BXP would definitely be close to what I want, but the BXP wouldn't.

    Seems like it is a possibility to sell the woods and parts I have aquistioned, and buy a ready bass.

    Thanks guys!

    -Aki.
     
  16. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
  17. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
  18. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    The USA Millennium, which is what the posts are referring to here, is discontinued. It is similar to a Cirrus except it has MM/stacked j pickups, sweepable midrange, and is a bolt-on. It is a much higher level of instrument than a Millennium BXP. It is unfortunate that Peavey chose to use the same name for an entry-level instrument, but Fender has many levels of Jazz basses for example. Used USA Millennium Fives go for as little as $500 on Ebay, and plenty of dealers still have one hanging on the wall. Bass Player Magazine gave it a fine review a few years ago. :)
     
  19. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    I tried the MTD Kingston (basswood), and although in the right direction, the bass is somehow boring. Especially amplified, but also unplugged. I'm surprised to notice that Bass Central has also Ash bodied versions! Must be tons better, but if I don't have a possibility to test, I'm not going to get one.

    So it's choosing between Phantom, SUB 5, and a custom made by a luthier student.

    -Aki.
     
  20. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    I own a Phantom Mephisto I.

    For the money, I don't think you can get any better, only different.
    In many cases basses at a higher price will offer no improvement.

    Playability is fantastic and the tone rocks. Eduard Tueske (Phantom Luthier) is a great guy - he stands behind his products and offers great service. I've also played some of his higher range models and I think they can compete with the absolute best.