1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

5 string bass for small dude?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Luigi, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Luigi


    Dec 3, 2003
    I'm 5'6" and like playing 5 strings better than 4. However, a lot of 5 string basses have string spacing that look like they were made for people with bigger hands. I don't have a problem with long scale as my arms are long (considering my size) but my hands are more in proportion with the rest of my body. I currentl play a Yamaha BB405 and find that I like the neck and the spacing there but the spacing closer to the bridge limits my playing. I don't slap that much so I don't need a lot of space there. I'm thinking of getting a second bass, and I'm looking for you experienced guys who have tried a lot basses to suggest a 5 stringer that could fit me. Thanks for the help! :cool:
  2. Stevious G

    Stevious G

    May 5, 2003
    Depending on what you want to spend, Ibanez Soundgear basses are pretty wee. Go with a higher end one, though. The cheap ones are iffy.
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Given that Music Man StingRay 5 has a pretty narrow string spacing, maybe it's the same on its licenced copy, the OLP MM3...

    Hope this helps,
  4. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm 5'6" too and have no problem with long scale basses either but I've found Warwicks to be extremely comfortable once you get used to them. The neck can feel long even though it's not due to their design, but after a month or less this feeling disappears and you're left with a very good sounding, tight spaced, five string bass which damn near plays itself. But you'll be able to get used to just about anything, I've been playing a KSD Proto J 5 which is 35" scale and has wide 18 or 19mm spacing and a chunky neck but it's feeling pretty good to me lately, the Warwick feels so much smaller when I go to play it now, and the Sterling even smaller and faster than the Warwick. Just try everything you can get your hands on and pick what's comfy and sounds good. I still say a Warwick Corvette would be a good bet for you, they're all over the 'bay for cheap.
  5. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    If you can, check out a Pedulla MVP 5 w/19mm spacing.
    You may find it VERY comfortable.
  6. Schecter's 5 string basses have somewhat narrow necks.
  7. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I don't have the biggest hands and my old bass teacher has even smaller-we both can manage on my StingRay5 with out a problem. Compared to my Pilot Plus 5 [dearmond] the StingRay5 neck feels like a 4 string. The Pilot + 5 has a really really wide yet flat/thin neck. Given those aren't made any more. Since i don't have a clue what budget you are looking at here's a few different basses that to me, felt like they had fairly tight spacing to medium string spacing.

    On a tight budget-Essex Jazz 5-my student has one and it feels maybe a touch in either direction of my Ray5. It's been awhile since i played one.

    Middle Budget-[e.g.$300 up to maybe $600], Fender MIM Jazz 5-the one i played, felt good and spacing wasn't too wide or too narrow. Also-Dean Basses, if i would have had the money, i would bought an old Dean 6 instead of the Pilot Plus 5. [sales guy said it was made before the Q6, had gold hardware, and a cut out for your arm] Another bass slightly above this price range would be an SUB5.

    Higher end [$1k+] StingRay5, i haven't played an Fender MIA 5 so can't comment. Other than the Ray5-i haven't played many high end fives as in my parts, they are hard to come by.

    That's all
  8. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Hey Lu,

    Try this site:


    Jimmy Wilson makes some really nice short scale basses (30.5 and 32" versions). He's just coming out with a 5 string version of the 32" scale bass.

    He's currently making me a 32" 4 stringer. Construction pics are on another thread in this forum. He's been great to work with.
  9. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I would say a Peavey Cirrus 5. Very good basses, Tight String spacing (For me at least)
  10. boogiedown


    Nov 1, 2004
    The warwick rock bass has a pretty narrow string spacing. It plays nice and is definately a lot less expensive than other warwicks
  11. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I'm a "bassist of smaller stature" as well ( :p ) and I find that the body size has more to do with how comfortably I can play a particular instrument than neck size or string spacing. But given that, Pedullas, especially the Raptures and Thunderbass/bolt series with 17.5mm spacing simply melt into my hands.

    Used Fender Jass Pluses from the early 90's are also great in terms of both body and spacing, although they've been "discovered" on the used market to the point that the purchase price isn't worth it unless it's dead mint or has the ash body upcharge, which was +$100 back in the day.
  12. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Another vote for the Pedulla Rapture J series. That's the one.

    They're quite inexpensive used.
  13. Knuckle Quake Bass

    You can get it in a 5.

    Make sure you have an amp and enough speaker to handle the low end.
  14. Luigi


    Dec 3, 2003
    Thanks guys, great suggestions! Sorry I didn't mentioned my budget. I'm looking for something around $600. Those Pedullas sure look nice...
  15. StingRay5guy

    StingRay5guy Guest

    Oct 14, 2004
    For $600? A Fender Standard 5 string Jazz should suits your needs nicely.
  16. In your price range I would say an ibanez soundgear 405 or 505. The 505 has bartolini pickups and electronics. The ones I have played have very thin and narrow necks. Too narrow for my taste, but possibly a very good match for you. They seem to be well built and sound really good too.

    Check it out: http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=SR505
  17. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Try a Peavey or an Ibanez. I have smallish hands myself (especially for a guy my size) and I actually prefer the Yamaha neck profiles over Ibanez neck profiles. The Peavey Fury has a nice thin neck. I've only tried the 6-string version of that bass and the neck is really thin. I preferred the neck on the Samick Fairlane 6 because it had tighter string spacing. The Fairlane 5 might be worth trying. Samick's stuff was crappy in the past, but they've gotten better.

    And sometimes spacing isn't always the deciding factor. The neck on my Ibanez fiver has a comfortable width, but the thickness isn't too my liking- too round. I prefer a flatter profile. But your hands may vary.

    And overall, I think Spector basses are very comfortable. They balance nicely so there's little-to-no neck dive. That's important for comfort. Something from the Performer or Legend line may suit you. The body shape and size are nice and compact without feeling tiny.
  18. Emperor Elite

    Emperor Elite

    Oct 20, 2004
    New Jersey
    My vote in that price range is the Yamaha BB5000. It is a killer bass with 17mm string spacing, a great neck, great balance, and excellent tone.

  19. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Check out the Godin Freeway 5 string. They play and sound great and are light in weight. They sell new for less than $500.

  20. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I would absolutely recomend a Stingray5 because of it's thin neck and relatively narrow string spacing, but the bad thing is it's heavy as hell. If you need a really small and light bass with incredible action I surely would recommend a Curbow Cort 5.