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5 String Help/Recommendation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mikeluch, Mar 9, 2006.


  1. mikeluch

    mikeluch Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    I am looking for some help in acquiring a 5 string bass.
    I have been playing 4 strings on and off for 30 years, but am looking to get a 5 string.
    I presently play a Ric 4003, Lakland 4-94, Fender Precision MIA, G&l ASAT, G&l L2K and an ESP B-404.
    I would like a good quality 5 string bass to help me decide if I want to move to 5 strings as the feature instrument.
    My issue is that I don't want to spend in the area of the 4-94 lakeland, but am willing to go to the $750-$1000 range.
    I am leaning toward Fender and Lakland skyline, but have read good thinks about Ernie Ball.
    I play mostly classic and newer adult rock.
    HELP!!!!!
    Suggestions would be appreciated!!!
     
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    This guys is selling a really sharp Lakland 55-01 for $600: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=233059

    Also, you can find a used carvin 5 string in your price range or less easily. You can't beat the quality of carvin in their price range if you ask me.
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The Lakland Skylines are really great, and my preference within that line are the "Signature" models, either Darryl Jones or Joe Osborne (I don't think that the Glaub comes in a 5). But the new two-pickup Stingrays are pretty darn cool, too (though perhaps just out of your price range). You are also flirting with what you can a used "botique" 5-string for. For instance, a Rick Turner EL-535 is a ton of bass for the money on the used market.
     
  4. mikeluch

    mikeluch Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    Thanks. Do you think it is worth moving up to the MM?
    I do like quality instruments, but with the 5 string I dont want to invest a lotif I decide to abandon it.
    It is hard teaching an old dog new tricks;)
     
  5. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    The first thing you need to do is to determine what kind of 5-string you would prefer:

    -34"-scale or 35"
    -Narrow string spacing at the bridge (17mm) or wide/regular (19mm)
    -1.75" at the nut, or 1.8"

    A StingRay 5 will feel and play significantly different than a Lakland, or a Fender 5, for that matter.

    Since you have been playing 4-string for awhile, I would say 34"-scale with regular spacing would be the most comfortable for you. That said, your options are (in that price range):

    -Fender 5-string
    -Yamaha new BB series

    But as said before, I would also consider a Skyline Lakland, and I think the Ibanez BTB series is worth looking at (both are 35" scale).
     
  6. mikeluch

    mikeluch Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    Great feedback!
    I love the lakland necks, but I have fat fingers, so I dont mind the spacing.
    What is the main benefit of the longer scale??
    What about string tension?
    Thanks again.
     
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Actually, I forgot about the Cort Artisan series. I just picked one of these up at a GC on a whim, and man did did it play and sound nice!

    Tom.
     
  8. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY

    The longer scale is said to give slightly more string tension than the 34 scale, which some people believe results in a tighter sounding low B.
     
  9. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL

    Yes, 35"-scale will usually give you a better B-string sound and tension, but it also makes the rest of the strings tighter, which may or not be an advantage. I personally prefer 34" scale, both for the feel and for the comfort (a 34"-scale bass is usually shorter and more comfortable - 35"-scale basses may seem to have a longer neck and harder-to-reach position). That said, Lakland are usually still comfortable to play, even with the longer scale.

    By what you said, you definitely what to get a wide/regular string spacing at the bridge, or 19mm, or 3/4".

    34"-scale basses can still have a good B-string (Sadowsky, Zon, Smith, for example) and I believe Fenders have decent B-strings too.

    I would go to a store and A/B a Skyline against a Fender. I think those two narrow your choices pretty good.
     
  10. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
  11. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I recently picked up a used Bunny Brunnel 5 string. Has wide string spacing at the bridge and the neck is VERY comfy. Got it for $500 off ebay. They are ugly, but they play and sound great. A lot of people really like the G&L L2500 Premium Tributes. They are less than $600 new.
     
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    My Yamaha BB605 has a nice B string. It's even better after I replaced the electronics with Bartolini. It's a great playing bass and has a variety of tones. I have less than $700 into it and like it ALMOST as much as the Modulus, Smith, G&L, etc. that I have owned.
     
  13. Tampabass

    Tampabass Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    re: Lakland 55-01.

    I'm a longtime 4-string player, too, and I've been giving thought to getting a 5-string, but going the high-C way as opposed to low B (I like the results Steve Swallow gets with this set-up).

    Any thoughts on how that set-up might work with a Lakland, or which basses might work best for that?
     
  14. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I think there is no such thing as "a better 5-string to string with a high C." I think they all work the same, and 35"-scale might not have any advantages when stringing this way.

    The whole idea of going for a longer scale started in the search for a better B-string. Actually, having a high C in a 35"-scale might actually yield too much tension in the C string. I had a Yamaha TRB 35"-scale and that was the case, so I prefer 34"-scale - but I don't it is a big deal. It also depend on what brand and gauge of string you use.

    Keep in mind that Steve Swallow uses a bass with piezo pickups/bridge, and that is responsible for a big part of his sound - and also he uses a pick.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Reverends are great 5'er's, they still have some left on their website, they come up on ebay.
    Fender Deluxe J5 is good.
    G&L L2500 is better, and the Tribute models can be had for *cheap* used.
    Lakland Skyline 55-01 is another good choice.
     
  16. Time to whore out carvin....

    Carvin is within your price range, If you find a used one you will get a great deal, only downfall to buying a carvin is that the resale value is terrible, however you can used this to you advantage by buying one used.
    http://www.carvin.com/products/guitar.php?ItemNumber=LB75
     
  17. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Now hold on. I already whored out carvin! :mad:
     
  18. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY

    As did I, in the second post of this thread.
     
  19. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    The nicest things about Carvins are the plush case, and the 10-day return policy. :smug:

    The only downfall to buying a Carvin, is, well, that it is a Carvin. :eek:
     
  20. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY

    I see you don't like carvin.... Here is the perfect thread for you to explain why: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=231889&page=3

    I'm not going to get into the carvin debate in this thread.