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5 string J Basses with killer B strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zanderwestcoast, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    I may be in the market for another 5 string Jazz style bass, or boutique type bass with single coils. I would appreciate any good feedback specifically in relation to 5 string J's that have great B strings yet still have a vintage feel and sound.....

    What I would consider a "good" or "great" B:

    - Is tight, well focused, notes ring clear and deep.
    - feels like a natural extension of the instrument while retaining
    the charachter of bass.
    -not floppy or boomy sounding with poor intonation even higher up the neck.

    Among my 8 basses I have a Nordy VJ5. It is a 34.5 inch scale.
    Overall I love this bass. Plays super fast. Well built and great vintage tone that I love. My only complaint is that the B is not as "connected" or defined as I would like. The intonation and clarity of notes I find poor.

    I know lots of guys prefer the 34" scale but i don't know.....I think 35" stands to give you a more focused and tighter B.
    Any thoughts?

  2. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I've never played a Nordy but I wouldn't imagine it would have a bad B string.

    If you like 35 inch scale go with lakland or you could try Nino Valenti. He's building me a 35 inch scale J now.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Don't overlook Fender. I had a 2008 Fender Standard and Deluxe, and both had great B strings. The Roscoe Beck V i used to have had a slamming B string too.
  4. PBrown

    PBrown Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    Billings, MT
  5. eban3

    eban3 Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    Palm Bay FL
    You need to check out a Pedulla Rapture ,been using one for years .love it
  6. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I have a modulus genesis 5er with single coil barts. it has a 35 in neck and has the best b around imo. Great bass I just took the pre out and run it passive. it sounds better than ever.
  7. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
  8. ChetChetney


    Apr 25, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    My Lakland 55-94 has a killer B, it's just a killer bass in general.
  9. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    My Warwick Corvette standard 5 has an killer B, even on a 34" scale. Its tight, focused, every note on it has the same value as all the other strings.. Its what I would consider a perfect b string.

    I dont know how newer models sound (they are made in Korea now, mine is German) but you should definitely check the classifieds here for one. There a few for sale.
    And they've got two jazz pickups so thats right up your alley.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    Any Roscoe 5 string with the JJ pup routing. Killer.
  11. mgbass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Northern KY
    There is allot of debate about a 35" vs 34" inch scale.
    You can read this somewhere in Talkbass world.

    That said, I have a Sadowsky Jazz 5, (34") with single coil pups, and its outstanding. B is strong.

    I have an AC, LG-5, (34") with Jimmy's pickups and its just as good as the SAD, maybe even a touch better in a different way. Very even through all strings.

    My Mike Lull 5 Pbass is just as good with the longer (35") scale.
    The Lakland's I have (35") also have outstanding B's.

    The difference for me is not the B string, its the G, D, A, strings.
    These are the strings that sound different with 34" vs 35" inch scales.

    Only way I know to find out what you like is...Play it!

  12. I've owned the following basses with killer B's.

    Sadowsky Metro P/J
    Lakland DJ5
    Lakland JO5
    Lakland 55-01
    Lakland 55-02 (x3)
    Lakland 55-64 LOG
    Lakland 55-94

    I still own the following basses, also with killer B's
    Carvin B25P
    Carvin SB5000
    Carvin B50 (x2)
    Reverend Mercalli

    I've owned these which stand out as having particularly poor B-strings, IME:
    Washburn Taurus T25
    An older SX

    I hear Dingwalls are famous for their B strings, though I;ve not tried one.

    IME, 35" is not required for a good B string, nor does it guarantee one. The B's on the 34's I won are 100% as solid as the 35's I had. But when I have encountered a dead B, it's been on a 34".
  13. My Mike Lull M5V has an absolutely killer B string. Also I haven't played one, but from reviews and videos the Carvin SB 5000 has a strong B. A lot of feedback compares that bass to boutiques at a much more affordable price.
  14. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    I agree...I have had a Lakland 55-94 deluxe since 1997. I also have a Roscoe SKB 3005. Both have killer B strings that put my Nordy's B to shame.

    I guess its a balance of finding that more modern tight focused B combined with an overall vintage feel. I was thinking of a Roscoe with single coils as I love there necks. Perhps Alleva Copollo, but I have noticed a bit of floppiness to the B from the clips I've heard.
  15. James L

    James L

    Jul 24, 2011
    I love my Mbass MJ5. It's a great bass.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    You didn't mention a price range, but for a KILLER Jazz Bass on the cheap, get a Lakland 55-01 and put Nordy Big Singles and an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. This setup killed any Jazz bass I ever encountered.
  17. Forgot to mention Sandberg would be one to check out also.
  18. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    This! I love mine!

  19. johng999


    Jul 14, 2008
    I have a few 5 strings, and have played many. IMO the new (2010) Fender American Deluxe Jazz has a B as good as it gets. I am tuning down a half step and it is tight, well defined with great intonation. At its price point it is a bargain. I had to fool with the electronics to get it right, but it is excellent.
  20. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    A Dingwall SuperJ 5 will give you a 35" B (down to 32" on the G).

    The thing I don't particularly like about 35" scale basses is what it does to the treble strings; they sound too bright and feel too tight. Sure, you'll get a good sounding B, but you sacrifice the tone and feel on the other strings. That's where a fanned fret bass excels.

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