5-string recommendations?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dhagler, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. I have been playing for nearly a year now, and I play mostly contemporary gospel. My gear is a 4-string Silvertone SS-15B with EMG pickups and a Fender Bassman 100. I am looking to upgrade to a 5-string model, something in the $250 - $350 price range (new or used). Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. I've bought basses at ebay in this range. You can get Fender MIM Jazz V's all the time in this range. The last few have gone for 200.-350. Occasionally (but not often) even an MIM Deluxe Jazz V, if they post real bad photos of it.

    A bass that comes up used sometimes, with a great sound, is the MTD Kingston and Kingston Heir 5-string; the Heir adds a jazz pickup at the neck to the MM at the bridge, so you can get a "smoother" tone option. The MTDs are 35" scale, so try a bass with that scale to make sure you like it.

    Good luck! If you know players at other churches, ask them what they'd do.
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I'm proving on a Slivertone should be pretty easy in that price range. You can get a pretty decent used Spector or Ibanez in the $300's range. Used MTD's a good choice as mentioned. I woudl stay away from the MIM V jazz basses, there are dozens of better 5-strings in that price range.
  4. i played a 5 string Bongo last night.

    it was amazing.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Ironically, the best low-end five string made by Fender is a Squire. The Squire PRecision Bass Special Five can be had new for $200-250. They all have tight, good sounding B strings and 19mm string spacing. They do have big necks, but they sound great with lots of Jazz bass growl and are built to a decent standard of fit and finish. Much better and more consistent than MIM Fender Jazz V basses.
  6. The MTDs are 35" scale, so try a bass with that scale to make sure you like it.

    Good luck! If you know players at other churches, ask them what they'd do.[/QUOTE]

    I would say with a five string go with a 35 inch scale.
    I also play in a bapist church and went to a five string about
    a month ago. I play with piano and some times organ. I feel and have been told it sounds better than what I was playing.
    I tryed out some fives with the 34 inch scale and was not impressed. Also tryed to down tune a Washburn force 4 using a B string from a set for a five and it did not work out. I was thinking force 5 for replacment till I tried that. The force 4 is real good but did not down tune to B. The sound just was not there on the B. string. I went with a Peavey Cirrus BXP 5
    that is a little over that price range but works for all my music. I also play with a Southern Rock & Blues band and it will also rock.
    Hope this helps. Wink
  7. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Used MTD Kingston 5
    SX BG205 or Brice/Douglas 5
  8. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    A Washburn T-25 or a Schecter Omen 5.
  9. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Very interesting!

    I have played a couple of these in music stores and I have to admit -- I was impressed! I hesitated to pull the trigger because of the "Squier" name on the headstock but I thought about it long and hard.

    I understand that one might have to eventually upgrade the pups & pots but at that price point ($200+/-), it definitely caught my eye.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
  10. soholounge


    Aug 11, 2004
    i'm also pretty surprised by the new squier basses (and guitars). i don't know if the ones in japan are the same as the ones in the US, but they're almost amazing for the price.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have mentioned in that past that in a 2003 issue of BassPlayer, session (Outcast, TLC) and gospel musician, Debra Killings mentioned that it is her main bass in the studio. Granted, she is Squier endorsee, but I know from experience how good these basses sound. Although I will not pull the trigger on another bass until I visit Basscentral, I may just get a used Squier Precision Bass Special V that I know is available at a great price.
  12. the only thing i can think of is if you get a musicman stingray5 style instrunent, of which Vintage is a good make.
  13. earlgray


    Jul 12, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    If you're considering a Fender, try out a Tribute L-2500.

    Its G & L's Korean made bass, but its got those bad-ass MFD pickups, honkin' bridge, and active/passive controls that give them such a distinctive sound. I paid under $400 for a new one.

    Despite being a budget bass, I'd say its tone and playability is easily the equal or better than any of my 5 Fenders, including Am Deluxe Jazz, AM Deluxe P-bass, which were much more $$$.

  14. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario

    If you like the sound of the EMG pickups consider a Schecter 5 string (buy used to fit in your price range). I played a Schecter Custom 5 and it was a great bass.

    I just bought a Lakland 55-01 and it's a beautiful bass. For the Lakland, even if it's used it might be a little outside of your price range. My advice, when buying good solid equipment it's best to go by this policy: Take what you want to spend and add 50% of that to your allowance. That's what I did when I bought the Lakland and I couldn't be happier.
  15. Many thanks to all of you who responded. There is a Guitar Center about an hour away and I hope to get there soon just because no store in tiny Tuscaloosa has their selection!
  16. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    My main bass till last month was a Fender Squire Precision 5 that I Installed Bartolini Jazz pups, painted the cavities with Stewart Mcdonald copper shielding paint and installed CME pots. I also replaced the strings with DR Marcus Miller Fat Beams. Total cost including buying it new was $415.00 This was a fun project and I love the bass but just don't use it since I got my Mtd Grendel 5. (amber body with maple fretboard) I would definitely recommend the Squire and not be put off by the name. Has a really hefty die cast bridge and is great out of the box and also has all of the makings for a great project bass. I am considering posting it on the 'for sale' section but it is always difficult to part with a project that worked out. :bassist:
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Keep it, you'll never get back what it's really worth.
  18. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    I decided to pull the trigger on a SP5 today -- there was a used one at a local shop (Brickhouse Music for those of you in the Minneapolis area -- Many thanks to Clark who took care of me. He made sure it was properly set up and checked the electronics before I left the store!!!) for an excellent price.

    Brought it home and swapped out the pups for some Seymour Duncans that I had lying around. Changed the strings to some Labella BNT's.

    WOW - this thing is NICE!!!!!!!! I am suitably impressed! For what I spent, I got exactly what I was looking for, which was a relatively inexpensive 5-string that feels, sounds, and plays nice.

    Now, some caveats:

    1) It was used (and had been languishing on the shelf for a good while), so I got a great deal.
    2) I didn't pay for the replacement pups -- I already had them.
    3) I bought it from a reputable shop from a salesman I trusted to give me good advice and not screw me.


    * You have to like a 34" scale on your 5-string (which I do)
    * You have to like the relatively wide Fender 5-string neck (which I do)

    All that said, this is an excellent instrument and I am very pleased with the purchase!
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That sounds great. I may soon get one and put in some Aeros. I always hear about how great those sound in DJ5s, putting them in the Squier would be a great way to get close to that sound.
  20. JerryH


    Dec 13, 1999
    Helsinki, Finland
    I have been very pleased with my P-ProTone5. The soapbar type pickups are not the best being weak and I am in the middle of replacing them with Jazz 5'ers, that I bought really inexpensive. The sound of this bass is very growly on the low register. The neck is wide as a runway but flat - means some work for hands.
    Just wanted to add my 2 cents....