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5 Strings around $800

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SpankBass, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Hey everybody, been a while since I've been around here. Hope everything is going well.

    I was hoping you all could throw some opinions out on good basses for around $800 new. I'd rather not mess with used unless I happen upon some amazing deal (like a used MM Stingray 5).

    Some info on what I'm looking for:

    1. Good quality B string. This is one of the most important factors. My current and previous 5 strings (Alvarez 5, MIM Jazz) have/had lack luster B strings

    2. I play rock music, and I play real aggressivley. I'd say that my band's sound is similar to Audioslave/Rage. And while I don't do a ton of slap/pop, I would say that I enjoy Flea's tone. I never really learned how to describe tones (like warm, punchy, etc), so I'll leave it at that.

    3. I need something that I can test drive at a music store. I'm sure there are all kinds of excellent quality obscure brands available over the net, but I absolutely NEED to be able to pick up and play something before I'll even consider purchasing it. However, I live in Orange County, CA (near LA), so I can probably find just about anything that is sold in a store. I guess being able to find pretty much anything I want is the tradeoff for the horrible housing prices.
    3a. I am willing to test run a bass at a store, then buy it online if pricing is better online. So long as I read reviews stating that the sound and feel is pretty consistant from bass to bass (for example, I wouldn't do that for a mim fender).

    I did do some research before deciding to post here, and the Schecter Studio 5 looks promising. I didn't find too many threads here discussing exactly what I'm looking for, but then I may not be searching under the right terms.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Forgot a few things:

    Active/Passive do not matter much to me. However, I have never owned an active bass and would like to try that out. It wouldn't be a deciding factor however.

    Neck size: Thin, preferably, but also not a deciding factor. I have tiny nimble fingers.
  3. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    Lakland Skyline 55-01 new around 700 used 500 I have two a fretless & fretted. For 200 you can upgrade the preamp if you want. Check out the reviews at harmony central. I dont think anything else can touch it in that price range.
  4. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    You mentioned a used Musicman and I think that sounds like a great idea, whether you go for a Stingray, Sterling, or Bongo. I've had two SR5 HH's and they're great basses.

    *** EDIT - The Sterling 5 is going to have to be a new one and I'm not sure they're even out yet, so they'd be out of your price range for a while until you waited for used ones to start showing up. ***

    A used Lakland 55-02 could also fit the bill, especially if it had Basslines or Lakland electronics. Some people think the Barts aren't aggressive enough, but I was very happy with the Barts I had in mine. I was able to get all the agressiveness I needed out of it.

    You might also want to check out a 55-01. I've never tried one but from what I've read here it has a more agreessive tone that a Bartolini-equipped 55-02 and there are people who preferred that tone to the more expensive 55-02.

    A new G&L L2500 Tribute or a used USA L2500 are other good options.

    How about a used Peavey Cirrus? These regularly sell for way below what a new one goes for and you can find a lot of great reviews from people here. You can also find a lot of used ones here, too. You can also find used Milleniums here too and they seem to get great reviews too. I've never played a Millenium though, so I'm basing that solely on what I've read here.

    You seemed kind of wary about buying used, but honestly I'm very comfortable about buying used on TB. I've gotten several great basses that way. You can get a lot more bang for your buck that way, but I also included some new models (55-01 and G&L Tribute) that you could get new. And at elast those are models that you shoud be able to find in a store somewhere given where you live.

    Have fun looking!
  5. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    +100. Great bass. Do a search on this site and you'll see all the love for 'em. And remember, the only difference between the 55-01 and 55-02 ($1300-1400 new) are the electronics. The build quality is the same.
  6. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Had the 55-01 and loved the quality and sound, but could never get used to the 35" scale. Started playing my back up ATK 305 and never looked back, sold the 55-01 and bought a second old ATK 305 in new condition for $450 bucks, put some ultra-lite tuners on it and its been my main bass for the past year and half. So, my choice is go with an old/used ATK in mint in condition, which Im sure you could easily find.
  7. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've been hearing reports of Bongo's being put on clearance at GC's brand new for under $800 w/o HSC. I can vouch that they are great basses and an absolute steal at any price under $1,000. You might want to check out your local GC. Some SR5's have been going real cheap new as well especially ones that are solid black. Worst case scenario you can get a used SR or Bongo in your price range. I've never played a Lakland but they seem to be an excellent choice too.

    I wouldn't recommend G&L basses. The craftsmanship is very nice but the B string is not tight and full like on a Musicman. It is almost as if it is a 4 string and then there is this B string that was kind of thrown on as an afterthought. The B string almost doesn't sound like it belongs on the bass it has a distinctly different character than the rest of the strings. I'll probably get flamed for this since G&L has a cult-like following but this is based on my experience and it is my opinion.
  8. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    +1 I totally forgot about the ATK's! A great value for the money and they are loosely based on the Stingray design!
  9. I guess I should say that I'm not COMPLETELY against used, and I recognize the good deals I can get for going used. However, I know from past bass hunting that it's not always as easy as it sounds to just "find" a used XXX for $XXX from a trusted source (like TB). I've been around here long enough to know that most of you are good people (except eric cameron and munjibunga...shady individuals :D)

    The fact that I really want to play before I pay also contributes to my wearyness of used basses over the net.

    With all that said, I would not mind recommendations for used basses, but I still do prefer new.
  10. additional requirement: no bongos. god those things are fugly. I am usually able to look beyond aesthetics in favor of quality...but everyone has a limit.
  11. For $800 you may get a used MIA Fender Jazz 5'er. Check out the TB classifieds. There's plenty of Fenders for sale there. They come active or passive. There's plenty to choose from most of the time.
  12. MTD Kingston Artist 5
    you can try to pinch for a Heir 5 but I doubt you can find one brand new under 800 bucks

    no idea about the B strings on those

    I have a Spector Legend 5 and the B was pretty nice
    but I wanted more high end so I took it off and replaced it with a high C
    plus it was cheap bass to boot
  13. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I would go with these, in order of my preference (which might not have anything to do with your preference)

    Lakland 55-01
    Fender Jazz 24 V
    G&L Tribute L2500

    EBMM SR5
    Spector Euro (NS5CRFM)
    Fender Am Dlx Jazz V

    I would throw a 55-02 in the used selection between the Spector and the Fender, but I think 55-02s usually come in at about $1000 used. At least the ones I've seen are that much. FWIW, I don't care for any Schecter I've ever played, but other have gotten good results with them. Happy hunting!!
  14. An Ibanez ATK305 will set you back about $800 brand spanking new.


    These basses sound as good as some more than tripple the value.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    New, I would check out the Lakland Skyline 55-01, and the ATK 305.

    Used, man, you are in Peavey Cirrus territory. Check them out, for sure.
  16. I agree with the ATK recommednation +1000, but they are nowhere near $800 in North America where the OP is located....easily $500-ish NEW

  17. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    575$ on MusiciansFriend. I'm scoping one out for myself actually.
  18. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    I needed a cheaper 5 string, like under $800 to leave at our rehearsal space. I ended up buying a Yamaha TRB1005. 35 inch scale, great B string, actually a little better than my 34 inch scale Bongo.

    Very good range of sounds, and I could not find a flaw on it. Set up was great.
  19. rhp335


    Aug 3, 2006
    Kansas City
    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on that one, I've been playing a Bongo HH 5str for the last year, and I love it to death, but I recently picked up a used G&L Tribute L2500 and the B string is every bit as powerful and articulated as the Bongo. I didn't go out looking for the G&L, just happened on it, but I gotta say it's a monster bass and although I wish it was a few pounds lighter, the tonal options are amazing, and having switches makes it so much easier to change tone on the fly.

    Having said all that, the best sounding B string is on my Spector ReBop. Might be the 35" scale.

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