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6-String bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tomjengibre, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. tomjengibre


    Feb 18, 2013
    If a thread for this already exists then please point me there.

    Basically, I'm thinking about getting a 6-string bass, and so I was after some advice/recommendations on what to get.

    Top of my list currently is the ESP B206, which is a decent price at £400-odd, and seems to have some excellent reviews - so really, is there anything better around this price point, or would I have to fork out Ibanez-money to get something better?
  2. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I've got an ESP B-206SM and I LOVe that guitar. No other 6 string I've played has felt as good. I do a lot of tapping, chording, etc., and the ESP B-206SM is phenomenal. It's a bit on the heavy side (spalted maple top, about 10 and a half pounds), but they are built wonderfully and have incredible tone options. For the money, there simply is no better value in bass guitars.

    I'm so impressed I just bought a second ESP LTD six string, a prototype B-336SR that is just gorgeous. It needs a setup but sounds great.

    You won't regret picking up an ESP LTD B-206SM.
  3. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    Schecter Stiletto Custom 6
  4. ChrisCassisi


    Mar 24, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    Tone Bastards Cables
    Ibanez BTB 6 string is amazing. I own 2 BTB676s. One of them is fretted the other is fretless. Amazing basses for the money and super versatile. I use one in the jazz ensemble I play in at school and the other for a progressive death metal band I play with.
  5. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I'm not that into import Bart Mk2 soapbar and electronics on Ibanez Btb676, yet you made me wanna get one;)

  6. I recently went through the same thing, and the debate came down to the 206 vs the Brice HXB-406 from Rondo Music (the guys that sell the SX and Agile stuff), which were the two cheapest, reasonably reviewed, 35" scale sixers I found. I wound up going with the Brice because it's about $100 cheaper. I wanted something decent but wasn't ready to commit to 6-string.

    It's not perfect, but the only major gripe is that the stock strings were awful, so there's basically another $25-30 built into the price for fresh strings out of the box. There are a couple odd things with the electronics, but nothing that causes a functional issue, and it may just be specific to the one they sent me. Otherwise it's great. Sounds great, feels good, seems well made, pretty tonally versatile, not too heavy, looks good (though I imagine the ESP is better looking). The only thing to remember if you get it is that because it's 35" scale and strings through the body, you need extra long strings, which limits your selection a bit. I have D'Addario super long ProSteels on there now.
  7. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Yours doesn't have a top-load option? Mine did (though it is about 6 years old at this point).
  8. Honestly, that's a good question, I may have tunnel visioned after reading about the issue a bit (and because the description on the website just says string through). The pics on the website do look like they can be top loaded, but I'm not home to look for myself.
  9. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It's just a good thing for me to know, seeing as I usually recommend two things to other players: Circle K strings (who advise against using their strings in string-thru applications), and RondoMusic.

    It wouldn't hurt for me to verify that they're actually compatible. :)
  10. ChrisCassisi


    Mar 24, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    Tone Bastards Cables
    A lot of people are not fans of these pups at all and I don't understand why. I swapped out the pickups for SD basslines in my fretted one awhile back but went right back to the Mk2s. They can't touch real USA Barts but in this bass they sound great.
  11. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Ibanez and ESP will have nice neck profiles.

    If I were you though, I'd spring for the higher end ESP if you wanted an ESP, otherwise Ibanez will probably be better in that price range.
  12. tomjengibre


    Feb 18, 2013
    Thanks for the advice chaps, much appreciated. I might still plump for the ESP B206 yet, but I'm gonna pay some of my local shops a visit at some point to see if I can find any stonking deals. At the very least just to try some out.

    The other question I meant to tack on the end of the original post was what are the differences between bolt-on and thru-necks?
  13. I play a conklin 7 but pretty much use it as a 6 string. It's tuned g#beadgc. Only costs 700 used. I played around with a lot of different tunings and strings and this is where it ended. It's big and heavy but the neck is thinner than most 6 strings and considering I mainly only use the first few frets on the low string reach isn't an issue. Reaching my low B is easier ham most 6 strings I've tried. I like it because I like a relatively light 125-130 low B string but tuning down they were way to floppy. So I use a .145 for G#. I can play along to pretty much every Album I own except for Mnemic which is low F# but G# is pretty much as low as you can go with most of the PA systems I've got to play through.
  14. After looking at home it does appear the bridge can be top loaded. Odd that they don't advertise it as such.
  15. ChrisCassisi


    Mar 24, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    Tone Bastards Cables
    Bolt on has a snappier sound while a neck through will sustain more.
  16. I tried a bunch of sixers before I went with the LTD 206. Ibanez BTB, Spector Legend, MTD KZ6, Ibanez SR1206, and a Warwick that I can't remember the name of. I had the money to go whichever way I wanted, but ended up with the lowest priced option because it felt and sounded the best of the bunch. The pickups were decent sounding and I was able to dial in the action pretty quickly in the shop.

    The only complaints I have are the weight (mine weighs in at about 12 lbs) and the bridge not being the quick change type with the slots for putting new strings on. I can deal with both of those.

    The other thing that worked well, but didn't quite do it for me was the preamp, which I wanted more control over, so I got an EMG BQS to replace it. As I said, though, the OEM is quite adequate and I used it for a bunch of gigs before trading it out.

    If you were going to get one, I would suggest that you see the bass first as the beauty of the spalted maple varies from not very interesting to wildly gorgeous.

    It's also worth noting that I moved the rear strap button about 3 1/2 inches up the body and it made the weight more balanced and a non issue for me.

    Highly recommended...