6 string options

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by uOpt, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I need a 6 string bass for a specific project. I need something "clear" sounding that doesn't choke on chords. Preference for some form of narrow (jazz bass style) pickups, but probably need active with the 6-strings?

    I think I've narrowed it down like this:
    • Save some money and get one of those LTD spalted maple top 35" scale 6-strings. Played one in GC and it was pretty good.
    • 6-string Corvette. Love my 4-string JJ corvette and it sounds exactly like what I need here, however I am a bit concerned about the weight. It's heavy enough as a 4-string. Also, not sure about the non-wenge necks.
    • 6-string Bongo. I have a 4-string tangerine pearl HH that I don't quite like sound-wise, I think it lacks mass. Maybe flipping it to get a 6-string bongo kills two flies at once. Unfortunately I'd really like it in single H format and that is never available, not to mention I want the back of the neck not painted solid. On and I want Alnico pickups. Duh.
    • Have Carvin make me a LB76. It's reasonably priced and would support kinda-local business but if it doesn't turn out the way I want I would be screwed because of the (lack of) resell value. LB76s available used are all ugly as sin in my eyes.

    Opinions? Would love to have a straight 6-string Jazz bass.
  2. The Wiz

    The Wiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2013
    I would look into finding a bassmods k6. I dont see them too often because i dont believe they make them new anymore but if you can find one theyre great and not that expensive.
  3. the new ibanez singlecut 6 looks very nice

    i've owned 3 carvin basses, they're superb. the XB76 is great, but 35.25" scale isin't for everyone, and it doesn't come with a single coil, only MM style bucker, at the bridge.

    the LB76 is a great choice. the one i had was super lightweight, felt great and sounded really good. it was an older 2-band preamp model, but the new or old ones are all really nice.
  4. I started on 6 with the ltd, great for the money. Hard ash body, lots of sustain but, kind of a scooped sound. With the dual truss rods you can get the action super low. My second 6 was the warwick corvette, For me it added the midrange snap I was missing, the notes and chords are much clearer, especially when amplified, only downside is of course the bubinga is a bear to hold up for long shows. According to the manual ovangkol and wenge have a very similar tone. The ovangkol feels way smoother and is more comfortable than wenge IMO.
  5. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    The Ibanez SR 1206e gives a nice clear tone with the Nordstrand single coil pickups. You should give that one a try :)
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Best playing/feeling 6 string neck - Roscoe. Get one with Bartolini jazz pups. Amazing. I had one. Foolishly sold it.
  7. jojoslap


    Jan 28, 2014
    I just picked up a 1206 a couple months ago, I love it. I tried a sub $500 LTD and a new $700 sound gear six string, the 1206 is far better, I wish I could of tried more six strings but they are hard to come by in the music stores. For me it was the difference of being a novelty instrument that gets played every one and a while, or a really nice bass that I would want to use as my main instrument, which the 1206 is for me. For me a quality neck and fingerboard is really important, along with good electronics and pickups, you really do get what you pay for unless you can find a steal on the used market. This is my 1206. I think its a great bang for the buck, it has that high end boutique feel. It replaced my Warwick German made thumb 5 bolt on, the Warwick was nice but very heavy, really bad neck dive and a longer scale, I had that bass for 14 years and could never get over that. It had a lot of upsides too, which is why i put up with its downsides for so long. The 1206 is so much more comfortable, especially if you have to stand up playing it for hours. Zero neck dive, very light, sounds amazing and plays like a dream.

    woody357 likes this.
  8. angryclown5

    angryclown5 Supporting Member

    May 26, 2006
    Nederland, Colorado
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    We'd ALL like to have a 6 string jazz bass! But if you don't have bales of money sitting around for a nice Low End or Vintage Steve Bailey, there is only one answer.

    And that would be to get one or two (I've got three: Flats, rounds, and fretless) SX six string Jazz basses.


    Get a John East preamp for it and do the usual SX mods: New Strings, shielding, fret level check and setup, neck threaded inserts, etc. and there you go.

    Yes, there is some effort involved. But even if you pay someone to tweak it in, you still shouldn't be too far out of line. I love mine!

    Mine are Alder but the Ash one should have a brighter clear tone you are looking for. Pickups are single coil so soloed there may be hum.

    PS. I have an ESP LTD and it is a good approximation but as you note it doesn't QUITE do it because it's got soap bars. A new Carvin 6 would be great especially if you want a thinner neck. I agree on the older ones! An Alembic Epic 6 (like mine) would be perfect if you could find a reasonable used one. Yammy is great if you love wide spacing. The others just won't quite do what you want IMHO.
  10. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    +1 .... I love mine. I have a hard time finding other basses that would persuade me to get rid of it. In fact it's just the opposite. The more I play other makes the more I want to keep my 1206e Premium.
  11. I think you can get "clear" without going active on a six. The pickups and and their placement are more important than an onboard preamp in my opinion - you can make most of the same adjustments a preamp offers elsewhere in the signal chain. That said, there are a lot of great, clear sounding active basses out there...

    I don't know that you'd be completely screwed with Carvin as you would have the 10-day trial period under most circumstances. And based on the clips I've heard, the new "vintage" single coil they put in the bridge of the PB models does have a classic "J" tone. Check out some of the clips on youtube, you might dig it.

    I think any the basses you listed could be a good choice for a clean, clear tone. And you seem pretty aware of possible pros and cons of each. I'd also suggest the Peavey Cirrus, which is a very comfortable, clear sounding instrument - though in a hi-fi sense, not really a traditional jazz bass sound (and it is active).
  12. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    If you actually want a 6-string jazz, probably the most "authentic" sounding and looking one you could get would be by Valenti. He's affordable, he specializes in Fender-style basses, and he will make a 6-string. You can't get Lakland, Lull, or Sadowsky to make you a 6-string Jazz, and besides, they are more expensive than a Valenti.
  13. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    That is very nice to hear! I wish you all the best with that beautiful bass guitar!

  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Roscoe. 3 nice body styles. Lots of wood options. Lots of pickup and preamp options.
  15. Jimmi Clarke

    Jimmi Clarke

    May 23, 2012
    Lowestoft UK
    Endorsing Artist: Musicman, Ernie Ball, Ashdown Bass Amps
    Like the other guys I'd recommend the ibanez 6ers!! Great necks and amazing tone. I have Japanese Custom from the mid 90's, it's has EMG's and a Aguilar pre amp. Sounds amazing. I used to have a SR506 and that was a great instrument too!! Here's a pic.
  16. jonmerickson


    Jan 26, 2011
    Katy, TX
    I love my Bongo 6 HH. With that pre-amp and my rig, I have no problem getting "mass" and the chords ring out nicely. In my opinion it is an extremely versatile bass.
    woody357 likes this.
  17. woody357


    Jun 17, 2005
    I have a Bongo HH 5er, but my main bass is my Ibanez SR1206E. The Ibby is a nice looking bass with great tone, and a very fast neck.
  18. JH Statts

    JH Statts

    Jan 17, 2014
    What about an Ibanez SRC6? Has anyone tried one?
  19. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    It's not a real bass ;) It's Ibanez's take on the Fender bass VI concept..

  20. woody357


    Jun 17, 2005
    I'm thinking about changing the pre amp in my se1206E to a Aguilar OBP-3. Has anyone tried this will any if the Ibbiea with Nords pickups?