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A good 5 string PASSIVE bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Jul 2, 2006.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    At loud gigs, I find that my P bass seems to get the job done more easily than my active double humbucker bass. The P is full sounding yet somehow cuts through when the band is really cranked up. With my simple P bass, you plug in and play. However, my active bass is often a struggle at that volume because the bottom is always too much, or not enough; the top end is too brittle or inaudible. Barring when I slap, I’m always struggling to hear myself without shaking the walls at high volumes (lower volumes, my active bass is great; very versatile). Quite simply, I find I'm almost fighting my bass’ active eq at times.

    I now want to go 5 string and I’m wondering what mid-range priced passive bass will serve well as a gigging, workhorse of an axe. I'm thinking the American Series Jazz V. It’s basically a simple passive Jazz with the addition of a B string and the added plus of that S-1 switching. Simple; I like that. The Fender Roscoe Beck model comes to mind but the controls look even more confusing than that of the average active bass.

    So, any suggestions on a passive 5 that's not too delicate and won't break the bank?

    Thanks.

    r
     
  2. stefandisgust

    stefandisgust

    May 28, 2006
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Spector Basses-New Artist
    Ibanez BTB 5.I know its 18 volts which is 2 9 volts but they actuly told me its passive and they are for the EQ not a Preamp.Great bass no more that $480
     
  3. christle

    christle

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Godin Freeway 5. Excellent bass with a nice fast neck and a P-Bass type sound.
     
  4. Lakland Skyline Joe Osborne.
     
  5. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Musician's Friend is basically closing them out even cheaper than that if you can believe it! However the active EQ is exactly the sort of thing I'm trying to get away from. I guess I'm trying to avoid active basses in general be it pickups or preamps. But thanks!

    r
     
  6. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I just ordered a Lakland JO5, should be getting it in a few days. I've found that I have the same problem as you do with active basses, I always seem to be fighting the onboard preamp therefore I've been selling all the active basses I own.
     
  7. The MTD Hier is a great passive 5 string. Theyre like 900 i think.
     
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    MTD Kingston, if you can handle the spacing.
     
  9. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Wow, these are all great suggestions.

    Okay, with Christle’s Godin suggestion; I've tried a Freeway 5 unplugged. It seemed like a decent bass but not a great one. Kinda stiff. I WANT to like Godin because I see them as a little company that could and they are made here in North America at almost Korean prices. However the only conventional bass they've made that I really dug was the active BG4 and BG5. Maybe if I had time to mess around with the Freeway, I'd get into it. I'll look for one and try again.

    The Skyline Joe Osborne 5's sounds like a great idea! However, I’ve never actually seen one. Say, Juniorkimbrough, how much did yours cost and has anyone compared it to the American Series Jazz 5?

    I totally forgot about the MTD Kingston and Heir. I'd lean a bit more to the Heir because I prefer the versatility of a two pick up bass. Say, Eric Cioe, what did you mean by, "If you can handle the spacing?" Do you think the neck might be too wide? Maybe the 35" scale is a bit much?


    Thanks!
     
  10. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    save yourself a whole lotta cash.

    Yamaha BB415. Passive PJ set up. One volume, one tone and switch for neck, bridge or both. Probably one of the best values on the market today....that is if your looking for a passive type P bass. Growlier than a standard P (not too growly though) and deeper than a standard J.

    I dumped my MIA Jazz Bass Deluxe V for it....I'm not saying it's better...I'm saying it gets the job done that I need done exactly when I need it done without fighting the active eq.
     
  11. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Holy crap! I totally forgot about the Yamaha BBs. And yeah, they do have some serious bang for buck going for them. I recall a review of the 4 string models (both active and passive) being very favorable in Bass Player Mag. However I haven't read anything about the passive 5. I'll do a little research; this could be a great idea. I mean, I'd love a Joe Osborne fiver, but even the Skyline model is over a grand. Thanks for the tip!
     
  12. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I didn't realize the Darryl Jones Skyline was a passive bass. Aside from the slightly reduced body shape, what makes it different from the Joe Osborne?
     
  13. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    No problem.

    I had to do an extensive set up on mine when i got it....no problem though....I have to do that on any new bass I get. Oh....the wine red burst is very eye catching.
     
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    How about a used SR5? Passive pickup, leave the tone controls centered,and run with it. Hard to beat.
     
  15. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Here is a small picture of mine that was on the basscentral website.
    [​IMG]

    I got mine for $1075 shipped to my front door.
     
  16. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    YUM!
     
  17. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Stay tuned. As soon as I get mine in I will be posting more pictures and my thoughts on it. :)
     
  18. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I have a DJ5 and love it. It's definitely passive (though some people have been known to drop a J-Retro in 'em - not quite sure why...).

    Basically, the JO is a 60's vibe, more old school sounding. The DJ is a 70's vibe, with more aggressive sounding pickups. That's the big difference, right there. Everything else is a matter of cosmetics (such as block inlays on the DJ vs. dot inlays on the JO, binding on the fretboard on the DJ vs. no binding on the JO, slightly smaller body shape on the DJ vs. the JO). I've played JOs and loved them, but the DJ is a bit more of a stand-out, IMO.
     
  19. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    BTW, have you ever compared the JO5 to a Fender American Series Jazz 5? Both are passive 5 string Jazz basses. Both go for around the same $$$. I'll confess I'm leaning more in the direction of an American Fender. One cannot deny the resale value factor with a US Fender. Though the Skyline Series are known to be excellent, they are Korean made. I don't think I'd ever consider paying over a grand for a Korean made instrument. However...the JO5 may be the exception. So, how does yr bass compare to the US JV?

    r
    PS and keep in mind, the US JV also has the S-1 switching option. I know, not ground breaking stuff; but a nice little plus.
     
  20. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    How about G&L L-2500 or L-1505, or maybe a Tribute L-2500 to save a few bucks? They have preamps, but the tone controls are passive cut-only, so they work even with the preamp off. They're fully functional as passive basses, and sound great. You'll never worry about being heard with these -- the 1505 in particular is a growly, hard rocking beast (I own an L-1500). And IMLE G&L's five string necks are pretty easy to play.

    I found the Fender Roscoe Beck V's neck a little large for my hands, but if that's not a deterrent you should give it a chance. The controls aren't confusing once you understand them, and it's an amazing instrument. It seems like the ultimate all passive fiver to me, but I haven't made the leap to fivers yet.
     

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