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Active 5-string Bargains

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vanderbrook, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Some days, I miss frets...

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Greetings from the dark side. Although I've been hanging out on the Double Bass side of the world for a while now, this will be my first post on the BG forum.

    It's been 10 years since I've had the kind of bass that sits on yer knee or hangs from yer neck -- and I didn't play it much when I had one. I've always been more of an upright guy. But I'm thinking seriously about getting back into some BG playing. I'm not sure just what genre(s) I might wind up exploring... pop/rock stuff probably... definitely no Death Thrash. :) I've done a little research, chatted with some of the "doublers" over on the dark side, and I have some ideas about what I might buy. I'm hoping some of you knowledgeable electric bassists might share your thoughts. (I know that playing some of these axes will really shed some light on things, but I don't expect to find all of these available for playing around town.) So with all that out of the way...

    For my initial foray back into the BG world, I don't want to spend more than I have to. I've been told to try to get active pickups/electronics, and to spring for a 5-string; extra-fancy finishes I can do without. Looks like I can't afford a neck-through. Here are my ideas:

    1. Yamaha BBG5S
    2. Dean Edge 1-J5
    3. Washburn XB-105 (passive, I know)
    4. Cort C5 (passive, I believe)
    5. Hartke AK-5
    6. (Fender) DeArmond Pilot Pro 5

    All of these can be had for $300 or less (no case; plus shipping/tax). Which would you choose? Which would you rule out? Why?

    Thanks for your thoughts! (Hope y'all aren't tired of this sort of post... I'm sure you get a bunch of 'em!)
  2. I would go for either the Yamaha or the DeArmond. Just ask AllodoX for any info on the Yamaha cos he is the resident Yamaha fanatic;)
  3. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    ummm go for the lakland! :p
  4. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Some days, I miss frets...

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Yeah, right! (See, I have this nasty habit of wanting to eat something on almost a daily basis...)
  5. I would definatley go with the Cort C-5. The C-5 is active electronics and the New Action 5 is passive. They are essentually the same other then that. I have one of each and they are truly wonderful instruments. I have played basses that ranged up to $2000 and still chose these. But that is me. You should choose whatever you like bet after trying them.
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Go for the DeArmond. Seriously.

    I have the Pilot Pro Deluxe 6-string and it plays and sounds quite nice. The bridge (and, well, the rest of the hardware) is a friggin' joke, but you can always replace it. It's a neck-through with a BT preamp and it's well balanced. I imagine the 5-string is nice as well.

    String spacing on the 6 is quite good.
  7. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    What is the maximum you would be willing to spend?

    That is the deciding factor. There are a number of nice 5 strings in the 600-1000 dollar range. If I was shopping in that range I would go for a Lakland Skyline 55-01 or an MTD Kingston.

  8. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Some days, I miss frets...

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks, everybody, for your thoughts. ("Hey," Boulder!)

    What's the maximum I'm willing to spend? That's hard to say... I have $300 sitting around, burning a hole in my pocket. There seem to be a number of possibilities at that price point. I know you generally get what you pay for, but I just sunk $6500 into a decent upright in December, so I can't go out and drop a Grand on a slab.

    For the sake of argument, let's say $400 is my max.
  9. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    DeArmond-i have a pilot plus [5] which is a cheaper version of the Pro that i got on blow out from Sam Ash for $160. For up to $400, if you're willing to go used either a MIA Fender Deluxe 5 [active] or a Mexi Fender Deluxe Active Jazz goes for $560 or so new so it should be able to be had for under $400 used. that being said all my gear w/exception of the POS pedals & the future purchase are FMIC products :D
  10. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    There are a couple of MTD Kingstons in the classifieds on this site for about $400 that are exellent 5 strings.Do a search of previous posts to get opinions on them.;)
  11. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Like a putz, I didn't even see your location! :)

    Not sure where you usually shop in Denver, but an ocassional trip up to Robb's in Boulder is definitely worth it. I've gotten some insanely sick deals on used stuff in the past.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Pilot Pro is a discontinued model. If you can find a closeout at a price of under $400 it is THE STANDOUT BASS in this lineup in my opinion.

    Personally I don't like active EQs in basses, but that's just my preference. I've read reviews and such where active EQ fans have written that low-budget active EQs are often worse than passive.

    I have a Dean Edge 5 fretless and if you can't get the DeArmond (or even if you can :cool: ) I would highly recommend this bass. Mine is very well made and sounds really nice. It's also very beautiful, with a nice shape and finish. Looks and feels like a much higher end bass than it is. I have a brother who has a Pilot Pro 4 and it kicks butt also. Looking at them they appear to be made side by side in the same factory (which also makes Cort). Same exact feel to the maple/walnut neck, same imperfections on the headstock paint job, feel to the finish, etc. You won't be disapointed with either.

    Are you considering a fretless electric? You may find that some of the vibe you love from the upright translates to the electric better without those nasty frets. The Dean Edge is available in your price range in a fretless 5 (I really love mine and rave about it here all the time), I don't know about the others.
  13. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Some days, I miss frets...

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    I initially thought about a fretless 5, but decided I have enough trouble playing in tune on the upright; I don't need to fight that battle on the slab, too! :D

    Thanks again for your input. I'm calling dealers now to find out who has what around town. Now if I can just try out a couple of these axes with the same amp I should be good to go!

  14. pedalpointer


    Mar 25, 2002
    I'd get the Dean Edge 5. I have a Rhapsody model, and they are wonderful. Dean has a reputation for quality instruments, and they don't cost as much as they could. The others on your list aren't that bad, either. Corts are okay, but I don't like them as much as Deans.
  15. some guy#2

    some guy#2

    Feb 3, 2001
    If you can check out a new or used Peavey Fury V.
    Made in Korea they list for 599.99.
    Were it American made it would be far more expensive.
    Some complain about its B string though I find it acceptable...you may or may not!

    It's versatile and well built and it looks good!

    Some call me crazy; I think it compares favorably to their Millennium & Cirrus lines...maybe *not quite* as nice *BUT* for the money it is close enough.
    A real bargin!

    I LOVE mine!

    I almost never play my P/J Franken Fender anymore!

    at any rate enjoy the 5 string electric world
  16. There's a Cort 5 string on ebay for the next 45 minutes or so (until 11:58 pacific time Tuesday 3/18) with a buy now of $209 USD.

    I've never picked up a Cort, so don't know what they feel like or I might go for it.
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I picked up a new (with factory warranty) DeArmond Pilot Pro Deluxe 5 (the neck through version) last December for $295. I was really very surprised at the playability and tone of this bass (ash body). I would consider it quite a bargain at that price. The bolt-ons should be fairly decent as well, but if you can find a neck-through Pilot 5, I think that it would be the best on your list.

    FWIW, I am looking into replacing the p/u's and possibly the preamp on this bass. The neck and body are so nice, it seems like it deserves better electronics.

    Later, Tom.
  18. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Yeap I suggest an MTD Kingston, very nice 5-string bass that can be had for $400 or so. It has passive electronics, but Active electronics DOES NOT make a bass a good bass.. especially if they are cheapo electronics like you will find in many lower end basses that are active..
  19. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

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