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Any Reason NOT to buy a 5 stringer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rotis, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. rotis

    rotis There is more

    Dec 28, 2011
    In my quest for the tone I have been looking for I finally realized that the tone I am after is the classic P-Bass sound. Initially I was not a fan of the look of the Precision bass but it has really grown on me because of the sound.

    Since I realized all this I have had my heart set on a Fender American Standard P. While I have been shopping I have begun to look at the P5 which leads me to the question:

    Is there a reason NOT to buy the Fender American Standard P Bass V? Help a brother out.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You don't need/want/like 5 string basses.
    It's really all that count.
  3. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Off the top of my head:

    a) You dislike heavier basses
    b) You dislike wider necks
    c) You dislike paying more for strings
    d) You don't want to adjust to new hand positions

    I'm not anti-5 string, but those all seem like viable reasons to go against it if you're looking for them. There's certainly a list of similar advantages as well.
  4. Because you're broke(?)- works for me, plus I have nice 5er
  5. toddoutloud


    Jul 19, 2010
    The 5-string P is a damn fine instrument. Whatever you do, play several of them in person before purchasing.
  6. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Aside from personal preference the only reason not to go with a 5 is to avoid hearing "Jaco only needed 4 Strings." comments.
  7. The only downside is that some basses don't have a great low B string while the rest of the strings are fine.
  8. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    They do sound a bit different. You can speculate about the reasons which might include the bigger neck, the now asymmetric pickup, the heavier bridge or all of the above.
  9. Hey, I just thought of a great reason: because a bunch of semi-complete strangers on an Internet forum told you not to. :)

    KIDDING you- I should've researched many past buys like this. Pics when we inadvertantly talk you into it. :D

    Edit: A good one, from personal experience: Because it does NOT really feel *just like* the killer 4-banger you just bought(not a given in such a situation, again- just my personal exp)
  10. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray Supporting Member

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    Do Not. I repeat, DO NOT get a five string Fender P-bass!!!
    Just trust me on this one.

    .......and the reverse psychology grenade has been tossed.
  11. rotis

    rotis There is more

    Dec 28, 2011
    Been saving my pennies and I am beginning to figure, if I am gonna shell out the money for an american standard, why not get a fiver

    There is a sam ash and a guitar center kind of near me but they never have more then one out. How do you play several?

    Nobody would ever compare me to anyone who plays well.

    But some are good all the way around?
  12. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    American P5 is a fine bass. If you like it, get it. There is no reason not to get it can swing the cash and like the way it sounds and plays.... alas, this is a personal decision. You would be buying a pro quality electric bass, no doubt. I have seen many references a less than great B string, i find this to be not the case. B string on my P5 is solid and clear.

    Here is a review by Ed Friedland.
  13. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    Because you don't want one.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Any Reason NOT to buy a 5 stringer?


    1 - Laziness
    2 - Stubborness
    3 - Being stuck in the past
  15. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX

    Many basses I've played that were AMAZING 4-stringers were very lackluster in the 5-string models. For most people it boils down to a few things...these were my reasons for not keeping mine:

    1) I never used the B NEARLY as often as I thought I would
    2) Made slapping a little more cramped
    3) Added cost of strings
    4) Re-EQing amps and preamps to suit the B string adequately
    5) Changes in string tension compared to the 4-string version
    6) The interjected hammer-ons played on a downtuned E string could not be done with a 5'er.

    Honestly I think 5'ers are great and very essential in certain forms of music (really detuned metal, jazz, religious music, etc) but just not for what my bands are usually doing. The cost-to-benefit ratio just wasn't in my favor with the 5'ers. I could tune my bass to drop d and only be short 3 notes from what a 5'er can do. I'd strongly recommend getting a used, inexpensive 5 string like an Ibanez or Schecter to get a feel for how often you would really use a 5'er in your music. Just disregard feel and tone for the time being and see how often you will really need to belt out a note that only the low B can do for you. You may surprise yourself :bassist:
  16. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    The Amer. Std. P5 is a sweet bass.
    I have one, after a pickup height ajustment B-string was great
    for a 34" bass.
    Very light weight, mine is 8.5 pounds.
    Do you need a 5-string?
    Or is it just want? I use mine maybe for 40% of my playing.
  17. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Because of all of the above, I am a 4 string player. Each 4 has a Hipshot Xtender and low D is usually low enough.

    I have a Steinberger 5 that doubles as an emergency 5 (never had that emergency yet) and a traveler.

    The only time the 5 helps me out is when I'm trying to figure out scale patterns by ear and it is easeir for me to "see" them when not using any open strings.
  18. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    My ESP 5er just didn't suit me. I found I rarely used the B. Tried multiple different tunings - B>G, D>C, E>C. I found I had more use for the E>C tuning, but didn't play it anywhere near enough to justify keeping it. Sold it last spring and got another 4. But, what doesn't work for me may work for someone else.
  19. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Also, you might try stringing up one 4 string as BEAD to see how much you actually use the B string...or get a cheapo, like an SX to try it out.

    I love the sound of a low D, but when its time to play a B or C I think it sounds better an octave up - fretted on the A string.

  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I have drop D-tuners on my two main basses as well, and have shifted heavily to playing with a low D on much of my band's newer material whereas just a couple years ago, everything was written and performed in standard.