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Any suggestions? 5 string with narrow spacing.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Barnz, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Barnz


    Oct 5, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    I'm not sure what bass to try. I've got a Washburn bantam 5 string, a Squier P-bass and a Sterling Ray 35. The Sterling had fantastic reviews and was a bargain at the price but I really don't get on with it - I can't explain why, just my hands don't make a good sound on that bass.
    I love the feel of the Washburn and it feels like 'my bass' but the quality of the sound is not quite there.
    The Squier is... a Squier! Great for the money.
    Recently I've got into the sound of the P-basses the guy from Radiohead uses amongst other bassists. Problem is, the string spacing on the 5s are way too big. The Ray and Bantamn are 17.5 I think and that suits me just fine.
    So, the bottom line is - can anyone recommend a 5 string bass with a similar sound to a Precision where the strings are closer together?
    Thanks guys
  2. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    Maybe an Ibanez Soundgear? Although active, it might get close enough.

    Alternatively, if you have the bucks, you could have someone build you a custom bass.
    Ikkir, NG51, red_rhino and 4 others like this.
  3. fender68


    Jun 7, 2011
    Yep. Every ibanez.
  4. A-Ro


    Mar 22, 2016
    West Texas
    Ibanez...this one has a Nordstrand designed precision in the neck and Nordstrand designed single in bridge. It will cover a ton of ground and should easily get the sound your looking for.

    Ibanez SR655NTF - Natural Flat
    Ikkir, xbud, wintremute and 4 others like this.
  5. Barnz


    Oct 5, 2013
    Thanks, guys, that's really useful. I'll have a look at the Ibanez. When I got the Ray I did consider an Ibanez but knew I liked the Stingray sound so went with that -shame it didn't work out for me. Recently, every time I've loved a bass sound and done some research, it's always been a P-bass.
    Ibanezs are built for speed, right? This is good as my old bantam is lovely and quick and easy to play.
    Helix likes this.
  6. I have a ESP LTD b-205 5-string that has tight string spacing. Honestly the string spacing is a little too tight for me. Bass has Three band active emgs. Sounds fantastic. One of the best sounding basses have heard. Very well-made.
    smogg likes this.
  7. Have you thought about swapping electronics on the bass that you know you like? Lots of options out there, even custom makers.
    BboogieXVII likes this.
  8. Barnz


    Oct 5, 2013
    The thought did cross my mind. I'm not that knowledgeable about pickups etc. I've had the Washburn 20 years and it's had lots of abuse from Ss rounds (until i swapped to nickel last year) and the frets are wearing down a bit. Getting a bit worn in other places too. Not sure how much life she's got left in her!
  9. Barnz


    Oct 5, 2013
    Any pick ups you'd recommend for the job?
  10. What sound/tone are you going for?
  11. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Ibanez SR505 is the least expensive in that line, they get incrementally better as you walk up the series. I haven't seen a 5 with narrower string spacing, though it's still comfortable for finger style wth my small/average hands. Very light and well balanced too, overall superb basses with seemingly hundreds of different models with slight variations in specs or finish.
    Herrick, Roberto Nunez and John B jr like this.
  12. ThePresident777


    Oct 6, 2013
    Try different strings. They'll make a huge difference. Another significant change would be the electronics/pickups.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008

    This bass is literally 2 1/2" at the nut


    Herrick likes this.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Rickenbacker 4003s5 or Steinberger 5
  15. Hyball27

    Hyball27 Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Ventura County, CA
    Soundgear all the way. I have small hands and it was my first five string.
  16. A friend of mine had a Jackson Dave Ellefson 5 string that had really narrow spacing. He was selling it , convo me and I'll see if he still has it. Its a lot narrower than all the other 5 strings he has.
  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Any G&L 5 = 17.5 mm bridge spacing
  18. G&L L2500. Run the front pickup in series mode, dial the bass control back a little, and you'll have a killer 5-string Pbass tone.

    BTW, all G&L 5s are actually 17mm at the bridge. Not a huge difference, but it's noticeably narrower than a Music Man.
    Gizmot, wmmj, TomB and 1 other person like this.
  19. The Ibanez SR655 mentioned above is your best bet. The newer low end SR300's and SR400's with the new dual coils can get close, though. They also sound REALLY good.
  20. Jeff Haislip

    Jeff Haislip

    Sep 2, 2009
    I will have to agree with lowfreqgeek. I have a late 1990'2 G&L L2500 and the sounds are endless. You can use the active electronics or not, your choice. There are a couple of nice used U.S. made examples on Reverb.com for around $1000.:thumbsup:
    Gizmot, kkaarrll and basslifter like this.

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