any suggestions for an affordable 5 string short scale Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by road-cat1, Aug 14, 2019.


  1. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    I have been intrigued with short scale basses lately. I do own several versions including dano, hofner. Hagstrom.... but they are all 4 string. I primarily play 5-string bass guitars on my gigs and would like to find a decent quality 5-string short scale that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Aidil

    Aidil

    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
  3. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    I I looked at that at GC, didn't quite do it for me. Really would like 30 in or 32 in Scale. But thanks for the suggestion!
     
  4. Mekana

    Mekana Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    Brice HXB2-405 3/4 MN Oceanburst Flame Short Scale Bass - Rondo Music

    I’m happy with my older Brice (that I modified)- but currently playing a 30” 5 string Kiesel Vader. Birdsong Hy5 is fantastic as well. I purchased both my Birdsong and Kiesel pre-owned, so that helped with the cost a bit.

    Edited to add: the Brice has a pretty narrow string spacing at the bridge (16mm); the Vader has quite wide string spacing (19mm); and the Birdsong in in-between (17.5mm)

    The Brice and the Kiesel are both 30” scale. But the Kiesel’s neck is set a little further out, so it’s a slightly longer reach. The Birdsong is 31” scale, but a shorter reach than the Kiesel. The shortest reach of the three is the Brice.

    As far as strings go- the Kiesel Vader has a headless system that can accommodate regular 34” length strings. The Birdsong has a double string through system on the B string that can also accommodate a regular 34” length string. I’ve used a regular length 5 string set on the Birdsong, and the E is a bit long... but the strings I’ve used wrap around the post ok. The Brice needs short scale strings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Supadope likes this.
  5. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    Thanks...open for ALL suggestions!
     
  6. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    What mods did you do to the Brice? That actually is looking a bit tempting to me. Are the pickups the weak point, or the preamp???
     
  7. Mekana

    Mekana Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    The Brice I had modified was an older version... the new one available now has better electronics and an active/passive switch, so it may be ok as is.

    What I did to my older one was make it as close to my Birdsong as I could get it, since the Brice was specifically to be a backup bass for the Birdsong. I replaced the pickups with Kent Armstrongs, and turned it into a passive bass. It sounds really good! The Birdsong actually needs to go get some repairs, so for a few months I used just the Brice for my new band, and recorded with it too- it gets compliments on tone, and it is well balanced and feels good to play. The string spacing is pretty narrow, though!
     
  8. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    A short scale five-string that has looked appealing to me is the Mensinger Cazpar. They are available as either active or passive versions. I've seen them on Reverb in the $1,500 range new.
     
    Mekana likes this.
  9. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    Not familiar with that brand...I will research that one!
     
  10. KeithERice

    KeithERice

    Sep 14, 2017
    I bought an Ibanez Artcore 205 about 4 years ago and have loved it ever since. It looks classy and sounds great. With a 145 gauge B-string, there's no problem with floppiness.

    Can get really mellow - though I usually play it with a touch of drive for a more grungy sound.
     
    B-Mac, MrLenny1 and road-cat1 like this.
  11. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    I ended up buying an Atelier Z 5 string baby (30") directly from the Atelier factory as a limited edition model that they had made. I had to purchase it through a store as a middle man (not sure why), but it only took about 1 week to get it delivered. Mine is a natural wood (Ash, I believe) with maple fingerboard. It was NOT cheap, however. Around $1400 US. It was far more money than I had intended on spending. I will post photos soon. After playing it a while, I did change out the pickups (Nordstrand custom for the string spacing) and I did change the preamp to an AUDERE that I really like. Also had a custom pickguard made. In the end it really is a great playing and sounding bass. Here is a demo from a Japan store...but not the store that I purchased it from .

     
    daddymactx likes this.
  12. road-cat1

    road-cat1 Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    20200426_144218.jpg
     
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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