Bass shopping - Need opinions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cgworkman, May 19, 2004.

  1. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Hello All:

    I'm looking for some opinions here. I am seriously shopping for a 5 string bass. I play everything from rock to jazz to gospel, etc. I fingerpick, slap, etc.

    I'm looking for something that has both a good fingerpicking tone and a good slap tone. But i want a decent instrument. Something in the $1000 - $2000 range.

    With my location I don't have the luxry to demo every name brand out there. But if anyone out there has similar needs and tastes and has found a 5 string they're in love with - then that would give me a direction to look in as far as trying one out.

    Any opinions would be appreciated.

    Thanks :bassist:
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    34" 35" other?
    tight or wide spacing?

    I like 34" and wide (3/4" at bridge) and play 51 series from

    there are a whole lotta basses that smoke in that $$$ range
  3. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I think what James is trying to say is....something like THIS:

    :D ;)

    And don't get to post photos of your new bass 'cause it's a six! :p :)
  4. In that price range it shouldn't be too hard to pick up a secondhand Alembic 5, maybe an Epic, Orion or Essence? You couldn't find anything more 'decent' than that IMHO... ;)

    Good luck!
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep. Good call on the pre-owned instruments.

    Used F bass BN5 (slapper's dream): ~ 2000 for a good one

    Used Roscoe LG-3005 fretted: ~ 1600-1700 for a good one

    Used Alembic: all over the map. Stick with the Series instruments if you can. I got my Series II for $971.12 (long story, that happens to be the sum total of all the money I could lay my hands on at the time). Good deals can be found, keep your eyes and ears open.

    The F bass is especially nice because it has a great tonal balance between slap and fingerstyle. You don't need any instantaneous volume adjustments to move seamlessly between the two styles. These three basses I mentioned happen to be some of my fave's, and I'll stick with what I know. The Roscoe has a "modern" tone, while the F bass is more like a P or J on steroids, with some significant upper midrange to enhance the slapping sound. An Alembic's an Alembic, no other bass sounds quite like it (personally I prefer them in the studio, where they excel, the good ones are generally too heavy to be wearing all night at a gig).
  6. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    G&L 2500 : )

    and slap an aguilar pre amp in, your good ta go
  7. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    You should also look at a Fender Roscoe Beck V. It has outstanding passive tone and wide string spacing.
  8. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Used Pedulla Thunderbolt or Rapture. :)
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    definately... Fender's Marcus Miller 5 is pretty sweet too.

    Like I said, there are many makes and models of killer instruments in the $1k - $2k span

    Used Zon of Modulus would fall in there too

    JPJ: I *could* post a pict of my fretted 5 51 though
  10. Maybe look into a Stingray 5??
  11. my short list would be...!!!

    Sadowsky Metro - I think a 5 string could be had around the 2k mark

    Roscoe LG3005 - Supurb Bass very modern sounding p-bass tones

    Yamaha TRB-PII - Deffo one of the best kept secrets of the bassworld

    Paduall Thunderbolt - It aint called a Thunderbolt for Nothing

    Alembic Rogue - I have seen bottom level ones for fav alembic bass by far

    and finally. . . don't laff

    Warwick Streamer LX 5 Strings can now be found for well under budget and they are supurb every respect...!!!
  12. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    How about a Lakland 55-94 through a Mesa Boogie 400+?
  13. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    How's the low B action on that? I noticed it's a pretty short scale bass for a 5 string...
  14. OOOOooooooohh the possibilities.... consider your preferred scale and string spacing, as well as sound-

    If you like that "Music Mannish" sound:
    Music Man StingRay (11/16, 34")

    If you like that "Pedullish Bartolinish" sound:
    Pedulla Thunderbolt (11/16, 34")

    For a "jazzish" sound:
    Pedulla Rapture J2 (not sure of spacing, 34")

    For that "Fat, hip lakish" sound:
    Lakland 55-02 (3/4, 35")
    Lakland 55-94 (3/4, 35")

    ... depending on what sound you are looking for. I'd be spit happy with any of these.
  15. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    This is a hoary, old review, and doesn't include many of the gems available today in your price range. But if you're really just starting to narrow down choices from the whole range of choices, it might be helpful.
  16. That review is somewhat helpful, but not really up to date. Many more players on the field now. And as a Roscoe owner, I think whatever issues that bass had are over with.

    Look also at a Pulcinella Level 5 or JJ5. I just acquired a Level 5 and I'm very impressed with it. You can get a NEW one in your price range, and if you don't like it, he'll refund your money. Other builders that I've dealt with SAY that, but do so kicking and screaming.

    I agree with votes for Pedulla. I got "issues" with Zon. A used Roscoe is always nice :D

    I don't know about getting a Fender if you have that kind of money to spend. If a Lexus and a Chevy are in the same price range, why not treat yourself? :)
  17. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    it's 34" and I've not played one only heard 2nd hand... still waiting for my local fender dealer to get one in (they want me to order it and not wait though :rolleyes: ). I'm heading to the GC & Sam Ash about an hour away each in the weeks to come to pick the singer out a PA... hopefully they'll have one. It has a small radius (rounded) fingerboard... I prefer near flat.

    Short Scale is 30"

    You do know scale has little to nothing to do with B string performance right?

    EB/MM Stingray 5 are known for monster B's... they are 34"
    My Benavente (the new 6 especially) drop bombs... 34"
    Sadowsky has never produced a floppy B... 34"

    it's the construction, setup, electronics, strings, etc more then length.

  18. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004

    Yes i know - I was told the MMV was a shorter scale. My Stingray 5 is a 34" and it's severely tight!
  19. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area

    with slight caveats: narrower spacing (i like both narrow and wide depending on what i'm playing, myself), and with a light gauge/lower tension string, the B can be somewhat floppy. But the hum/hum/piezo (or just hum/hum even) endless tone possibilities mean it can be a jack of all trades.
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    gotcha :D

    the radius is shorter... not the scale. The fingerboard has more curve then other 5 string basses I know of. I'm very curious to play one.