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Bass with greatest "sustain" ? Spend my hard earned $1500 !

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lorenzop, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    Hi all!

    I am looking to buy a new bass, 5 string probably.:ninja:

    I wonder if you have any suggestions:
    what are your ideas about the bass makes/models that might have the greatest ammount of "sustain" ?

    I figure neck thorugh is a good starting point. I play exlusively fingerstyle, and melodic at that. Thats why I want sustain, and very present tones, that do punch or cut through a mix. Think of it as a kind of lead guitar. On the other hand a Bass must have good bottom fundamental warm tones :)

    Any suggestions welcome, $1500 new or used would be the upper maximum. Bonus points however if its much cheaper than that!

    Thank you all again!
  2. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    I play only Carvin. So Carvin. Some say neck through, I use bolt on.
  3. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I would go for a Spector Rebop if I were you. Bolt on neck, but it's a fantastic bass!
  4. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I have a Carvin Icon5W and the sustain is impressive.
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    How long do you need your notes to sustain?
  6. gforce9


    Dec 19, 2007
    Lots of good options out there.....Spector is a great instrument, even their ~$500 line. The Ray34 I have is a sustain monster and it was $699. Modulus are great, but new ones (VJ) start somewhere around the $1500 new and go up to $3k-$5k (Quantum) optioned out.
  7. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    A used Zon will definitely get you there, at least in my experience. My playing is as you describe and my Sonus 4/2 has it covered perfectly.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Well I came in here to say that Spector and Zon are pretty much the best sustaining basses out there, but that's already been covered!

    A Spector Euro should be at the top of your list, and can easily be had in your price range.
  9. Rickenbackers have great sustain, when properly setup. you can find them used in your price range, and sometimes even new. I'm selling mine just because its too heavy for me. But if you have not tried a a Rick, try one before you by. They are a great bass but not for everyone!
  10. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    A compressor work great for sustain, hehe and carvin is the way to go for your 1500 :)
  11. Ibanez SR series with Bartolini pick-ups. I own a number of boutiques basses and the Ibanez is very impressive.
  12. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    Great responses thanks!

    Carvin seems to be strongly recomended...

    What Carvin Series do you think? Are even Carvin bolt ons very good on sustain?
  13. MeLikeDaLowNote


    Sep 22, 2012
    Imo asking about the greatest sustain is pretty much like asking what's your favorite bass. You'll get a lot of good suggestions but the metric is highly subjective.
  14. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    I have 5 basses, two set neck, two bolt ons and one thro-neck.
    the sustain on my thru-neck is a lot more than any of the other 4. the strings really ring for ages.
    if its sustain you need then get a thru-neck bass.
  15. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    If sustain was the MAIN factor, I wouldn't trust anything made primarily out of wood, as trees are notoriously inconsistent. You'll have to try before you buy!

    A Zon, or Modulus or one of those all-graphite Status are worth consideration.
  16. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN

    See my avatar - an Ibanez SR755 - it is exactly as you describe. It is tuned EADGC and I use it for melodic and chordal types of things where sustain is needed.

    I also have an SR700 four string which actually has too much sustain for my four string purposes. It doesn't get played much since I'm mostly looking for a Motown sound on four string and this thing rings like a bell.

    Both have Bartolinis and both are bolt on. I bought the SR700 for about $650 new and got the SR755 used for less than that. Necks are straight as an arrow, bodies are very light weight. On the Ibanez basses you'll find the SR series is narrow across the fretboard. I love this but it's one of those things people have very different opinions about. You should know ahead of time whether you want narrow or wide string spacing. For chords, the narrow spacing is very helpful. If you're playing BEADG, a wider spacing may be more like what you're used to with a four string.
  17. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    If you're totally gonzo about this, you might be interested in something with a carbon composite through-neck, like vintage Steinberger, Status Graphite, Modulus, or Zon. Not cheap though. Next level would be wood composite (i.e. laminate) through-necks, Alembic and its descendants. I'm still damned impressed by the sustain I get out of my though-neck Schecter Stiletto Elite 5-string - it compares favorably with my Steinberger, but only cost me about $600.

    Of course, for most people, myself included, sustain is only one factor in choosing a bass. The carbon-composite necks also tend to be very fast and playable. My through-neck wood basses, Pedulla and Schecter, each have a tonal character that I can't describe very well but which works, to my ears, with my particular style of playing. I mean, if all that matters is making the notes last for several bars, just play though a fuzz-tone. ;o)
  18. mntngrown


    Aug 18, 2007
    Santa Cruz Ca
    The most sustain I ever experienced was a bass that "cheats" by employing optical pickups. The note goes on for minutes.
    Can't recall the brand name.
  19. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I love my Carvin but for pure length of note sustain I would say Zon and Modulus.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like the Spector Kramer Era NS-2a