Battle of the Budget 5's

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yamarc, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I am considering either an MTD Kingston or Heir and a Lakland Skyline. I may buy new I my buy used, depending on what I can get. There are no real specs, aside from good tone and playability, that I consider a must. Let me know your experience with either of these basses or any other sub 1000 (used also) 5 stringer. Thanks, Marc
  2. I've got one you should consider...

    Peavey Grind 5 NTB - Not only sub $1000 but sub $400. I got mine new locally for $399 (actually less - inside deal). This is a very well built, modern design that has tone out the wazoo. Here's the rundown:

    35" scale - real important in a 5 IMO
    Neck through - Maple/mahogany 7 stringer
    Imbulia wings - good figuring
    Twin passive soapbars
    Volume/tone for each pup
    Black hardware
    Fairly narrow string spacing

    I am (was) a confirmed 4-banger but the need for a 5'er presented itself and this little gem screamed for attention even before I heard it's tone. No matter if you like a fat warm tone or a clear piano like sound it still has a wonderful growl characteristic throughout it's range. Extremely playable with it's string spacing and very light for the woods used. Probably because of it's rather thin 1-1/8" body thickness. Upgrading is easy since it's back loaded with lots of room in the cavity. Since this is a new design and there wasn't any labeling other than Peavey, I thought that this was one of their high end basses like a Cirrus or something. Boy was I surprised to find out that it wasn't. I'm totally stoked over this one. I'll try to find a pic somewhere.
  3. If you like a bolt on neck with wide string spacing, check out the Lakland Skyline 55-01. That bass is super nice!

    Or check out some of the new Ibanez BTB models with the Bartolini pickups.

    For me string spacing is important, I like a full 3/4" (19mm) at the bridge. You should also decide if you want a neck thru or bolt on. There should be plenty of nice basses out there to choose from. Happy hunting!
  4. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    I've owned both a Kingston and 55-01, and you can't go wrong with either. Both are great basses. If I had to choose one, I would take the 55-01, just because of the versatility the active electronics and double pickups give you.
    The 55-01 will also set you back a little more money than the Kingston.
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I like my Kingston and (MTD) Beast a lot. The Beast is out of print, but there are still some around. The Kingston has a much more agressive tone, though it can be tamed. The Beast is basically a five-string Jazz with the MTD body shape and 35" scale.

    I would bet that the Heir is really cool.
  6. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I've played Kingstons and Skylines, and they have fairly different neck shapes from one another. If you have the chance, you should try to play both basses yourself. You'll probably prefer one over the other right away. (FWIW, I prefer the Kingston). Also, the Skyline is active and the Kingston is passive. I'm sure the electronics will play a role in your decision as well. (Again, I prefer the passive Kingston).
  7. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I agree with Hambone, the new Grinds are definitely nice. I was playing a 5 string Grind in a local store a couple days ago. I'm not much of a fan for passive electronics, but it could be easily made into a frankenstein bass without much cost. I didn't get to plug it in, but the bass nearly seemed to play itself.

    Looking at the price tag, I couldn't believe it.

    One more suggestion, checkout ebay. I'm sure you could find a 5 string Cirrus for around 1k or under. :)
  8. kap'n kro

    kap'n kro

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Wow... what the hell, how come I never saw one of those Peavey's when I was looking for a decent budget fiver? How is the price on those neck throughs so low?!? man I'm kicking myself right about now for not seeing one of those things earlier... :(
  9. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Hey guys,

    Was just wondering whether anyone had come across these beasties before? My first bass (almost a month old :)) is a fretted 4 string branded "J & D Luthiers" on the headstock. Anyhoo, I was in the shop the other day (Fretted Instruments, Brunswick St) when I noticed that the same company produce both a neck-through and a bolt-on 5 string.<BR>My 4 was definitely at the 'budget' end of the market so I am assuming their 5's would be similarly positioned. I will check the price next time I'm there (unless anyone knows what they go for already). My 4 is solid ash with active electronics and seems (to my inexperienced eye) to be relatively solid quality wise and has quite a reasonable tone.<BR>Don't if this is useful to anyone but it seemed relevant.<BR><BR>HTH,<BR><BR>Ben-who-uses-too-many-parentheses-:D
  10. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm like the king of saying go for the "Cirrus" You can find a used Cirrus 5 on e-bay for less than $1000 bucks easily. In fact I bought one brand new and it cost me $1000 out the door at a local shop. Of Course I got it for below cost. :D Anyway, I would say get a Peavey Cirrus. I own two and I couldn't be happier. I recently went into a Guitar Center and I played the new BTB series, but I only played the BTB495, which doesn't have the Bartolini Pickups, but I thought that it was generally pretty good. Wasn't great, but at $495 brand new, it wasn't bad. What did impress me was the sound and playability of the Spector REBOP basses. I really liked the bright EMG-HZ's it had on it. I was playing the European series. It was something like $979 at Guitar Center, but I'm sure you could get it for somewhere cheaper for under $1000 easy. I'd again try the classics like Ernie Ball Stingray 5's. You can get those for like anywhere between $600-$1000 on e-bay (used or new). I've heard good things about the Lakland Skyline Series 55-02's, but I've never been that big of a fan of the way that Lakland's feel. Bottom line, I still say go for a peavey Cirrus. Its neck through and the construction is absoulutely top notch. I get compliments on the way my Cirri sound all the time. I like to think its partially my playing ability, but I know its definitely the great tone of the bass. :bawl:
    Oh well. I'm still rockin. :bassist: Hope that helps out in your decision. Try out basses and see what you like. What's good to one person aint good to another. So its up to you. But I say give The Peavey Cirrus 5 a chance.

    Edit: I now like the Feel of Lakland 55-02's

  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The Kingston wins in the playability and weight department. Very fast neck and neck shape for a wide 5. Overall excellent ergonomics. The drawback is the tone, which is mid-centered and harsh. It cuts through okay, but it's far from hi-fi without some major EQing.

    The Skyline feels like a more substantial instrument and is more versatile in terms of tone. Sounds like an active jazz. But the neck feels chunkier and they can weigh in at 11 lbs or over.

    If you want a light, sleek cheapie that you can bang around at a gig without worrying about batteries, get the Kingston. If you want something that's smooth-sounding and less flimsy-feeling, get the Lakland.
  12. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Matt Pulcinella

    I tried a Level-5 the other day.

    As good as any Lakland I've ever touched.

    Thing is, you can send him your specs and he'll make one custom for you.
  13. They sort of expanded the "Grind" line. As far as I knew the Grind's were only bolt ons but the 2003 line expands into neck throughs. That's probably why you didn't see them. Take a look at Musicians Friend under Grind. The damn 6'er costs the same as the 5!!! And I really don't know how they are so low in cost. The MF site says something about Peavey finding a small manufacturer overseas that could do something like this and they took advantage. The style, materials, and workmanship are so that I really thought I was getting a great deal at $399 still believing it was a used bass.