Battle of the cost effective 5 strings!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Active five strings are plentiful and seemingly a better bargin than the next. How does these axes compare:

    Schecter Stiletto 5

    Ibanez BTM 500

    Yamaha BB line

    Yamaha RBX line

    Fender MIM Jazz 5 (active model!)

    --Fill in the blank (perferable 5 string, active, and fairly cheap)--

    I'm leaning toward the Ibanez BTM. Its got it all, 35" scale neck, good balance and access to upper frets, 3 band EQ with mid-sweep, quilted maple top, great bridge and overall decent hardware, and a pretty damn good price to boot. The next up I'd say is the Stiletto Elite and Studio models.

    Anyone own any of this stuff or have done any head to head comparisons?

  2. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Lakland Skyline 55-01

    nuff said.
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I second the lakland.
  4. BTB is a good buy.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Lakland Skyline smokes 'em all!
  6. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    You know, I figured someone would say Lakland Skyline. So far, I haven't tried them out yet (and I can't wait too do so!!!). However, the most happening Skyline is the US Bartolini fitted one. That model seems to go a notch or 2 under a grand. Now I'm sure its worth every penny and then some given the reviews, but I was hoping to keep things within the $400-$700 range give or take.

    Now I also know that the Skyline series has a less expensive model that is the same as the above-mentioned model just that the pickups and preamp are import soapbars. The constructs of these basses are the same as the upgraded one, but the pickups, so I read, are not all that happening. Again, I haven't tried either out.

    So tell me Lakland people, have you compared the 2 Skyline models? I know the US Barts are going to kick the others butt, but given that the import pickups brings the bass down a good $300, how does it fair?

  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    MTD Kingston 5
    I like it better than the Skydine's* myself.
    Better B, if nothing else.

    *obligatory pop culture reference.
  8. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Whooaa, so you like the MTD Kingston better than the Lakland Skyline? Wow. Okay, you must be talking about the Skyline with the import soapbar pickups, right?

    Ok, a couple of more basses to add to the list

    MTD Kingston 5

    MTD Heir 5

    Dean 5 strings (take yer pick on models both Korean and Czech)

  9. Yuppers I would second the MTD's. I played one skyline. It was good. But I prefered th neck of the MTD. Both good bang for the buck
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Was that $700 with or without case?

    Forgive me, but someone had to bring up Carvin...

    Carvin's B5 bolt-ons start around $650; active/passive electronics are standard, case is extra. I believe it's the cheapest US-made active 5 string.

    The neck-through active/passive LB75 is only a little more expensive, starting at $720. Again, case extra. I own 2 of these and love the way they play.

    You can occasionally find both discounted at Carvin retail stores. And of course everyone knows Carvins don't hold their resale value, which means they're cheap used!

    No, I don't work there, I only spend my paycheck there.
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I have the 55-01 & I felt it sounded better than the 55-02. I haven't read anywhere hear that the 55-01's "pickups are not all that happening."
  12. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Oy, you had to mention Carvin! Between Carvin and Ibanez SR basses, I don't know who has the greatest either love 'em or hate 'em range.

    I've heard critiques of the one-piece neck thru Carvin 5s and 6s being very temperamental. However, the 5 piece laminated jobs are supposed to be pretty stable but will bring up the price, obviously. However, if we're going to keep things in our price range, we want to stick with the Bolt-on 5 string bass which is a one-piece neck.

    I haven't heard anything good or bad about the bolt-on 5 string necks. I hope they're good because they seem like great buys as long as you keep the fancy options down. I would love one with the humbucker in the bridge option. However, some people beef about Carvin pickups. I had a fretless 5 years ago (neck-thru) and I thought the pickups and EQ were fine (and this was before they had the mid cut/boost option and both pickups were of their old stacked Jazz variety).

    So...what's up with neck?


    PS Oh yeah, I think it was and another online bass review site where I read some mediocore reviews of the Skyline's import soap bar pickups. Not really bad, mind you, just not so great. Of course, everyone raved about the domestic Bartolinis, but as mentioned, you'll have to smack another $300+ for them.
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm with Odie in that the neck is superior to the Skyline. The sound, as a result, sounded much better to me. Though, it would be much better if you dropped in an aftermarket pup and active pre-amp, which could still put you in at under 600 (if you got either the pup or the pre) or 700 (spring for both).

    Just the way I see it.
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I dig the Skylines... the MTD kingstons are great as well.. two different but good basses there
  15. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    True, Idiezman
  16. Dean Razor NT5

    Neck Thru
    Active Electronics
    Quilted Maple Top

  17. I dont know about the other basses, but I have the Fender MIM active 5-string. The B rattles alittle if you pluck it hard but otherwise i like it alot.
  18. Peavey Cirrus, bar none.....
  19. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Yeah, like he said.:D

    But, since the Cirrus is going to be a bit out of your price range, you might look into the Fury series. They are much more affordable, and are pretty good basses. Although the B isn't as good as the Cirrus'.

    Just go out and play em all. One of them is bound to wind up being the ONE that you just gotta have.;)
  20. if you can handle the tight string spacing the Razor is the best bang for the buck IMO. Gold Grover tuners, brass nut and bridge. also check out Dean's other bass models. the neck through Edge Select and Improv, and the Bolt on Edge Custom.

    MTD kingston is a mighty fine instrument (zero fret, wide string spacing), the only thing holding 'em back is the basswood body.
    same goes for the BTB, awesome bass, lame wood.
  21. 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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