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Best low B string in the Biz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zanderwestcoast, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    I'm looking at buying a new 5 string for recording and playing a few contemporary jazz funk gigs. Primarily looking for rich, deep and punchy low end. Piano like sustain. I have a couple 5ers with great low B's. (Roscoe SKB and Lakland 5594) but want something a bit deeper. From what I have heard the Ken Smiths low B is pretty killer with the ebony FB, especially for a 34" scale.

    Any thoughts?
    chaak likes this.
  2. Funkmabassup


    Jul 16, 2013
    Had a Warwick corvette doublebuck 5 and the H was just thunderous!
    byoung93888 likes this.
  3. fuzzychaos

    fuzzychaos Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Dingwall. Period. :bassist:
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You need something with a 37"+ B string to get piano-like sustain, particularly throughout the entire length of the fretboard. Anything less will get wolftones as you fret up the neck. You can get killer open B strings at any length, the better ones are usually good to around the 12th fret, but wolftones come in around the 15th fret on the best of non-37" Bs. Realistically, most players never play the B above the 5th fret. I am fine with a 34" B since I do not shred my B string up high.
  5. TechJunky


    Aug 31, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    I haven't played on (yet!), but I've never heard anything but the highest praise for Dingwall's. They are consistently regarded as one of the best B's in the business (and outright great basses as a whole, not just a novelty), and the sound clips I've heard lend some credit to those reviews. Of course, again, I am only mirroring what others have said, and I cannot speak from personal experience...but I can't think of any other bass out there that hasn't had at least a few contradictory claims. Warwick, Ken Smith, Lakland, Roscoe, Sadowsky...all get credit for great B strings from some, and others who claim they were a let down. Dingwall, if there's a negative statement, I have yet to find one.
    Orange Caesar and fuzzychaos like this.
  6. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    I'm sure the Dingwalls are nice, I just can't get into the look of them, not to mention the fan frets. Not to my taste.
  7. modulus quantum 5

  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Did you want a killer B with piano-like sustain or parallel frets? I am sure somebody out there makes a 37"+ scale parallel fret but I have never seen one. I am not saying get a Dingwall, although they are probably the top choice, but you will be getting wolf tones up the neck without the added length.
    Ikkir likes this.
  9. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Knuckle Guitar Works makes parallel fret basses with a 39.5" scale length. 36" scale also.
    BurningSkies and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    For me, a Dingwall was surprisingly easy to play except in the upper register. I'm pretty sure I could get used to one if I wanted to, but I usually prefer the traditional 34" timbre, even for B string. On that note, I love the B strings on my Sadowsky, Nordy, and Martin Keith basses (the Keith is 34.5").

    If you want piano tone without fanned fretting or super extended scale length (Knuckle), then I strongly recommend the Modulus Quantum fiver. I've heard good things about other brands, but I've owned a pair of Quantums, and can attest that the low B will deliver what you want, assuming I read you correctly. I also liked the MTD 535 I owned, in its own way, but the Quantum sounded more like a piano across all strings.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Roscoe is about as good as you're going to get from a 'normal' scale length bass.
    Jaco Taco, Mvilmany, bassmahn and 2 others like this.
  12. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward! Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    I've owned a neck thru Smith- THE best 34" B I've ever experienced. Simply crushes rocks and rips trees out of the ground with sweet bell-like clarity and growl. Cant think of a better bass for the format your interested in playing.

    For WHOLE lot less- I'd get a 35" bass like an Ibanez BTB/MTD Kingston and upgrade electronics as needed/desired.

    My personal suggestion would be a Warmoth Gecko with a wenge/purpleheart neck and ebony board. The 6 bolt neck joint is quite lovely and you have your choice of body woods/pickups/finishes.... order the option with no gecko on the board and get after it! No one will know you paid thousands less for an industry standard sound.

    My fretless Gecko 6 has this neck combo on a mahogany/koa body w villex pickups and it is easily the BIGGEST sounding bass I've owned. More booty than my Alembic Persuader- Ken Smith 6- Modulus Quantum 5.
    songwriter21 and Zanderwestcoast like this.
  13. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward! Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    I'd agree w you on the piano quality of the Quantum basses- it doesn't get much denser than graphite. If my Q5 wasn't cursed w EMGs and my chops didn't suck at the time- I might still be playing her.
    rtav and Fuzzbass like this.
  14. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    it all depends-
    for a 34 inch scale, the best I ever owned was a warwick thumb 6 BO.
    the dingwall 37 was by far the best B string otherwise.
  15. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    It's probably been discussed a lot but what qualities in a bass actually make a B string better? Scale length makes sense to me but what else?
  16. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    There was a time I felt the same way. Was.

    Super P Gallery | Dingwall Guitars
    Ikkir, Mvilmany, Gabbs and 2 others like this.
  17. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Nah. Ever try a Smith or Pedulla Thunderbass or Roscoe or Dingwall Super PJ or F Bass..... None are 37"+ scale and sound wonderful up and down the scale. Don't need to beat to death the whole 35"+ scale length again. There's a lot of great options out there in the 35" scale and, uhm, 34" too.
  18. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    All 35" scale, Modulus Q5 is the best of the non fanned fret basses that I've played or owned. Roscoe and Mike Lull are excellent as well.

    Best 34" I've played? EBMM Stingray 5. It competes with my 35" scale basses.
    Mastermold, Afc70 and Goatrope like this.
  19. lshermanmusic

    lshermanmusic Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2012
    Have you checked out Sadowsky? The 5-strings I've heard had great B's!
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  20. Take note that the string you put on the bass matters just a much as the construction of the bass itself. Even a Fodera can have a crap B string if you slap junk strings on...

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