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Best Studio 5 String Bass (besides Fender P or J)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Hey guys, I'm doing some studio work in a really nice studio here in town. I'm using my Valenti J5 and it's doing a decent job but I'm looking for something a little more user friendly for studio work. I know a Fender Jazz bass and a P bass are the industry work horses but I was wondering if there was another bass that keeps great intonation and stays in tune during long, demanding hours day after day. Besides a Fender J or P, what's another great go-to 5 string bass for session work? The engineer is open minded when it comes to bass tone. He's a talented guy and loves different tones.
  2. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    I'm a long way from an expert on 5-ers, but I think a Lakland Joe Osborn 5 would be a good choice.

    They make a good quality bass with a fine neck, and good tone.
  3. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    What exactly is it about the Valenti that keeps it from being "user friendly" in the studio?

    I've worked with several engineers who preferred passive basses simply because it provided more of a neutral base (no pun intended) to work with. If this is the case with your situation, can your wire an active/passive switch into the Valenti?
  4. I'm curious about this, too.

    I'm with you on the passive thing, too. Live, it's important to be able to dial into the room and the stage setup. In the studio, it's important to be able to deliver the basic bass tones for the engineer.
  5. It's all active and it's a little too modern sounding for the current project I'm working on. I could stick a set of nickels on it but it's my only bass and I really need stainless steel strings for what I do in my church and in my other band.
  6. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I'd say just wire in an active/passive switch. Nothing wrong with adding a little versatility.
  7. Yeah, I could do that, but at the same time I still need a second bass, since the Valenti is my only one right now, and I'd like for it to be a good studio bass, but since I'm not much of a Fender fan I'd like something else. Any recommendations on that?
  8. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Hate to sound like a cop-out excuse, but really whatever you like. I've worked with bassists recording everything from modded Squiers and Ibanezes to Alembics and Roscoes. There's not a "best" studio bass out there. Maybe something with an inherent alternative tone would suit you, like a Modulus, Cirrus, Music Man, etc.
  9. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    I'd sell you my Guild Pilot 5 string, but my kids (and wife) would kill me - it just sits in the case :crying:.

    How about one of the G&L Tributes? I've checked out 4 of them at 2 different shops and they'll get most of the Fender-ish tones out there, plus you're not looking at too much out of pocket either. Are you thinking of going active or passive with this one?
  10. FenderP

    FenderP Supporting Member

    May 7, 2005
    You could try one of the new Fender P 5ers, or I'm sure a Sadowsky or Lakland would do as well. To be honest, while I'm more of a Fender-sounding guy, any good engineer should be able to work with your bass to get a good sound that fits in the mix. Yes, the "Fender tone" is easy, but ultimately they shouldn't care.
  11. XavidmanX


    Jun 29, 2006
    Bakersfield, CA
    My votes are for Sadowsky, Skjold and Alleva Coppolo. None of them are really cheap, but you get that passive tone in each bass.

    Sadowsky have great tone...period. Skjolds are super versatile and Pete does some great work.

    Alleva Coppolos are new to me but they are simply awesome. The tone in those are crazy good and they cop the vintage vibe really well.

    If he just want something J and passive then you can't go wrong with one of the new Fender Am. Std. J's for near $1,000.
  12. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
  13. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I'm probably gonna go for a fender P5. I'm not a huge fender fan either, but man do they sound good in the studio.
  14. Brim


    Nov 20, 2005
    Sarasota, FL
    Lakland 55-02 - they record great and are not that expensive. Versatile tone to boot.
  15. sasquatchofohio


    Apr 12, 2008
    i have heard good things about traben 5'ers when it comes to studio work, and with that 35 inch scale means your strings wont flop around, especially that low b
  16. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Sadowsky metro with a VTC
  17. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Heartfield DR5. Been my workhorse in and out of studios since 1991.
  18. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    Thank you so much for your concern Mikeyswood...she's already given me the "f*** no!" when I was talking about it earlier...
  19. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    +1 The 55-02 is a good recommendation. Its active, but its got a smoother tone than a lot of the sizzly, trebley active basses out there. Plus, its got an active/passive function, so if you really want nice passive tone from your 5er, you can get it from that bass as well. Its not my personal favorite, but it sounds like the best choice for what you're after.
  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I just picked up a Sterling 5 HH, great bass. I love the neck on it, coming from typically using a jazz bass. My previous fiver was a warwick streamer lx 5 which was nice, but I didn't like the tone I was getting in the studio - essentially, too much of the warwick tone was coming through, and that wasn't the tone I wanted. I guess that's what you get with a warwick, but I had hoped for something else. The sterling is great, and I typically run it on with the eq flat and with the outside single coils selected to get a jazz bass type sound.

    I'm really not a fan of eq on a bass, I typically prefer just a passive tone control and I do all my eqing on the amp/preamp or whatever I'm using.

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