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Brubaker Brute MJX vs Peavey Dyna Bass 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bluebard, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Hey bass dudes,

    I'm in the market for my first 5 string, which I'd like to play with flats or pressurewounds strung E-C.

    I recently came across a factory-second Brubaker Brute MJX for $350 (seems reasonable). What's the scoop on these basses? I've done a little research and people seem to like them; I see them compared to Laklands (which I've never tried, but which I hear are very expensive high quality basses). I find myself somewhat skeptical, however, because they're made in China; for those of you who have owned or tried these basses, does the quality suffer at all because of this?

    How are the pickups, electronics, and neck? Would the pups work well with flats?

    How is the tone? Is it conducive to mellow sounds, or does it have an exclusively bright, modern sound? I'm going for a mellow tone that can cut through the mix, get some edge and growl when I dig in, but that can be brightened up when I need it. I don't plan on doing much slapping.

    The bass I originally wanted was a 5-string Peavey Dyna Bass (I love my USA Foundation!), but I snoozed and there don't seem to be any on the market right now. In your opinion, should I go for the Brubaker or wait for a Dyna Bass? How do they compare?

    Other basses I'm looking at include:
    Westone Pantera 5-string
    Peavey Dyna Bass
    Peavey Axcelerator
    Ibanez Roadstar Rb885
    Ibanez SR-505
    Ibanez Ergodyne EDA-900

    If you have insight or info on any of these basses and/or how they compare to each other, I'd appreciate it!

    Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    I have also looked at the Brubaker 2nds, i am gassing for the single cut in nat ash. Problem is i won't buy a bass sight unseen(unplayed) any more they are a great price though. I have a MIK SR505 and it can get about any tone you wish. I have EB Cobalt rounds on it right now. I have played the newer MII 505's and was unimpressed. The RB885 is a good bass and if the Peavey has the 2Tek bridge i would say grab it!
    Bluebard likes this.
  3. I recently purchased one of the 4-string factory seconds. The bass is Awesome! They are manufactured in China, but all the final things (fret work and such) are finished here in the US. The Brubaker has TONS of thump where it counts and I feel that with all the different tonal options using flats would rock on them! I can dial in a great mellow tone with mine (mainly by popping up the low end a touch and fading it more toward the J pickup rather than the MM)

    I also own an Ibanez EDC-700 and I don't see myself going back to the Ibby personally.

    I can't compare for the other's in question though, although if I still had the Peavey USA Cirrus, I wouldn't have even needed to look for another bass.

    I hope my incoherence helps you a little bit =D
    Bluebard likes this.
  4. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Thanks UNICORN BASS!
    It sounds like I'm looking at a lot of good basses haha xD
    Are you taling about the Peavey Axcelerator or Dyna Bass?
    I just got a lead on a Dyna Bass! But I'd still welcome input and advice from you guys!
  5. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Thanks southgabass! Your response does help - it's not as scattered and incoherent as my question was haha.

    I didn't know that Brubakers were finished in the U.S.

    Damn, now I'm stuck between 80s Dyna Bass and brand new Brute. And they're the exact same price... Maybe I should change the name of the thread to Brute vs Dyna Bass. Has anyone played both of these?

    Decisions, decisions, decisions :roflmao:
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  6. If you're buying on Reverb, ask them to send you pics of the basses! I had them send personal photos of all that I was interested in. And I received it with the paint "flaws" noticable ONLY when I turn the bass almost facing the door. Mine had some surface scratches from the photos and disclosures, but not noticed in person. I feel like I made a great choice. It came in set up great as well! FWIW I purchased the 4-string MJX in black, they happened to have one with an upgraded PG even and I was able to purchase that from them.
    Here's a link to my NBD post
    NBD Brubaker Brute MJX-4
    Bluebard likes this.
  7. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    I was looking on eBay, but I'll check out the options on Reverb too! They didn't just give you the upgraded pickguard because you asked nicely, did they? xD

    One more thing - am I right in assuming that you have to detach the neck to adjust the truss rod, since the truss rod adjustment area is located where the neck joins the body?
  8. Hahahaha. If they hadn't told me they had it, I would have just purchased the same but with a pure white PG.

    No detachment of the neck is necessary. I think they call their system (What Kevin does on his custom work even) a Bolt-thru (could be wrong about that), in that the neck is set deep into the body and bolted on like that. If you check my NBD post I think you can see the access to the truss rod in the one photo. I've done a few adjustments to it and just relaxed the strings (as per usual with any truss adjustment) and went in above the PG with the allen wrench.
    Bluebard likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Bluebard (nice by the way) I was referring to the Accelerator bass, some came with a 2tek bridge that burrowed right through the body. I found one at a pawn shop at a silly price and while they were looking for the case they suddenly doubled the price! Wasn't going to argue about it since i didn't have a Glock strapped to my hip, unlike the owner.
    Bluebard likes this.
  10. That may have been a wise decision on your part @UNICORN BASS . But on the other side of the argument, why would finding the case change the price on it? After working and running retail for a while (not what I do anymore thank goodness) changing a price at the register to make it more expensive is a BIG BIG BIG nono. But if you were still happy with the price and took it home congrats to you =D.
    Bluebard likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    No, didn't take it home. When they explained the increase by saying they "miss tagged it" i decided to walk.....ugh.
    Bluebard likes this.
  12. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Damn, that's quite a story! Where were you shopping that the owner had a Glock strapped to his hip? :oops:


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Suburb of Detroit.....i know, i know.
    Bluebard and southgabass like this.
  14. @UNICORN BASS I was like you too, I didn't like the idea of playing sight unseen (and this seller is in NJ and I'm in south GA so no chance of trying it), but I figured for that kind of mark down on price, I could use it as a beater bass if it didn't pan out. It has panned out though (thankfully).
    UNICORN BASS likes this.
  15. I played on several years back at a guitar center. I really liked it, but wasn't looking for a 5 string at the time.
  16. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    the brutes are amazing.
    southgabass likes this.
  17. I have a Brute JJX-5! I love it. It's my main bass. The neck is ridiculously comfy, Brubaker is a custom builder and uses that neck profile for all his basses if I'm not mistaken. The body is comfy too. Smooth satin finish on the neck for quick movement. Fretwork from factory is really nice and I've got a nice, low action on it - set up at home by yours truly. The pickups and preamp sound nice from factory, although some of the guys in the Brute club here on TB have upgraded electronics and say that the Brutes start to rival high-end basses at that point. A couple people seemed to imply that factory seconds really had nearly-unnoticeable blemishes.

    As far as your tonal goals go, I have some YouTube vids (a pop tune and a rock tune) with my Brute in them if you'd like to hear it in a mix (albeit with dead Ken Smith roundwounds... still sounds aggressive!). I swapped the strings out to LaBella Gold Nylon tapewounds and it's got a smooth and mildly growly tone now. I can record some samples if you'd like - just let me know.

    TL,DR: Brutes are great, I would recommend them highly in their price range and even above.
    Edit: Can't compare to the Peavey, never tried one! Sorry.
    And I and Bluebard like this.
  18. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Thanks BioWeapon! No need to record samples - I actually got my hands on a Brute today, at my local GC! So now I have a good idea of how they feel and play. It's a great bass, though I had a bit of trouble figuring out what I was doing with the different knobs (I'm new to active basses haha).

    And yet I'm still tossed up between this and the Dyna Bass. I love my Peavey Foundation a lot, and an active 5er version sounds really nice. At this point, I've just got to choose one and go with it. Damn my indecisiveness! :roflmao:

    I'll let you guys know how it turns out!
    BioWeapon likes this.
  19. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I recently bought one of these $350 Brutes on eBay. It was this past December. I got the black one.

    It is a really good bass! It balanced PERFECTLY! The rosewood fretboard was dull-looking, but it played fast, it was loud, the stock pickups and pre-amp sounded damn good stock, the B string was nice and tight sounding, and the neck was dead straight right out of the box! The hardware was pretty good too.

    Not only that, but this is one of the most dual-natured basses out there. It truly is two basses in one. Panning just to the MM pickup, you actually hear a MM bass! With both pickups full on and setting the MM pickup to single-coil, you actually hear a jazz bass! It's phenomenal.

    Of course, nothing is perfect. The three big issues I had were as follows:

    1. I could not set the string height on the G string as low as I wanted (for some reason this was the only string that gave me that issue)

    2. I could not correct the intonation on some of the strings. It's a 34" scale bass. However, I couldn't get the the string saddles back far enough, in particular on the B string (very common problem), and a few others which I can't remember at the moment. I think the bridge should have been placed further back or install independent saddles.

    3. The fret work was spotty in the sense that some of the frets were pressed too far into the fretboard relative to some of the others. This then caused the note on that fret to be non-existent.

    For someone who's been playing and owning basses for 25 years, the above issues were more trouble to me than they are worth. But for someone starting out playing bass, this bass makes a damn good starter bass!
    Bluebard likes this.
  20. Daedraziel


    Aug 19, 2013
    Toms River NJ
    I bought one of the factory seconds myself...but I actually live near the place selling them (its in Wall twp,NJ). They were blowing out tons of budget accessories and instruments, so I got to sit down and play the MJX-5 before I bought it. I had my luthier cut a bone nut and set it up/level the frets. Plays very well and sounds decent enough with stock electronics, but after 3 gigs with it I really am not 100% thrilled with the pickups/pre. Im looking into bartolini's and an audere op-3 as an upgrade to get more tonal range and sound.

    only issues with this being a factory second were:
    -slight cloudy spot (finger prints) in the finish...not a dealbreaker tho
    -frets werent PERFECT....but close
    -slightly mis-cut pickguard near the truss...I had a black one custom cut by my luthier since the stock one is SO DAMN THICK (bad for people who rest thumbs on the pickups)
    Bluebard likes this.

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