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Buying a 5 String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Argonot, May 11, 2011.

  1. Argonot


    May 11, 2011
    Hello to everyone. I'm a hobbyist bass player who has been "in the business" the last 4 years.

    I'm thinking about buying a 5 string bass (between $350-$450) but I don't know what to go for!

    Right now I'm playing metal, System of a Down (I'm in a tribute band to SOAD), Sepultura, Slayer, Megadeth, stuff like that. I need something versatile (I will not play that for my entire life), but "strong-enough" for the kind of music I'm doing today.

    What do you recommend?

    PD: I have received bad comments about chinese instrument's quality. I dont know if they're bad 100% of the times of if this is just a prejudice. Right now I can't afford something made in America (you have seen my price range...). I'd be very grateful if you tell me about your experience with Asia-made basses too.
  2. MrJack


    May 1, 2011
    I'd suggest the one I'm preparing to buy: a Schecter Omen Extreme 5.

    Great axe, and epic sound from the stock pups. And I also play in a SOAD tribute band! :D
  3. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    in your price range, you are dead set for China if you insist on buying new. Best you are going to get is Korea, with Indonesia in the middle.

    I agree with MrJack- If I were in the market at that price I'd go with a Schecter Diamond P5.
    Used you have many choices- including Yamaha and Peavey.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I wouldn't panic over an instrument's being made in China, that's the nature of the beast with inexpensive instruments. You get what you pay for, but you should be able to find a serviceable instrument at that price. Do you want an active or passive bass? You might think about a Peavey Grind if you're staying under $450, or you might find a used Yamaha BB415 - they used to cost that new, but I think the new BB425s are more expensive. There's also the Peavey Millenium 5, Squier has a jazz 5, there's the Ibanez 305, or the Schecters. If you want to really keep it inexpensive, go to rondomusic for SXs and Douglases.

    If you're going passive, I'd vote Peavey or Yamaha. Active, Ibanez or Schecter. I'm a passive guy myself, but it seems like most metal guys prefer active. Frankly, I wouldn't rule out any of them for the music you're talking about playing. Go try some out in a music store and buy what feels right.
  5. saldo


    May 8, 2011
    I suggest u a used musicman sub5
  6. Argonot


    May 11, 2011
    What about ESP-LTD? Are they a good option?
  7. YES! I'm not a usually fan of basses with really sharp edges but those things are just nice! I always forget to mention them when suggesting basses but they are schweet. They feel great and sound fantastic for a bass that that price. The weakest point, like with most basses at that price point, are the preamps but altogether they are very good choices. They sound big and punchy, and have good amount of sustain. It'd be pretty hard to go wrong with one honestly.
  8. Metal Bassist

    Metal Bassist

    Nov 6, 2010
    Wales, UK
    How about an Ibenez SR305? I have one and I love it. zIt should be well within your budget.
  9. Before you go off focusing on a specific brand, or get hung up on the myth of the Asian pecking order of bass quality, you need to figure out what you want from a specs point of view.

    With 5 strings (and 6's), there are far more options to consider than with 4 strings. A couple of the major things to consider:

    -Scale: Do you want a 34" (same as most 4 strings) or a 35"? There is an ongoing debate about whether the extra scale makes for a better B string or not.

    -String spacing. With 5 strings, you can get anywhere from 15 or 16mm spacing all the way up to 19mm (which is what many 4 strings are). This is usually a personal preference, but IMHO, it makes a huge difference in whether or not people are comfortable with 5 strings.

    -Pickups/Preamp. Do you want a single pickup like a P-Bass, or 2 pickups like a Jazz? Do you want soapbars, single coils or humbuckers? A combination? Active or passive.

    I ended up with 35" scale w/19mm spacing. I have buddies who don't like the 35". It's a preference.

    With regard to overseas instruments, don't get caught up in that whole misconception of Asia-bad, US-good.

    Bass quality varies greatly by company, not solely geography. Those factories make great basses and crappy basses, depending on who they're making them for. I'll take my Indonesian Lakland over 90% of US mass-produced basses.

    My advice: If you can, get to a guitar store and play as many as you can to figure out what scale and string spacing you like. Then, based on those specs, go find yourself something and rock it!
  10. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario
    In that price range I'd check out a used Warwick Corvette 5 string. I have an older model Streamer STD that I love. Warwicks have this incredible ability to cut through a metal mix. I used mine with a 80's hair metal band and it sat perfectly in the mix.
  11. Yes also, I have a ESP LTD 405 5 string. Sounds as good as my friend's ambelic ? Mine has the active EQ, EMG pick ups, natural finish, easy to play. Strings are kinda close, but it makes for a narrow neck also,,which is good,,,
  12. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    Sounds like you're looking for the best budget bass for metal?
  13. Argonot


    May 11, 2011
    I was thinking about that bass recently. Is it made in South Korea like the Riot series?
  14. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Try the ESP Ltds, Ibanez's and Schecters in your price range. Id favor the first two myself. But shecters are nice to.
  15. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    You can find used Japanese Ibanez SRs in that price range. If I was still into hard rock and such I'd still have my SR885 and to date it's the thinnest neck I've played.

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