Buying a new 6 String(what should I look for?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AMJBASS, Jan 13, 2002.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I am interested in buying a new six-string for playing Jazz and Fusion....mostily so that I can play bass lines and guide-tones together. I would like to purchase a high end bass now so that I won't need to upgrade later(I've got a bit of cash....for now!!). I don't have mush experience with 6 string instruments yet, what should I look for in such an instrument? Thanks!:p
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Hi Ajbassking, and welcome to TB. I'm not a 6 string player, but there are plenty here, so they can give you better advice than I can. I'll throw a couple things out for you, as I even need to be careful on my fives. When looking at wide bodied necks, the most important thing thing for me is string spacing. The next is nut width and neck radius, as sixers are going to vary a lot. The obvious answer is trying out some sixers, and seeing which fit you and your playing style the best. Good luck.
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    The first thing I'd consider is neck construction, you want a good sturdy, strong neck for that kind of string tension. If you're going with a wood neck (even if it's going to have graphite reinforcement), insist on a dual truss rod, as once side of a neck that wide may decide to move differently than the other. Graphite necks have obvious structural advantages, being a highly strong material, but may have some trade-offs tonally for you as a player (didn't for me :) ).

    Balance and weight could also be an issue, some basses could put a major dent in your shoulder (say a Warwick Thumb Neck-thru, great bass, but man it's heavy!!! :eek: ) and have some balance issues (neck diving) that would impair playability for some people.

    Another thing to consider is string spacing at both the bridge and nut. Some basses will have VERY narrow spacing at the bridge, and for some players, this can be a problem (I personally dislike anything narrower than 3/4" or 19 mm), for others this isn't even an issue. At the nut, if it's very wide (ala Yamaha's TRB 6), it could cause players with smaller hands some trouble.

    Some recommendations I would have are MTD, Modulus, Zon, Warwick, Fodera, Ken Smith, Wal, and Alembic. These companies all make excellent 6 string basses.
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've been very happy with my Ken Smith BSR6 GN. I like neck-through and active p/u's and a good clear top-end for soloing. Smiths work great for fusion. There are many other superb 6's, of course. Modulus, Zon, Roscoe, etc. Go play as many as you can lay your hands on, it's really the only way.
  5. wow, no ones brought up the Ibanez BTB series.
    when i was in the market for a six and posted a thread like this, almost everyone recomended the BTB 406, so i bought one and i love it. good bass
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Fetis, a BTB406 isn't a high end instrument.

    AJ, just about any high end company out there makes great 6 strings. Zon, Roscoe, Modulus, Fodera, Ken Smith, MTD/Tobias, Spector, Yamaha, Alembic, Warwick, Wal (bit hard to find), etc etc. If we have a price range, and if you explain some thing you're looking for, we can help you much better! :cool:
  7. If you don't mind buying used, go to a used shop. The one around here has a couple of 6 strings. You can get great deals too