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Changing basses: 5 string back to 4 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jeronimoski, Aug 13, 2012.


  1. jeronimoski

    jeronimoski

    Sep 27, 2011
    Hello all,

    I have a Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5 string bass. It's a 2008. I wanted to get a 5 string so I could play certain kinds of music, but I'm feeling my age and my ambition are not what they were before.

    My current bass has some neck dive, it's heavy, and I don't really feel such a huge need for a 5 string guitar. On Saturday, I met up with some old friends to jam. I didn't bring my bass, so I just used some old P bass that was at the practice place. It didn't sound that great, but it was super light, easy to play, and just felt great. Of course it was a cheap piece, but oh well. I did my best.

    To the point: I want to buy a used/new 4 string bass. I am going to spend around $1000 for it. I am in Japan now, so I don't think I will be able to find any obscure makes/models. I want something that is very light (easy on the back), doesn't have nose dive, and sounds good enough to match the sound I get from my current bass.

    Any suggestions? I'm definitely not a pro by any strech. I just jam with buddies here and there...and play shows once in a while. Thanks a lot! Always appreciate the advice I get/read about on here.
     
  2. jeronimoski

    jeronimoski

    Sep 27, 2011
    OK. I need to find a good guitar around that price that doesn't have the famous Fender nose dive and isn't heavy.
     
  3. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Lots of choices: Yamaha, Ibanez, Peavey, Fender (really), Hernandez, Sterling, Cort...

    And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Just head to a local store and play as many as you can. I know that sounds cliche but it will tell you more about what works for you than anything I can tell you...

    Best Wishes...
     
  4. jeronimoski

    jeronimoski

    Sep 27, 2011
    I have a Fender now and it has neck dive and is quite heavy.
     
  5. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    I have a fender which is a little heavy but no neckdive. A CIC MP telebass. Deeeeep tones. Some nice grunt out of the bridge humbucker. Sweet, balanced neck (9.5" radius, 1.625" nut, well rolled edges).


    If you want something really light - look into a hofner Club or violin bass. Massive tone and very comfortable I hear (haven't had the pleasure myself yet).

    There are also fairly cheap Squires that get mountains of love and you'll probably find them in japan - the CV and VM P's and J's are supposed to be great. Not super light though. The Jag may have neckdive (Try it out but be wary).

    There are bound to be some cool Ibanez and other brands available in Japan. Try a couple out if you can :)
     
  6. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Check out the Yamaha BB series basses. Should be pretty easy to find them in Japan!
     
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I have multiple Fenders 4 strings and none of them have neck dive and they are all around 8 lbs, making them the lightest basses I own. Maybe it's Fender 5er thing?
     
  8. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    5's generally have heavier necks. Put it on a body balanced for a 4? Neckdive is a real possibility, depending on the wood and the centre of mass. At least it isn't a T-bird style 5 with a Massive neck. Neckdive central.
     
  9. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
  10. Eckie

    Eckie

    Jan 14, 2004
    Edinburgh, UK
    My American Standard Jazz V feels fairly light at about 8.5lbs - definitely a lot lighter than my 4 string P-Bass. No neck dive at all.
     
  11. I started playing Kala Uke bases (Sub and U-Bass) for most playing like you do and kept my fives for recording.
     
  12. Dakotah

    Dakotah

    Dec 21, 2011
    Port Richey,FL
    My Fender MIM J bass is at 10lbs 3oz while my Hofner BB is only 5lbs4oz.Whole lotta difference in sound and of course looks but the Hofner is sure easy on the back and is alot of fun to play.
     
  13. Klonk

    Klonk

    Apr 28, 2011
    Norway
    A MIJ Fender would be cool I think. Especially the sunburst Ps with tortoise + rosewood. Or if weight is that big a factor, try an Fender Jazz Bass Aerodyne.
     
  14. spindoc

    spindoc

    Sep 4, 2011
    +1. And are the CIJ Fender Aerodyne P basses available in Japan? If so, try one.
     
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned SUSPENDED

    Try a bunch of Fenders, especially the CIJ ones since they come in awesome colors, then pick one that plays great, sounds great and is lightweight. Then put on a set of Hipshot Ultralight tuners. Bam, neck dive solved, and you'll have a bass that feels familiar.
     
  16. jeronimoski

    jeronimoski

    Sep 27, 2011
    I looked into those Hipshot Ultralight tuners...holy expensive. My current bass flops down at the neck when I'm sitting down, and it just seems so neck heavy when I'm standing up. I know this is a little subjective, but how much of a step down in sound quality will the Yammy BBs be to my ADeluxe Fender?

    And BassGod, which Fenders do you have? I would realy like to know so I can signal those out at stores to check out.
     
  17. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    The store I teach at usually has a BB or two in stock, and I've got to admit that the recent stock have been pretty nice basses. I think the J pickup on its own is a little bit weak, and I would prefer a p'up blend knob option, or at least separate volume controls; I don't find the 3 way switch on its own capable of getting all the tones out of those p'ups. But in terms of feel/playability and build quality, I would say they can get fairly close when set up properly
     
  18. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I don't think it's a step down, it's a step sideways. It's different, that's all. I have the 424x, which is the lowest model. The 1024(x) and 2024(x) are more expensive. I love the sound of mine, and find it to be fairly aggressive when using both pickups and has a good p bass sound with the p pickup.

    To give you some perspective, I've owned several more expensive basses and currently own a stingray 5er, and I still prefer the sound of the BB to all of them. So it's not a 2nd rate sound at all.

    It responds well to changes in hand position. I thought the pickup selector would limit the sounds possibilities, but honestly I find that when using a blend knob, the in between sounds don't really sound that different. As soon as you blend a little away from the middle position, it sounds mostly like the pickup that you're favoring. IMO.
     
  19. Those ultralights may be expensive, but Physical Therapy for hand/shoulder problems from fighting a neck with too much weight on it is more expensive...I just happened to switch the tuners on my MIM 70's Fender J 4 String from vintage tuners and a Hipshot D-tuner to all ultralights...night and day difference! Bass balances perfectly on the strap and it feels like it's 1/2 lb lighter even.

    Now about those Yamaha BB's...we talking the newer models or the older 80's BB? I've played one or two of the newer ones in a store a few years ago (can't remember the models) and they were ok, but if you can snag an 80's BB (example BB1600, BB2000, BB3000) I highly recommend it, I currently have a BB1600 and it kills. ACTUALLY I think I read somewhere that Yamaha still makes those older model BB's only in Japan so you're in the right place.

    If not, your best bet is to shop around locally for a lighter MIJ Fender J and drop some ultralights on it if the neck dives...do you mind if the bass is passive or active? I personally like the Geddy Lee sig. bass (Owned one in college) and the Classic 70's J-Bass series (Own one now) but again that's made in Mexico I believe, both are passive.
     
  20. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    The two lightest basses I have are my Fender MIJ P bass which weighs 8 pounds and my Ibanez SR505 which weighs 7.5 pounds. There's NO neck dive on either of these basses.

    I have arthritis in my lower back and anything over 8 pounds really bothers me these days. I also have an AM STD 5 string Jazz that weighs about 9.5 pounds and some days it's a bit much on my back.
     

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