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Cheap 5 String-- OLP?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Nov 13, 2003.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I want to take a safe dive into the 5-string pool; in other words, I want to keep it cheap--REAL CHEAP! From the looks of things I say the OLP Music Man 5 string copy from China may offer the best bang for the buck at $250 or so. I've tried a 4 string model once and it wasn't bad at all for under $200 bucks. So could the 5 be any worse?

    I know there's a ton of stuff out there on the cheap but price wise I can't seem to find anything better than the OLP that's not complete crap. But I could be wrong. Is there anything out there as inexpensive as those OLP 5's worth checking out? And please, don't suggest anything more expensive because I know there's a lot of good stuff in the more $500 range.

    Thanks!

    r
     
  2. The problem with most 5 strings id finding one with a tight B. This means it should be at least 34' scale.

    Back in 1989 when I first started playing 5 strings, I purchased a Squire 5, used. I paid $400.00 but the B string is okay and just that, OK.

    I do use the taperwound strings on it so the B is somewhat tighter.

    I know you will have the same problem with the OLP, but it's a good bass to start on.

    Then if you decide you like 5 strings, I suggest you move up into the Sadowsky's!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  3. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks Treena,

    I had anticipated some B-string flop given this price range. I figured experimenting with strings would be the best I could do to elevate that problem (most likely taperwound like you said). I know the OLP isn't even string thru body so I'm expecting it to be a bit muddy.

    As for scale size I do recall Dean has some cheapie 35" basses but it will certainly cost more than the OLP. I know I could plunk down a few hundred more and perhaps get a 35" Schecter or Ibanez BTB but as I haven't gigged in over a year a really don't want to do that. I figure at a couple of hundred bucks if I don't care for a 5-string, no big loss. It'd be different if I were gigging, then I'd make a proper investment. Anywho, if I do take to the 5 string I’ll upgrade of course but I'll likely stick with my G&Ls or maybe a Music Man Stingray 5. Sorry, even if I were gigging, them thar Sadowskys are a bit out of my league (i.e. budget!).

    r
     
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm not a big fan of the OLP's, but for $200 new, you probably aren't going to find a better 5 string. OLP's are good at what they are. The negative comments (including those from me) are to people who say they are close to the real thing. They're not, but for the price they are pretty darned good.
     
  5. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Say, was that Squire 5 one of those passive, soapbar equipped basses (well, I believe beneath the covers it was actually double P pickups)? I remember they were only in see-thru red with a heavy ash body and one big-ass neck! If we're talking about the same bass, what did you think about it barring the B-string issue? I bet I could luck up on one used on eBay on the cheap. I tried one years ago and it wasn't bad, I think. In fact, at the time I thought that would be a safe intro into the 5-string world but I just forgot about it. Do you recall the pros and cons of that ax and how do you think it would measure up to the OLP 5?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I've tried a couple OLP 5 string basses at my local guitar center, and frankly they impressed the hell out of me.

    I have a Dean Edge 5 and I love it, it's wonderful, but it was $400, quite a bit more than $200.

    If I were looking for a 5 string and I had $200 to spend I'd look long and hard at the BRICE basses available at Rondo Music.

    This baby right here:

    [​IMG]

    Is $200 before shipping. Probably $240 after shipping, I'm guessing. That's a damn compelling instrument, and made in KOREA, which in general means significantly higher quality than a made in CHINA instrument.

    But if you find an OLP that feels and sounds great, that's tough to argue with. I've read people here say that they're total crap, and I've read people say that they are extremely inconsistent, some being total crap and some being really nice. As I wrote before the ones I played were fantastic for the price.
     
  7. kazuhank

    kazuhank

    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    dgce,

    the trans red squire that you are thinking of debuted in the late 90s. If I remember correctly it was in the "Pro-Tone" series. I was managing a Fender shop at the time, and they were extremely wide necked with HEAVY ash bodies. Nonetheless we sold a few of them due to their pricepoint. Not a bad 5 really... then again not a great one either.

    I'm curious what model Trina picked up in '89...
     
  8. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    My god man, why haven't I heard of these basses before? I'm looking at their website now. This puppy is Koren made (beats China) and has a 2 piece alder body. I pulled up the bass reviews at Harmonycentral.com and they look very very good. However, I haven't had a chance to read them yet(I'm act work, actually--shhhhhhh). Impressive. I'll do some reading up on this bass later. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Any others?

    r
     
  9. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    DO a search at TB for Brice as well. I posted a fairly comprehensive review of the Douglas 5 (swamp ash version) a couple of weeks ago. EXTREMELY impressive for the price. (the 1st reveiw on HC is mine as well). My choice was the OLP5 or the Brice. I spent a little more for the Brice Swamp Ash and I'm soooo happy I did. These basses (Brice Douglas 5) are a REALLY good deal.
    -Bazz-
     
  10. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah, my eyes balloned at the ash model they have at the Brice website. At only $100 more than the alder body one, and that they include the pickup and bridge (ashtray) covers (ala-Marcus Miller) AND the fact its a two piece body, I'd say its a steal if they build them right. Tell me Bazz, is this Brice ash model heavy?

    r

    PS BTW thanks kazuhank, I remember the Squire 5 was from their Pro Tone series. They pop up on eBay from time to time. I've had a look at the current Squire 5s (looks like a fat black P-bass with two J pickups) and I can't say I was impressed at all. It makes me think that the older ash body ones may have been too expensive to produce, no?
     
  11. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    it's heavy as hell. I'd say at between 9 and 10lbs (maybe more...haven't actually weighed it), but therein lies the tone. I like heavy basses, personally and I'm not a small guy so it's not really an issue for me yet. I just have to feel that weight around my neck telling me I'm playing a "real" bass. I'm sure my chiropractor will tell me different in a few years. :D
    -Bazz-
     
  12. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Gezz, I can't find your review. If you have a chance, can you post a link to your Brice review on this thread, Bazz?

    Thanks!

    r
     
  13. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
  14. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Just read your review. Thanks Bazz. Gezz, all my basses tend to be black but that natural ash sure looks nice. BTW, I do slap on bass (in moderation of course). Bazz, I know your strickly a finger style player but off hand, how well can one navigate playing with the thumb with that tight string spacing? Also, is the truss rod adjustment on your Brice at the body end? How much of a pain is it to tweek it?

    Thanks again!

    r
     
  15. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    spacing seems a little tight for slapping or thumbing but no tighter than an SR5 and plenty of people slap, pop and thumb those. Just a matter of getting used to it. Truss rod access is the pain in the @ss kind...at the heel. I can't vouch for the alder bodied ones but this ash one has got a killer tone...especially now that I've wired the pickups in series. Before when they were in parallel it had a great high end emphasis jazz tone/growl. Now it growls lower and a little meaner. :D
    -B-
     
  16. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Great! Looking a lot like these Brices smoke OLP. I've printed out some reviews and I'll check them out tonight.

    r
     
  17. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    not to dis the OLPs but the Brices start out with better wood (can't forget the IMO). I'll take Alder or Ash over Basswood or Elm anyday.
    -Bazz-
     
  18. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Exactly!

    r
     
  19. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan
    Here's a feast for those bargain-hunting eyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA


    Kurt(Rondo Music) currently has the same bass in Lake Placid Blue for $169 on eBay. I can hardly believe it!