Considering a 5 string, but like my current Precision too much to make the jump easy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DJS, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. DJS


    Feb 10, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    I’m a one bass guy right now, and probably always will be. A 2011 American Standard strung with flats has been my main bass since the day it was bought new, and it gets played every day, every rehearsal, and every gig. For the ska band I’m currently in, and the other music I enjoy, it’s sound is perfect, and the wah pedal, compressor, and overdrive pedals work great with it. As a newer player (about 3 years) I still take lessons, and have the strong urge to keep learning. My teacher, without being pushy, has gradually shown the advantages of moving to a 5, and it seems like making this switch sets me up better for long term versatility, growth, etc.

    So what are my options? My thought was to initially get an Ibanez x05 for a few hundred, and even auditioned a few. It wasn’t a very inspiring experience – not sure why. Since the P-bass experience has worked out so well, should the Precision V be the obvious choice? Unlike the 4, there aren’t 50+ years worth of reviews and recordings. Where does it stack up with 5 strings? I know it’s passive, probably heavy, and definitely low-tech, but is there anything to be concerned about?

    Thanks for the help. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

  2. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Yes, I think the P5 would be the obvious choice. The B sounds great to my ears.
  3. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I would find a used, inexpensive fiver and try it for a while. You may 1) Find you just don't like a five string, or 2) You may love it and save up your cash and get a decent fiver.

    I had a five string for a while, then got a six string. After having the six string for a while I decided I didn't need the five string.
  4. jaxom


    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    I've never had the desire to play a 5 string... but that's just me...
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    G&L L2500 would make the transition easy.
  6. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor,
    I highly recommend any Lakland five-string, with the Skyline 55-64 being their cheapest version of the P. I don't think the extra inch of the scale will affect you too much. Lakland fiver necks are the best I've played.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    You like your bass and it works for you. Be happy and stay off TB.

    There may or may not be more versatility with a 5.

    You weren't inspired - maybe that's a sign.

    IF you try a 5, it does seem a 5 string P is an obvious choice, and the newer basses seem to be better.

    Until you can determine that you NEED a 5, I'd stay with the love of your life.
  8. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    DJS - What did you find LACKING in the IBBY 5? Was it the LOW B? Was it the width/thickness of the neck?
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Probably was the fact it wasn't a P-bass! Ibbys are the polar opposite of P-basses!

    The obvious answer to the problem would be some really nice Fender P/J fiver. Too bad Fender isn't smart enough to actually sell one. (even though you can choose about 100 models of 4 string P-basses) Mine is a modded Squier. Perfect way to start to break out of the 4-banger P-bass rut!

    And I second the Lakland thing, though there may be things you don't like (35" scale etc).
  10. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    If you don't want to break the bank, and get a nice solid P/J, take a look at the Schecter Diamond P 5. I have owned 2 of them, and for about $450 NEW or SUB $300 USED, they have a solid B, and cop the P bass thump very well.
  11. I've recently bought a Yamaha BB425. Excellent value for the money. P/J setup, comfy neck, passive with killer tone. Do a Google search on them - plenty of reviews out there. They can be had for cheap (but in no way play cheap), and if you don't like it, you'll definitely get you $ back on them. Here's a link to the one in the classifieds:

    Yamaha BB425

    Don't confuse it with the newer, active BB425X. The BB425 passive is no longer in production, IIRC.
  12. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    I have a Fender Pbass 5'er but it wasn't cheap. I've seen a couple of used ones on GC's used gear website. If you can afford one then go for it but if money is an issue I'd follow the advice of the previous TB'ers comments. I'm new also and the people in this forum has given me great guidence so far.
  13. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I've tried the Fender P5 a few times in stores and they are nice basses. Probably as close to your present experience as you will get. But if you really love your present P Bass then perhaps whatever five string you decide to try you should plan on keeping your present bass. I don't think that very many people need a dozen basses or dozens of basses but two isn't excessive for anyone, especially when they are different from each other in some significant way. I tried a five for a while, gave up on it, and now have come back to one for a different reason and seem to be getting on better with the new one. I think I will always have one bass with more than four strings but I also think I will always play my fours whenever they can do the job and that is almost all the time.

  14. DJS


    Feb 10, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    It's tough to say. I learned to play on a basic 4 string Ibanez with a thin neck. This neither sounded, nor felt right. Granted - it was a used 305 - it wasn't poorly made, just not something that seemed like it would be enjoyable to play.
  15. DJS


    Feb 10, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks! Some days I feel like this!
  16. DJS


    Feb 10, 2010
    Rochester, NY
  17. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    If you log on to Guitar Centers Used Gear page and search this number '108362029', you'll see a black Pbass 5'er for $899. Maple fingerboard, white pickguard.
  18. DJS


    Feb 10, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks! Good find.
  19. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    A Precision 5er is a good bet. I had one for awhile and it was great. The whole thing about converting from 4 to 5 is overblown. It's not hard at all. Sure, you can do it all with a 4, but why is NOT having more options as far as position and range of scale something you would want? If you go out and buy a cheap bass that doesn't sound as good as your P, you aren't going to play it much. Get a 5 string that kicks ass as much as your 4 and simply use the B string as a thumb rest for the first few gigs (it makes a great one). Then start using a low B note for the last note of a song. After a few weeks you will discover that you can play figures in E and F up on the B string and they sound really fat, plus the scale is tighter and it's easier than stretching out down on the E string.