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Favorite 34" scale 5-strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by maestrox, Nov 12, 2000.


  1. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    I'm trying to find a fretted 5-string companion I like as much as my Zon Lightwave 5 fretless. I've gone through a few, but nothing so far has really "spoken" to me. I'm trying to avoid 35" scale, as it seems to throw me off when I go back to my fretless. I'm playing mostly jazz (straight ahead, bop, fusion), with the occasional r&b, funk, or pop/rock gig. I'm not much of a slapper, but I'd like a fretted that sounds good when thumbed. I also prefer a bass that sits well in the mix and records well. I've found that basses I like when played alone just don't cut it with other instruments.

    I've got a Zon fretted with Bart humbuckers and Demeter onboard preamp. Not a bad sound, but lousy for slap. I've also got a Lakland and Ken Lawrence I've been fiddling with, but I find that oddly enough the Lakland doesn't really cut as well as I'd like with other instruments (running flat), and the KL is a bit clacky in my hands. Both sound killer slap though. Also, both are 35" scales...and that seems to be an issue.
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Fender Roscoe Beck V might work, unless you want to spend more money.
     
  3. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    Well spending more money is always the goal....oh wait...is my wife reading this?

    "why yes dear, I have enough basses. I wouldn't even think of buying another one..."

    OK...she's gone now. Phew!
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    34" scale? Well, that leaves Lakland out.

    My favorite 34" 5 string under $2000 street is the Pedulla Rapture J2.

    I own one of these, Bart pickups & preamp, birdseye maple board, excellent fit & finish, tight B string, very even string to string response, soft maple body(the 2000's are AAA flame, mine is not), lightweight, get any classic J tone plus no hum or buzz, and dial in modern tones with the active bass & treble.

    I haven't played another 5 under $2000 that I liked as much, although the Roscoe Beck and Stingray were contenders.

    Over $2000? Favorites that I have actually played are the Pedulla Thunderbolt 5, or REALLY pricey, the Thunderbass 5. Many options for Bart pickups and preamps, Ps, Js, MMs, soapbars, whatever.

    Or, you could find a Sonus or Legacy 5 with 34" scale.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Just curious (and a moot question, since you said 35" was an issue) if one of your basses doesn't cut through running flat...why run it flat?

    Also, on topic, I have a couple of 97 Fender MIA Jazz Deluxe 5's. Mine sound great for slap and fingerstyle, playing the same kind of music you mentioned. The neck does not feel as "fast" as my Zon or Lakland but they have a truly distinctive sound and cut through well.

    I've played practically everything out here and my Jazzes definitely hold their own at a gig, (surprisingly so for most people:)) I could easily use them as my main basses if I had to. Since I don't, I rotate between the Fenders and my other basses. Everything I own is extremely gig-worthy.

    I have two because the second one was too inexpensive to pass up.
     
  6. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    well...just one of my biases. Actually I do eq the Zon fretted a bit. It just seems like the bass should do it for me without knob twiddling. Probably some control issues on my part...I'd better seek therapy.

    That does beg the question...will I get used to going between 34 and 35? I noticed after playing a few tunes on 35 last night, when I went back to the fretless it took me awhile not to play sharp. Since I have limited practice/gig time, I hate to waste any energy on this sort of thing. But if it is something that I will just get accustomed to, then I'll grin and bear it. Well...at least bear it :)

    Of course what I should do is keep all of them. But there is that wife issue. I don't like to bleed so much...
     
  7. mark

    mark

    Apr 7, 2000
    Canada
    The stingray 5 is a great 34" scale 5 string.
     
  8. :D
     
  9. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    What is the neck shape like? I used to have a Sterling and it was rather nice...but 4 v. 5 is not really a fair comparison. I have to say that I've grown accomstomed to the profile of my Zon (rather thin and flat). I find Laklands to feel good, as well as my KL...although those both have .75 spacing at the bridge, and a bit tighter would be a closer fit with my Zon (I think the Stingray is 11/16")
     
  10. mark

    mark

    Apr 7, 2000
    Canada
    I'm not the best person to be answering this but I'm sure the neck of the ray will be a bit fatter than your zon....feel kinda depends on how big you are i guess. I'm a monster so it wouldn't really bother me.
     
  11. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    Well, if you're playing a Zon, this suggestion may be a little bit on the low-budget end for you. But I've been pretty happy with my Carvin LB75.

    Despite the fact that it's a 34, I don't find that the low-B has a lot of wobble. Read somewhere that it may have more to do with the stiffness of the neck than the string length.

    Happy hunting.
     
  12. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    And here I thought that size didn't matter...

    Oh but wait...that's why I bought those tiny EA cabinets.
     
  13. I love my fretless Stingray 5!
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I regularly switch between a Legacy fretless 5 and a 55-94 with no problems at at all. A lot of it depends on how much time you spend above the 12th fret on the fretless. I don't doubt muscle memory could be a problem...I just play.

     
  15. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    Maybe that's it...playing instead of thinking. Problem is I go back and forth. One day I don't notice any difference, other days I do. I'm having the same problem trying to decide which bass to keep and which to sell. Some days I really like the sound of my Ken Lawrence. Other days it sounds clacky to me. Most of the time I like the sound of my 55-94. Sometimes it sounds a bit gutless to me.

    I stand by my original statement that I need therapy.

    Obviously I need to keep the Lakalnd to cover the
    "fender/mm" vibe, the KL to do the "modern" vibe, and the Zon fretted to keep a 34" scale fretted bass around. And when that happens, you guys can line up to bid for the instruments my wife will be selling following my mysterious death...
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I call them "bad ear days". Sometimes nothing sounds right.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    BTW slapping on my Zon sounds much better with the pan pot in the middle.
     
  18. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    Well after listening to Hejira today, I'm thinking two things:

    a) I don't want/need a fretted bass

    or

    b) I'm giving up the instrument

    Either one would solve my dilemma. Of course I guess I could just practice for the next year or ten...
     
  19. Yep, listening to Hejira will do that to ya!
     
  20. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    The 'Ray 5 is my favorite, too.