Fender Roscoe Beck 5 Strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by glivanos, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Is it my imagination, or have Fender Roscoe Beck 5 strings become a hot instrument right now?

    I've noticed more people looking for them versus selling them.

    I had two, one I sold and one a traded in on a 6 string. I liked them, but I thought the pick-up output was weak. Pretty versatile sound-wise for a passive bass though.

    I'm more of a 4 or 6 string electric bass guy right now, unless I'm playing my upright :smug:
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The bass so nice I bought it twice! :) (That's true: I traded a bass I was no longer playing for a second one.)

    As for the RB5 being a hot-selling bass: I think that's fair to say. Signature model Fender basses don't seem to last long in production. That's typically because users hesitate to pay extra for a slightly different P or J. But the RB5 is still being made 10 years later. A lot of that has to do with the fact that it's a new model: not a P, not a J. Aside from the look, it has some unique features, ranging from the pickups and switching to the comfy asymmetrical neck profile.

    The RB5 is the first fiver I got. Other brands have come and gone, but the RB5 (and its twin) remain. I still like 'em as much as any fiver I own or have played. Amazingly versatile.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    its definitely an attractive bass, ive seen a few on the bay that were nice :)
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I agree, pickup output in single-coil and parallel modes is weak. Series mode (the one I use, because I dig wooly tone) is about the same as a standard passive Fender.

    Another great thing about the RB5 - it sounds like a Fender! I love the sound of my Sadowsky, but it's distinctly more modern sounding, especially in active mode. There's the Sadowsky sound, and the Fender sound. So, I'm keepin' both.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yep - it's the best Fender of the last few years..

    I had a chance to try loads of Fenders in a shop and the RB5 was head and shoulders above the rest - the best-sounding and felt such good quality, plus it was so easy to slap that you felt you had to....:)

    The only thing is that I think the Lakland Skylines have undercut them - so a 55-02 Deluxe is slighltly more versatile and sounds just as good, but is actually cheaper!
  6. I second that on the RB5, I have had a Zon, Spector, Alembic, Lakland, G&L 2500, RBass all at the same time and I sold or traded everyone of them except for the RB5's. I currently have two RB5's, a sunburst and a shoreline gold. One time I had three RB5's and traded all three of them at a GC for a new Pedulla Thunderbass 5. Six months later I found them again and bought them back, with the exception of the teal green bass. The pedulla thunderbass is gone also, very nice bass, but not me. It seemed to be a high quality expensive one tone bass.

    Although I liked the many tones the RB5 produced, I was not happy many times with the pick up output either, until I remedied it by investing into some pretty high powered Ampeg products. I bought two of the Ampeg SVT 4 Pro's, an Ampeg B4R and a SVT 2 Pro and a Ampeg B248 combo. I'm still looking for a good 1200 watt 6x10 cabinet, but I am using the Ampeg Pro 410 or two Warwick cabinets, the 411 Pro and 1 15 cabinet at the moment. Those combinations of amps and speakers really make the RB5 come to life. For me, Ampeg and Fender goes together like peanut butter and jelly, or Lakland and SWR.

    Hopefully, I am gonna have all four of them one day. Also I noticed that the necks on them appear to feel different between them.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Oh - there is a simple solution to low output - Sadowsky Outboard preamp - this was what they were made for - amplifying passive Fender basses! :)
  8. I have the Sadowsky DI and the Sansamp RBI but I don't like using juice boxes in my mix. I really like bass to amp. Also, I found out that I could not really tell a difference in the sound after I used the amps that I have a/bing it with the preamps.

    I keep them for direct input into the pa when I don't feel like hauling my amp in for rehearsal, or I'm doing an exit stage left when we finish a program.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Differnet things - on old "classic" Sadowsky outboard is really made for an RB5 ...:)
  10. I believe you. I just don't want stuff between the bass and amp that you have to connect.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I hear you. But any amp or preamp that has good gain boost will get you the level you need with your RB5. My gear of choice is in my profile... it all works great with my RB5, no pedals required.
  12. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    My RBV sounds a bit weak in output, compared to other basses I have played. Weak output doesn't mean weak sound with this bass. Also a good set of flats (DA Chromes) really punch thru the mix, the RBV is also a great "one trick pony" I mean "versatile pony". Being that I have been building my own instruments since the late 70's, I have never felt the need to own a "production" bass.............then came the RBV:hyper:

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think the pick ups are pretty cool.
  14. I just want to clear up any thought that I am not trying to argue a point. I love the pick ups also. My goal is to have one of each color one day and I hope that Fender don't make any changes before I do so. I like using the D'Addarrio EXL 170-5 with them or the original Fender brand that came with them. There are over 11 different settings on this bass that makes me to believe that I can get different sounds from it, also causing me to believe that it is not a "one trick" pony. I don't care for using any pedals, preamps, exciters, or anything else in the chain regardless of how popular between my bass to amp. I am fine with the volume when I use my amps but I noticed it was a little low in volume for me when I plugged into someone elses amp while on stage and I didn't use any type of preamp or booster. I am very satisfied with my RB5's and I bought them because I started out playing a Fender jazz bass in 1970 and then I switched to a Fender precision around 1975. This Fender RB5 bass looks like a cross between the two of them to me, and I like them, and I love the sound of them with some of the ampeg amps, although I know that other ideas, amps and things are great as well.

    So TBers, I am your friend.
  15. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I guess what I meant by "one trick pony" ( I should get my definitions straight) is that this bass covers all of my gigs! Gospel, r&b, country, funk, jazz...............lots of great tones for ALL occasions!

    Greg I also started out on P's and Jazz's in the 70's ( I was pretty stupid for selling them!) The RBV is my fix for the basses that I have let slip thru my hands, I also want to try the Fender 8250"s? and the DA EXL's.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That would be a "versatile" pony!! ;)