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Fender Roscoe Beck Bass Questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by King David, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    How tight is the low b on the Roscoe Beck Bass?

    Can it emulate a Music Man very well?
  2. The RB 5 sounds NOTHING LIKE A STINGRAY. I own both, and they're just _opposites_. If you want a good bass that can get close to Fender AND Stingray tones, the G&L L2500 is your bass.

    About the B string, it's very good, especially for a 34" scale bass. Because the pickups are magnetically weak, they don't pull down on the B string and make it sound and feel all weird. . .

    But the B on a Stingray 5 is probably better overall.
  3. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    The two basses aren't remotely the same. The RB5 is probably the best passive 5 you can get. The SR5 is a good active bass. Therein lies the difference. There's a reason why so few manufacturers try to make a passive 5.It's because it's a lot easier to make a powerful, balanced B string when you make it active.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't believe whether a bass is active or passive has anything to do with this.

    So - a lot of high-end basses with great B strings have a switch to go between active and passive - the B always sounds just as good in passive mode!

    The RB5 has a great B string - a lot of the active Fender Jazz Vs I've tried, have had floppy Bs!
  5. herrera


    Feb 15, 2002
    i read an articule about RB5 and roscoe said that if you want an active bass you can always change the peamp...

    so what does he mean??

    (the article is in his page)

    so i can put an EMG pream and will make the bass more powerfull

    because i love the output of the active pickups!
    and i like the pickups!
    dont you?
  6. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Maby I'm wrong but I was under the impresion that pick ups desighned to be "active" were wound less hot and that help the frequecy responce then they put a amp on there to make the output hot. It makes sence to that a pickup that is desighned to be used passively has a stronger magnetic pull and I remember when the roscoe was new that was the claim to fame was the weaker magnet didnt affect the b in the upper positions.

    If you want to use a pre amp with the RB5 you may consider a sadowsky or another brands out board pre amp. The passive tone controls on the RB5 get some many raves that it doesnt make sence to take them out just to go "active"

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    There are lots of outboard pre-amps made - like the Sadowsky which is ideal for the RB5 and Fodera make one, Fishman etc.

    So - these have very little effect on an active bass - well I have a Sadowsky and have tried this.

    So what Roscoe Beck means is that if you want the sound of an active bass he thinks that if you have a passive bass like the RB5 then it is very easy to choose the outboad pre-amp that you like best - rather than having one fitted as an integral part of the bass which makes it much more difficult to change it if you would prefer something else.

    So - you could even have several differnet pre-amps and switch between them for different sounds/songs - which would be very hard if the pre-amp was hard-wired into your control cavity!

    So - Roscoe Beck's view is that a passive bass is more versatile.
  8. herrera


    Feb 15, 2002
    and what about an active eq? adding that to the bass

    like the marcus miller bass

    i think that is way more versatil if i have an Onboard preamp because i dont have to deal with carring my otbouardpreamp to the jams!

    dont you think?
  9. No

    Active basses require batteries, which can fail. Also, there is an EQ on your amp, so why have another on the bass?

    Also, cheap active basses sound terrible. A cheap preamp will make the bass sound worse
  10. Hi Bruce, I've got a Jazz Deluxe V, and I know what you mean about the floppy B. I've found by trial and error, and using most every B string available, that the best B's are D'Addario XLs and Slowwounds, La Bella Super Steps, D'Angelico Stainless, and TI Jazz Flats. They have to be strung through the bridge, not the body, and they have to be cut exactly the right length so the windings on the post push the break angle at the nut down to it's maximum, with no overlap of windings. The string has to be pushed down with your thumb where it goes over the saddle, and over the nut, to create a sharp witness point. I've currently got the TI flats on, and the B is pretty damn good. Also, taking a point from the Roscoe Beck bass, I dropped my pup heights to simulate the weak pups on the RB5. I've got a J-retro on board which has plenty of grunt and so compensates for the drop in signal strength.
  11. I had an RB5 and SR5, and both had very good B strings. I had the RB5 strung with TI Flats, through the bridge, and they are find.

    The RB5 bridge is designed for tapewound strings on both the B and E, so the saddle cutout is much smaller than a conventional saddle designed for a fully wrapped string. This did not pose a problem for me, as the saddles were sufficiently adjustable to handle the big 0.136 B-string from the TI Flat set.

    I found the passive pickups on the RB5 to be very even, but very weak output. IMO, the RB5 is still the best 5-string Fender produces.

    I had a J-Retro to install in the RB5, but I sold the RB5 before I got around to installing it. You will have to fabricate a custom pick guard to install an onboard preamp. One suggestion to get around this is using a John East external stomp box preamp.

    The RB5 has the full sized 1.875" width neck, and this bugs some players. The SR5 is 1.750" wide, and also has tighter spacing at the bridge. The RB5 has the full 19mm bridge spacing.

    The RB5 nails the J tone perfectly. It does not do MM, nor does it do Precision. It's a J-bass, and a damn fine one.
  12. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    The Fender RB 5 is a great bass. You will not be disappointed. In my opinion it is the Fender that I have ever played. Although I would like to try a Reggie Hamilton 5.

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