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Fender Roscoe Beck Signature 5 String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pools, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. pools


    Feb 28, 2004
    I would like to have some advise from users and knowers of roscoe beck signature basses'.
    what about the neck...is it playable(fast jaco's things style)?
    and in the thousend configuration it has, can i still find the fender jazz sound or not ?
    i like this bass and it's possibility of sound but i still have the doubt above can you help me....???
    thank you for your replay.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The neck is huge by any standards (polyester finished to boot) and it's probably the main reason why people don't like it.

    Its "basic" tone is Fender jazz. It can do other sounds but it is, for all intents and purposes, a better Jazz 5 than the Jazz 5. Note: output of the RB pickups is slightly lower than other Fender Jazz models to mimic the vintage sound.
  3. On the contrary, the neck on mine was very comfy - wide, but slim front-to-back. The gloss finish never bothered me. I found it very comparable in feel to the G&L L2500, the Stingray 5 and Lakland 55 series have narrower string spacing.

    I got a great jazz sound out of mine, but the G&L offers much more varied tone.

    Great bass and certainly the best Fender 5 still!

    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  4. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yes, the neck is wide, but I found it comfortable to play. I bought mine when they first came out, and without reading anything about them. I played it in a store and fell in love with the feel of it. The great tone was a bonus.
  5. learning_towalk

    learning_towalk Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    it's the single best peice of fender equipment that I've ever put my hands on!!! Yes it has a big neck, but it's actually very comfy (then again I have really big hands)...I used one in the studio back in October and it had dead strings on it, but it still sounded GREAT!!! I would love to hear one with some fresh strings on it...normally I can't stand anything that says fender on it...this is deffinately the exception!
  6. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    The neck isn't too big for a 5er, I don't have fatigue playing it or fretting chords n stuff with it although it is one inch shorter than my KSD and I did only play it live once and rehearse with it a few times (just got mine about a month or so ago), I got REALLY lucky, mine has a beautiful 3tone burst on the wood and the wood is very nicely figured. The pickups with everything on sounds a lot fuller than a regular jazz bass, and I love the options of choosing exactly which pickups I want on.
    *edit* The two pickups closes to the bridge on the doubles are positioned the same as a standard jazz I believe.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    nothing a little 1000 grit sandpaper wont fix. :cool:

    but i love the sound of the El Cpt. Scarlet's RB5. it is another take on the Fender jazz sound, but tonally, its as if someone added another 25 lbs. to the tone. has a weighty, bolder attack that i really dig.


    didnt know you had a sunburst one, or a KSD! righteous.
  8. I have three of them. I have mentioned in a previous post that it's the correct bass for me. I sold a R Bass, MTD's, a G&L L2500, a Zon Sonus 5, a Spector, very nice U.S.A. Fender Precisions & Jazz basses, a Lakland, and other great basses and kept my Roscoe Beck 5. I now have the shoreline gold, a teal and the sunburst. I went through about sixty basses before I found this bass was a good match for my style and so forth. No other basses compares to them for me. My only wish for these basses would be that it would have been nice had it came with an active-passive option but using an Ampeg SVT Pro 4 or a Ampeg B4R supplies plenty of juice. The necks are perfect for me but very slightly different as far as roundness goes and the tones are plentiful. I am planning to get the red bass which is the last of the four colors option as soon as I can find/afford it.

    I say :hyper: to them.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I own two RB5's, and play them as often as any of my fancier basses (which include MTD USA and Lull). 'Nuff said? :)
  10. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    How would this bass compare to the Fender American Standard Dimension V?
  11. Selo, I've never played both back to back, but the RB Fives are easily the best fives Fender ever made or will ever make, and why in the hell they discontinued them I'll never know.

    The impression I had of a Dimension was an attempt by Fender to approach an EBMM or G+L wide-aperture/big humbucker type axe and sound, and the market has spoken: They'd rather have a StingRay Five or an L2500. Unfortunate from the standpoint that this is two 'not-the-usual-Fender' basses that failed to find a spot in the market place, but to me in both cases they hit the 'Abandon Ship' klaxon too early.
    selowitch likes this.
  12. The pickups on the RB5 were placed per Roscoe to sound as much like his 62 jazz as possible in single coil mode.

    Yes, the neck is a bit big, but it's asymmetrical. I can get around on it pretty well, but I'm not, nor am I trying to be, Jaco.

    Is it the right bass for you? You'd really have to spend time with one to find out.

    It is the right bass for me, it put the 5 string in 5StringBlues.

  13. If I remember correctly , it was because Gotoh stopped making the bridge, which seems silly that they wouldn't just change to a different bridge. :(:poop:
  14. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I'd also be curious how well the RB5 compares to the Fender American Deluxe 5 with the humbucker in the bridge position, since the latter is a little bit easier to find and is usually priced lower.
  15. Five, I once bought a Yamaha BB5000A/III that had that Gotoh locking bridge, in gold plate. The bass was used, so in the course of cleaning it up, I field-stripped the bridge to clean all the bits. Mistake.

    Those things had adjustments in/out for sync'ing the string lengths, left to right spacing adjustments, height adjustments, and each saddle could be locked down once the adjustments were finished. LOTS of moving parts. Took me five hours to get it back in playing shape. It was a wonderful piece of high-tech casting and design, but sheesh was it a handful to rebuild.

    IF that's really the reason they discontinued it, I find that a little silly, I can think of several more diabolical bridges that would have sufficed.
    5StringBlues likes this.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The Roscoe Beck neck is big but comfortable. I found the body to be huge and a little ungainly.
  17. Jimtoonz

    Jimtoonz Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    I own two of them. As said above, the neck is wide, and is asymmetrical. It doesn't feel as big as it looks, and I find that I can move around on it with a level of ease equal to that of my G&Ls which are narrower at the nut.

    As for sound, if you are wanting to cop a classic Fender J tone, that is not a problem. The bonus is that you can sound like many other instruments with a Roscoe Beck. You can do a reasonable(but not 100%) emulation of a P bass, and a MM, some G&Ls, etc. Almost every combination of settings you try with this bass will produce something useful.

    The B string on both of mine is remarkably solid, and very usable. I've owned several Fenders over the years, including a number of the higher end models, and I think the RB V is the best five string model that Fender ever made.
  18. Jimtoonz

    Jimtoonz Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Having owned the American Deluxe P five with the configuration you mentioned, I can tell you that the bridge pickup in the ADPB V has a different tonal quality from that in the Roscoe Beck, due to the preamp circuit. The ADPB V, with its active electronics and three band EQ is a nice bass, but it doesn't cover as many different sounds as the RB V. I have never found any documentation that would tell us if the spec on the bridge pickup in the ADPB V is the same as the Bill Lawrence design in the RB V. They certainly look the same, but I can't tell you what is under the pickup cover, only that it sounds different in the two applications.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
    selowitch likes this.
  19. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own a CAR RBV. It is the bass that I have owned the longest. Others have come and gone...some by great builders like Pedulla, Ken Smith, Spector, Lakland, Lull, G&L, Music Man, Zon and many production and a few custom shop Fenders. The RBV outlasted them all.

    As others have said, it is simply the very best 5 string bass Fender has built to date. Amazing tone. Amazing electronics. My small hands love the neck and find it easy and fast to play. Too bad this bass was not selling in larger numbers. I'm confident that Fender and Roscoe Beck could have found a replacement bridge after the original was discontinued if the demand had been there. By the way, the RBIV is also a killer bass. I've had two of them but did sell them simply because I play 5's and 6's most of the time and am so used to having that B string.

    One other thing. The Roscoe Beck 5 string is also a great looking Fender bass. That is just a personal opinion, of course, but I love the look of my bass. It always sounds great and perhaps that makes it even more attractive to me.
    Jimtoonz likes this.

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