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First 5 String Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassman700, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. bassman700


    Nov 6, 2011
    I've only owned 4 string basses, and I'm looking to change it up a bit... I'm wondering what a good 5 string bass would be for a first timer? I was looking at the "Sterling by Musicman Ray35" and it seemed within my price range, and I haven't heard anything bad... What do you guys think?
  2. DerTeufel

    DerTeufel Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    I have a SBMM Ray35 and love it. It's a bit on the heavy side, but it's not an issue for me. I highly suggest that you go try different 5er's to find out what suits you best.
  3. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Everything DerTeufel said. You've gotta try them to see what you like, but for me, being a mainly four string player, the stingray 5 was the most comfortable for me. I've owned a couple other 5s including a lakland, and they just never stuck like the EBMM did.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Like DerTeufel said, it's impossible to give generic recommendations. Different people like different necks, different pickups, all that. What's your budget, for one thing?

    Just for an alternative, I utterly love my Yamaha BB415, so you might try the new model (the BB425x) or get a used 415 if you can find one... people don't seem to let them go very often...
  5. Mtnman


    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Check out an Ibanez BTB 5 if you can find one. The string spacing is a bit wider than most 5ers so it makes the transition from 4 a bit easier.
  6. You can take a look at the G&L L2500. Love mine, String spacing is 17,5mm but I stacked spacers between the saddles to make it 18mm wich is perfect for me.
  7. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    After playing nothing but 4s for the past 20+ years, I got a wild hair and decided to try a 5. I found a Carvin LB75 (neck thru, active PUs, killer bass) on my local CL for $350 last Friday. Winning!

    I love it. You should definitly check it out. I hwas also considering the Brice 5 strings at Rondo as a starter but glad I found this Carvin first.
  8. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    Ibanez sr are nice and slim neck if that is an issues with you, and they are light!
  9. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    The neck is also a bit wider than say the SBMM the OP mentioned in their original post. I think you need to try a few before taking the plunge. Also what type of music do you play?
  10. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    If you have a chance to try it out, a Yamaha RBX375 is a really good bass. I love mine to bits.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    My experience was the opposite. I was forced into playing a 5 with a band opportunity that I couldn't/wouldn't turn down. I picked up a couple of cheap 5s, and wrestled with them because I was so used to the width of the 4 string neck. Then I picked up a cort curbow which had narrow string spacing and I felt I finally arrived, but there was nothing else about that bass that I liked. That was right around the time I realized I was going to stick with that band, and I bought myself a Bongo. Was completely happy. String spacing on that was just a wee bit wider than the Curbow. Point of all this is that the transition for me was a lot easier with spacing that was more narrow than the 4 string I was used to, not equal to with the added B string. That threw me.

    I had a rough time making the transition, partly because the music I was playing was pretty complicated zappa like material. If you struggle at all I'd suggest making the 5 your only bass until it becomes 2nd nature. I didn't feel totally at home until I did that.
  12. bassman700


    Nov 6, 2011
    Budgets around 600-700... I understand it's impossible to give a recommendation. I am brand new to 5-strings (Only played one and it was for less than 15 mins at a store.) I'm just looking for a little feedback on the ray35, as it was one of the 5ers I was looking at
  13. Mike_R30


    Mar 26, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Highly recommend checking out a Lakland Skyline 55-01 for that price range. The 19mm spacing is great and along with a fantastic neck make it a very playable 5 string. The stock Bart pre-amp and pickups sound good and have a wide variety of tones. Many threads on TB for people that have modded the electronics. Good luck in your search.
  14. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs

    the Lakland 5er neck is one of the best in the biz....and - if you like it, you can play ANY Lakland 5er as all of the necks (exception being Skyline DJ5s) are the same.

    if you can boost your budget a bit, I might suggest a used 55-02...the 55-01 is sweet but the tonal variety you can get from a 55-02 is sweeter still!

    good luck!

  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    For a decent 5er on a budget, the OP's Ray35 isn't bad - I would also recommend checking out an Ibanez sr505, for another excellent value in a 34" 5er... Similarly, on the used market Spector's Legend 5 and Schecter's Stiletto Elite 5 are both pretty good 35" 5ers for the money, IMO... I never really cared for 5ers by G&L or Yamaham since their necks are a bit to "chunky" for my tastes - same thing with Warwicks...

    - georgestrings
  16. Try as many as you can! Personally, the only fiver to "speak to me" so far was a peavey cirrus at a guitar center
  17. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I would suggest trying a 5 string Brubaker Brute. They sound awesome. They come in two configs J/J (JJX) and J/MM (MJX) you can probably pick up a really nice used one in the classified section if you don't want to buy new. These are a great value for the money basses. Soon Brubaker is coming out with a 5 string single cut version of the brute. This is a little more than the double cut brute and comes in a J/MM pickup config.
  18. jimmy_trouser


    Oct 19, 2011
    Today I bought my first 5er, and it is a Ibanez SR505- it's great! It'll take some getting used to but I'm excited to be on the journey!!

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