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Going to a 5 String bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bottybrian, May 24, 2011.

  1. bottybrian


    May 24, 2011
    Hi Guys,

    I've had my 4 string P-bass for a few years now and would not mind getting a 5 string bass as a second bass. I just think it would be nice to have and could open up new techniques and styles for me.
    As it would be a second bass, I don't want to spend too much but want something semi decent. Budget would be about €175.
    I was thinking of buying a Stellah Bass, one of these two:
    Stellah Ripwood 5 String Bass Guitar (Red) - Buy online at Guitar Warehouse Musical Instruments shop


    Stellah SRB-5 5 String Bass Guitar - Buy online at Guitar Warehouse Musical Instruments shop

    I'm sort of leaning toward the more expensive one, hardware looks a little better. Has anyone tried any of these or have any opinions based on the pictures alone?
  2. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    I haven't tried any of those but I just made the jump myself from 4 string to a 5er. and I knew it was going to be different but I didn't realize how different, Im using it more and more as time goes on and getting used to it, but for a while it was up in the air as to wether or not I was keeping it, but good luck with your choice ..
  3. bottybrian


    May 24, 2011
    Thanks, I'm attracted to the lower fequencies they can generate, so looking forward to getting one, just not sure which
  4. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    The Schecter Raiden Special I bought is pretty incredible for the money, I didn't want to spent too much at first because I didn't know if it was something that was going to stick with me.. but very, very nice bass ( The Raiden Special )
  5. I got a Alverez 5 sting off craigslist for 100 bucks, I don't play it much... stick to my fender jazz's. but it's nice to have just in case a gig comes along that just HAS to have that low B. the price was right and its great to practice fretboard mapping. on the other hand, its taking up space in my very small apartment thats already crammed with amps, and a bed.
  6. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    Thats kind of the reason I got a 5 was to be able to cover a few songs that we were doing, but other then that I really dont use it.. so play a 5 string no matter what they play, I tried that but cant do it. not yet anyway.. love the 4's
  7. spacebasser


    Jun 28, 2011
    Hi, I actually bought the Stellah SRB-5 bass as a second bass as I wanted to have a 5 string in my collection without spending too much, but it was well worth it. Very good bass for the money. Not sure what the other one is like
  8. ChasBass


    Dec 15, 2007
    Charleston, SC
    +1 :)
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Well I had a herd of basses from 4 string to 5,6,7 and 8 string and I sold them all and bought a vintage Fender 4 string P bass with flats. I put a tort pickguard on it and have felt like I came home ever since! It's all I need! :spit:

    Seriously. Why do all the 4 players have to pipe up with how they only know how to play a 4 string bass whenever anyone is looking at a 5er? :rollno:

    Just looking at the websites, even though I know nothing about the brand, I would vote for the more expensive bass. For a few more quid it has real elm wood (instead of mystery "hardwood") and it has humbuckers instead of mystery "pickups". In general it looks much more like a "real" bass instead of some "entry level" compromise.

    Be aware, however, that this bass is going to look and sound "modern". It has humbuckers. It has 24 frets. It has an apparent sleek body. None of this is bad IF that's the bass sound/feel/look/vibe you are looking for. But if what you want is old school Fender then, you should be looking at some of the Chinese Fender clones in 5 string. I've got a few. They are heavy. Have "real" wood. Have truncated fretboards. Usually have P-bass or Jazz style pickups (single coil jazz pups will hum unless neck and bridge are on equal together). NOT modern. But perfect for old school sound/feel/look/vibe.

    Good luck!
  10. I switched to 5 string in 2000 and have never looked back. I won't even touch a 4 banger anymore, just don't have any interest in them.:smug:
  11. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    I just bought my 3rd 5 string after giving them up previously. I am a good player on a 4 banger and fumble badly on a 5 string so gave them up. Since I recently found TB, I decided to try again.

    I found a 2009, but new Warwick Corvette Rock bass in GC that was the last as they don't carry them any more and it was the neck that won me. I already use a Warwick Thumb so was used to the Warwick Growl but this thing is massive sounding and passive too boot.

    The tag said $879 marked to $699. Because it was the last, they marked it down again to $351. When played through my Hartke's, It is a very powerful guitar that has surprised me. The neck is 7 piece maple laminated and as smooth as any custom I have seen. MEC passive J style P/ups.

    I feel like I got lucky. Now all I have to do is learn to use it.
  12. I played my first 5-string in the mid '80's, and was instantly hooked. 5 is the perfect number for me- I don't like 6's, and I can't go back to four.

    That said, I'm going to go against popular opinion on the Stellah's. Never buy cheap starter instruments, unless that's what you're already playing. If you're going to try out a new type of instrument, do it once, and do it right. Whether it's more strings, upright, fretless, or ???, always buy an instrument that's up to your standards. Nothing else makes sense.

    Why? Because if you buy a cheapie and don't like it, you'll never know if the problem was the general type of instrument, or because the one you bought was crap. And on the other hand, if you do like playing the cheapie, then you'll be assailed by a case of the what-if's, and immediately start GAS'ing for something better.

    Buying used does make sense for your first 5-string, though. If it's not for you, at least you won't take as much of a bath when you sell it.

    And if it turns out that you do like 5-string, you'll already have a good enough one to carry you through your initial learning curve. By the time you're ready to upgrade to something brand new, or even custom-made, you'll have enough hours under your belt to know exactly what you want...
  13. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Good for you for trying again! And SUPER deal (you lucky dog!)

    It's no revelation, but getting good on ANY instrument can be summed up in one word: Woodshed!

    To me being a 4 string player means you know how to play a 4 string bass and get the best out of it. A 5 string player can do the same thing with a 5 stringer, a 6 string player can do the same thing with 6 string bass. ONE person can be all three "players"! This is NOT the same thing as choosing a bass that best fits the music you are playing.

    For a long time I played nothing but 4 stringers. And then for a long period I played mostly 6 stringers. And then I no longer was using that extended upper range so I dropped back to 5 strings. I don't think I've forgotten so much that I can no longer play a 4 string or 6 string bass! Why do people get the idea that somehow you have to CHOOSE how many strings your bass will have and you aren't allowed to know how to play a bass with more or less strings?

    On the other hand there is no rule that says you must learn to play all basses. There are LOTS of instruments I don't play and don't WANT to play. Tried a sax and hated it. Not for me. Some 4 string players are like that about ERBs and that's OK too.
  14. scootron


    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    I bought my son an Ibanez ATK 305 which should be close to your price range if you found a used one. He absolutely loves it. He also has a Squier fiver and an OLP Tony Levin, but the ATK is what he plays most of the time.

    One of the things he likes best about it is that is has fairly close string spacing, allowing for a narrower neck. He plays a lot of Stu Hamm type stuff, so he spends a lot of time up the neck.

    The Ibanez seems to have excellent build quaility. I did upgrade the tuners. The unusual three-coil pickup gives him a lot of tonal variations.

    Good luck in your search. I play only fours, but since my son moved from 4s to 5s, he has never looked back.
  15. The more expensive one is pretty nice but you'll probably be wanting to replace it in under a year. Wait and find something better used at the same price.
  16. +1 on the ATK305. My main bass is a beautiful exotic, but my ATK gets nearly equal play. It's like a warmer EBMM, but with P-bass and Jazz textures available via the character switch.
  17. What strings do you use?
  18. scHism


    Aug 12, 2009
    Got an Ibanez ATK305 as my transition bass from 4-5string. NEVER touched a four string since.
  19. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Never heard of those but I've been a 5 or 6'er player pretty much exclusively the last 10 years. Feels weird "only" having the E to go down to.
  20. Either of the two basses should be nice for you - your choice, really.

    A very quick word of caution about making the switch:
    A few years ago I had a real nice Fender Jazz 5-string.
    Didn't perservere with it, or use it enough to get confident on it.
    Sold it. Regretted that ever since.

    Just got a Retrovibe RV5 (Ric style) and I am determined to win through this time.
    Corking sound and very happy with it. Recommended.

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