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Good five string bass with 34" scale and 19mm spacing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nemo, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Hi, I have found what my fingers like - 34" scale and 19mm string spacing. My ears like it in five string with great low B. My budget would be about $1000-1500 (max.). Curently I play 93' Yamaha TRB5 with these specs and while I really like its playability, I look for something more classic sounding - jazz bass like with active electronics (but passives are not excluded, I can use my Sadowsky outboard). Music is funk, r&b, pop. Ideally it could do the classic J-bass slap for funk thing and next song throw in the giant supportive stuff on low B for R&B. All this in 34", 19mm package... Wanting too much? :D

    Obvious answer would probably be Sadowsky Metro, but these are over my budget. Please suggest other candidates.. Thanks!
  2. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Pedulla Rapture (used).

    Carvin LB 75 with the wide neck option or a Carvin BB 75 should do the trick as well.

    I've never played any of Nino's creations, but those that have swear by them. I believe that whoever has the early Zebrawood model is still trying to sell it - look on bassgear.com.
  3. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Everything you just said nailed the Pedulla Rapture. Used, they are easily within your budget; new, you could probably swing it as low as 1700-ish if you played your cards right. I just picked a used one up, and it really does rock.
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Unfortunately, it has a Gotoh Bridge and it 18mm.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    In that price range i would really check out Nino's work :bassist:
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Fender Roscoe Beck V! :) It's passive, but sounds fabulous with the Sadowsky outboard pre. It does the J-bass thang extremely well, but is amazingly versatile: with the neck pup soloed in series mode, you can get a very P-bass like thump from it.

    And it's definitely in your price range. I don't recall the new price... used to be around $1200 street but that may have changed. You can find 'em used in excellent condition for $800 or less.
  7. bgartist


    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I second the Pedulla Rapture. My J2000 5 string is simply awesome. Slap tone is great with one of the best Bs around. A used one is in your price range with change back.
  8. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Sorry, Nino, my bad. Just trying to give a good, semi-informed plug!

    In any event, other basses you could try would be the new Ibanez 505 RD on the lower end of the price scale. These got excellent reviews in BP. I also got the chance to putz around with one in the store during one of my daughter's voice lessons, and I thought that the neck was comfortable, and the bass itself was well put together. A great value on the price/value scale. On the downside, these don't seem to move well should you want to eventually sell it.

    The Roscoe Beck is an excellent choice as well. The neck is a little chunkier than I would like, but again, a great axe, especially used. You can pick these up for between $650 to $850.

    There is another custom luthier, Matt Pulcinella Guitars, that can build you one to those specs. His JJ5 model I think goes for $1500 new, and he has also gotten good reviews.
  9. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Thanks for all suggestions!
    While I believe Nino knows how to make great instrument, being in Europe would make getting custom build in US not very practical for me.
    Pedullas can be great too, there is one guy over here who is selling his Thunderbolt 5 so I can check this. No Raptures around, though. However, I am not sure about Bartolinis delivering convincing typical J sound.
    Or I'll just start saving for Metro to get it sometimes. These could do both J and deep thing for sure.
  10. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    But nemo was asking for suggestions for a good bass, not an utterly fabulous one! ;)

    I'm loving the Rapture J 2000 5 I got a couple months ago. It's the best-feeling bass I've ever owned in 19 years of playing, and it's quite versatile. Very aggressive with steel roundwounds, a bit rounder and mellower with nickel rounds, and very warm and punchy (but still slap/tappable) with TI Jazz Flats. For some reason, Pedullas can be found pretty cheap on the used market. Haven't spent much time with the Roscoe Beck V, but like others said it's a very solid, versatile passive bass.
  11. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Another vote for the Metro.

    A cheaper option in the meantime could be an older Yamaha BB series. I had a circa 2000 BBII 5-string with 19 mm at the birdge, but 1.75" at the nut (a little tighter than the 1.87" of the Sadowsky) but it was an excelent working bass. Good balance and weight, passive, good and simple electronics. Very Fenderish sound. The necks are a bit chunkier than Metros, but still very playable. They can be found at Ebay for $200-$300.

    I'm not sure if the new Yamahas BB415 and BB615 have 19 mm at the bridge, but they look like they do.
  12. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    For the "meantime" I have the Yamaha TRB5.. which is not bad, I really like its playability, I am just wanting to step up a bit tonewise.
  13. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I had a Yamaha TRB-5 as my main bass for a few years and now I have a Sadowsky 5-24. To me, the wisest thing you could do, in my opinion, is to keep the Yamaha and save for a Metro -- just like you mentioned.

    As a reference, the Sad’s neck is wider but thinner, easier to play. String spacing is a big improvement over the 17 mm of the Yamaha, which would feel cramped in comparison. The Sad’s 34” scale will feel so much comfortable than the 35” of the Yamaha, yet, the B-string in the Sad’ in so much better.

    Finally, the sound. There is just no comparison. The Yamaha’s preamp is noisy, has low output, and the EQ frequencies not very useful (they didn’t sound very musical to me). The Sad’ will literally sound three times (or more) better. The Yamaha will still make a good backup after you get the Metro!
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I will also recommend a used Pedulla Rapture J2, PJ, or the model with the single quad coil pickup. Very good values on the used market, and excellent basses. I wish I still had mine, but with the stable that I have now, it would not see much playing time.
  15. Larry99


    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    My TRB5 is 34" scale? ...Did they move up to a 35" at some point, perhaps with the II series?

    If you're looking for 34", definitely check around for a used Sadowsky Metro, although that might be pushing the upper end of your price range.
  16. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    My '93 TRB-5 is 34" scale, 19 mm string spacing.
    AFAIK they moved later to 35" with TRB-5II.
  17. porteous


    Mar 24, 2006
    Berkeley, CA
    I also have the Rapture J2, and it's great. Best neck finish ever!
    Other 19mm basses I own:
    Sadowsky "standard"
    Warmoth Gecko
    Veillette Singlecut 5 (35" scale)

    I've been mainly using the Veillette lately, 'cause it's so comfortable to play.
  18. Although Fender 5s have a well-deserved(IMO/IME)reputation for having poor B strings, my MIA passive Jazz is an anomoly. Solid, sweet tone, good-to-great B & output very comparable to my active Stambaughs. I'd suggest trying EVERY Fender you find; after 10 or 12 you may stumble across a hot one.