Got the itch for a 5-er. What else should I consider?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark_70, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    I've been playing 4-strings for 35-or-so years. I might finally be ready to venture into the mysterious world of the 5-string bass..

    Looking at a few different options - based on below, anything else I should consider?
    - Main bass is a Sterling 4 string. Lovelovelove the sound.
    - Jazz basses are out. Nothing wrong with them but they are just not my thing.
    - I've been considering some models with the fat pickup towards the bridge: G&L Kiloton, EBMM Stingray, G&L L-2500
    - I think Sandberg has some models with that configuration as well.
    - prolly won't spend more than 2500 bucks. Less if I can. If G&L made a Tribute 5 string version of the Kiloton, my decision would've been easy and I would've just ordered one of those.
    - If possible, I'm trying to stay away from 10 pounders. Bit worried about the L-2500 for that reason.

    Anything out there I'm missing?

  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I think Marusczcyk will get you there, too, or build you one if they don't have one in stock. Looks like their prices have gone up though since last I checked. Here's one with a big oval Bassculture pickup in the bridge:
  3. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    The entire bass world beyond the Leoverse?
  4. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I recommend a Used Carvin BB75.
    Bassinga, sethlow3, smogg and 2 others like this.
  5. makanudo


    Dec 26, 2008
    I mean, for 2500 USD and liking the sterling as a main player, there's Dingwall, Spector and of course Musicman.
  6. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Thanks! Just listened to a youtube video on that - didnt have that one on the radar. Love the growl from the bridge PU but not sure I can get past that long upper horn. I know.. very shallow :)

  7. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    You would be buying it for the neck. 19mm, very thin front to back, asynchronous neck (thinner on the G string side). It also sounds great!
    thunesBARROW likes this.
  8. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
  9. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Five string, fat bridge pickups, under $2500? Dingwall NG.
  10. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    thanks - will look into that!
  11. _One//Man//Mutiny_

    _One//Man//Mutiny_ Gold Supporting Member

    MTD Kingston Super 5!
    NigelD, red_rhino and GTHintz like this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Spector. Period.
  13. darwin-bass


    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    You are missing ...
    1. Pickup Placement - Much of the magic of the Stingray sound is due to the pickup being between the P and bridge-J positions. Putting a big humbucker at the bridge J position won't get you the Stingray sound. Were I in your shoes I'd be constraining myself to a Stingray 5 or Kiloton. Not the L-2500. In my shoes, I'd be building a Warmoth bass with the pickup in the Sweet Spot and picking parts to reduce headstock weight.
    2. Weight & balance. Fivers are heavier than 4 string bases - one extra tuner, larger bridge, larger pickups. And if they are too light they become neck-dive monsters. Figure you're in the 9.5 lb range for light weight unless you get one with light tuners which allows for less body weight while still staying balanced.
    3. Muting - Your normal 4-string muting techniques will have to change or you'll always have one string droning away.
    4. String Spacing - Some are 19mm at the bridge, some are narrower. Choose your adventure.
    5. String Confusion - Having an extra string is really confusing for may of us at first. It took me 6 months of dedicated 5-string playing to finally get to where it was automatic.
    Mili, thunesBARROW, aus_bass and 4 others like this.
  14. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby He stole my mojo! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    I love my G&L L2500. It is empress body and 8lbs even. You can find light ones if you are patient and ask before buying. I love mine!
  15. OOD


    Jul 29, 2009
    You could try tuning BEAD. You probably want to try the 5-string first. If you don’t like the 5-string and get to missing those low notes BEAD might be something you’d like.
    Outbush, aus_bass and dalahorse like this.
  16. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Not even remotely a universal truth. I have 6s with multilam necks of heavier woods than maple that are smaller and lighter than P basses I've owned, and are better balanced. And the difference in weight between a 4 and 5 bent plate bridge would have to be under an oz.
  17. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I just picked up a used Dingwall NG3 and I am in love. It is a beast. It or another in their line would meet all of your criteria I think, except for cost on a MIC Dinwall.
  18. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    If you like the Stingray sound and want a solid 5 string for less than $2500, evaluate either a used US Lakland 55-94, 55-14, or a Skyline 55-02. Great variety of tones and the best B string in the business...IMHO.
  19. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I’d probably only look at necks that are synchronized.
    skycruiser likes this.
  20. Rjb1101


    Jan 4, 2021
    Lakland 55-02 or 55-94 depending on your budget.

    Overwater Progress, if you want a UK Custom.
    gg22 likes this.