Help me find the cheapest 5-string with 18mm spacing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eminor3rd, May 8, 2019.

  1. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    My main player (and only fretted 5-string) has been out for a while awaiting a very specific and drastic repair. Circumstances have caused that repair to be delayed without a definite due date.

    I love my fretless, but I am itching to play fretted bass again.

    I have no desire to invest in another high-end instrument unless my current primary proves irreparable. So, I'm considering buying a cheap one to use in the meantime, to be resold at a later date.

    Here's the catch: I REALLY want it to have 18mm spacing. This is because I have found spacing at the bridge to be one of the most significant "feel" factors that affect my playing, and I want my fretted and fretless to match, so that I have no trouble switching between them.

    It seems most Fenders are 19-20mm and Ibanezes tend to be something like 16.5mm. Beyond that, it seems few entry-level instruments tend to have such info listed. So I seek your help!

    What is the cheapest available 5-string with 18mm spacing?

    Thanks in advance!

    EDIT: 17.5mm is acceptable as well. Close enough.

    EDIT 2: Must be 34" scale!
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  2. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Guest

    Mar 24, 2006
    Fender 5’s are actually 18mm (18.4 to be exact). Squier 5’s as well.
    I find the Fender 5 with 18mm and their 1-7/8” nut width a perfect balance.
    With that in mind, I can only suggest their Squier 5’s on a budget.

    I’m not sure what the spacing numbers on Sire 6-string basses are, but they have the V3 for around a Squier-price point.

    Some 17.5mm basses like Ernie Ball/Sterling have a 1-3/4” nut width with 17.5mm spacing, and it’s a bit tight, but tolerable. I just can’t hang with 16.5mm...can’t do it.

    Ibanez has their “Cerro” SRSC single-cut, which has a straight-up 18mm spacing, and I like that model a’s just not exactly a budget-minded instrument.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  3. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Check out Cort GB basses on Reverb. The older models are 34” scale and they have quality hardware and construction. Usually they are light weight and can be had for a very low price.
    emjazz and Eminor3rd like this.
  4. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Cheapest and best quality , I’d say find a used Ernie Ball MusicMan USA made SUB 5 .

    Sire V3 5 also comes to mind .
    plav1959 and Eminor3rd like this.
  5. who


    Apr 20, 2007
    Most Yamaha BB 5 strings, at least ones made within the last ~20 years have 18mm spacing.
    Andy V., TrustRod, Mili and 3 others like this.
  6. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    At $250, hard to beat Ibanez Talman TMB105 in this budget, 34" scale, and 18mm string spacing at bridge categories. More that with this amount of money, you'll get an active 2 band EQ on board.

    Next probably the Yamaha BB235 at $350, passive. The active ones start with TRBX305 at $400.
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Have been wondering about those myself.
  8. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    These -- this might be what I'm talking about. Although looking at all of the suggestions in this thread, I've also realized I really want 24 frets. Love the Talman pricetag, but that TRBX305 has the frets...
  9. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
  10. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Fender and Squier both have 18mm spacing on their 5ers. The Squier VM series is good quality for low dough. The Yamaha TRBX has 18mm spacing and also is a good quality bass for a decent price. I have the TRBX505 and am trading it with a friend because i'm a 19mm guy (to your point that string spacing is super-important). I'm sure you can find either used. There are a few of each on right now.
    Mili and Eminor3rd like this.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Go to your local Music-go-round and see what they have in stock … maybe you will find something you like.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  12. Warwick and Warwick Rockbass 5 and 6's can be adjusted out to 17.5mm.
    emjazz and Eminor3rd like this.
  13. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    If you can't, maybe look for a used Yamaha BB415 or a BB425X instead. Great bang-for-the-buck instruments.
    emjazz and Eminor3rd like this.
  14. Bolsyo


    Oct 18, 2015
    Yamaha RBX or TRBX series.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  15. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    The discontinued Squier VM P5 basses are great. Mine’s listed here, but cross country shipping might make it less enticing for you.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  16. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    I've got an Ibanez 5 that I defretted that I'd ship cheap if you're interested. I can check string spacing tonight.


    EDIT- sorry thought you were looking for a fretless five.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  17. who


    Apr 20, 2007
    That Ibanez most likely has 16.5mm spacing, but in any case, @Eminor3rd is looking for a fretted bass.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    What model is that? Looks really cool.
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  19. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015

    Great bass, really affordable. I'm just not a fiver guy. This thread does have me curious about spacing though.

    Again, sorry about the mistake on fretted, OP.
    Eminor3rd and emjazz like this.