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Help me find the right 5 string bass, long post..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by K-Frog, Jul 10, 2003.


  1. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    Suggestions based on my criteria, not yours please. I don't mean to be harsh, but there's no need to use up the space suggesting YOUR fav when it doesn't fit my criteria.


    My basic criteria:

    wide neck and string spacing, 3" at last fret, 3/4" string spacing at bridge.

    comfy body shape and overall feel (playability)

    decent variety of tones

    good or better B string (34" or 35" is fine)

    not too hideous looking

    under $1000, new or used, as far under as possible please.



    A little background: OK, maybe a lot.

    I currently own an MTD Kingston 5 stringer. I love the neck, but not the tone. Awesome B string, and yes I do use it for more than a thumb rest, although that is one of my favorite features of the B string. I was at practice the other night and was not pleased with the tone for that song so I reached over and grabbed up a P Bass. It was pure butter, for that song anyway. Better low end, smoother. I'm not typically a P bass fan, but I would own one. I'm more of a jazz tone kinda guy. A Jazz bass would have had a similar effect over the Kingston, but the P was there.

    I previously owned a Carvin LB75 with the wide neck option, just like the BB75. Loved the feel of that neck. Tone was fine, I could dial up anything I needed(H50N pickups, older 2 band EQ). I would still have the bass but it had truss rod issues.

    I've owned a Fender Deluxe Active 5 (mex.). Didn't like the overall feel of the bass(too comfortable with the Carvin I guess).

    I have played a Peavey Grind NTB 5. I loved the body shape, or you might say the way it fit my body. The neck(string spacing)is too narrow.



    Sorry for the long post, but I need help from you guys that have played basses I don't have access to or have never heard of.

    So far, a couple basses that I think might fit that criteria are Peavey Cirrus 5, and another Carvin. BTW, I measured the string spacing on a Cirrus at the store and it had 3/4" string spacing. I've heard guys say that Cirrus spacing is narrow. This one makes me disagree.

    Suggest away,

    K
     
  2. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    ahhh, yes......

    but not one for miles around to get my hands on.

    I'd almost try one just based on the reviews.

    K
     
  3. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Peavey Cirrus 5 or a Carvin 5 with wide 5-piece tung oiled neck would be among my first choices and it seems that you like 'em too...go for it!

    Lakland Skyline is great, but the body shape isn't as comfy as the ones above. On the other hand, the 55-02's might have better sounding pickups than Carvin or Peavey.
     
  4. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i have the answer!!!! o what $1000? o i thought you said $10000 well mtd would be the best..but a little expensive...

    how about a mtd saratoga or best...
    the tone on those is awsome way better than the kingston or heir...

    and look better

    steve
     
  5. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    The Peavey Cirruses that I've tried were excellent but pretty damn pricey for a Peavey (maybe check for something used on eBay?).

    The Carvin with the wide Bunny B neck sounds like a great choice. You've had experience with Carvin so you know what you're getting. I think the new hardware and expanded EQ gives it quite an edge in this price range. I'd also opt for the humbucker in the bridge option if you go this route (oh, and like Schwinn suggested, a tung oil finish neck!!!).

    Even more cost-effective is the Ibanez BTB. You'll have your wide string spacing and 35" scale neck. The bridge looks pretty cool and the black see-thru finish (IMHO) looks great. The neck is a bit of a stretch for some people but seeing as wide string spacing and 35" scale is your bag, you shouldn't have any problem.

    And finally the most inexpensive route you could take, just pop a Bartolini pickup and/or preamp in your MTD (or Seymour is that's more your bag). I've heard good things about the structure and playability of the MTD Kingston (not to mention excellent low B string response). But the simple single passive pickup leaves more to be desired tonally. However, I also hear that the control cavity in the back is pretty roomy and would likely facilitate a preamp. I think what makes this bass marketable is the Tobias design, quality control, low cost AND that the axe is upgradeable. Hell, you may have your ideal bass already, bro.

    Good luck. Let us know what you do!

    r
     
  6. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I had forgotten about the Ibanez BTB series. That's about the only Ibanez 5 I would own(string spacing again). I may need to grab one of the MTD Beasts floating around(Thanks to moparpunk281's reminder of the Saratoga)

    I would love to have another Carvin, but I would have to order it. I doubt I'd find a used Walnut with 5 pc neck in matte finish with the wide neck. I would steer clear of the humbucker option tha Carvin provides based on the feedback from other that says the humbucker sounds bad and isn't a standard size(which is the same problem with the Kingston 5 pickup).

    I need to run my MXR M-80 with my Kingston more often to see if that will help. I typically pull the MXR out on gigs with my band. My "normal" gig is at church where I just go straight into my amp.


    K
     
  7. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Fender Roscoe Beck V

    jd
     
  8. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I'd try one due to the rave reviews, but I doubt I would like the feel much better than the Jazz 5 I had. How much different could it be constructed? I could live with a Jazz 5 I suppose, but only if I don't find what I'm after affordably. I wouldn't rule them out completely just yet.
     
  9. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Seems to me a Reverend Brad Houser bass fits your basic criteria -- wide neck and string spacing, variety of tones, excellent playability, great B string, defnintely well under a grand -- although it has a very different character than the other basses you seem interested in. Aesthetically, it might not be your thing.

    Tonally, you mentioned liking J and P tones. A Houser would give you more of a passive old-school vibe than a Cirrus with an active preamp or a Carvin would give you. It's probably closest to the Roscoe Beck V that JD just suggested above...

    Anyway, if you want to something a bit different, a Houser could be worth checking out. (Reverend only sells direct, but they have a good trial period and return policy.)

    Good luck with it!
     
  10. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I hear the Roscoe Beck model has a bear of a neck (wide, chunky, almost painful). The electonics are passive despite the fact that it seems to have 101 whisles and bells on it. However if you dig Jazz Basses and need room to romp on the fingerboard, maybe the Beck is for you.

    Just spotted these on eBay: Beck Bass

    r
     
  11. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA

    My buddy has an XL5, killer tone out of a passive bass. I don't mind the look. Doesn't it have the semihollow body, not great for slapping. I stink at slap, but I want to develop the technique as I have several instances where it could be tastefully incorporated. Almost required on a couple songs we do.
     
  12. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Yup, semihollow, and not near so bad for slap as everyone would have you believe. I only slap ocaisionally, and am still learning the technique myself, but the Houser does a pretty serviceable job to my inexperienced ear. It absolutely KILLS for fingerstyle playing, though ...
     
  13. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    You know, I was never a big fan of the Roscoe Fender but the more I read up on it the more intrigued I am. I've check a few sites and all the reports has been glowing. Apparently the neck IS wider than the other Fender 5s. You will get your vintage Jazz tone even from the low B. Seems to have a truck load of tonal options and as its a passive bass; no batteries needed.

    Harmonycentral Roscoe link

    Check it out.

    r
     
  14. My current five of choice is an Ernie Ball MM StingRay 5, but I've been snooping around looking at the Fender American Deluxe Precision 5, which gets an awesome P- sound (which I'm jonesing for), as well as other usables. The one I played had an ash body with a maple fingerboard, and had a really good B string sound, better than my MM. Check out the August 2000 Bass Player Mag review. The neck isn't as wide as the Roscoe, and the spacing at the bridge is probably 11/16", but I'm not sure about that. The new ones have 18 VDC electronics and more string tree action going on. Pretty nicely put together. Some TB member got a 2000 or 2001 model off Ebay a few weeks ago for $650 or so and loves it.

    Whacker
     
  15. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    You know, I tried a P 5 Deluxe-whatever bass some years back just like the one Whacker described. Ash body, maple board. A real looker and damn what tone! It was an excellent bass but I think it was well over $1,000 (keep in mind, the model had just come out at the time and this was a dinky shop in Syracuse, NY). I would have suggested this bass but given the price and that I thought K-Frog wanted some super wide at the end of the neck action that this bass wouldn't fit the bill.

    I personally dig the P 5 Deluxe far more than the Roscoe Beck. However given K-Frog’s list of demands, the Roscoe seems to fit the bill better (not to mention on the cheap if he scores one used).

    R
     
  16. Another vote for the BTB.

    The BTB515E plays great, has a wide neck and can get a lot of different tones. http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=BTB515E

    They're $969.00 at Musiciansfriend. You don't have to buy there, but, it's a good place to start when comparasing shopping.

    Also, check out Spectors. I don't remember the model numbers, but, I played a few in each price range ($500 - $1,800) and you can't go wrong with one of these.

    Good luck.

    Mike
     
  17. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Oh yeah, you can definately do better than $969.00!!!!! What bastards over at Musicansfriend! But I agree, good bang for the buck these BTBs. And though I think the BTB515 is cooler (walnut body) the BTB405 is less expensive and looks beautiful (quilted maple top--the see-thru black is my fav).

    r
     
  18. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Check out the G&L L-2500.

    Ive played one for the past year and a half almost exclusively and I doubt I will ever stop playing thios bass.

    Its a killer bass with tons of versatility, a comfortable neck and body and incredible tone.

    Im not sure of the string spacing but maybe someone else can help out.

    Peace
    Thor
     
  19. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I appreciate the help so far, keep it coming.

    I dig the Deluxe Precision 5, but I haven't played one yet.

    I believe the G & L will have the same spacing as a SR5. My Reverend owning buddy has one of those too.

    BTW lushfreak, my buddy slaps his 'fish too, but then I think he could slap a killer tone outta anything.

    hmmm, what else????

    K