Help me love my M5-24

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SteveC, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Hey guys,

    I have a really ice M5-24. I love how it plays, feels looks and MOSTLY sounds. But I think it's a little too middy or aggressive for me. I have been trying to sell/trade for a "JJ" bass which I think would be more to my liking, but no luck. One of my friends says just keep it, it's a great bass, you'll learn to love it. Maybe so. I tend to turn basses very quickly.

    I use a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0-12T combo. It has always been a great little amp, but some have speculated that it's mid forward voicing, along with the M5 may be too much. I don't really want to go amp shopping again, and I need something small. It's a monitor for many gigs as I have PA. It's a stand alone for smaller jazz gigs and of course for practice.

    I bought this bass as an end-of-the-search, do-it-all thing for me. I know that's a tall order for any bass (jazz, rock, church, musicals, etc) but I don't want and can't afford a "stable" of basses. I want just one that I know and trust. Seems like the M5 should be able to do it.

    So, can you help me get back the "honeymoon" feeling again, and make it last? What suggestions do you have for me.
  2. If you don't like it now,especially after owning it for a while,you wont like it later. Get rid of it,and get something you like.
  3. Any bass should be able to do any gig. Right hand placement and string choice should give you any tone you could possibly need for any situation with MOST instruments. IMO, the M24 is not one of those basses. Just like the Ken Smith basses, they have a super strong voice baked in due to those two big humbuckers crammed close to the bridge.

    You either love it or you hate it... very few 'on the fence' on that particular instrument.

    An amp with more true low end would help, but that would only make the inherent tone of that instrument sound better... it would not change the inherent tone of that instrument.

    Churn it and get something with more normal pickup placement IMO.
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    If only it were that easy. No one seems to want these basses right now. I'd love to trade for a JJ Sadowsky or other 34" 5er of the same quality but no takers.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Just play it. Remember you sold the Sadowsky J-style basses you owned too.:smug:

    For some variety, play it with the neck pickup soloed more often. That should give you a pretty decent approximation of a P-bass.:bassist:
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Yeah, I should have kept that Seafoam Green RV4 even if it only had 4 strings. What was I thinking.

    I have been favoring the neck pup when I play it.
  7. Sell it then tell us how much you miss it.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Steve, just be honest with yourself. You know what you like. Buy it, and just play. You might also need to admit that you would like more than one bass. As long and you can afford it, just have two or three basses, and take your pick of what you want to play when you're in the mood.

    The bottom line is that your MS-24 is the second soapbar Sadowsky you have bought. You knew what it sounded like when you bought it, you can't really be surprised by what it's giving to you. You can cut a whole bunch of drama by keeping your Yamaha and your Sadowsky.

    If you can only afford one bass, accept that it cannot give you everything you want, and accept that some sounds you can't get.
  9. YCBass


    Aug 29, 2007
    As great as it is to have the "one" you could always use a backup or altenative just for when you feel like it. Plus, adding a JJ bass wouldn't necessarily make it a "stable."

    Good luck.

  10. Buy a VT bass pedal, your tone will be utterly transformed, from buttery to edgy. My 2 cents.:bassist:
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    An I wonder where my daughter gets all her drama from...:help::crying::rolleyes:;)
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Yeah, 2 basses does not a stable make.
  13. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    So I have an R5-24 Metro, and am digging it greatly. Re your situation, several questions come to mind...

    Do you have the VTC? Mine didn't when I first got it, but $75 to Sadowsky bought the parts, and it's the best $75 I ever spent in my life. Makes a HUGE difference in the way this thing sounds.

    Do you have volume/pan or volume/volume? I've opted for the latter, and find that if I keep each of them backed off to about 85 -90%, the native sound gets rounder, and I can go from there if I want to change the tonal balance. I get a much wider range of tones - and better ones, to my ear - than with vol/pan.

    Actually, I generally leave my VTC in the 3-4 range, the active bass up about 10-15% and the active treble down all the way, and use my hands or the the two volume controls to get my spread of usual tones. I should add that my strategy changes when playing into a darker amp, but these settings work well on the Genz 3.0-10T I use for grab-and-go and home practice.

    Caveat/disclosure: I rarely slap, and most of my playing is in jazz/latin/latin-folk contexts. But I'm confident slapping would excel, especially with that maple neck, by goosing the active treble and bass and therefore getting a mid-range cut (I actually use this approach for finger-play in certain contexts where I am without a drummer). In fact, writing this makes me think I might want to push further in that direction, and use the VTC and volume controls for fine-tuning within that context.

    And let's be clear - it will never truly sound like a P-bass except in that range where the treble is completely rolled off of a P. But I can get burpy Jaco sounds, lots of slice when I want it, and while K. Jung is right that the Smith-type sound is somewhat baked in, I dig that sound, and I don't think you're gonna get it on axes that don't feature this pickup placement/arrangement. I also get warmth and a tonal range that still somehow seems derived from the Fender range of sounds, which I don't think you can do with the Smiths (great basses, but talk about "baked-in!).

    Best of luck. If it's not for you, it will surely work for someone else...and as much as I dig it, I can see contexts where it would not work, particularly if you require old-school P-bass sounds.

    And in the spirit of fullest disclosure, I'm currently marvelling over a used Lakland 4-94 with LH-3 (Rev.D) electronics and Jaquo III-X preamp settings (do a talkbass search) - which lacks the pillow and warmth of the Sadowsky when playing alone, but which seriously comes alive when playing with others and let's me play off the drums with serious punch...if I could only get the top range on this axe to sing the way the Sadowsky does (one of the greatest basses I've ever played when it comes to melodic soloing), and get it in a 34" 5-string, that would seriously be one axe to perhaps rule them all!

    Maybe some of us are doomed to eternal dissatisfaction with our axes and sounds...
  14. As far as I'm concerned if you don't absolutely love a bass there's no reason to keep it. Are you considering selling it because you think you may want something else or because loads of people have told you that you have a great bass? If your answer is anything reminiscent of the former then you're right. If you think you want a different bass, chances are... you want a different bass, lol. Pretty much every bass I've ever owned has been "nice" but if I listened to every person that told me to keep them I'd either be in debt or have thousands of dollars of basses I probably wouldn't play that often. In addition I might not have found the any basses that I have come to enjoy even more than the ones I've passed up. Do I miss them? A teeny bit here and there. Are any of them my absolute ideal bass? No.

    If you like what you have and are perfectly content with it, fantastic. If not sell it and get whatever suits your fancy. If, when you sit down with the bass, you don't immediately say to yourself "Man, I could hang onto this forever." you have no real reason to hold onto it unless it will magically create gigs, money and women.

    To summarize: If you need help to love a bass, it probably isn't a bass that you will love no matter what you do.
  15. The fact that the bolded statement exists means that you probably made the right move. Find an RV5 and you'll rectify the situation. If Sadowsky has anything, it's consistency within a model.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    If/when I sell the M5-24 I'll be shopping for an RV5...or paying of debt.
  17. Here's my advice for what it's worth.

    To me, the most important thing above all else is how a bass feels and plays. You can always change out the electronics and strings to make your bass sound different. So my advice would be to try some different pickups. Something voiced a little different. And if you don't like those, sell those here in the classifieds and try something else. It would save you a bunch of cash and stress.
  18. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Yeah...that's not the bass that I would think about in terms of the "do-it-all" thing. As Ken said, that model is very specifically voiced and you can't dial that modern vibe out.

    Good luck with your search...I have had the same challenges over the past few years. Right now I am playing a '95 Japanese 70's RI Jazz which fills the rock/pop bill with my current band.
  19. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    SW Missouri
    Throw some flats on it :bag: :D
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I always get the impression that issues of finances get in the way of you really enjoying any high end bass. If that is the case, make peace with owning more budget friendly basses, and call it a day, or if you must go high end, bite the bullet, and accept that it will take you a minute to catch up financially. If you value the bass that much, and can afford it, just do it, and accept that nothing is free in this life.

    Heck, in America, we often go into debt to be born or die, let alone buy a bass!:D

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