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How come all the boutique basses in stock are 5's???????????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fawkes007, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Everytime I check out a bass or guitar store, in person or online, all the damn boutique stuff (Pedulla, Smith, etc) is, for the most part, 5 string. It's really starting to make me wonder what the hell is going on. Like if you play four, your only choice for in stock is Fender or Fender clone instruments.

    I don't want another jazz. I don't want a P-bass. I want a bass I can actually play before I buy! WAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!! :crying:

    Thank you for letting me vent. I realize that getting a $3k instrument to try before I buy is difficult and I understand the joy of actually custom ordering a bass to my specs is fun and all, but it just seems that you can find a 5 string in stock, but not a 4.

    Power to the four bangers! Jaco only needed four! Same with Geddy! And Entwhistle! And Bromberg! And...and...and...oh, the hell with it.
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    My guess would be, stock up on what you know will sell more quickly.

    I feel your pain, I'm a 4 string player myself. Ordering a custom is fun, but then you have to wait longer for it to be built.....not so fun.
  3. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think 5 string is becoming the norm.
  5. 1 +

    just look at all the ''new bass'' threads here on TB...and most people who buy a boutique bass want a 5 or 6 ( ore even more).
  6. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    It's what people want, whether theyd be better off with a four or not. Fives are sexy but they have a dark side. Some even say they are evil. :ninja:
  7. When it comes to sales, you only stock what you sell. Anything else is considered idle capital. The reason is that boutique basses and extended range basses are practically synonymous.


    [Jewish accent] Again with the evil! [/Jewish accent]
  8. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Give the ppl what they want -- 5ers
  9. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I think they're only becoming the norm on high end basses. Everyone's searching for that perfect B string and custom builders seem to be on the right track to perfecting it.

    It also seems that most custom bass buyers prefer 5 string basses. For the same reason as the builders build them.... that wonderful low B.
  10. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I think I have always been an exception compared to my colleagues. I have always sold as many 4's as 5's.

  11. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I dont have any 5 stringer's b/c I remember the last very few I played (it was a long time ago) seem to have open E strings that didnt sound all that punchy or there was just something different sounding with the E string when compared to a good sounding 4 stringers, have things changed?
  12. You do know that Fender isnt the only company to make normal basses aye? just checking . . .
  13. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Boutique 4's are hard as hell to sell and have a poor resale value to boot. I DO belive 5 is becoming the norm. Some believe there will be this great migration back to the 4 but I think the number of strings prefered will keep increasing, especially in certain types of music. What keeps you from tying out a five? Once you get used to it, it's hard to go back. I'm a 6 string player and want to desperately move to a 7. At the moment 4's just feel naked to me. The only five I have right now is my MTD 535 and once I find a 635 with a wenge neck, it's outta here!
  14. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    My experience over the last 10 years is that about 1/2 of the players I deal with stay with a 5 string. The other half will still reach for a 4 as their first choice, except when the music or the gig requires a 5. As I don't make 6 strings, I have no experience with that group of players.

    Roger Sadowsky
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Sounds about right to me. I've got a stable of fours and soon to be one sixer when I NEED the extended range. Otherwise, only the Fenders come with.

  16. Uh, sorry to break it to you, dude, but those guys use/used Fender Jazz Basses. Are you saying Fender Jazz basses aren't good enough for you? They were good enough for Jaco and Geddy. Are you better than them?

    This is stupid. The reason most botique basses are 5+ strings is because Fender hasn't figured out how to make a really good B string yet. Also, if you can play 4 string, why not play 5? You don't have to stretch any more and you always have that extra flexibility if you need it.
  17. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    just marking thread.. :)
  18. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    5 string = more $$. they take up the same space in a store but are priced higher then a four string. thay are not that much harder to make then a four string ( assuming we're talking about custom boutique stuff ) and the luthiers who make them charge more sometimes up to $1000 per string ( Carl Thompson) so it comes down to less space they take up in inventory and alot more income to the seller especially if you times it by a couple
  19. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Uh, dude...I own a Jazz bass. I love it. I also own a StingRay, which is a Leo design. So, yes, I love Fender basses. That's not the point. I tried 5 string and decided it wasn't for me. The point is, most high end boutique basses I see for sale are 5's, and as a four stringer I feel somewhat left out of the mix. You are reading way too much into my original post, OK, dude?
  20. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    the Fenders these guys plus Marcus plays aren't off the shelf. In my job I deal with professional bassists all day and every day. I can honestly say that I don't remember the last time I met a pro that has played Fender unless he had an endorsement deal.

    The most common I see are Sadowsky, Lull, Lakland and MTD.

    Four vs. Five: If I play just finger style I use a five. If I'm going to slap, I use a four. When I slap I don't hold the neck "proper"....I grip it because of my left hand muting style and the pull-offs I do. I picked up a five string several years ago but ended up being like one of those that Roger Sadowsky suggested.....I went back to a four as my "go to" bass.

    I understand the thread starters preference for four.