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I want a 6 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steamboat, Sep 24, 2000.

  1. For a while now I've been toying with the idea of getting a 6 string bass. I love my Peavey
    Fury, it gives me all of the tone and playability that I need. Unless I could find a really
    freaking awesome deal on one, I don't see the logic in buying another 4 (unless I move to a
    fretless.. but the idea of a fretless just isn't calling me right now).

    Until recently I had never actually played a real 6 string (excepting those baritone or
    whatever danelectros.. which are tuned EADGBE only an octave lower than guitar.. I once
    picked one up out of sheer curiosity). I'm big into Primus, so I've been pretty thoroughly
    exposed to the possibilities of the 6 string bass. I've always thought it might be neat to
    have a 6, I had just never seen one in a store before.. I vaguely remember maybe seeing a
    Ken Smith 6, but I probably didn't even know how to play any scales back then.

    Last weekend I finally got the chance to play a 6 string at a music store, and took it without hesitation. It was a very mixed experience.. on the positive side, it made up my
    mind that I definitely want a 6 string. Having a C just felt so natural, and I want a low B too. Any doubt about getting a 6 was eliminated. On the negative side, it was an Ibanez Soundgear (806 I think...I've had negative experiences before with Ibanez basses, but this
    didn't deter me). Everything about it honestly seemed like total crap to me, especially the low B. The setup seemed decent enough, the strings didn't seem that old, and I was playing through the same amp that I have (the Ampeg BA-115, though I did also try a B100R).

    Getting to the point of this post (finally): where in the hell am I going to have to go to find a decent 6 string? I don't want to buy online again or through a catalog. I've had excellent luck buying sight unseen, but I don't want to take that risk anymore. Hell.. I consider my luck in buying online gear to be downright disturbing. I paid $150 for my Peavey on ebay, and I've totally fallen in love with it. There is no other bass that I would've bought in my situation if I had the chance to do it over with the experience that I have now from almost a year of playing and visiting places like talkbass and various bass newsgroups. I have never found a bass for under $600 that I've preferred in any way. I paid $50 for a
    Crate BX-15, which I consider a great price for a practice amp with no operational problems of any sort. Later I got my Ampeg BA-115 from BassNW for $320, brand new, perfect condition. Again, I had never played through this type of amp, but there is no other amp I would've gotten in this situation. I absolutely love the thing.

    But for my 6, I'm going to have to play it first, and I want to play the very same bass that I'll be buying too. Trying out the Brand X 6 string in a store and buying the same model online for cheaper isn't going to cut it this time.

    Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe I'd buy a 6 sight unseen (or put together a Warmoth Gecko 6).. but those are some big maybes. Right now I consider buying sight unseen as a last resort if I'm feeling the need for some 6 string loving in a bad way.

    Right now I'm a freshman at UW-Madison, and I'm not familiar at all with the music stores here. The only store I've been to is the Ward-Brot Music Mall, (or something to that effect) which is where I had the Ibanez experience (I really wish they would've had a Peavey Cirrus 6 or something.. they had like 5 cirrus's there, none of them 6 strings.. I've always wanted to try out a cirrus anyways but the Ibanez experience made me so depressed that I didn't even think about it). My only modes of transportation are my feet and the Madison area bus
    system, but if someone could tell me where I could get a 6 string in this area but outside of Madison, I will find a way there.

    I'm from central Wisconsin, and I'm pretty sure that none of the stores up there have anything in the way of a 6.

    To throw in some additional information, the basses that I've enjoyed playing in stores are often Musicman's or Warwicks, but I'm open to anything. That's why I still played the Ibanez 6, even though I hate all of the Ibanez basses that I've played. The only low B string that I've ever truly loved the feel and sound of was on a Stingray 5. I really wish that Musicman made a 6 string. I've played a lot of 5's with tolerable B strings, but I've also played a lot of really crappy B strings. I'm not turned off at all by graphite necks or anything else out of the ordinary. While I enjoy reading about features and specs of basses, and I try to find out everything I can about the technical aspects of basses, what matters to me in the end is the actual experience that the bass gives me, not the materials it is made of, the type of electronics, or the neckjoint.

    Stylistically I'd probably be doing a lot of chords and slapping on a 6 string, but right now I'm just worried about finding a 6. I'll decide if it fits my style or not after I find it.


    [Edited by steamboat on 09-24-2000 at 09:06 PM]
  2. Oh yea, price.

    Again, I'm more concerned with finding a bass first.

    I'm going to have to say that I absolutely cannot spend more than $2000 (as in.. I would be broke if I spent that), I don't want to spend more than $1500, but I would love to pay around $1000. I'm actually not sure how much I've got in savings back home, but I'll find out soon. I've got about $500 down here with me, and probably either $1500 or $2000 back home.

    I earn a decent amount of money (considering that I only work about 9 hours a week, 4 more every other weekend.. my class schedule is pretty packed.. only 14 credits but man do chem and calc take up a lot of time.. so I really couldn't work more if I wanted to), so saving up for a while is definitely not out of the question. I don't really need to have the bass tomorrow or anything. It's not a whim though, I definitely want a 6.

    Maybe if I can't find a bass that I want, I could have one custom made for me. Does anyone know of any good luthiers around here?
  3. Try a Dean edge six. All the guys at bass Northwest are raving at the amount of tone they provide for the buck. I am personally not a big fan of sixers but it did sound great for the price.
  4. woah cool, that was a fast reply :)

    I once posted my idea of buying a Dean Edge Q6 from musicians friend. I now of course definitely want to try before I buy. I've played two different Dean Edge Q4's which I both liked quite a bit, but the Dean Edge Q5 I've played just didn't do it for me.

    I will definitely try any Dean 6 that I find.
  5. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I found a super deal on a Dean Edge6 and will probably go ahead and buy it. I've played a few in the store here and they always sounded excellent.
  6. Babs


    May 5, 2000
    Sandy Utah
    I know that the Peavy Cirrus is a great bass, There 5 stringer kicks ass, So I am betting that there 6 string does the same, I found that going with costom made basses always works the best, because you get to chose everything. That is why I would suggest Kinal basses, they are hand made and they are incredible for the price you pay, granted it might rang anywhere frome $1450.00 to $2500.00, it is a magnificent bass, try http://www.kinal.com and just e-mial him and ask what he can do for you.
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I've had interest in buying a 6-string lately myself. However, I haven't really found anything I liked that I could afford. I think if you found a Dean Edge Q6 that you like, it's a good bass for the money. I, myself, am looking for something a little nicer than a Dean.

    I don't know how long you would care to wait before you buy something, but I just got some infomation that has made me put my search for a 6-string on hold...

    Bill Conklin is currently in the process of building a prototype of the GT6 bass. I've played the other Groove Tools basses and liked them enough to think, "If Conklin made a 6-string version, I'd buy it." Now, one is in the works! The price/performance of the Groove Tools line is just what I'm looking for. Also, I think the look of the Conklins would be a real attention getter on stage.

    Well, I'm just passing on the information to give you one more thing to think about. Good luck on choosing a 6-string.

    And BTW...Babs, does Kinal offer a 6-string model? I've only seen order info for 4's and 5's on his website.
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Steamboat, though you were quite thourogh on your description, one question remains... How big can it be?

    I have played scores of basses in my days (and now that I work at Guitar Center, I'll be playing scores more. But I'm not going to let that bias me). I've played extremely wide spaced 6's (yamaha TRB) and really narrow ones (Ibanez). I like wide ones, but I'll try to help along the whole spectrum.

    Warwick Thumb 6 Bolt On: I've played the 5 and the sound is phenomenal. Warwick never makes a bad bass and the thumb bo 6 is the second cheapest 6 they make. It is a bit out of your range, but not too far (look for a closeout) and used ones are usually in good shape. The spacing is average, but Warwick necks are massive, so consider it.

    Warwick Corvette 6: The cheapest 6 Warwick has. All the warwick tone, less $$$ out of the pocket. The design is a bit blah IMO, but they sound is great.

    Yamaha TRB II 6: these sound awesome. Though most that I saw and played were at Scam Ash and beat up pretty prematurely, they have a solid feel and a killer tone. They run about $1300 at most places I've seen. The spacing is huge (like 4 string spacing between strings from nut to bridge). This may turn a few people off, but they are nice for me at least. Musicians Friend carries them and any place that has Yamaha can order one.

    Conklin GT-7: Yeah, it's 7 strings, but it can be done (Hello JT). They are REALLY nice basses for the buck ($1099 at GC, $999 at Bass NW) and have superior features to quite a few common 6 strings (bartolini pickups and eq, purpleheart/wenge neck, gotoh HW, flamed maple top, locking jack). I'm probably gonna get one in the next year. It is too good to pass up. They sound unbelieveable also.

    Used Modulus Q6: Unless you find a great, unheard of deal on a new one, look for used. Modulus basses are awesome and the graphite neck plus the 35" scale make for a tight B and all around great tones. MegaAngus can sing their praises better than I.

    Ken Smith: They are cool sounding basses (at least the lower end ones I've played) but are still a bit overpriced in my opinion. They are pretty ugly and the tone was just a little bit too muddy (maybe everyone I played had dead strings), but I've had limited experience.

    Peavey Cirrus 6: I've played the 5 and the tone was great, the bass was well made, the 35" scale is a definite plus. But they seem a bit overpriced also. The name PEAVEY just doesn't envoke a feeling of quality in me. All the electronics are made by Peavey. Basically, I just wouldn't want to throw down that much cash for a Peavey when I could get a nice Warwick for the same cost.

    MY HUMBLE OPINION: if you handed me $1500 to buy a 6+ string bass, I'd get the Conklin GT-7 and use the rest of the cash to put into a good amp.

    [Edited by rojo412 on 09-25-2000 at 12:48 AM]
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    good man, rojo. couldna said it better me-own self. :D
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Thanks, and BTW, your website is pretty darn cool.
  11. Babs


    May 5, 2000
    Sandy Utah
    Yes Mike does offer his basses in a 6 string model
    , I don't know why he does not have anything about it on his website, but I know that he offers one. I have read about it in one of his articles. Also he has told me that he offers them in a 6. They are great anybody who has a chance to play one I highly recomend checking them out.
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    why thank you :) took me a while to get all those backgrounds right. i need to get a bunch more stuff up, we have new sound samples and pics to get up, along with more info about the cds. but first i gotta get my frickin dsl fixed - this modem crap sucks. ;) :D
  13. "Four strings rule!!" <p> :pretends to crush JT's head with forefinger and thumb: <p> "I am crushing your head!" :p<p>
    :Runs away very fast:
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hee hee ! :D
  15. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU

    I have been seeing very good reviews about Yamaha's TRB6IIs,
    btw, and am hoping to check one out next weekend at local
    gearshow. Saw it for bit under 1200 bucks at sam ash or some
    other larger musicnetstore.. Hell even John Patitucci has
    TRB signaturemodel so they must rule :D
  16. chance6245


    Sep 25, 2000
    I have been to the PEAVEY plant that makes the Cirrus 6 and the one that makes the new MIllennium 5. I guess I can't understand the comments about quality when anything i bought with Peavey has been top notch. I guess it is the same with people who don't like Ford's or Chevy's.

    Bottom line, make up your own mind by trying all your options.
  17. Thanks for all the posts.

    Hmm.. I hadn't really thought of a 7. I'll give one a try if I see one. :)

    I'd say I'm pretty average sized for a bass player, but I really have no idea how I'd like the spacing on a 6.

    The Ibanez's neck width didn't feel that bad, but it seemed way too shallow.

    I still have to find 6's to try out somewhere. :(
  18. I agree with most of all the above stuff. Ibanez 6's are horrible, Kinal is definitely the way if you can afford it, also Warwick, Conklin (not the Korean ones), Yamaha TRBII or RBX, dont be put off by the Peavey name, the Cirrus range is great. I've built my own 6, neck thru with ash wings, walnut and maple 9 piece centre, rosewood board, 24 fret, Bartolini p/ups, SD Basslines preamp, Gotoh 510 bridge with 17mm spacing, top of the range Gotoh tuners, Graphtech nut, all copper shielded and all screws have brass inserts. Cost me about $1100US, and it'll stack up against anything on the market!
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    in my experience, the conklin korean-made 7 strings are way better, WAY better than the yamaha rbx basses - the bartolini pickups and bartolini-designed preamp on the GT-7 are excellent, and the general design and dimensions are all directly built from a bill conklin-made prototype.

    as for non-korean conklins, good luck finding any under US$2000.
  20. Man, I wish I'd gotten a TRB6-II while Musician's Friend was selling them for $600. The TRBs are INCREDIBLE basses. I played a TRB4 once, and once my hands had gotten used to the wide string spacing (I "grew up" on a Jazz Bass), the tone was great--just the right amount of growl and a lot of punch.

    You'd do well to look at one of these, if you're willing to drop $1100-1200.

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