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Lightest 5 ers w best B string, ballsy tone and narrowest neck at nut

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassman10096, May 9, 2018.

  1. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Simple: I'm considering a trip back into 5 strings. I'm a "short fingers and worried" kind of player. My last was a Modulus Q5 w Barts. 1.85" at the nut, but very, very slim front to back. Hard to beat. loved it, but didn't need a 5 so I (really, really foolishly cashed it out). With the escalation in Modulus prices, not an option now. Not hooked on the graphite thing (have another graphite 4 string), but looking for recommendations on 5ers that do what's in the title. I've owned Ibanez 5s and loved the necks, but not convinced on the B string or the ballsiest tone dimensions.

    Looking at other 5s: Modului(?), Stingrays and Sterlings, Spectors. Not sure any beat the Ibanez neck width dimension, but I suppose I could live with the Stingray width if all else was good. Looking for commentary on the foregoing and other suggestions.

    Thanks in advance for your input. Seriously. Bill
  2. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    Check out the Yamaha TRBX505/605. The nut is narrower than my MIA Strat and only 8 pounds 1/2 pound lighter than the Strat as well. Narrower than the SR505’s. Ballsy? Only you can decide but largely dependent on strings. The stock D’Addarios suck. Bart’s would probably be ballsier but the Yamaha pickups aren’t bad.
  3. StephenR


    May 21, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Suggest you consider one of Geoff Gould's GGi5 models. Well made excellent sounding and feeling instruments many of which are very light in weight. The graphite necks are wide in the upper register but very narrow front to back, easy to get used to. Pickups are usually EMG or Barts. A lot of the EMG pickups he uses are custom made for him. With the right EMG pickup you can definitely get a ballsy rock edge that cuts through easily. One nice thing about the EMG pickups is that they are modular, plug and play, you can switch them out quickly and easily with no soldering. The Gould basses seem much cheaper new than the current Modulus basses and it is pretty easy to find a great deal on a used G. Gould. Check out Geoff's Facebook page or look at the posts in the G. Gould Club here for more info.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  4. US Peavey Cirrus? My six is slim across and very slim front-to-back, moreso than any Ibanez I've played. Excellent B string. It's hard for me to know what "ballsy" means in this context but the Cirrus definitely has a hi-fi tone, clear but not polite or bland, with lots of midrange content. Noise-free electronics. 35" scale but the fast neck more than compensates for that in terms of playablility (IMHO).
    songwriter21 likes this.
  5. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Wow. Thanks for all the useful suggestions. This was just what I was hoping for and it’s appreciated.
  6. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    To the OP, have you played any Ibanez 5 string Soundgear basses that have humbucker pickups in them?

    The SR series and BTB series both have some decent models that have the low B sound really good.
  7. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Musicmans. Probably a Bongo (or Big Al if you can even find one) since weight needs to sta low.
  8. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Schecter basses might fit the bill. Pretty Lightweight and slim neck, pretty comparable to Ibanez in width but 35 scale so the B string isn't floppy.

    I had an inexpensive Schecter 5 string, and also a Yamaha TRBX305 - no contest between the two, the Schecter has a slimmer neck, lighter body - similar to the Ibanez but again, the B string isn't going to be floppy -you can notice the slimmer neck of the Schecter in this picture.
    This is the cheapest Schecter five string model, I would probably go for simething like a Schecter Studio V.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would look at higher end Ibanez Soundgears.
    dralionux and ajkula66 like this.
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Well made, but super wide at both the nut and bridge, plus 35” scale to boot
  11. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    I have some experience w G Gould basses. I had a 4 stringer years ago (the one bass I never should have let go of) that sounded great, but had a rather wide fretboard, plus a shallow (front to back) neck. It was a pretty easy play. Problem is that I picked that bass up for a great price. Nowadays Goulds go for serious change. I think a 5 string Gould would fit the bill, but it's unlikely I'd find one that cheap.
  12. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    ERIC31 likes this.
  13. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Check out G&L L-2500 or M-2500 with lightweight empress wood bodies, which come in around eight pounds. Bass tone doesn't get any more "ballsy" than that produced by MFD humbuckers. The all-active M doesn't punch quite as hard as the L, in the way the Dodge Hellcat doesn't run quite as hard as the Demon, as in, it's still a monster. Nut width is 1.75", and for the past 6-7 years the necks have had reasonably thin profiles. (Older G&L fives had meaty "baseball bat" necks, but those days have passed.)
    justbass57 likes this.
  14. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    An old Ibanez SRX505 fit's the bill.
  15. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    The Sterling checks those boxes.
  16. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    And that’s what I did. I’ve owned a couple of L2500s over the years and liked them. Not sure why I didn’t think of G&L myself. I found one very reasonably priced and hope it’s scratched my itch to have a 5 option.
    The L25s I owned before all predated my long tenure with a Modulus Q5, when I really learned to appreciate 5’s. I’m really looking forward to the new 5er.
    Thanks for the suggestions and wish me luck.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    Nedmundo likes this.
  17. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    My Status energy were one of the lightest basses ever, flat slim fast neck and with super punchy, loud tone and incredible tight B string.. still crying silently at night for that bass.
  18. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Many of us remember graphite necks we never should have let get away...
  19. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I'm going to second the G&L L2500 or M2500 with empress body. Tone that will punch you in the gut or knock you over. Huge B string.
  20. My Yamaha BB415 has a 1.69" nut width and sounds like an aggressive Fender.

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