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Lightweight, Jazz Style, 5-string, cheap!! Suggestions??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonas_24112, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    I've got a couple of itches I need to scratch and I would like to do it in one lick. I need a 5-string, want a bass that weighs less than my MIM Jazz, and I want to refinish and do some aftermarket mods to it(i.e. pre, paint, pups, etc)

    - I love Jazz style bodies. Can't help it.
    - I'd love for it to weigh under 8 lbs.
    - Want a player, not a collectors piece (think cheap).
    - Plan to make a project down the road. Refinish and add aftermarket pre, p/u, bridge, etc.
    -NO SX's- they are heavy and I do not like the string spacing.
    - I've seen some Jazz style Yamahas I liked. I'm looking at Squiers as well.
    -I'm patient and can wait to find it used on on Ebay.

    Bottom line is I'm looking for a lightweight Jazz style knockoff 5-string for low $$.

  2. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    You can definitely get a cheap J-style 5 string. The lightweight part will be harder. Might be easier to build a franken-J with a lightweight body.
  3. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    Well, it's an option I've thought of. Found some allparts bodies at 4.4 lbs. Gonna have to think about it.
  4. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    the mtd saratoga is kind of jazz styled, but more modern. it's got a basswood body so it should be fairly light.
  5. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Squier Affinity V, Squier Deluxe V, Squier Vintage Modified V,

    Good luck with the decision

  6. ead


    Aug 1, 2012
    Preston, England
    What about a Yamaha BBN5?
  7. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area

    Can't go wrong with any of these. I will add that that I've owned all three & still own two of these currently. All very solid instruments with tight fit & finishes. As far as weight goes - the Affinity Jazz V is by a long shot the lightest of the bunch & easiest on the shoulder and back for four hours at a time (I'm going with passive jazz tone preference of the group as well, even over the VM).

    If the stock tone matters in the short term, the stock tone on the Deluxe V is obviously a more modern active jazz tone. I just couldn't come to terms with the stock preamp for my tastes to keep it, but fit & playability were outstanding (as all of these are). The Affinity V has a great low-mid growl to it & strong/high output stock pickups. The VM has a great jazz bass tone too but different from the Affinity - not as much low mid punch as the Affinity, but still good growl & good clarity in the mids/high mids, but the VM is definitely way heavier than the Affinity & and even the Deluxe IIRC. Although I did not keep the Deluxe, I have done modifications on the Affinity & the Vintage Modified 5v'ers:

    Affinity Jazz V:


    Vintage Modified Jazz V:

  8. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Hey Stingray69,

    What kind of bridge have you got on the Affinity? It almost looks like a Hipshot.

    BTW, those are both great looking basses!

  9. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Thank You Bobster! You are correct sir, that is indeed a Hipshot A-style bridge on there. As well as a Rawsound varitone jack plate, fully copper shielded cavity, threaded inserts in the neck joint, etc. The only mod so far to the VM is the tort pickguard and the Fender 5-string pickup cover. Both basses still retain their stock pickups.
  10. palmaruslongus


    Nov 11, 2007
    Check out the Peavey Millenium BXP, fits all the criteria and plays pretty nice. Thin, fast necks. They make a passive jazz version or active bass with soap bar pick ups. Good luck.
  11. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
  12. As much as I like my Affinity V, it is anything but lightweight.
  13. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    .....but nowhere close to 8 lbs. 9lbs if you're lucky. IMO 8 lbs and cheap is a pipedream in a traditional J5 shape.
  14. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
  15. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    light weight, 5 string, Jazz bass. The three of those together do not happen :) If however you want cheap but functional check out rondomusic.


    5 string jazz, alder body $149
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The only thing that makes your statement even remotely close to true is the OP's need for low price. Most of the sub-8-pound Jazzes on the market are expensive. But even so, one of the lightest basses I've owned was a no-brand Asian knockoff of a 5-string Warlock that cost around $200. It weighs 7 lbs, and you can rout the body wood with a spoon.
  17. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
  18. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Actually this last part leads to a good thought...if you are budget constrained, why not buy what you can afford and then have the body routed out more at the back. I would research it first before doing it but it is an option. I gave some serious thought to doing that but found a decent 5 at a good price and dropped the idea.
  19. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Really, it's more like: light, 5-string Jazz, cheap - pick any two. You can definitely get there for $$$. Sadowsky has a steady stream of 5-string Jazzes at 8 lbs or less.

  20. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I don't doubt that the Affinity V may still feel heavy in your opinion. I will say that I feel it is the lightest jazz bass I've played to date including MIA Jazz V's, MIM's, SX's. It is an Alder body bass, but thinner than a standard jazz (front of body to back of body thickness) which I feel is where the weight savings come into play over an MIM jazz. As someone mentioned, you may find the perfect weight in something like a Sadowsky, but the price target goes out the window. Here is an article that states the Affinity just may be the lightest jazz bass in all of both Squier & Fender's offerings, which jives with my experiences too. So it just may be the closest match to the OP quest - whether or not it still hits the ideal goal weight is yet to be seen, but it may be the closest match to the criteria (jazz bass body style, easily upgradeable, closest as reasonably possible to the goal weight) etc. I'm curious myself on the weight but I am not home at the moment - I'll have to try a rough bathroom-scale method when I have an opportunity. :cool:

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