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Looking for a 2nd "budget" 5 stringer bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ger1, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. ger1


    Jun 13, 2012
    Budapest, Hungary
    Hey everyone! :)

    I've been playing bass for pretty much a few years now, and since I got together with a friend of mine for a progressive kind of music project, I decided it was time to get a new bass, possibly a 5 stringer. My birthday is next week, and there's no present like a new bass! :) :bassist: The problem is, since I'm in college and I do not work at the moment, the budget is pretty low. I've been looking at some basses lately though, these particularly:

    Squier Jazz Bass Active Deluxe V
    Squier Jazz Bass VM 70s V
    Yamaha RBX-375

    Now I'm a Jazz Bass guy, (I socialised on it, my dad has an American Fender J) if you can't tell, so I probably can't go wrong with the Squiers, (I already have a Squier, modified it a bit to my taste, and I love it to death) but the Yamaha seems to be offering some really good stuff as well. (those humbuckers) As of today, I'm going to try them out if they have 'em in stock, but nevertheless I'd like your opinion about these basses, (how do they compare, etc) and also I'd like you to mention other choices if you can. I also never used active electronics, I've heard the batteries can be a pain in the ass, but I really have no idea how would it effect my playing and tone. Also I have a pretty good relationship with the local Fender guys, so I may be able to get the Squiers at a slightly better price.

    Thanks in advance

  2. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    I have played active Yamaha five-stringers with both J's and soapbars. They are well built instruments and you will not be disappointed.

    That said, if you're a Jazz Bass guy and you like that p'up configuration but want something a bit more modern and versatile, you might try the active model of a Warwick RockBass Corvette 5er. If you like the humbuckers, there's also the $$ (double-buck) option, which have some more options in the preamp. They have also introduced the RB Fortress, which come in P/J for four strings and J/J in five strings - it's apparently a killer bass for the cash.

    Active electronics are useful for customising your tone via an onboard preamp, and altering your EQ on the go (between songs, different rooms, etc). It's a really useful option to have in a bass, and I don't understand some people's aversion to active electronics.

    EDIT: I see in your profile you mention that you are into metal. In that case, Warwick all the way ;)
  3. Strohsx


    Aug 16, 2011
    Can't go wrong with that Squire VM Jazz.
    Also a second for the Yamaha's, I've yet to play a bad one.

    Check out the SX 5'ers from Rondo, I'm very pleased with the Ursa 6'er and they're dirt cheap.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The OP is in Hungary - shipping from rondo might kill the "budget" aspect of this. There are European distributors of SXs, though, don't know if any of them sell to Hungary.
  5. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    If you want a 5 string, the Schecter Stilletto 5 strings can be an excellent value. When I went out looking for a 5, I found that the through-neck models (Elite and Studio) played and sounded better than Yamaha and other 5's that cost more than twice as much.
  6. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Can't go wrong with the Squiers for the money. If you willing go used might I also suggest looking at an Ibanez ATK. It has a sound of it's own, but many say it's a Stingray Killer. I love my ATK305, these basses can be had regularly for $300 or less in the classifieds here and on the Bay. Don't know about the Market in Hungary though.
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    IME, the best budget 5er is a used Ibanez sr505...

    - georgestrings
  8. Mola Ram

    Mola Ram

    Jan 18, 2010
    Just want to point out that the Squier Jazz Bass Active Deluxe V has an insanely wide neck. I've played both of those Squiers and the VM 70s V was easily the more comfortable of the two for me to play.
  9. If the OP does have access to SX basses then that is how I would go. I just picked up an URSA 2 MN Ash 5 string and it is a great bass for not a lot of money!

    Attached Files:

  10. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I've owned all 3 at one point - and I still do currently own the VM5, and most recently (about a month ago) picked up the Yamaha RBX375. All 3 very nice instruments to be sure! The VM5 is a great sounding passive jazz bass - plays great & will cover the passive jazz bass tone no sweat. It has the passive jazz tone nailed. Incredible value.

    The Yamaha is quite a different playing & sounding animal altogether. It's my first active bass back in my collection in many years. And I swore off active basses (and pain in the a$$ batteries, lol) quite a few years ago. I'm mainly a passive jazz bass guy too. That said, the RBX is really fantastic! It does allow for very low action if that is your thing - more so than my VM5, and has a "faster" playing neck profile. Might be important to you for fast passages, not sure. The tone of the RBX is a modern one - I'd say this is Yamaha's take on a MM Stingray. It is punchy with those huge pole pieces, has very nice growl to it & is more extended in the top end. More aggressive than a passive jazz, but can be juxtaposed into a jazz role by rolling back the smooth & responsive tone knob.

    You really can't go wrong with any of these choices - but there are some significant tone differences to keep in mind. But all three offer very solid builds & value that belies their meager asking prices. :cool:

    My VM5:


    My Yamaha RBX375:

  11. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I used to own a Johnson 5er. It was my first bass and I though it was a solid bass with a good sound.
  12. ger1


    Jun 13, 2012
    Budapest, Hungary
    Thank you for all the replies!

    Unfortunately the Yamaha is a no go, I just can't imagine myself with it, also played the BB-425, it's really not my taste. The Active Deluxe's neck is really wide, like Mola Ram said. So I guess I'll stick with the VM 5 for now, also I can probably get it for an equal price of 375$ which is really nice, I can spend the extra cash for a strap & case combo.
  13. Yeah, I own a VM5 and it's an excellent value. Bought it as a mess-around bass and now it's in the regular rotation.

    In all her flamed glory:
  14. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN

    And the VM is a nice bass but be warned it is one of the heaviest in the Fender line. I spent last weekend playing every Fender I could find in four different stores in two states. The VM is quite a load, although that may be more of an issue for us older guys. :meh:

    Ibanez 5ers sound good and are light as a feather. They won't have a Fender tone if that's your goal, but it's a good sound. The 500 series and up have Bartolinis which are really nice PUps.
    Also there are Squiers other than the VM and Active Deluxe that don't have either the weight or neck issues.
  15. jtapp2556


    Sep 16, 2010
    Spartanburg, SC
    Squier vm 5
  16. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Of those Id pick the yamaha. But Id take a Esp Ltd F155dx over any of those any day. Better sound, one of the nicest fiver necks Ive played, very good workmanship.
  17. All basses described will do the trick I think but seeing as you admit to a love of J basses I vote the VM Squier. As is a very nice bass for the money, but really easily upgraded if you want better tuners, pickups, preamp etc.
    Plus I think Jazz basses can cover lots of different tonal territory - be it rock/metal/jazz etc. They are very versatile instruments.
    And they look great - isn't that the most important thing? :)
  18. ger1


    Jun 13, 2012
    Budapest, Hungary
    I can't decide between the Deluxe and the VM. Since I have big hands, the neck wideness is not really an issue.
  19. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Go for Squier active deluxe V.

    Both VMV and ADV are better 5 strings than 4ers, I dunno why

    Anyway, if the VM has a gorgeous maple body to start up with
    if you want to upgrade pickups/electronics/or some the active deluxe has well crafted basswood body which works perfectly side by side with its 3 band equalizer (and a slapswitch).

    Alright an on/off switch would possibly have make it better... But you know: you got power, versatility and traditional body shape BTW.

  20. Mola Ram

    Mola Ram

    Jan 18, 2010
    Have you tried the Deluxe yet? If you have and it feels good to you then go for it. If not you might be surprised at just how severe it is.

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