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Looking for a good 6 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nickg1823, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. I've been interested in purchasing a 6 string for a little while now, but was wondering what come recommended. I have been strongly considering a Carvin LB76WP, but the wait is a little long. I was wondering if anyone could help with suggestions. I play finger style with some slap and would like active electronics. Thanks.
  2. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    So what's your price range? Since you're looking at a Carvin is it safe to say you want to drop $700- $1000 on a 6?

    If so, and you're not averse to buying used, you may be able to snag a used higher-end 6 for around $1K. Possibly a Warwick Corvette 6 or something.

    If it's more budget conscious sixers you're looking at, I can make a bunch of suggestions:

    These I've played:

    Peavey Fury 6- Looks, sounds, and feels like a bass costing many times as much. It has the same electronics as the higher end Cirrus line, I believe. 2.125" wide at the nut, 3.25" wide at the heel. The neck is thin and fast.

    Ibanez SR506- Another nice lower-priced 6. It has a darker tone than the Peavey given the 'darker' tonewoods. The neck is pretty sleek, but not as fast as the Peavey; but maybe that's because I'm more used to maple necks than wenge. Also 2.125" wide at the nut and 3.25" wide at the heel

    Samick Fairlane 6- I have one and love it. However, the reason I love it is the reason many folks would hate it. Skinny neck. 2.00" wide at the nut and 3.1" wide at the heel. Possibly the narrowest 6-string neck out there, but it has dual truss rods.

    These I haven't played, but have considered:

    ESP B206LTD- the '05s now come with EMG pickups instead of ESP pickups. ESP is said to use good woods and their instruments are usually of consistent quality

    Spector Legend 6- It's a Spector. 'Nuff said. 35" scale.

    Schecter Stilletto- You don't see too many cats out there playing Schecters, but those who do love them. Their instruments are said to be good quality.

    Yamaha TRB1006- A bit out of my price range when I was looking, but I know Yamaha 6s have dual truss rods and Yamaha instruments are consistently good quality.

    Ibanez BTB- many folks prefer the BTB necks and feel over Soundgear.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I here F bass makes a really awesome 6 string. :bassist:
  4. Thanks man. I could go up around $1500, and I have considered the stilleto, more so now that i see they are releasing models with zebra wood and flamed maple, but I've never seen a 6er. Very helpful.
  5. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    Very expensive too. And I gather that if our friend is looking into Carvins, he may not be looking to spend F-bass level money.

    Either way, I still remember 10 years ago when the Carvin LB76 was probably the most budget conscious 6 out there. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, if you can find a used Carvin 6, that would be good. Carvins are a great value on the used market.


    NickG- up to $1500, eh? Well, that opens up a lot more doors for you. Perhaps a used Warwick Thumb 6 (though those can be heavy) or like MM suggests below, a used Peavey Cirrus. Most of the suggestions I've made were in the under $800 bracket. I'll let someone else more knowledgable of the $1000- $1500 bracket of 6-strings guide you.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    What about a used Peavy Cirrus, if i went 6 string i would probably get one.
  7. Me too. I've played a few 6-string Peavey Cirrus basses and I've loved them all. My upright bass professor has a gorgeous walnut/wenge Cirrus 6. Really smooth, sweet tone.
  8. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    For $1500 you should be able to get a new Cirrus 6 from a good dealer. You can easily score a used one for less than that. Short of really top end basses (F Bass, Nordstrand, Roscoe, etc.) the Cirrus is one of the best 6ers out there.
    Do a search and you'll find lots of comments about them.
    I've owned four of them and from my experience, they're fantastic!
    Best of luck.
  9. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    If you are buying new there really isn't too much that will compare with the Carvin, except the above mentioned Cirrus (but I don't like them) The Spector Legend, Yamaha (at least the bolt on one), Peavey, etc don't even come close to the quality of the Carvins especially in terms of finish and construction. (legends are alot of bass for the buck though.)
  10. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Look for a used Ken Smith... Great preamp, nice spacing, great sound and usually are between 1200-1800 used
  11. I own an Ibanez SDR-506. It has the most amazing active electronics in a bass under $1000, I think. I've also played and loved a Peavey Cirrus, but I do believe they overcharge for it.
  12. I bought my Cirrus new for well below your limit. It is without question the best bass I have ever played.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I paid $1700 for my tiger eye quilt top 6, and for the price, I couldn't find a better six string.

    In the past, I have seen the lower priced Cirrus models as low as $1200 for a six, and there is certainly nothing in that range that can touch them.

    A used Cirrus is the absolute best bass bargain there is.

    As far as Carvins go, the fit & finish is a little better than the Cirrus. Barely. But I have yet to play a Carvin that I like the sound of.

    The bolt on Yamahas are good too.

    But I would recommend that you play a Cirrus, before you buy anything.
  14. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    it's easier to change the sound of a bass than the build/finish quality and feel :p See if you can try out a Cirrus in stores first to see if you dig the feel / tone. Carvin has a 10 day no questions asked return policy so either way you have a pretty safe bet. Good Luck! As for wait time, it depends on how many options you want/ how busy they are at the time.
  15. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I've owned a couple of Carvin 6 strings. They're relatively narrow as 6ers go. I prefer the Bunny Brunel series for its balance. Their J-style pickups don't cover all 6 strings, IMHO. I recommend the Bill Lawrence J-45L pickup instead, it's a straight drop-in replacement. The WP series basses are Carvin's top of the line, and IMHO if you're going to spend that much, I'd go for a boutique bass.

    FBB and Matt Pulcinella Guitars both offer 6ers in your price range. I have a Matt Pulcinella Level 6 and it's a fine axe.

    I don't have any experience with the Ibanez, Yamaha or Cirrus basses, but they all have good reputations.
  16. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
  17. I must be one of the only people that didn't *love* the Cirrus. I liked it, it's good and all, but I didn't like it as well as the Carvin, and it didn't compare with my Shukers. Still, you should check it out. A lot of folks like them, they're well priced for the quality, and there are a number of them out there.

    But for $1500, I think going used is a great idea. Ask Brad Johnson.;)

    You can get a killer used 6 for $1500.
  18. form52


    Mar 17, 2005
    I personaly wouldn't go with an Ibanez if you're looking for a good slap sound. Don't get me wrong here.. I think Ibanez makes the best non-botique bass' around, but if you want a good slap sound you need to go with the higher end BTB. It's the BTB1206 I think, it has a through body neck and sounds much better with slap than the BTB406.

    Carvin basses are Really nice, but I would go with the Bunny Brunell (BB) model and get the P-Series upgrade.
    And if you do go with Carvin don't get the stock wood. They don't sound good with the lighter woods. (I think Carvin's stock are Alder) Get a Walnut or Koa body and a 5 piece neck. They are worth the wait. And don't ask people at your local music store about Carvins. They will never recommend them because they can't get a cut of the sale, since carvin Only sells direct.

    The Cirus is a Really nice bass, but I don't think it's all that much better than bass' you can find with a much smaller price tag.
    If you watch places like Ebay you can score a pretty nice one for around $1200-$1500. It would be pretty close to worth it then.

    Warwicks.... are nice if you get one that was made on a good day.
    If you don't they aren't worth 1/2 the money you pay for one. Over the last few years they have Really let quality control slack off. And I don't like the Thumb's slap and tapping sound. If I went Warwick I'd get a Corvette Pro. (not the standard... the standard sound like $**+ )

    If you can get a great custom used somewhere I would recommend doing it.
    MTD, Pedula (if you can find one.. get it), Alembic, Zon, Dingwall, some of the better Yamaha's (the John Patitucci Yamaha is AMAZING! I have Never been disapointed with mine), Warwick Corvette Pro/Thumb, Ken Smith, Conklin are some names to look for.

    If you search Ebay do a search for "6 string bass" not "Six string bass" the number 6 turns back better results than the word "six".

    Happy hunting.

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