1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Looking for an active Boutique Jazz 5er - Poll

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Baird6869, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Alleva Coppolo

    15 vote(s)
  2. Sadowsky NYC

    60 vote(s)
  3. Nordstrand

    16 vote(s)
  4. Mike Lull

    27 vote(s)
  5. Valenti

    15 vote(s)
  6. M Bass

    5 vote(s)
  7. Spector Coda

    8 vote(s)
  8. Fodera NYC Series (Japan)

    6 vote(s)
  9. Lakland USA

    49 vote(s)
  10. Other!

    43 vote(s)
  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member


    I am very interested in getting back into a Jazz 5er and I want to invest in a bass that won't have me looking at other Jazz 5ers a few months later.

    I am sick of GAS-induced buying and selling and the plan is to have my Fodera 5er, MTD 535, 70's Jazz and Precision, an active Jazz-style 5er... and that's it (still a lot, but I have 10 basses currently and that is too much).

    My specs are pretty simple....

    Single coils
    Under 10lbs (8-9 is better)
    24 frets preferred, but not a deal breaker
    HAS to have 19mm spacing
    Maple board, but not a deal breaker
    I like matching headstocks, but again, not a deal breaker
    I prefer American made, but Canadian or European are ok.

    So what would you recommend and why?

    Please just don't recommend what you currently play without having some experience with a few of the manufacturers I mention. Also, no interest in Fenders. I have more than enough nice Fenders currently.

  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Hmm, tough choice! I really don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Of those I'd be looking at Lakland, Sadowsky, and Lull. Nothing against the others, but a few of them do nothing for me visually.

    Me personally, I love the Sadowsky sound. You've got a very well made US bass, a great sounding 2 band pre, active/passive options, VTC, and superb playability.

    Lakland IMO builds one of the best basses on the market. I've only :)) only...) got a passive JO4, but it is everything I could ever want in a J bass. The neck is devine. It's the smoothest and fastest I've ever touched. Quarter sawn maple, graphite rods, Hipshot hardware, etc. I'm sure the DJ is just as great, or you could always add a preamp to a JO.

    I have some kind of fascination with Lull, and would love to own one. I really like the MV's. The smaller J body and the contoured heel are big selling points to me.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My M bass 5 runs 10.2 lbs, so its a bit above your weight specification, but for the going price of around $1900 new it can't be beat. Every bit the contender of a Lull or Sadowsky USA but for the weight.....

    Agreed that you can't go wrong with any of the J's on your list
  4. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    I don't think you can go wrong with any of these.
    My top 2 choices would be Nordstrand-Valenti (both do real low numbers and are very personable)
  5. depalm

    depalm Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sads and nords are the best Js I've ever played in my life, but I like this one a lot.
  6. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    I would go with a Valenti 5 with Nordstrand pickups if was ordering something in this realm and wanted it light. My latest bass from Nino is just under 8.5 lbs and its a 35" scale 5...Impressive
  7. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    If ur a slapper a 24 fret is not usually prefered because u shrink the space between neck pup and the neck.
    So 24 fret - Sadowsky, LEJ, Valenti,
    20/21 fret - Nordy VJ5 Lakland DJ5, Xotic, LEJ.
    These choices are great problems to have.
  8. funkyjudge

    funkyjudge Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2010
    Langhorne, PA, USA
    Several of the listed basses provide excellent pricing, great features, and fantastic sound and playability. Among those listed, you would probably find Nino Valenti to be among the most accomodating in terms of building-in features to match your desired specifications, but a few of the others will possibly do that, too.

    I would also suggest that you not overlook the Callowhill brand. Made in USA (Philadelphia, PA), and their J(unk) is a great Jazz-style bass! I have owned Jazz-style 5-strings from many of the companies that you have listed, and have had a few Valentis (all excellent basses), and the Callowhill J(unk)-5 that I currently own may just be the best of the bunch. It only has 22 frets, but the birdseye maple board, 19mm string spacing at the bridge, and 7.8 lbs. total weight all fit well within your stated specifications .... and it has a pair of to-die-for Nordstrand Big Singles with a Nordstrand preamp. I'll bet that you could get a 24-fret fingerboard from Tim Cloonan and the boys at Callowhill if you asked, but I happen to love the 22-fret board on mine.

  9. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
  10. sj_bass


    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    An excellent list you have, my friend. Any of them would be amazing for sure... I love the neck on my Lakland JO-5, and the Sadowsky and Lull basses feel great too. But I chose Nordy because these basses with fat singles and a preamp simply can't be beat.
  11. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
  12. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    maybe because hes looking for a jazz bass?
  13. svtb15

    svtb15 Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    Are you looking for a modern J sound or a more vintagey sounding J....
    For a More modern sounding J bass, the Sadowsky wins hands down... More vintagey and traditional the Alleva Coppolo.... The Alleva is about as close to vintage tone that you will come. Open and airy yet phat down low like a fender... Made all in house by one guy... The only thing he doesn't make in house is teh hardware. .But even that is staring to be made by him too...

    Foderas are nice too but not a tru jazz bass tone.. but the other features are nice. Lull is a good alternative and priced reasonably. I dont care for the Nords or their pickups, they sound real grainy to me...

    Ive owned everything on your list except the nord and M .. And have kept only my sadowskys and allevas and for a good reason.. Engineers love them and i great customer service.
    Lulls are very nice,, great guy too... Im not a fan of 35" scale but i know he is now making 34 in scale 5s too.

    The Sadowskys record well and always sound great in a mix.. .Even his Metro series...
    But for an accurate real J tone the Alleva is in a class all its own... One of the guys on your list seams to be copying the Alleva set up and design almost has the same headstock too.. .
    over 20 years ago i was on search for the perfect modern 5.. it stooped when i got my first sadowsky..but i accumulated about 27 5 strings at that time.. All are gone sadowsky still here. And again when i wanted a more traditional J sounding 5 i found the Alleva.... Im done.. Haven't had GAS for a new bass in many Years
    Happy Hunting
  14. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    seems like a you could get everything you want in a sad pretty easily. theyll do a 24 fret model with j/j spacing and keeping the weight low is usually something they do standard.
  15. AllFourths


    Mar 23, 2012
  16. picerjamo


    Jan 27, 2013
    The smaller J body and the contoured heel are big selling points to me.[​IMG][​IMG]
  17. Another vote for Alleva-Coppolo.
    Just superb active or passive:thumbup:
  18. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    CT, New England
    At face value and since the requirements have no mention whatsoever of active electronics I'd go with something that has active / passive capability. The Sadowsky comes to mind immediately. Lakland would have a model like that. I played the the active / passive AJ series bass and it had outstanding tone active or passive. Vintage passive or active and articulated. I'm sure all those basses have an edge, but the 55-AJ is a very cool bass with the active / passive and beautiful bound neck with block inlays. Not sure if that is available with a maple neck stock, but they will work with you. Carries a hefty pricetag though but not out of line with a Sadowsky NYC either. Let us know what you decide and of course would love to see pics when it happens!
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    It says active right in the thread title ;)