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Looking for mid priced 35" 5 string options

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Naxn, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Naxn


    Dec 19, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Hello folks!

    I want to make sure I research my next purchase as thoroughly as I can since money is tight. That being said I'm having difficulties finding mid priced, or at least what I consider mid priced ($800-2000 secondary market preferred), basses that fit a few criteria.

    1. 35" scale length - I've tried a couple 34" and they don't cut it for my tuning requirements ADADG. I also have a Dingwall but I just can't get used to the bridge (yes, the bridge, I play with a pick and I keep my right hand anchored there, moving from the low strings to the high strings is just akward)

    2. Preferably swamp ash body - or anything lightweight

    3. Has a bridge or accommodates a direct replacement bridge that you can top load strings. Think hipshot or similar. I use Circle K/Kalium strings and I've had issues stringing the .158 string through some bridges.

    Bonuses for passive electronics and stainless steel frets but beggars can't be choosers.

    The only basses I've found so far are Spector Rebops.

    I haven't found any definitive testimony that I can directly bolt on a hipshot bridge to a Lakland.

    I really dig Sandberg basses but they are out of my price range new and there is virtually no secondary market for them... and I've never actually played one. Not easy to find.

    Schecter makes a cheap model, but.. I've never really been impressed with any Schecter I've picked up.

    Ibanez makes a 35" BTB but I've never read anything stellar about it.

    Any other suggestions are greatly welcomed.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Going to be hard to beat a Lakland, but I understand your concern about the bridge.

    Maybe look into MTD...the Artist or Heir would fit the bill and already comes with a top load bridge installed.


    Or if you can deal with narrow spacing, a used Peavey USA Millennium, which already has a Hipshot on it.

    Either of these will come in well under budget, maybe around $650 or so. If you don't mind doubling that figure, you can build a Carvin XB75 pretty much anyway you want it. You'd still be way under budget.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah, I was going to say Lakland 55-02, but ...
  4. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    Ibanez' BTB has the benefit of being widely available at metropolitan guitar stores. Check one out before you write them off.
  5. Arkhon06


    Jul 9, 2013
    I had a btb705dx.

    It's an awesome bass for the price, the sound is fantastic (mine had emg 40DC), especially with the elixir strings set, but there's a MAJOR issue with it : the neck is very wide due to the monorail bridge. I ended up selling it for that reason.
  6. Lakland 55-02. You can top load OR go thru body. The bridge is also custom made for Lakland by Hipshot.
  7. How about a Spector NS2000/5?
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    ... AND it has that groovy oval shape, universally loved by all. Or at least by me.
  9. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Check out some Warwicks on Ebay ;)
  10. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member


    I don't own a BTB, but I've been checking out and playing the 1405 because I'm in the market for a decent fretted 5 string. To all intents and purposes my budget could be at least 3 or 4 times the price of the Ibanez and I am also looking at various Warwicks as well as more boutique instruments from Le Fay, Marleaux etc...

    But for some reason I keep getting drawn to this Ibby. 35 inch scale, nice balance and ergonomics, Nordy pickups...haven't really found anything not to like. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger on it is because I promised myself a bass with real cachet and prestige as a gift to myself after taking early retirement...the Ibanez is just an Ibanez, so doesn't have the snob value...sad and pathetic I know...and I still keep getting drawn back to it.

    Head says "get the Ibanez, it's got all you've been looking for", heart says "but you've always wanted a bass in the Ferrari league"

    Really don't understand MAJOR flaw over the massively wide neck comment, it has neck dimensions that are in the same ballpark as my other 5 strings, string spacing at the bridge is 19mm which is pretty much standard issue for four strings, just a tiny bit wider than some 5 strings but the neck dimensions and string spacing have nothing at all to do with the monorail bridge...take a look at a picture of one, don't you think Ibanez could've spaced the mono bridges closer if they'd wanted?
  11. Arkhon06


    Jul 9, 2013
    I don't think so, otherwise they'd have made a "standard" bridge. I really hated the neck of the BTB, but that's personnal. I was so disappointed to sell it anyway.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yeah, the BTB 5er I had was fairly heavy, too - nice bass, though...

    - georgestrings
  13. Mellonball


    Mar 20, 2011
    Richmond, VA
    Carvin makes a 35" XB75. Not sure about how their bridges take large gauge strings.
  14. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
  15. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    me six wanted to yell Lakland out loud,but...
  16. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The XB series uses Hipshot A style bridges, which do just fine with super large gauge strings.
  17. MarTONEbass


    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    How about a used Mike Lull? 35" scale, Hipshot bridge, some are passive and the preamps can be bypassed on the active ones (mine has a push/pull pot). Mine is also ash and around 8.5lbs. Most I've played are light.
  18. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
  19. IMO opinion the Btb basses are great for pick players.

    I personally play 34" scale basses. I've found with the right strings low tunings aren't an issue. IMO you can get a fatter sound with fatter strings on a 34" where slightly lighter strings on a 35 have a more piano like tone. I use low g# all the time now and previously used low f# on 34". Not a problem with the right strings.
  20. Naxn


    Dec 19, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Maybe I'm not using the correct term, by top load, I mean you don't have to pull the string through a tiny hole in the rear of the bridge when changing strings. You can just slip the string into a notch. Hipshot, Grover and Gotoh all make a bridge like this.

    I seem to recall a bridge that has a keyhole where the strings feed through the bridge. I'd think that type would work fine for the thicker strings as well.

    Lakland bridges don't have the keyhole, do they? This is the best pic I can find

    It doesn't look like it but it's hard to tell. It's been a while since I've played a Lakland.