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Looking for my first 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grass132456, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. grass132456


    Sep 12, 2011
    Yeah I'm looking for a 5 string because they seem pretty cool. I have only played 4 string for 3 years but sometimes, I just want to use some lower notes that the 4 string can't hit. I don't really have an idea of any kind of 5 string but anything that is 9 lbs or less is good. 8-8.5 lbs is ideal, but with my budget of maybe up to $500, I don't think you can really find a good 8-8.5 lbs one. Anyways, I play church music and recently, I have been turning my PJ knob all the way to the J side while retaining a kind of growly sound that I like. I would prefer 34" scale but maybe 35" is fine, but I have heard that sometimes, a 34" have a higher tendency to have a floppy B.

    $500 budget
    Growly sound
    8-9 lbs. No more than 9. :smug:
    No jazz body either. I don't really like the feel of those :O
  2. Lots of threads on this topic! I recommend Yamaha.
  3. qervo


    May 18, 2011
  4. logans59


    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    I recently went through a very similar search here, turns out 5 isn't for me. I would strongly suggest going used in case the same proves true for you.

    ESP-LTD 205SM gets my vote for that price range
  5. grass132456


    Sep 12, 2011
    Oh yeah, I may go used on TB classified, but that is if my parents allow that. I don't really know how it's going to work tho :p
  6. Ibanez SR-505 would be my recommendation.
  7. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    A used SR505 can be had easily for under $500 and a good bit less if you are willing to shop and be patient.
  8. I'd love to say "Model XYZ is the one!", but there are several other key factors to consider when trying to find the right 5 string. Here's what you need to figure out first:

    -String spacing. This is often ignored by first-time 5 string buyers, and IMHO it is the most critical factor to figure out. It will likely play a key role in comfort with the transition. String spacing on 4 stringers is usually 19mm - 3/4". 5 stringers can go anywhere from 15mm to 20mm. It doesn't seem like much but it is a huge difference. I can't play less than 18mm, other can't do more than 17mm. There's no right or wrong measurement, it's just a matter of finding the right one that is comfortable.

    - Scale. I know you said either 34" or 35" is fine, but make sure that you are fine with the 35". Some folks are fine, some aren't. There are many, many 34" basses with B strings that are every bit as good as a 35". Of course, there are also some crappy ones.

    There are plenty of basses in your price range, but no Jazz bodies and no more than 9 pounds is going to really narrow the field. You may be able to find a used Carvin (solid B) in that range. If you could go Jazz bodies and/or higher weight (potentially), Squier makes a Vintage Modified 5 string that is beautiful, as well as the Deluxe Active Jazz. Both those are 18-19mm and are great basses that can be had new for ~$300.

    You might also consider a Sterling by Musicman S.U.B. Series Ray5. Narrower spacing and around the same money. Deals can be had online from the retailers, and you'll get 30 days to try it...

    Good Luck!
  9. msact

    msact Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I thought five string basses weren't for me either. I had a Fender Jazz MIM five string and didn't care for it at all. Just recently, I tried out several different five string basses in my local Sam Ash store and ended up walking out with a Spector Legend 5. It just seemed so much more comfortable than the others I played. Perhaps it was the 35 inch neck and the 24 frets. Everything seems perfectly in scale to my hands (not big at all). The fender five string neck always felt like a plank. I would check out the Spector basses. You should be able to find them used in your price range.
  10. The B on the 34" scale Ibanez is junk. If you're going to look at an Ibanez, look at the BTB models. Much crisper & more responsive B.

    Outside of that, check out the Spector Legend or ReBop models...or the NEW Warwick Rockbass Corvettes...all killer basses for reasonable prices.
  11. gr8bassplayer


    Feb 12, 2013
    Schecter guitars... Love mine.
  12. I recommend a cort action 5, then get some new pups.
  13. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    Also, if you're looking at used basses, take a look at the G&L Tribute L2500 and SBMM SR5. Both pop up for under $500 used from time to time. Unfortunately, both will prob be closer to 10+ lbs., which is why I listed the SR505 first.

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