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making a lightweight 5-string bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by krg, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. krg


    Mar 20, 2009
    I play an Ibanez SR 5-string, and love the meaty sound like Dave Hope of Kansas got. However, I have back trouble, and need a lighter-weight bass. Don't want to revert to a 4-string, either.

    I want to buy a short-scale 4-string with active pickups, replace the nut & bridge, and make it a 5-string. (I play with a pick, so I don't need as much string separation.)

    I want to keep the meaty-sound. And I don't want to spend a lot of money.

    Ideas on an inexpensive lightweight 4-string? Or ideas from anyone else who has tried to do this?
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Wow! I've never found Ibanez SR's to be heavy! All seem very light to me! I owned a SR505 and it was very light. Any lighter then you get into high end/custom bass territory. Sadowsky's can be pretty light due to body chambering
  3. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
  4. Squier Vintage Modified P bass. Very lightweight. Dave Hope usually used a Fender Precision and the VM basses are very nice for the money.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've built lightweight 34 inch scale solidbody 4 strings (5.5 lbs is my lightest, so far) but I haven't tried a building a similarly lightweight 5 string...yet.
  6. krg


    Mar 20, 2009
    Mongo2, how did you build your 34" 5.5-lb 4-string? Ordering individual parts from a place like warmoth.com? (What was the cost?)
  7. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    you might want to look into Rob Allen's basses or make a post on the Luthier's forum. I made my own chambered fretless bass and it weighs just a few pounds. I believe warmoth makes chambered bodies. Then you will want to use Ultralight Hipshot tuners on a compact headstock.
  8. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I just don't equate a "meaty-sound" to a short scale bass played with a pick. If you have to compromise size, you'll have to compromise something else as well

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