MTD or ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nanook, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. nanook

    nanook Guest

    Feb 9, 2000
    Well, for all the rave about MTD 535's and the shortage thereof, I'm not sure one would fit my needs or be worth the premium price they are bringing at present.

    The necks look chunky and slow. The neck looks way too wide, maybe it's just for slap happy players. And one would think for the price it would at least be a neck through design.

    I don't know what to do. I'm in the market for a custom 5 string in a 35" scale.

    Some others under consideration and the drawbacks to each are:

    1. Dingwall - I fear the slanted frets
    2. Fodera - Astronomical price
    3. Brubaker - Don't know much about them
    4. Fleishman - Resale value problem
    5. Tune - Unknown Quality

    Any assistance from those knowledgeable about any of these would be appreciated.
  2. David-Adler

    David-Adler Guest

    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
  3. Shortage of MTD 535's??? Where?????

    We got 5 or 6 hangin' on the wall at BC right now! As for the neck, slow ain't what I'd call it. It isn't a speedy as my Zon, but it's awful close, and the tone is incredible, particularly on the wenge necked ones (not that the maple ones are bad mind you!).

    Matter of fact, we've got a used one in that's just amazing, literally like new:

    Belongs to a good friend of ours, Reece Smith, who takes not excellent care of his stuff, but PERFECT care of it. We could (but of course would never) sell it as brand-new, and no one would ever know it. Not trying to do the car salesman thing ("It was only played on alternate Sundays by a little old lady..." ;) ), just lettin' ya know there are some out there that are great deals (well as great a deal as a $3K bass can be). Gimme a call, it's free! (800-545-8813). Got some brand new ones that are pretty damn nice as well...
  4. LowRanger

    LowRanger Guest

    Dec 24, 2000
    I've not had the pleasure of playing an MTD (they sure look sweet); I had a Gibson-era Killer B 5 that was pretty weak for my requirements. Probably not a fair comparison?

    I do have a Dingwall 5 and a Fodera 5, and did own a Marleaux Consat Custom 5. A few observations:

    1. Don't fear the fanned frets. The bass is perfectly balanced, and those frets LOOK intimidating, but other than highest-register work requiring a little technique adaptation, the fanned frets are a non-event for me. Very thin, fast neck. Excellent craftsmanship, light, comfortable to play, great sound, and people look at you as if you were a magician when they see you play the fanned frets. Very much worth looking in to!

    2. Foderas are expensive, but you can still find some fairly decent deals used. Immaculate craftsmanship, the Pope pre and Duncan Dual-coils make for a very powerful combination. Wide Fenderish neck (on my Monarch Deluxe anyway) and string spacing, perfectly balanced, not a single dead spot on the neck, even string-to-string balance. Not the lightest in the world, but seems lighter than any Warwick I ever had. Incredibly wide range of sounds, cuts through the mix like no bass I've ever had or played before. The string spacing is probably more accomodating to slappers than the Dingwall.

    3. The Marleaux was light and well balanced, but I wasn't much impressed beyond that. The bridge mine came with was 2-piece, and adjusting it was a pain in the butt. I couldn't get the action low without string buzzes. The programmable 3-band EQ sounds like a great idea on paper, but in use it was clumsy: move the "program" switch, set the frequency pots, click the program switch, turn the frequency pots to flat, move the program switch to play, dial in your tone (yeah, try that in a live setting).

    Just my 2 cents. I don't think you could go wrong with ANY of the basses your looking at!
  5. RAM

    RAM Guest

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I had the opportunity to play a couple of 535's recently (when I was trying to scope out an Elrick: an impossibility in Rob Elrick's home town:mad:). One had a wenge neck and the other a maple neck.

    The neck shape was assymetrical and surprisingly comfortable for this 4-stringer! In fact, I've been convinced I'd ONLY play 4's for the rest of my life, until I played the wenge one, anyway!

    The "B" was incredibly tight! The neck was comfortable. The string spacing was easy for me, though admittedly I don't slap worth-a-crap. The eq was quite well versed, tones lurking underneath the beautiful body...

    I'd rank this bass with any other in the "finest made" category, and would definitely consider one of these beauties for my collection someday;)
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    For the record--expensive does not equal neck through. My Curbow Int'l Petite will eat most neck through basses for breakfast, and it is a bolt-on.
  7. we only have 5 MTD 535's, the used one I posted about last night is now sold!

    Someone got a great deal...
  8. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    For a 5-string w/ a 35" scale, you may also want to take at the following basses:

    1. Modulus Quantum 5
    2. Used MTD Grendel 5 (I think they're discontinued)
    3. MPG Guitars Level 5
    4. Lakland 5
    5. Ibanez BTB series 5

    Now, if you got BUCKS:

    1. Jerry Drozd Obsession
    2. Zon Sonus Studio 5
    3. MTD 535 (You can't judge a bass by its cover. They actually play great!)
    4. Fodera 5 (any model is going to be great)
    5. Elrick neck-through (they might be 34". I'm not sure)
    6. R bass single cut-away 5

    ...and of course THAT list is endless depending on how much money you have. If you can, play as many basses as you can to get the feel in your hands. Also, what styles of music you play are crucial to what instrument you end up with. If you're a head-banger, the exotic African and South American woods may not be necessary, or even desirable.

    Hope this helps.
  9. RAM

    RAM Guest

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL

    What exactly are you looking for in a 5-string besides a comfortable neck?

    The way these threads sometimes develop, it may be that you'll get 1000 or more opinions on what everybody thinks is the best 5'er around...I've even got my opinions. But, if you can narrow down what you're looking for, I think we can be of better help.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  11. onebassplayer

    onebassplayer Guest

    Jun 20, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    welp... Brad stole most of my thunder, but I would add Elrick to your list, used Foderas are showing up between 2-3K from time to time, and 535s aren't really that hard to find (if that is what you want - I haven't played one that has blown me away to date).

    Depending on the tone you are looking for, and style of music you play, I would also suggest (as others have) a Modulus or a Hanewinckel.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Thunder Thief... I like that;)
  13. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    it must be hard finding basses at the artic.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Not as hard as at the Antarctic.

    Trust me;)
  15. I guess an F Bass BN5 is out of the question?

    Brad, Why didn't you chime in?

    Check out:
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I mentioned F bass, Bob.