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Need 5-string advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by flyguy909, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. flyguy909


    Mar 3, 2011
    Coventry, CT
    I currently play in 2 bands and in both I need the flexibility of a 5 string. I had a beautiful Ibanez neck thru 5 string about 20 years ago, can't remember the model but it was a great bass.. if not heavy as hell. Unfortunately I sold it soon after because I was playing mostly blues and r&b at the time. Since then my two main basses have been a mid 90's Fender Jazz USA Deluxe, and an older Warwick Corvette... love those 2 basses.

    Since I play mostly fingerstyle and was used to the Ibanez 34" scale and string spacing on their 5's, I ordered a Soundgear 705. This is a really nice looking, well made bass for the price - great workmanship and light. Very easy to play, but after almost a year, I can't seem to get a sound I really like out of this thing. It works for playing gigs but I would never record with it.

    So all that said, any recommendations on another 34" scale 5 string... or should I go through the trouble of changing out the preamp and pups. I've gone this route in the past and had less than impressive results.
  2. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I had an Ibanez SR645 and SR885 at one time. Both great basses but prefered everyone elses non-ibanez tones. I got rid of both and ended up with 2 P-basses for a while. Both 4 strings. My current band required 5 strings so no i have a EBMM Stingray 5 and a SBMM Ray35 and will never go back to an Ibanez.

    The main downside to owning an Ibanez was when i sold them. The SR645 cost me around $600 (i think) and sold it for $150. The SR885 was just under $1000 and i sold it for $200. they have horrible resale.
  3. staindbass


    Jun 9, 2008
    have you heard the bass recorded direct ? if it sounds ok i would say its the amp your not happy with. if its not pleasing to you on a recording then try new pickups and or preamp. or a new bass. if that is your choice, i would suggest trying a spector legend, (around 700$) i used to be endorsed by ibanez, and honestly the soundgear series just doesnt hold a candle to the spector sound in my opinion. i have $5000 spector, and still prefer the legend. go figure lol. johnny a. -staind
  4. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    A cheap experiment is to convert the bass to passive, maybe it's just the pre-amp coloring/killing the tone. That was the case with my 1st bass (RBX-375). I had it put aside for 3 years or so but just hauled it out and made it passive this week (kept original pups). Much better tone.
  5. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    For a guy that only owns Fender or Lakland basses, I recently played an Ibanez ATK 805E, and now I want one . . . but . . . am waiting until I get hold of the ATK 1205 to test drive - it's an upgraded version! The sound is perfect, the radius is great at 12" (I like anything from 10 to 13), and the price is high, but OK . . .
  6. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    You love your corvette, why not get a 5 string version? Mine kills.
  7. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Maybe a change of pickups/preamp will get you closer to your tone needs. Although, I am still a little hazy on exactly what your tone goals are, what exactly are the stock pickups not giving you in your tone that you would like to hear?

    I have two Ibanez basses - the SR-375M and just picked up an SR-705 about two months ago. I love both dearly and they both sound great, but I am actually finding myself preferring the tone of Ibanez' fairly new to the market CAP pickups (in the 375m) over the MK1 Barts in my SR-705. I find the CAP pickups to be more single-coil sounding in nature and give me a more focused, meatier tone than the MK1's do. The MK1's sound almost too open, or wide sounding for my needs, maybe just too much glass on top. The CAP pickups remind me of a meaty jazz bass tone but with more "air" on top and also play/sound nicer with different amounts of overdrive IMO than the MK-1's do. That said, I ordered a set of the CAP pickups and plan on installing them in my SR-705.
  8. girlonbass


    Apr 3, 2009
    Are you looking for options for other instruments?

    A number of years ago I bought a Warwick Corvette Proline 5. Ash body and active Bartolini's. At one point we did a recording test with it and and few other basses. The Warwick was hands down the best sounding. IMO. Used, these are not much more than the 705.
  9. flyguy909


    Mar 3, 2011
    Coventry, CT
    I took a chance on the SR705 because the price was right and was hoping the 700 series with the Barts would be good enough. For me the sound is just not "organic" enough. Although I love my active deluxe Jazz, I also really dig the passive Corvette tone. Maybe passive is the way to go - I picked up a Mexi Jazz at a jam recently and was blown away by the cool vintage tone of that bass... way better than it's price point would indicate.

    I really should look into a Corvette 5, but would like to find an older German one. Before the Ibanez I bought a Rockbass Corvette 5 figuring that it might be ok with the Warwick name on it. Maybe I had a bad one but I could not send that piece of junk back soon enough. Fit and finish was absolutely horrid. The sound and playablility was passable I suppose. That experience ruined me for any offshore Warwick product.
  10. Betrayer_Bass

    Betrayer_Bass Profanity Fish. Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    Endorsing: Spector basses, Winspear Picks, Spector Formula 603 strings
    Seconded, mine kills too. Corvette STD 5 (passive)

    Go with that!
  11. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    What type of tone goals are you looking for? Something more vintage or something more in your face? Is it too thin, too boomy for you, etc.?

    Here's something interesting about the Ibanez SR Barts from user "SGD Lutherie" taken from this thread:


    ...and also:
  12. truecanadian04


    May 4, 2011
    Warwick Corvette $$ 5 string. German made to perfection.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    In order to generate replies that you can actually use, wouldn't it make sense for you to actually articulate exactly what it is that you're looking for in a new five-string bass guitar - as well as those qualities that you really don't want? Tone, look, feel, build quality, size, style...whatever.

    How about starting with the Soundgear 705? Precisely what kind of tone(s) were you actually trying to get from it, that you could not? :eyebrow:

  14. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Sr700 is the higher entry Ibanez Sr series and necks are really close to Premium (they're all made in Indonesia) series

    On Premiums, Nordtstrand BigSingles do the difference

    Being BigSingles perfect Bart replacements, with exposed polepieces, buyin' couple of 'em means to swap 'em in Barts Mk1 places and, possibly, change midscoop switch (on Premiums too) to on/off switch (on Premiums only)

    I really think you can stick to your Sr705 mahogany body and maple top, keepin' your onboard pre and, changin' pickups, revive your bass with a more traditional, growly almost "Jazzy" sound

  15. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Ibanez makes good stuff :)

    Take a look at there Premium series : 120x / 140x / 160x, all the same materials and electronics, only different exotic wood tops. The Nordstrand pups will give you a sound you will like for sure.

    If that still hasn't got the sound you are looking for, take a look at some Spector basses : Maybe the Rebop 5 could do the work for you or the new Rebop MM 5, with only a MM humbucker at the bridge.
  16. flyguy909


    Mar 3, 2011
    Coventry, CT
    Compared to my active Jazz Deluxe, I am constantly fiddling with all the knobs on the SR705 trying to get a universal workable sound. I find the highs a little too harsh, the lows not articulated enough, and the midrange not able to sculpt the tone nicely in either direction.

    Someone has mentioned switching the pickups around but maybe I should try the US made MK5's first. What about the Bart 5.4 preamp? Has anyone switched out the pickups first and then decided the preamp also needed replacing?
  17. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    ^ On the SR705, some say the pickups aren't great, some blame the preamp, some say it's both and some say it's the bassist. One thing that I would suggest is that if you are trying make your SR705 sound like a '59 Precision, '64 Jazz, '79 Stingray, etc. then you will probably be disappointed no matter what you do with the Ibanez. That's not to mean that's what I think you are doing or that the SR705 is perfect as is or can't use improving.

    Personally, I think the pickups and preamp are OK. Nothing stellar, nothing bad but workable. At some point I'm going to replace the pickups and preamp. I'm leaning towards trying out some SGD pickups and maybe a Glockenklang preamp.
  18. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    If you asked me to do the equation: 5 string + recording for me that would = Spector Euro.

    I recently came off Ibanez (by accident not design). For putting tracks down the Euro is super functional as a studio tool. I also like the Lakland 5 string offerings but I don't find their tone dynamic enough for tracking. They sound to me like a better live axe.
  19. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    Local place has a used Spector 5 in great shape for $600.

    Look for a similar deal near you. I don't own one, but they are awesome.
  20. eban3

    eban3 Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    Palm Bay FL
    Pedulla pedulla pedulla