need a 5-string. Inexpensive, not cheap

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McKind, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. hi all,
    we're playing a few songs that need low B.
    Initially I've tried this odd thing to use a 4-string with B-E-A-D. Poor man solution = poor solution.
    then I bought a Harley Benton for 129€. A Deluxe series resembling (just in the shape) a Stingray. Terrible sound, terrible playability... I relic'd it and sold it immediately.
    Now I'm looking for a long lasting solution. My budget is low, so, considering what I've seen on the second hand market and what I've read on some posts here, the options are:
    Squier JB5
    Ibanez EDB405
    Cort Element B5 or Action V-DLX
    Any suggestion? or alternative?
  2. GTHintz


    Jan 9, 2018
    Ibanez Cort LTD and Yamaha seem are very solid and are all underrated basses because they don't look like fenders. They won't sound like fenders and they have their own unique tone. If you are after a stingray though I would check out the sub series stingray. lots of the stingray players here seem to like them. I see you're in Germany and I know that makes a difference. I wonder if you can get good prices on used Warwick basses. Even the lowest budget rock bass is really great. Here in the US they are more rare but when they do come up for sale sometimes they can be very good deals used. But Warwick is high on my list if you want excellent basses.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
  3. thanks for the tip. I'm not after a Stingray (even a SUB would bring me out of budget...!); true, my basses are all passive, but that's not a problem: although Japanese / Korean Basses are active, that's fine with me (and honestly, I think that with a low B, an active EQ is what one needs)
    GTHintz likes this.
  4. GTHintz


    Jan 9, 2018
    Budget is key. However I will say that for low budget you're actually going to do better with passive basses. The reason is that most preamps especially the cheap ones tend to be crap. I've played basses that I just couldn't get to sound right and it's usually a preamp that isn't working with the bass. I've heard more cheap but still good passive pickups. I would say for you keep looking for used basses and you'll find something in your budget. If you can get about €250 saved up you can find something decent. If you are good at fixing and setting up basses you can find a very good deal on a bass someone else didn't set up well and is selling cheap because he thinks it's crap.
    DJ Bebop, McKind and Justinian like this.
  5. a good point I didn't think of. I know exactly what you mean. I still own an old Korean bass that once was active -and not bad at all! Then the active circuit broke, and I replaced it with a sealed preamp made in China. Pure crap, so I decided to rewire it anew, turning it into a passive bass.
    31HZ, Dust2Dust and GTHintz like this.
  6. GTHintz


    Jan 9, 2018
    I got a Chinese fretless and the preamp was definitely hot garbage. The pickups were ok but not very good. I ended up getting passive tone and wiring it that way with pickups from a Spector bass and it sounds really nice now. It's the wood grain bass in my profile picture. Another brand I didn't think of but wouldn't be bad is Sire. They are Korean and Marcus Miller is an endorsing artist and investor in the company. But aside from price what kind of tone are you looking for and what would you like the bass to look like? Hopefully we can narrow it down for you.
    DJ Bebop and McKind like this.
  7. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Check out the Yamaha BB line of basses. I recently bought a BB435. Cost was a bit less than $600.00 but they have instruments at higher and lower price points to fit most budgets. I have yet to read a bad review of them. Good luck with your search
    Cheers J.S.
    willddd, hrodbert696, matt_s and 10 others like this.
  8. DrThumpenstein

    DrThumpenstein Living for the groove Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    St Louis, MO
    I can highly recommend trying to get your hands on a Sterling Stingray 5. It’s the best bang for the buck of all my basses. I only have 5, ranging from ~$300-3500, and it hangs with them all, despite being the $300 one. It needed a setup, which it took well, and it plays and sounds great. It’s my only fiver. It’s active with a single humbucker. The preamp has a pretty decent range of tones. I’ve been really happy with the quality of that bass, especially considering how inexpensive it was.

    Good luck finding your new axe!

    Requisite eye candy:
    Turtle71, Dbassmon, matt_s and 15 others like this.
  9. sylvanbass

    sylvanbass Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    Kingston Springs TN
    A friend of mine has the Sire V5 Jazz (passive), and I was very very impressed with it. I'm not a 5 player, but I kind of want to buy one just to play around with. His played surprisingly well straight out of the box. Pickups were very good quality, but if I had it as a main player I would probably upgrade. The neck and overall look was just fantastic. He got his end of last year for $599 from Sweetwater.

  10. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I can personally endorse both the Ibby (mine was an SR5) and the Squier (not sure which specific model I have). I'd add ESP MTD to that list as well. All very playable and solid budget instruments.
    Ggaa and McKind like this.
  11. I was using one of these to learn 5 string it was a nice player
    Yamaha TRBX305
    el jeffe bass, stefanos80 and McKind like this.
  12. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Ibanez ATK 5s are GREAT values and excellent players.
    McKind likes this.
  13. Snert


    Oct 3, 2021
    Any Ibanez SR. They'll all feel the same (body size and neck feel/shape), but S/H, you could get something very nice depending on where you are and what's in the wallet.
    birminghambass and el jeffe bass like this.
  14. My bang-for-buck choices:
    Ibanez SR505... Mahogany finish wears fast, but sounds and plays great. Under $500 used.
    Yamaha BB735a (my back up) tons of features, plays and sounds fantastic. $950 CDN new. probably $500 used.
    el jeffe bass and ColdEye like this.
  15. I would recommend the Sire V3. It's cheaper than the V5 and V7, $469 new, but people praise how well built and good sounding it is for the price. It also has the same preamp as the V7, which is killer. I have the V7 5 string, and I love it - and the B string sounds great! With the active/passive switch and EQ settings I think you may find it a great sounding and versatile bass. You may be able to find it for cheaper used on Reverb or Guitar Center.

    Blues Bass 2, One Way and Greg Pruitt like this.
  16. Artman

    Artman a.k.a. Eddy Garcia Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    Georgetown, TX
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If I could only own 36 basses what would they be?
    try a few different Ibanez models
  18. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    It would be helpful to know the maximum you're will to spend?
  19. swink


    Jan 10, 2019
    DrThumpenstein likes this.
  20. bigthemat


    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    Squier or Ibanez are good safe "cheap" but not "crap" options. I have a Ibanez talman that is pretty awesome, got a good deal. My main player though is an old squier vm jazz that I've had for over a decade, and it just gets better with age. Only issue I had was the input jack was shorting (easy fix) but the tech had a whole new control plate with new pots and what not which has been great.
    Dust2Dust likes this.

Share This Page