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Need advice on 5-strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by amplified59, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Alright, so I've been playing for quite a while and decided how much I hate tuning down and how much I really do need a 5 string bass (especially since I've been writing some rather low bass lines). Anyways, I'm on a budget, probably somewhere between $200 and $500, and not sure what to get. It has been suggested to me that I look at the Squire P-Bass Special 5-String, or Fender Standard Jazz 5-String. The Kingston MTD doesn't have the setup I want and the OLP MM5 doesn't have the setup I want, so those are two basses that are out of the question. I'd go for a SR305DX if I could one (maybe) and the squire SQ MB-5, and the standard p-bass, looks like it'll fall apart. I'm looking for either a double J or a P/J setup, with a setup that'll allow tight strings, similar to the old ibanez Tj-80s (they were four string, but the setup was, in my opinion, mighty fine). I also found the Yamaha BBG5S and there a few Dean basses flaoting around, but I don't know much about them. The guys at the local stores weren't much help because business hasn't been well, so they're looking for quick sales. Anyone care to offer some advice? (also, I was thinking about going frankenstien on the bass I bought to kinda make it sound a bit better, on advice on that?).

  2. Bassdadto2


    Dec 3, 2001
    For the money, Those Deans are a good investment. I would also suggest you look into the DeArmond Pilot.
    And Ravenwest Guitars too!
  3. I don't know man, I'm not so sure I'm liking the Deans. I suppose I ought to try one first though. Also, the DeArmond Pilot is simply a piece of crap in my opinion, lol, it just plays as if it were pasted together by some kindergartener...but that's just my opinion. Thanks anyways.

  4. does it havta be used? i got a nice Yamaha Trb5-II for a lil over 500$...check out used...you can find great deals :D
  5. spaz


    May 24, 2001
    Hampton, VA - USA
    I just bought my first 5-string after playing 4's for about 10 years. I must have tried 20-25 basses, many of them more than once, over a 3-4 month period before I finally bought one. I was extremely impressed with the dean basses that I played, I think they are a great value. I really liked the way they felt and I thought they had a decent sound. I'm not sure which model I played, but it was around $500. If you can, play a bunch of different basses until you find one that you keep going back to. In the end I ended up buying an EB Stingray5 because it felt "right" and I loved the sound.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have a 5 string made in Korea Dean Edge and I love it. It is very nicely made, has good passive EMG-HZ pickups, a great feeling neck, 35" scale, and looks very pretty as well. I'd take a good look at them.

    I also have a MIA Jazz V and I'm sure the MIM Jazz V is a good instrument also.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I used to have a an MB-4 back in 1995, when they were actually Fenders. It had a decent tone for a bass in that price range, held its tune, and was constructed fairly decently. I cant comment on the new squire ones as i have yet to really play one.

    IMO youd be better off going with the mim standard 5 over the squire p 5. I believe the pickups in the P are designed for a 4 string bass and they stick um in the 5, so the low b is very weak sounding.
    The yamaha you inquire about isnt that bad of a bass imo, Only thing i didnt care for about it was i had to roll the tone knob all the way off to get rid of excessive highs, and after i did that the bass got pretty decent bottom end. I didnt care for the feel of the neck all that much either, but ymmv on all of this.

    Im partial to the mim dlx active jazz bass, its got great tone, the construction is pretty decent, and is very versatile. IMO its one of the best bang for your buck basses in this price range.

    i cant believe i didnt say this before, Play every possible brand, make and model and let your ears and hands be the judge*
  8. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Please don't look at the Squier 5 string P Bass. That thing SUCKS MONKEY BALLS 12 TIMES A WEEK!!!!!

    I have one of these squiers and I HATE IT SO MUCH! what a bad bass, I should have bought that midnight blue MIM P bass I wanted. The 5 string is probably even worse with a B like a shoelace.

    I would seriously reconsider the MTD Kingston 5. It and the MM Stingray 5 are the best 5 string basses there are for under $2000. Some even say that the Kingston plays even better than the high-end MTD basses. I would get this bass so bad if I were you!!!! :D
  9. check out the Dean really. look at it close, it has a 5 peice maple and walnut neck (super strong), basswood body, and solid passive pups. the newer ones (I think) come with an active EQ. it also has Grover tuners and a 35" scale, so the B should be nice and tight. compare the specs, feel, sound, look and playabillity with anything in its price range.
    I have an Edge 4 in amberburst, I've been very happy with it. I play live 3 times a week with it, and don't use a backup. half the time I don't even need to tune it, it's still in tune from last time!
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    So, do you have a P Bass Special 5 string, or don't you? Have you ever even played one? And the "That thing SUCKS MONKEY BALLS 12 TIMES A WEEK!!!!!" comment shows a lot of intelligence.:rolleyes:

    I have actually played this bass, and believe it or not, it has a tighter B string than any Fender Jazz I have ever played. Not as tight as the Roscoe Beck, but tighter than all of the other Fender 5's. And it sounds pretty decent too. But like Cass said, the pickups are actually 4 string pickups in a 5 string case, so the B is weak sounding. Replace the pickups and you could have an OK five for under $400.

    What is it that you don't like about the MTD Kingston, it blows away all of the other 5's mentioned in this thread.

    As far as the Dean's go, they are very well constructed, and have decent electronics for the price, but even though they have a 35" scale, the B's aren't very tight. And the string spacing is very narrow, but I think you said that you want that. Try them, try the Ibanez, try the Squier, try anything and everything that is in your price range, even if you think it sucks. Your ears and hands tell a lot more truth than your eyes do.

    By the way, amplified, welcome to Talkbass!:)
  11. Jeff is absolutely right. YOU need to go out and try these basses. They all have good points that you might just find you like.

    I have a Roscoe Beck RB-5. In my opinion, it's one of the best 5-strings out there. It's a little bit higher in price than what you said you wanted to spend. But you can find them used in the $700-$850 range if you take your time.

    As for "lo-end's" comment on the Squier 5-string, I feel that he's way off base. I've tried many of them. I'm looking for a back-up 5 and this one seems to fill the bill. The neck is well constructed and has a smooth, fast feel to it. It's a little wide by some people's opinion, but I like 'em that way. I want the feel of my 5-strings to be like a standard Fender 4 with an added string. The pickups aren't the best and really need to be replaced. But the rest of the bass is of very reasonable quality and worth what it costs.

    Jeff is right, the Squier 5 with a new set of pups would be a damn nice bass for well under $400. Used you could get it down to under $300.

    Good luck in your search.
  12. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Yes I have played a Squier 5 string and it was horrible. The strings were really floppy and I thought it sounded weak and quiet.
  13. I think this is the answer to your probleme.

    Schecter Stiletto Elite 5

    Quilted maple, mahogany body, emg pickups, active eq, mapleneck, rosewood fingerboard, 35 inch scale, neck through design.

    I just bough one after trying tons of 5's and this one blew them all away. It cost about 600 bucks wich i know is a little more than you want to spend, but trust me in long run you will be very thankfull you got it. I was willing to spend up to 1500 and none even came close to this, I found some i like about the same but they were around 2000:eek: In the next couple weeks i will be getting the 4 string version in the cherry color:D
  14. hI,
  15. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    In that price range, I would reconsider the MTD K5.
  16. Since you don't seem to like most of the basses in your price range I think your best bet is going used. I've seen RB5's sell as low as $650.
  17. Considering what I'm hearing about the pickups, I think I may look away from the Squire until I can learn how to drop pickups in. I'm not too familiar with the wirings on the guitar so I think I may lean away from that. Also, thank you jeff for replying to this message. I was reading all over the forums and noted that you seemed to be one of the more thoughtful members ;). Anyways, there seem to be plenty of Yamahas in my range, I wondering if anyone can tell me the difference in quality from the BBG5 and the BBG5S. Also, what are the differences in an Edge 5 and an Edge 1-J5. Also, does anyone have the specs on the Stingray? It's looking alright. One more note, would be how much I hate active electronics in the ibanez basses....hence part of the reason I want to trade in my bass right now. I have an SR300DX and it's a pretty fine bass, but the combination of the electronics and the bass boost are making me crazy. However, if the EDB605 wasn't so damn expensive, that'd be the ideal bass. Too bad it's around $600. I was also searching around the Mars Music website and found a Les Paul Standard bass and an Epiphone EB-3 (SG syle Body), what's the deal with these basses? I also have one more question. The Fenders are made in Mexico and the Squires in Indonesia....can someone tell me the differences in the guitars besides the pickups?
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Squiers are much cheaper made than the Fenders. The labor conditions in Indonesia are probably very poor, the Indonesian government isn't exactly known for being very nice to it's people (i.e. East Timor, etc.). The labor conditions in Mexico are likely much much better. How much does this mean to you? I don't know, but it means a lot to me. Korea is much better than Indonesia or China also. Actually there are some really good basses coming out of Korea these days.

    My nephew has a Squier P bass 4 and it's a good instrument for the money. The electronics and hardware are extremely cheap, but the neck and body feel solid enough.

    I respectfully don't agree with the distiguished embellisher's comments about the B string on the Deans. My Made in Korea Dean Edge 5 fretless has a fantastic B string, very articulate and tight feeling. But of course, it depends on the strings (I'm using Fender Super Bass mediums with a 130 B) and the individual bass.

    If you don't like the active electronics in your Ibanez I would suggest leaning towards a passive bass (another point for the Dean and the MIM Jazz V). I've read in reviews that most low priced instruments with active electronics have pretty cheap systems that can hurt more than help the sound. However, the companies use this to lure customers who think that active is "better" than passive. It could be that you don't like cheap active electronics.
  19. the differences between the Edge 5 and the Edge 1-j5 are (and I could be mistaken);
    Edge 5:
    has all the features I mentioned previously.
    5 piece maple and walnut neck (super strong), basswood body, and solid passive pups. the newer ones (I think) come with an active EQ. it also has Grover tuners and a 35" scale, so the B should be nice and tight.
    Edge 1-J5:
    a 1 piece maple neck, basswood body, passive pups. no EQ, (I think) the controls are 2 volumes, and 1 tone knob. and I don't thing it has the Grover tuners.
    I don't know a whole lot about the 1-J models, but I think thats the difference.
  20. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000

    The Kingston MTD doesn't have the setup I want and the OLP MM5 doesn't have the setup I want, so those are two basses that are out of the question.

    End quote.

    I really don't understand this statement. Setup is easily changed.

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