Need help finding 5 string for my playing style

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marty1976, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Marty1976


    Oct 8, 2016
    Hi folks (first thread, so I apologize if i miss some formalities).

    I am a guitar to bass convert (played guitar for 25 years, been playing bass for most recent 10 years of that) have been playing a Spector 4 string for the 10 years I have played bass (love it). I started out playing bass with a pick, and have gradually moved to a fingerstyle playing where my thumb acts like a pick to play the main root notes and I use my other fingers as well to add in fills...I also slap/pop etc. I play different many different genres: mostly rock and some (old-school) country/bluegrass. I like a ballsy bass tone with little noise and little "presence"/high end.

    I am in the market for a new 5 string bass and am curious what some other's thoughts were on what kind of setup/bass would best match my playing style. Mainly, I'm curious about pickups, pickup placement, & what tone woods might enhance the sound based on this thumb-pick and finger style.

    Thinking about a custom build - but either way I'm looking to get out for $2000 or less.

    Thanks in advance, ask questions if you want more clarity!
  2. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I'd start checking out good used Lakland 5 string (55-01, 55-02 and 55-94) basses.
    interp likes this.
  3. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    I saw a very nice used spector Forte5 (U.S.) sell for $1800 a few months ago, im still kicking myself for not buying it
  4. oranje

    oranje Living deliciously Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    San Diego
    Check out a Human Base x oc5. they are uniquely versatile, very well built with top notch components. They pop up here and there on TB and can usually be found for under $1000. One of my fave all around 5ers.
  5. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    IMHO the most important part of choosing a 5 string bass is finding a string spacing you prefer. You can find 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, and 19mm fairly easily. Tighter string spacings can make fingerstyle easier but usually makes thumb style more difficult if you aren't a technical wizard. I like having room to be sloppy so I go for 18mm as a minimum.

    Get out and play a few 5's. Fender for 19mm, Ernie ball for 17.5, and Ibanez for 16.5. It will make more of a difference than you would imagine.

    After that nut width comes into play. 1 3/4" or 1 7/8" are the standard sizes with some falling in the middle. Do you like a round neck or a wide and thin neck?

    Woods make less of a difference than pickup placement. Can't really ever go wrong with a PJ setup. Single Musicman pickups are great for 5er's too.

    At the 2k price point most basses are solid enough to have a good B string. Some 5's are 35" scale which enhances the B but makes playing in the first 3 frets a bit of a stretch.

    Good luck and have fun! Play some stuff before you go all out on a custom build. You will lose your ass if you sell it because you don't like one of the things mentioned above.
  6. Marty1976


    Oct 8, 2016
    Yeah... I love my 4 string so much, if I don't do a custom, I am looking at spector 5's, but the only ones (normally) in my price range (that aren't Korean) are the Euro LX5, Coda DLX 5, or Rebop 5. Anything good or bad about those?

    @Sid the Kid thanks for the suggestion!
  7. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    euro's and rebops are killer basses with huge value for the $$, I have a few euro 4's and had a rebop4 that was my main player for a while, I only prefer the Forte 5 because it can be ordered with 19mm string spacing so they match my 4 strings
    the only thing I would change about the euro is the tone pump preamp. older SSD era CRFM basses are also a good option and the closest thing you can get to a true US spector build in a Czeck made bass because back then they used the same solid maple body wings and solid brass bridges as what they put on the US basses and a Korean make HAZ clone instead of the tone pump also if you prefer a 34inch scale in a 5 string the older ones are made this way while the newer euros are 35in
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    This. Unlike 4-strings, 5ers vary greatly with respect to string spacing. On the one hand, adding another string but maintaining the usual (4-string) spacing results inevitably in a much wider neck, which some people don't like. On the other hand, squeezing five strings into the same space as 4 results inevitably in strings that are much closer together, which some people don't like. IMO this is the single most important issue when moving from 4 to 5, and you need to figure this out before worrying about pickups, tone woods, and other factors.
  9. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I'd suggest taking a look at the new Fender American Elite Jazz 5. Played one recently and was very impressed.
  10. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
  11. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Yes, all of this.
  12. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Pedulla MVP5 in 17.5mm.


    or Pedulla Thunderbass 5

  13. osonu


    Aug 5, 2013
    Las Vegas
    I'm happy with my Stingray 5- and I seem to have lots of company! It fits my definition of ballsy tone, and the B string is good (compared to anything else I've tried)
  14. A-Ro


    Mar 22, 2016
    West Texas
    Especially if you like the custom route, don't rule out Kiesel/Carvin. Their 5's have great B strings and they are sure to have a body style, woods, pickups and colors that would suit you.

    I prefer the Kiesel necks for 5 strings with Lakland a close second.
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 25, 2021

Share This Page