new 5 or new 4?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by __Syxx__, May 9, 2001.

  1. __Syxx__

    __Syxx__ Guest

    Nov 14, 2000
    brisbane australia
    Hi. I've been playing a 4 string bass since about November last year, and I want to get a new bass hopefully towards the end of this year.
    I've always wanted a 5 string for the extra lows, but the only thing I don't like about the 5's is how the B string is so floppy.
    Could you please tell me the advantages and disadvantages of getting a new 4 or 5 string bass. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh and I'm either looking at a Ibanez or Spector.

  2. I know what you mean about the 5's having floppy b strings cause i own a yamaha 5-string and the b on it is very poor. But not all 5-strings are like that.
    Try an ibanez btb bass. It has an excellent b string(its not floppy at all)
  3. If you get a heavier gauge string, the B won't feel so floppy. Same goes for a longer scale length.

    Go for it! You may not need the lowest note on the string but being able to come up to the low E from below kicks ass.

    - Dave
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm a bit partial to the 4-string. However, it sounds like you are already interested in going down to a low B. There are two ways to accomplish this: a less conventional method of tuning a 4-string B-E-A-D or getting a 5-string.

    Since you're already aware of what the low B can end up sounding like, it's important to consider each individual bass. Some manufacturers have better luck obtaining a tighter B string by adding to the scale length, going from a 34" scale to a 35" scale. While it's not always true, the extra tension with the added inch (or more) may help you get a tighter B string. Therefore, this may be a consideration.

    Another is the actual bass. I own a Spector (4 string). The 5's by Spector are remarkably focused down low. That said, it may also depend on the model you're considering. I don't know about the Korean versions. Since you didn't specify, I can't really assume to know which Spector you're looking at. Supposedly (and Mr. Dead and Nino can and will back this up) the 5-string Czech Spectors DO have very focused low B strings. I'm pretty sure they have had less luck with Ibanez. I haven't had particularly good luck either with them...but, that's a matter of opinion.;)
  5. __Syxx__

    __Syxx__ Guest

    Nov 14, 2000
    brisbane australia

    Sorry. For the Spector I'm proberly looking at the NS2000Q5 (NS2000Q4 for a 4 stringer). And the Ibanez most likely a soundgear.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Soundgears have poor B strings. The Ibanez BTB is much better. The NS2000-5 also has a better B than the Soundgear, although not quite as good as the BTB405.
  7. As long as we're on the topic, I'm looking at a getting a jazz bass this summer, probably a MIM, and I'm toying with the idea of a 5 string, does anyone know what they're 5 strings are like?
  8. hey Embellisher, i have to agree that there are some Soundgears with horrible B-strings...but you know, my SR-506 has a GREAT B-string...compared to the SR-305 at my school, my bass is superior...that B-string on the SR-305 is so wobbly, that it taps the E-string when i hit it really hard!
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Rafterman, I have a 506 also. With new strings, it has a pretty good B string, much better than any 5 string Soundgear I have ever played(because of the bigger, more stable 3 piece neck???:confused:???) but the B string goes dead faster than on my other contrabasses and once it goes dead it is floppy and weak.

    But the 506 has a better B than the SR406, I think that is due to the way the SR500 series neck is set further into the body than the 300 and 400 series.
  10. You should ask yourself: am I going to be in a musical situation where I'll need notes below E?

    If you're in a 3-chord garage-rock band, the answer will probably be no. If you're doing anything where you can pound on the root all day, you might need to detune to match the guitars, but there's no point in having a fifth string if you never go above the fifth fret on the D string anyway. However, if you're playing jazz, fusion, funk, ska, or anything where you'll be dealing with keys like Eb (horns), C (lazy keyboardists ;) ), etc., you should strongly consider a 5-string.

    For well below the price of an NS2000/5, you could snag an MTD Kingston 5-string. It has the best B, by a long shot, of any bass under $1000, the build quality is fabulous considering its Korean origin, and the string spacing is wide enough that you can do slapping and popping with ease. It's not versatile by any means, but the one sound it has is a damn good one, and since it uses an industry standard pickup size and has a big control cavity, there are a lot of electronic mods you could do to it. Hell, I might just get one, hot-rod it, and defret my Dean, and be done with it...

    Or, if you're partial to the thin Ibanez and Spector necks, give a Dean Edge Custom 5 or Edge Select 5 a try. The Custom 5 is like an SR885 done better, and the Select 5 is very similar to the NS2000/5 but for the body material (alder instead of soft maple).
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Coming from the kid who preaches the SR gospel (oh, god save me...), you wouldn't think you're the LEAST bit biased, right? Mmmhhhmm.