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New 5 String advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bong404040, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. bong404040


    Feb 23, 2012
    Hello all!
    I hope I'm posting this in the right section.
    Anyways, I've been wanting to get a 5 string for some time and started looking around. I currently play a Stingray HH 4 BFR with the roasted neck, which I love and will never get rid of. Great tone and versatility. These are the two biggest factors that I'm looking for in this new 5 as the band I am in plays any and every genre, but all original songs which gives me room to jump around with my sound a little.
    The first bass I'm interested in is a 5 string SR HH. The other that I have been looking at for a long time is a Sandberg. Either the California TM2 or Basic Ken Taylor.
    Any experience with these basses that can be shared is much appreciated. I'm also open to other 5 string recommendations. 3k is pretty much my limit to spend, so anything right around there.

    Also, on a side note: Does anyone know if I can have a MM SR 5 BFR w/roasted neck made-to-order? and do they offer rarewood options?
    Thanks in advance for the advice, it's much appreciated.
  2. I've seen several 5s with roasted necks on sites like theperfectbass and basscentral. They are out there.

    Also i had a custom Ernie ball. They will make you a bass with any wood or paint they have in any bass they make for not much more than a production model. Took about 6 months to get but it was nice. Mine was a single H bongo 18 volt, 3 band eq in stealth black( matte black) with a tort gaurd. I actually sold it for a profit.
  3. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    You might also want to consider a used Kingston Heir. I just got one for $600 here on TB and they are great basses.
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Consider a Carvin. You'll only spend about a half to a third of your budget, and you'll be able to get the exact options you want. They're also insanely versatile. I've used mine for everything from bright, snappy modern fusion, to deep, warm reggae.

  5. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    I always recommend an Ibanez BTB. My BTB575FM is the most versatile bass ive owned. ive used it for funk, metal, rock, blues, doom, etc and it sounded great the whole time.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Have you played a 5 string Ray or are you basing your opinion off the 4 string? Personally I found the EB B string on the floppy side. Their 5 strings are also extremely heavy, a 10 pound one is a lighter one. So be prepared to get a thick strap and/or have a sore back after a 3 hour gig. EBMM will make you a custom bass based of their available options but you need to be extremely important to get something truly unique from EBMM. Sterling Ball feels he knows what his customers wants so that is why he offers only what he does. He seems to be correct for the most part so it is hard to argue with him.

    Carvin does have a fantastic B string but I find they are a little on the sterile side tonally, they are a little too perfect, they lack character. Something the Ray has by the tonne. I have never bothered to try changing pickups or preamp in my Carvin but there are lots of guys who have had great results.

    BTB's are good B's, not amazing but still fairly solid. They are also extremely heavy, my BTB 676 felt like a ton of bricks around my neck by the end of a 3 hour set. Their motto is "big body, big tone".
  7. bong404040


    Feb 23, 2012
    Well thanks for the help. I have played a few of the ray 5 strings and liked them that's why I said that, also I'm a big supporter of MM in general. However, the fact that I can't really get the "premium" options, so to speak, is really disappointing. I was hoping I'd be able to get a little picky with my top wood which is why I was looking at the Sandberg, among others. They have great options available and I've heard good things about them but, I can't find one in a store near me to try.
    As for the carvin and Ibanez; where as I most definitely trust your opinions on these basses, I'm looking for something a little bit more boutique. The bass is going to be a gift to me and the gift-er is pretty set on the amount they want to spend, I won't complain about that haha
  8. That's kinda funny. For the last decade I've mostly had "coffee table" basses with fancy tops and natural finishes. I always though painted basses looked cheap. Lately I've been more about the old school look. Maybe I'm just getting old.
  9. bong404040


    Feb 23, 2012
    well my current Stingray is the classic sunburst and I love it. It looks fantastic. But every time I see a nicely finished bass with an exotic top wood, I just really, really dig it haha
  10. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Ernie Ball is a volume instrument producer just like fender and Gibsonot a made to order like Carvin. They do lots of special run instruments but the majority of instruments are stock pieces.

    Last year's PDN model had roasted maple necks, mahogany body, pao ferro fingerboard and stainless steal frets and honeyburst finish. I have an SR5 H that weighs 9lbs, 2oz and absolutely kills. IMO and many others the B strings are great on sr5, especially for a 34" scale. If you like your current stingray you'll probably dig an sr5. You kind find lighter ones - just have to do some digging. Bass central always has weights and last time I checked had a bunch of 2012 PDN basses.
  11. If you're looking for a LOT more info about Stingrays, check out the Stingray club thread (currently on part 4). Lots of good Stingray knowledge there, and several players (including myself) play 5's. Mine's an '09 HH 5'er and it KILLS. Huge sound, the B string is great and it's the only bass that I've actually had people request/suggest I play on gigs, both for looks and sound.

    I think reports of B string problems might be string dependent... some brands/sets have less tension, which may lead to a low B that's less solid. I play D'Addario EXL Nickels and the low B feels great on all of my fives (both 34" and 35" scales, through body and not), vs other brands I've tried that I don't like as much.

    Just my $.02. :)



  12. bong404040


    Feb 23, 2012
    Well it's good to hear so many people say positive things about the Stingray 5. I may just end up going with a built to order one of those. They still offer the roasted neck, right?
  13. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    You'll probably want to post your question on the Ernie Ball Musicman forum for a definitive answer. You can get a custom ordered bass through a Musicman dealer assuming they don't have the bass you're looking for in a stock. That said, I think you can only order what they're currently offering in terms of body wood, neck, pickups options, etc. I don't think you can order a bubinga body with solid rosewood neck for example. It about 4 months for a custom ordered bass.

    Basscentral is a good place to start. Here's a link to their custom order options and current inventory of roasted neck basses. Perfect Bass and Music Zoo are other good options. AFAIK they are not offering roasted necks as an option at the moment but these guys would know better. There were a fair number of 2012 PDN basses out there so can probably still find one somewhere.



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