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New 5-string help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Hey guys, I've recently reading these boards and most people seem to have a wide knowledge/experience of many types of basses, so I thought it would be best ask a few questions. So I'll get to it:
    I'm looking to buy a new 5 string, possibly a fretless. I am willing to spend up to the 2000-2500 range, as long as I am getting a good bass. Anyway, the only things that I really want are a tight B string (I HATE 5 strings with those floppy B's), and good tone. I already have a carvin lb70 so I was considering another Carvin, however there are so many other companies I would also buy from (Fodera,Modulus,Alembic,MTD,Spector, Pedulla,etc.), that it is difficult to make a choice. So I was hoping you guys would help me out in making selections for the best 5-string in my price range, and please share any experiences you have with certain basses that you feel are worthy.
    Thanks a lot
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you're going to go fretless, Pedulla or Zon would be a good place to start. As far as the "floppy B," it has virtually nothing to do with the bass. It's almost entirely a function of string construction. Given the same strings and the same scale length, every bass will have exactly the same tension in the B string. So if you don't want a floppy B, buy stiffer strings. TI Jazz Flats are not for you. I like to play different strings for different sounds, so I can handle loose ones or tight ones. It just takes a different touch.
  3. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Thanks for that advice, I always thought it was the scale of the bass. Anyway, I'll have to check Zon out. And also, are there any online dealers for Pedulla basses?
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Zon always catches my eye, if i were you id look into them.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I've owned both a Roscoe and F fretless. Very nice instruments

  6. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    Bass Central is a great place to start. Here's the Pedulla Page
  7. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Hi CT,

    I also have a Carvin. I love it. Originally it was an LB75P. I had it de-fretted and fell in love with it all over again. The B is great, as it was in fretted configuration. I'm currently using Dean Markley stainless flats on it and that's cool. I tend to fluctuate between the Deans and D'Adario half-rounds but they both sound great on it.

    I also have a fretted MTD 535 which I string with light DR hi-beams and the B is fabulous. (I know, this is a *fretless* thread, but what the heck!)

    I can't really say that I agree with those that say that the strings are the decisive factor regarding string tension, but I respect their opinion nonetheless. To me, there are many many factors involved. I guess it's from knowing probably too too much about physics and acoustics. Regardless, that kinda stuff tends to become worthless when dealing with something so subjective as tone and feel.

    Hopefully you'll find somthing to your liking. A friend of mine seems to love Roscoe's and Dingwall's for their tight B. Perhaps you can give either or both of those a go.


  8. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I own a buzz (Pedulla) and love it, very versitile because of the hard (finished) fingerboard. I've also heard a lot of good about F Bass and you certantly couldn't go wrong with MTD or Fodera. I like Alembics and spectors but nether are really "known" for the fretlesses, I pesonally think Alembics are a little to "Hi-Fi" to get a great growl. But the others are deffinently worth checking .
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I was looking at a Lakland 55-94 and a Pedulla PentaBuzz until I played a Zon Sonus Custom fretless 5. After I played it, I had to have it. And this is coming from a guy who had Buzz GAS for almost 20 years.

    For fretless, I have yet to play anything better than a Zon. Joe is a wizard when it comes to building a fretless.

    Here are a couple of pics of mine.:cool:


  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Not to argue with my knowlegeable colleage... but..... WHAT??????
    If thats true, then why can you pick up five old
    fender basses. Same wood, made the same time,
    with the same strings on, and 4 out of the five feel
    different. Even assembly line basses don't all feel the same.
    I can think of situations picking out indorsment basses, all had
    the same wood and strings. Some had floppy b's. Some had
    tight b's.
  11. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    In that price range you should try everything you can. I would definately look at Zon, Smith, Sadowsky and Roscoe. Play all of them and then decide. All of them are among the best instruments you can buy but only you can decide what's right for you by playing as many of them as you can before you buy. I think otherwise you will go down the path that so many of us have, buying based on comments and reveiws we've READ. Doing that you may end up with a beautiful instrument that just doesn't work for you as I have more than once. Play 'em first, Good Luck!
  12. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    I recently switched to a .145 low B on my Pedulla Hexabuzz, ead about it in the STRINGS section, and it vastly improved that string IMO.

    Dingwalls have a 37" scale length on their low B, others use 35", but most basses are 34" scale. We read about complaints of 35" scale all the time here, more tension leads to more fatique.....

    Anyway, you can make any bass sound tighter going to higher mass strings.

    Go to the D'Addario webpage and downlaod their tension chart and look at page 10 to see how different gauge bass strings result in different amounts of PSI on the neck. Adding mass -> adding PSI -> tighter tone.
  13. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I'm with Munjibunga on this one all the way. Take any given gauge of string, stretch it over a given scale, and it's going to have a certain level of tightness. Lengthen the scale, the string gets tighter; shorten the scale, the string gets floppier. Increase the gauge, the string gets tighter; lower the gauge, the string gets floppier.

    There may be tricks that good luthier like Zon or Sadowsky have to get a tighter "feel" or a cleaner tone out those 34" B-strings, but they're not overcoming physics.