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Off the shelf lefty 5-string or custom made?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Agrikk, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Agrikk


    Nov 11, 2004
    Hey all, long time lurker, newbie poster here. :)

    I play my only bass, a lefy Fender Jazz four string. I'm joining a gigging metal band and have decided to get a second bass that will ultimately become my primary bass, relegating my Fender to backup duties.

    Now, since I play southpaw, basses, especially five string basses are few and far between, I've had little luck finding them in guitar stores to try out to determing what shape, pickup style, etc, I would like to buy.

    Which leads me to my questions.

    - Where can I find a store that sells lefty basses off the shelf, or what vendors sell them online?

    - I'm also thinking about just biting the bullet and getting a custom made bass, but again, I run into the problem of not really knowing what I'm looking for, other than a lefty five string on a narrower neck (broken fingers suck). How does one go about specifying a bass' components to a luthier?
  2. 5stringFanatic


    Mar 3, 2004
    NY, USA

    I dont think u need a custom bass built, you can get some really nice lefty basses. Warwick dont charge extra for lefty basses, so the prices are the same no matter if its lefty or righty, id check them out.

    Many other brands charge extra for production of lefty basses. You said youre in a metal band.. warwick would fit in very nicely.

    Im also left handed, just got my Thumb last week.. im very happy with it.

    Kind Regards,
  3. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Music Man makes an excellent Stingray 5 or Bongo, I believe both come in left hand form but I'm sure the Stingray 5 does. They also have string spacing similar to your Jazz as opposed to the Warwick which would be significantly tighter. I love the spacing on my Warwick and it's tone but it DOES take some getting used to. What kind of tone do you want? If you're going for the classic no mids, huge bottom and highs metal tone I've seen Fuzz from Disturbed use a Stingray 5 with GREAT success. There's a boatload of lefties about, it'll just take even more patience and research for you then for us righties, good luck ace.
  4. Agrikk


    Nov 11, 2004
    Thanks for the posts, guys.

    I suppose the problem is that I'd like to hear these basses played before I buy one, so I'm hoping to find these basses in a store somewhere, rather than from an online shop.

    As far as tone is concerned, I'm actually looking for something with solid mids as well as a nice big bottom, because we're a four piece (one-guitar) band, so my tone has to fill the void when the guitar goes up-up-up.
  5. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Oh boy, you definitely would love a Warwick and/or Music Man. Both very middy, nice bottom and tremendous highs. I own a Corvette FNA Jazzman and a MM Sterling, I love both to pieces but honestly you can't go wrong with either of these and there are TONS of bands and sound clips of MM Stingray 5's. Listen to Disturbed, I mentioned Fuzz's Stingray 5, I can't think of any others who play Stingray 5's off hand but some others will. Honestly, there's a thousand Music Man players on this forum so someone should have a soundclip they can send you to give you an idea of how they sound. Both basses also sound oustanding with DR Hi Beams on them. Good luck!
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Where are you located. Filling out your profile comepletely can help us suggest options based on whats available locally.

    I recommend getting a custom Valenti made.

    For the price of a Music Man or Warwick you can have one made to your specs and he does a great job.

    Check out the 5 string he recently built for me:
  7. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I'll throw out the Carvin option as one halfway between off-the-shelf and custom. Lefties are a no-charge option, their standard neck is somewhat narrower than what many builders make (although they also have a wide option), you have your choice of various wood, pickup/electronics and other options, and if you don't care for their pickups (a common complaint) at their prices you'll have saved a large amount over a custom bass to replace them.

    If you're in Southern California you can stop by one of their retail stores, but they also have a 10-day "no questions asked" return policy for the vast majority of their instruments (barring true custom options or "out of the norm" color choices).
  8. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
  9. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Yeah, Southpaw in Texas, or Bass Central in Orlando have lots of lefties in stock. If you really love your Jazz 4 stringer, you could always get a hipshot drop tuner. That would at least buy you extra time to shop around. I am a lefty and assembled my own Jazz basses (a fretted and a fretless) and put hipshots on both of them. From experience, I'd go with a Stingray 5 before I'd get a Carvin, but if a Carvin was available, it is definitely a kickass bass. The one I liked most was a Spector 5 (Czech made?) that cost close to 2k; I played 2 of those (twice in different stores at different times); they sound and play amazing, but both times I tried one I already had a 5 I liked enough to not justify the expense.
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Welcome and Greetings fellow Southpaw! ;)

    Off the shelf or custom... well, good question. If you find a lefty 5er anywhere, do check it out - but that would be really rare...
    The best you can do is search for the righty versions of these and try them - they will be uncomfortable, but you will get an idea of their tone and neck.
    Good luch with your search!