Roscoe Beck 5 Rocks!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gareth, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. gareth


    Jun 9, 2002
    I've just finished a gig at a local bar with about 100 people using my RB5 for the first time on a gig using my trace elliot 400 watts V6 all valve rig (4x10 and 1x15) and it was really good.

    What I really noticed, compared with my MIA 62 Vintage Reissue Jazz was that the bottom end (ignoring the B string for the moment) was so solid and strong - the B was something else. Also high notes were reallt clear.
  2. I love the Fender RB5's so much that I bought two, one in sunburst and the other in gold. I agree about the solid low end - the sound is very round and full with clear low mids.

    I love the versatility of the RB5, but I honestly only use about two settings that sound great (both pickups on in single coil mode, and both pickups on in series). I also use the push/pull on the tone control that simulates the growly tone of both pickups on with the neck pickup slightly rolled off.

    Glad you had a great gig with your RB5. I've been gigging with them for years and I can say that they are true workhorses.
  3. 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
    Y'know, owning an RB5 that isn't green is like owning a Ferrari that isn't red. Just one man's opinion.
  4. Well, the teal green color just never did it for me. However, I do wish that Fender would make an RB5 in vintage white. I saw Roscoe Beck play a white RB5 with tortoise pickguard (probably a prototype or custom job) on the G3 video and it looked great. I've been gassin' for one of those for a while.
  5. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Man, I have had a jones for one of these since the first time I played one. If you like that 70s funk sound (smooth, vintage funk sound), this beast is the one!

    And that B! Unbelievably tight!

    I would love to have one. Just a sick, sick bass.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Yet another excuse to post this: :)

  7. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    A question for you RB5 players, since I've never had a chance to really check one out...

    Do you always run the pick ups with both coils selected / full humbucking mode? If so, what kind of tone are you getting relative to a good 60s / 70s ash or alder jazz bass with rose wood board and stock single coils. I expect that the RB5 would be fatter in the lows and mids, and a bit darker in the high end.

    I've played many stock and tricked out Jazz Basses, so I though I'd use a stock bass as a benchmark.

    Thanks in advance!
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Lately I'm playing old-school music: blues, R&B, some funk. So, I normally use the neck pup in series, or both pups in series for funk slap. Series mode gives full lows and brings the big warm growl out of the alder. The brighter singlecoil and parallel modes are very cool too, but have noticeably less output than series, so I rarely switch from series at gigs.
  9. Nice basses! Glad that there's another person out there with multiple RB5's.

    Question: Do you notice any differences between your two RB5's? Mine are pretty close in sound, but I do notice that the sunburst one has slightly tighter low end - probably has to do with the slight differences in the wood.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Funny you should mention: even when using identical strings, I *do* notice a difference, which just goes to show that even when all things are equal they aren't necessarily equal!

    The gold one has a crisper, more focused tone, and the teal one is warmer (subtle but noticeable difference)**. I like to joke that my experience proves that gold paint imparts a brighter tone both to the ears and the eyes than blue paint. The reality as you said is that wood tone varies even within the same species. Note that when I asked Ken Smith about identical basses he has built and compared, he basically said that varation in tone was to be expected. Point being, variation exists even for boutique instruments which come from consistent high-grade stock.

    **Details: according to the serial numbers, both of mine were made in 1996. Also, the maple necks on both are subtly flamed. So, this is about as apples-to-apples as you can get for a production bass.
  11. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    The RB5 is it. Most versitile bass I own. I recently bought a Sadowsky (that I love), but it sure as hell didn't send the RB5 to the closet. I still use it a ton.

    All the tones are GREAT.

    Bridge PUP series is finger style sick.

    Both PUPs in parellel is super slappy good.

    Neck PUP series is a pretty darn P-licious.

    There are a lot of RB5 fans here at talkbass. Welcome to the club.
  12. Had one...neck too fat...traded it for Stingray 5.
  13. i agree with munji on the car quote... "testarosa" means "redhead" in italian! ;)

    of course my favorite is a black daytona spyder! :eek:
  14. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    RB5 fan...
    So far mine has been the best sounding guitar I've owned. Of course, I don't own a boutique instrument (someday maybe?), but it sure sounds good for what we do. You can go from pop/slap to a very snappy, almost fretless finger style tone with a flick of the switch.

    Hey, Smash is that the STOKE band?

  15. Hey anyone want to trade an RB5 and some money for a Peavey Cirrus 6er?
  16. 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
    I could live with it.
  17. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    The RB5 was my primary gig bass for about three years. If vintage Fender Jazz on a 5 string is your thing then the RB5 is your bass.
  18. Somebody above wrote that the pull-pot on the RB 5 is a slap switch. It is NOT! The pull-pot slightly reduces the output of the neck pickup so that you can get the classic J-bass growl of 2 pickups blended, with the bridge pickup slightly louder. This is NOT generally considered to be a good slap tone on J-basses; an _even_ blend has the scooped-mid slap sound.
  19. I've really been wanting to try one of those suckers out...I may even be tempted to buy a red one down the line...I saw a picture of it and it was heavenly. Definately an awesome innovation on Fender's behalf.