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Shopping for a new bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MatW, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    Hi everyone,

    I finally got round to hitting the streets of London for some serious bass shopping. I always find trying basses a bit daunting. Obviously, I'm used to my bass (a 4 stringer) so trying other basses (especially 5's) takes some adjustment. Also action, string height, and the quality of the strings affect the playability of the bass and may not present it in the best light. Oh well.

    I was mainly looking to try Statuses, Warwicks, Stingrays and any other good, quality, solid funk 5 string basses I could get my hands on:

    I tried a Status 2000. There were some great tones on offer, but I found the string spacing very tight. I was told this was typical of Statuses, so I was quite put off.

    I tried a few Stingrays and was very impressed. They hadn't been strong contenders before, but I was pleased with the sound and the feel.

    For kicks I tried Alembics, GBs, Vintage Fenders, but none of these blew me away like I might of expected. Finally, I went to a Warwick dealer. They didn't have any Streamer Stage I or IIs, but they did have a Streamer LX (wide spacing) and a Streamer Jazzman. I couldn't get on with the wide neck of the LX, but I did quite like the Jazzman. I got on with it quite well, considering my limited experience with 5s.

    The dealer said that these were currently the business and that Stuart Zender himself had brought one from the shop because he couldn't get one directly from Warwick. Could this be B.S.? Anyway, he gave me a price of £1199 ($1872). This may be expensive for you in the US, but in England we're used to high prices. With that in mind, do you think this is a good deal?

    When I got home I was happy to jam on my US Fender Dlx Jazz. Nothing I seen today said "BUY ME", but I did quite like the Jazzman and the Stingray.

    On another note, eBay have a mid 90s Warwick Streamer Stage 2 for £700 ($1100), but it's only a 4 string! Plus, I'm wary of buying without trying.

    I'd appreciate your views on my day out. Could the Warwick be my dream bass once I'd got used to the extra string? Or does it have to be love at first sight?
  2. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    it was fun reading about your day trying basses, always good to get various perspectives from people about basses and I can remember having lots of days like that

    just my opinion, but if nothing is saying "Buy Me" than don't buy anything...i know how it is wanting a new bass, but make sure its the right one or it'll end up getting sold used, right?

    i just play 4 strings, so I can't say about the adjustment period of getting used to a 5.....I do think there would be an adjustment period in getting used to a 5 but I also think you might want to wait on finding a 5 that fits your hands just right

    btw: at the price point you are talking about I do like Warwick basses quite a bit
  3. BlindSide


    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    Personally, I take trying out basses very personal.:D

    Having said that, the only true indicator that you are getting the right bass is the feeling that it "feels" just right, like a part of you.

    An epiphany. The bass makes you suddenly aware of why you play in the first place. You just can't live without it.

    Anyone else's opinion, market trends, manufacture hype, etc. really have no bearing on which one you should choose. If it's looks or an extra string, or lack thereof, or anything about the bass raises any doubts, it's not meant for you.

    If you aren't sure...pass on it. Choose a bass that leaves an indelible mark on your soul. It's more of a bass choosing you. You just know it...when you know it. :cool:
  4. Try out a Fender Roscoe Beck if you get a chance!
    Been drooling over that bass for a while now.Damned if I can find one in my area though.*grumble*

    From what I hear they are sort of an active 5 string P bass on steroids. :D

    Sounds like you have been testing a lot of waters my friend.Like you,I have only ever played on 4 strings,but feel the need/desire to move up to the big Five one of these days.Hope you find "the one" soon. :)

  5. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Like Usul said, try the RB5 if you can find one. If you like the jazzbass spacing then it is definitely for you, just add a string. Now as far as the electronics go its a tone MONSTER. Very clear and articulate. With mine I have NO need for another 5 string bass, It covers all the bases with no need for a stinkin battery.
  6. Noobai


    Aug 25, 2002
    Stanford, CA
    *shake fist*

    gimme the bass phyrorh! and the cherry red jazz! now! rarrr!!! ;0
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
  8. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    Thanks for the input. The Roscoe Beck would've been a bass I'd have liked to try, but none of the shops I went in had one. :(

    I've been thinking it over all weekend. I liked the Stingray and especially the Warwick Streamer Jazzman a lot. I'd love to try out a Streamer Stage II, but I couldn't find one of these either!
  9. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    as i always i suggest you to try a G&L L serie.
  10. If you like the SR5 you might wanna look at Lakland.
    I've played SR5 for 6 years and haven't really liked anyother 5 til I got my Lakland Skyline 5502. It has a lot of the characteristics of the SR5 but with a few enhancments. The neck is a nice width at the nut like the SR5 ( 1.75 vs 1.81") but the string spacing at the bridge is .75 as apposed to .66. I like the right hand spacing better. The SR5 has outstanding tone and so does the Lakland. The Lakland having 2 bart pups ( 1 brdg MM and 1 Nk Jazz) with bart pre-amp seems to have a wider variety of usable tones than the SR5. The Lak can't exactly sound like the SR5 but it can come close.
    You have a true choice of economy (Skyline) or Deluxe (US) models of Lakland. The Skylines sell for about the same price as the SR5 (1100 discount) and the US models are around $2600 (discount) have fun.

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