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Should I just suck it up?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fender Will, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Fender Will

    Fender Will

    Jan 2, 2001
    Hey all....long time lurker here. I dont post much, but I thought I needed to get some opinions from you guys.

    I've been searching for a nice 5 string bass that I can love the sound and feel of. I have been through many basses, and still have not found one I am totally satisfied with.

    In the last year or so, I have owned two different Lakland's, four Ken Smith's (two soap bar models, two J-models) and a Mike Lull MV5.

    I DIG the sound of the Ken Smith's. Just the sound I'm looking for.....the only problem I have with these basses is that my arms are short enough to make playing if first position nearly impossible.....a four hour gig where I have to stand up is murder on my left arm (I have good technique, and my strap is adjusted accordingly! :)

    On the other hand, I DIG the feel and payablitity of the Lakland's and my Mike Lull. These basses hang and balance pefectly, though, and are quite comfortable for me to play. Unfortunately, the sound I'm looking for just isnt there.

    SO.....should I just suck it up and buy another Ken Smith, even though I'll only really be comfortable playing it sitting down (something that's not always possible on the gigs I do), or just live with a sound I dont like and be comfy (ala Lull)?

    Any other brands or suggestions are highly encouraged! Thanks, and sorry for the long post!
  2. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    If you haven't already, I suggest you try a Sadowsky. I also have short arms and fingers but I find them very comfy to play and they sound wonderful. Every person is different, but I much prefer Sadowsky to Lakland and Smith.

    Another option might be an F-Bass or an Elrick. For a more modern tone, a Zon Sonus Custom would be a consideraion.

    Happy Hunting and Good Luck!
  3. Sounds like what you need is a bass with a longer upper horn, so that the neck doesn't extend out as far, making 1st position easier. From what you've owned, cost doesn't seem to be a big issue, so maybe you could check out MTD, F Bass, Elrick, Fodera, Sadowsky, Zon, Benavente, Stambaugh, Conklin, even Yamaha TRB and Peavey Cirrus (don't knock 'em if you haven't tried 'em). There's also Dave Pushic, www.dpcustom.com. Dave could probably even get you Smith PUs and put them in. For something rather different, there's also David King, www.kingbass.com.
  4. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    What you need to do, Will, is trade that lousy sounding Lull to me for my great sounding Roscoe Beck 5!

    A little inside joke as I got the RB5 from Will a week ago today!

    Yes, you should just suck it up!!!!!!!!!!


  5. Fender Will

    Fender Will

    Jan 2, 2001
    Hey Chuck!

    Yeah, I forgot to mention I owned a Roscoe Beck V, also....eh...was s'okay.......

    I guess that sound you here is me forming a vacuum!
  6. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Tell you what to do, Will. Bring that Lull tonight and I'll play it and you can hear the tone from back in the room. You may decide it sounds pretty wonderful!

    Chuck (who already knows it sounds wonderful)
  7. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I have to 2nd Richard Lindsey on the Benavente!!!!!!! Amazing basses if you haven't tried one of his in the past year. WOW By far my favorite.

    Acacia's are really nice as well as fodera's, but fodera's are weighty.

    The King's are really nice as well. I believe they only sell direct though.

    good luck
  8. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Whoa! How much are you selling that 5 for?
  9. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Whoa! Too funny! RS is who I got my Lull Vintage 4 from!


    The Lull that Will has is actually better looking than the Lull I got from you in that the wood has more figure. The fingerboard on Will's bass it beautiful and the body has great figure in it as well. Same natural ash/maple as the Vintage 4.

  10. Fender Will

    Fender Will

    Jan 2, 2001
    Actually, I think RS was talking to Brian about that Benevente, although my Lull MV5 is for sale :)!
  11. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I figured that out after my last post. Funny how my mind does not function too well on 3 hours of sleep!

    It is remarkable that I have traded or bought basses from Will, RS and Brian Barrett! Three great guys to deal with!

  12. As far as the suck it up thing I say NO.
    The bass should be a part of you. It shouldn't injure you. As mentioned maybe you need to change the strap. Keep trying basses, find one that you can play while sitting down. Your strap should keep the bass at the same place as if you were sitting.

    What is your playing style? One finger per fret?
    I had the same type of problem.
    Now in the lower positions I don't use the 3rd finger this keeps some of the stress off the wrist.
    I don't use the one finger per fret style until G# on the E.
  13. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I think the Lull looks very good!

  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, if you love the Smith sound, David King (http://ww.kingbass.com, already mentioned here) used to offer Smith pickups and electronics as an option, though I don't know if he still does. King basses have got to be some the most comfortable to play that I've ever tried, so they're definately worth considering.

  15. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City

    I think you can make the Smith work for you. I'm a towering 5'7" and I play a bass that's 51 3/4" tip to tip. The extra length is due to the neck placement being further out of the body.

    The way I handle it is if I'm going to spend a lot of time in 1st position, I have the body over by my right hip, so the neck is more up and in front as opposed to extending my left arm out to the side.


  16. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I have to agree with gruffpuppy, don't settle on something that makes you uncomfortable. Their are plenty of wonderfull instruments out there, while they might not have big names playing they are equally as good and ussually alot easier to work with the builder on designing exactly what you want.

    Not that I was reffering to Benavente, because there are many others like lawrence Acacia, Bebensee, etc.

    As for the Benavente's your welcome to contact me directly on them and I will be very happy to discuss them, Heck I'll be happy to discuss any
    basses with you even those I can't get.

    There are a few people that don't care for me posting sales stuff on here. Only one person is really allowed to post sales stuff here on TB.

    thanks and look forward to hearing from you!
  17. geshel

    geshel Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Are your current Smiths the older ("vintage") body style, or the new BSR style? If the former have you tried the new ones? They are supposed to be more comfortable on a strap.
  18. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I was going to ask the same thing, but since he mentioned having Smiths with J-style pickups, I figured he was talking about hte BSR-J (new bodystyle...). I could be wrong, though.


    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    There are Luthiers out there today that will build you just what you want with no problem.just have a little patience and dont give up.
  20. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey Chuck,
    Still dig the Lull? Yes it is not too fab in the crazy wood grain department, but it still quality wood I think.
    Speaking of ugly grain, check out some recent AS Fender jazzes!
    The older I get, the less impressed I am by fancy woods. How many different pieces of quilted maple can you see? (he's says as he inquires about the burl beast listed above)...

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