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Six string neck thickness

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LennyPenny, Dec 31, 2011.


  1. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    I've been looking at several 6-string basses, narrowed it down to these 5:
    -Peavey grind BXP NTD €489
    -ESP LTD B-206SM €459
    -ESP LTD D-6 €525
    -Yamaha TRB1006J €979 (natural)/€1054 (caramel)
    -Ibanez BTB676 €789

    The questions:
    -SCALE: does scale length significantly affect sound/feel (especially the low B)? I'm leaning more towards the Peavey, Yamaha or Ibanez because of the 35" scale, but maybe the ESPs' 34" can be solved with tight strings like Lo-riders?

    -NECK: I've only tried the B-206 and liked the feel of the neck. Is this considered a thick or slim neck profile? I've read that the TRB is quite fat and the Ibanez very thin. So how are they, with the B-206 as a benchmark?

    -OBVIOUS: which one would be best suited for me? I have pretty big hands (long fingers) so I tend to like a wider+fatter neck and wider string spacing. I play a lot of funk-influenced music (also punk but I've got my P for that). Weight isn't really an issue, although my Squier VMJ is about as heavy as I can deal with.

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. basskidd

    basskidd

    Jul 25, 2011
    Chicago
    Yes. The longer the scale, the tighter / punchier your low B will sound. Though, even with a 34" scale you could find a way to tweak it and imitate it to get a tighter B. On Carvin's website they say, as an explanation for their longer scale basses, that a longer scale allows for easier slapping higher up on the neck.

    As far as the last question, which one feels the best to play? That will be your deciding factor. You could get a lot of good advice from a lot of great players on here, and still be surprised with which specs you like the most.

    Hope this helps, good luck on your search
     
  3. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    I used to own the D-6, and the only reason I sold it was because I was tight on money for school, and wouldn't dream of parting with my Warwick, lol. The D-6 had a very thin neck, and I would guess that the 206 would be about the same. If you like neck through it's worth the extra $$$ for the D-6. I've never owned an Ibanez BTB, but i've played a lot of Ibanez basses, and own an SRX 300. They're all great, but I think ESP makes an overall better quality instrument, especially in terms of tone. The stock ESP pickups have a much clearer sound than the Ibanez.

    More about necks... Yes, the ESP's are thin, and the Ibanez are usually thin too, but the BTB necks are not standard ibanez necks. they're wider (as is the string spacing), and fatter, and have the extra inch of scale length. As far as the B strings go, the extra scale isn't necessarily going to make much difference. The D-6 that I had was very tight with a .130 B, and could handle A alright. I don't know much about the Yamaha, but I hear that they're a higher quality instrument than any of the others you mentioned.
     
  4. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    I thought the neck on the B-206 was quite substantial, especially in comparison to another 6-string I tried, which was MUCH thinner.

    The Yamaha is highest on my list, but sadly also the most expensive, so I wanted to check if the other ones have a higher price-value ratio.

    The problem is that it's difficult for me to try different basses because there are not that many music stores here that have good basses, and definitely no 6-string ones.
     
  5. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    Cool, like I say, I B-206, I just assumed the thickness would be similar to other ESP's, which are usually quite thin. The B-206 and D-6 have all the same hardware and electronics, but different construction and woods.
    I would say that any ESP is going to have an amazing price-value ratio. I have no experience with the Yamaha you're looking at, but they are well liked here on TB, so perhaps someone else will chime in. I won't be surprised if it's the best quality bass of all the ones you're looking at. I don't think you would go wrong with either the ESP or Yamaha though.
     
  6. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Something I've only just noticed: the Grind is passive. I've read that 6-stringers are mostly active because of the low B, so can this cause issues with passive ones?
     
  7. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    lots of fenders have great passive low B's (and lots of fenders have terrible, floppy B's). My 'wick in passive mode has a pretty darn mean B too. Overall, I don't think passive/active is going to have a major effect on the B, but the construction of the bass, and gauge/quality of the string will. The thing about B's is that 2 of the same model bass, with the same strings might have a different B (you hear about this a lot in fender 5's). I guess what I'm trying to say is that the tight feel and sound of a low B is such a complex and variable thing, that it's hard to put a measure on. There's generalizations that are usually true (35's are tighter, neck through's are tighter, active electronics give a tighter sound, higher string gauges are tighter) but then there's 34's that are bolt-on (some warwicks, music mans, fenders, etc) that have awesome, tight B's... but there will be other basses that are the same model, year, construction, that will have a crappier B. And although a .135 will be tighter than a .130 of the same kind of string, another brand of string might have a tighter .130 than the .130 of another brand... so you might get a floppy B from a .130 ernie ball, but a nice tight one from a .130 GHS (those brand names are just to illustrate my point).

    Sorry for the ramblings... I hope some of that made sense.
     
  8. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    I've never tried a 35" scale before, but both 34" 6-strings I've tried felt quite good, the only problems were a floppy low B on both, but I can't tell whether this was due to the type/gauge of strings (red silk). The string spacing on the ESP B-206 was a bit tight as well.
    I have to say I appreciate all of your input, but it's not making the choice any more easy. By saying that there are too many variables to make an inform choice, you imply that I have to guess which one would be best suited for me.
     
  9. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Also, I've been searching (both here and on Google) for affordable (<&#8364;1000) 6-stringers with an active/passive switch. Any suggestions?
     
  10. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    Yeah, sorry dude, I just don't want to mislead you. I'm not sure why nobody else has been giving input here, I know there are some guys on here that know more than I do, and could articulate it better too. Best of luck in your search for a good sixer!
     
  11. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    The answer may be evident, but I can get the B-206 (flame maple, not spalted) used for &#8364;200 (from my girlfriend's brother): good deal?
     
  12. I can only contribute(perhaps)on the scale length question- 34 is more comfy for me, but due to an injury my fretting hand spread/reach is not what it should be. I also like the feel(tension)of 34's; tonally I don't perceive a difference.
     
  13. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    I don't know enough about new/used prices overseas to give an answer to that, sorry.
     
  14. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    If it's around &#8364;450-500 new, I suspect it's a good deal. Most people here say it's worth the money new, and I got to try it and liked the neck (my main criterium).
    He had a Japanese ATK that had cost him &#8364;200, which I also tried but didn't like that much, and traded it for the B-206 but he couldn't get used to the string spacing (18mm on his main bass). He has offers of &#8364;400+ but since we're almost related, he said I can have it for &#8364;200 if I want it.
     

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