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Switch from 4 to 5 > have a doubt...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JayAmel, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Hi folks,

    I am basically a 4 stringer.
    My only real experience with a 5er was with a StingRay 5 I kept for 6 months before letting it go.
    I went back to 4 because 5 seemed to me like a very different feeling. Not about the notes to find on the neck (I was OK with that), but just I felt like playing "something strange coming from elsewhere".
    I also must admit the string spacing felt strange to me, a bit too narrow, and I wonder whether this may have biased my opinion on 5ers.
    Since I sold the SR5, I happened to play 5ers now and then, but always for very short moments (max 1 hour or 2).

    My question is not if I should try to go to 5er again, but it is :

    Do you think some 5ers are better to retrieve the "traditional" bass feeling I know on 4ers ?

    I know the question is a bit twisted, yeah...

    Thanks in advance, provided I could express myself in a understandable way...
  2. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    If the string spacing is an issue, then there are fivers available with wider string spacing. I believe Warwick has a wide spacing option on their 5 and 6 string basses. I believe Carvin has an optional wider asymmetrical neck. There are others too.

    The only caveat there is that the overall neck and fingerboard will be wider too, so someone like me with small hands who likes ERB's will generally avoid wideneck ERBs. (ERB= extended range bass, for those who didn't know.)
  3. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I see you own a Fender already, why not try a Roscoe Beck if one is available to you. the string spacing is the same as a 4 string jazz. You can also try a Lakland 55-01 or 55-02, they are easy to get around and both basses sound great!
  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks Dincrest.

    Well, I'm actually not sure the "different feeling" I felt on my 5 was due to string spacing only.

    The question is because I plan to get a Sadowsky Metro. And I hesitate between the MV4 and the MV5.

    I'm certain the MV4 will be perfect, but I need a 5th string for some songs, and I believe I will need more and more as time goes on. So the MV4 would not fully fit my needs.

    On the other hand, the MV5 would fit my musical needs, but I'm afraid not to be comfortable enough with it.

    And I need the G string, so BEAD tuning cannot be applied...

    I'd like to have opinions from people who have switched from "traditional" J-type 4 to a Sadowsky 5.

    Other switch opinions from J-type 4 to any other 5er are welcome too...

    Many thanks again !
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks Pyrohr.

    Yes, the string spacing of my Fender J is perfect for me.

    No for the RB5 : while I'll change, I want an active bass, with an active/passive switch if possible.

    Laklands ? Maybe, but as well as Sadowsky, they are nowhere to be found here, and I'll have to order blindfold...

  6. My guess is that many fives are just gerry-rigged 4s, which is why they don't seem right in terms of feel and spacing. If a five is designed properly, then you will love it.

    I personally hate these active elctronics, yet I love the extended range of a five. The search for the right five was elusive for me, though I have been playing them for 12+ years.

    I just went custom and designed a passive 5-string jazz in a 36" scale. The neck had to be wide enough to have traditional J-bass spacing but not look stubby like 90% of most 5's. Aesthetically, it had to look proportional with sexy lines like a Jazz bass. As a functional matter, the longer lenght gives you taut lows to die for and you can have your action low, yet can still dig in. This is the "feeling."

    and at the price of a japanese sadowski, you can have the real deal built to your specs:
  7. It took me about a year to transition from 4 to 5 string. At first I used the 5 for a couple of songs my band played that needed a low D, and split my practice.

    One day I felt more comfortable on the 5 and just stopped playing the 4. I don't believe there is a tonal difference intrinsically between the E string on a 4 or a 5. I do, however, tend to play low E and F in the higher position on the B string, which does sound a bit different from first position on the E string, even with the zero fret on my MTD.

    I like a 5 with a wide neck cause I have thick fingers. The biggest issue for me in transitioning was learning how to keep my right thumb on the B string so it stayed muted.


  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Oh, I guess I have my answer, and it was on the Sadowsky website - Basses section :

    Our 21-fret 5-string is a J-bass-styled instrument with custom designed Sadowsky humcancelling or pure single coil J-bass-style pickups located in exact J-bass locations. This model is recommended for those who want a 5-string with a feel as close as possible to our 4-string models. It is available in Standard or Vintage Style.

    Many thanks to all !


  9. Nice. I would get the Vintage P/J.