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The 4-5 Jump

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, May 28, 2004.

  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    This summer, I am going to be working full time. One of the things I am buying is a pre-done rack with a dbx Compressor and an Ampeg SVT-3.

    It's time for me to take the leap to fretless, and probably the leap to a 5, so voila, 5 fretless.

    I have been playing a 5 at the music store for a half hour before my lesson for a few months now (not because I actually have the sense to go the music store and practice with a 5, I play the 5 while my brother has his lesson). It's a Godin and I'm not sure what the string spacing is, but I'm sure that I don't like it. It's not that I can't play it or that I have a hard time playing it (of course I have a little trouble because I don't own a 5 myself), it's just not very fun because the strings are closer and I feel confined by that.

    So, my question is, do you think I would have a better time playing a 5 string with wider (let's define wider as the standard string spacing for a 4 string at the bridge) string spacing or will it be a pain anyway and I might as well go with my favorite pickup configuration, which I am picky about. I am looking to spend around $1000 or less.
  2. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    No reason to buy a narrow-spaced 5 if you're not comfortable with it. There's plenty of 5's with 3/4" spacing to be had. I had a 5er with narrow spacing years ago, and it took a considerable change of technique to play. When I got a wide 5, it was like releasing the brakes.

    $1000? Lakland Skyline. Has a narrow nut, so your fretting hand won't have to deal with an aircraft carrier-sized neck, but it widens out to 3/4" spacing at the bridge. Very comfy.

    Although I ought to mention - my first wide 5 hade a big ol' neck (2 1/4" at the nut) so I got used to the width. Now, anything narrower feels kinda like a toy. Not a bad thing, and it doesn't hinder my playing on a more normal neck, but the big wide ones just kinda feel like "home". Bottom line, you can get used to a wide neck, but a really narrow one, with narrow spacing at the bridge, will probably hinder your playing, ESPECIALLY if you play primarily fingerstyle or slap. Not so much of an issue with a pick.

    The Lakland will probably make for an easy transition from 4 to 5.

    I'm sure some other folks will chime in with other suggestions.....that's just off the top of my head.
  3. Also look into the MTD Kingston Heir's - they have 3/4" (19 mm) spacing, and look pretty cool. Also, they've got a Musicman style humbucker, so they can fake the Stingray for about $500 less. Stingray's are 17 mm string spacing at the bridge, I think.

    edit: I own a Stingray 4, but am having a hard time buying a SR5 because of the spacing. I know I could adjust to the narrower spacing, but I just don't want to HAVE TO adjust. I think the wider spacing is easier, but if I had learned on a narrower spaced bass, it wouldn't be such a big deal.
  4. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I believe there is a Kingston fretless 5 somewhere out on the 'net. A place where you could bid on it. ;)
  5. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I meant wide by a bass with the same string spacing as the 4 string. I love Laklands, I play a Lakland 44-02 and love the living hell out of it.

    I looked at the Godin site. It never occured to me that the Godin 5's have less string spacing than the Lakland 5's. I think I'll probably stick with the Lakland 55-02 or maybe a G&L Tribute L-2500 depending on how much money I have.
  6. I just made the switch to 5 after YEARS of playing strictly 4's.
    I actually traded my 4 banger in on it, so I was forced to play a gig the other night before being really comfortable with it. Worst show Ive done in a long while. I kept going to the B thinking I was on the E and playing some really wacky out of key stuff. Very embarrassing. But a couple of nights later I did another gig and things went a little smoother. I love the 5, but Im having to really change the way I read the fretboard now! And the spacing threw me a little at first, (its an Ibanez with a relatively narrow neck though...just a bit wider spacing over the pickups than I was used to) so my plucking fingers were pretty fumbly...hahaha! I just need to spend a few days at home practicing and Ill get better with it!
  7. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    definately check out the MTD Kingston/Heir. I'd highly reccommend the Carvin Bunny Brunel as well, but your tastes may differ (I'm not a fan of the preamp myself).