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The Hunt Begins!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LCBurt, Jan 26, 2012.


  1. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    I have finally talked myself into looking for a new 5 string. My range is a little flexible but I'm trying to keep the price around $1500 or under and get something nice that I can be happy with without any major mods.

    I can't believe how many choices there are. It's a good time to be a musician as far as quality options in several price ranges.

    I have narrowed it down a little based on what I am comfortable with and physical limitations. I have little alligator arms and wish I had hands like my fifteen year old daughter (mine are smaller). I had a nice deal lined up on a German Warwick Corvette Standard that was uncomfortable for me to play in the first position even with the 34” scale. I think it was mostly the way it balanced.

    A couple things that I am fairly set on are a 5 string, I have a Japanese Jazz with a hipshot and it just doesn’t work as well for me as a five.

    String spacing no larger than 17.5mm, I played an MTD and neck just did not fit my hand.

    I think I will have to keep with a 34” scale because I have to be able to reach the end. I need to try a Dingwall at some point before I make my decision just to mark the Combustion off my list. If the Combustion was comfortable for me I think my search would be over but with a 37” scale B string I bet I won’t even be able to reach the tuning keys!

    I would also like to buy new, I would like all the “character marks” to be of my own doing and I love that new bass smell!

    Here is the short list so far in no particular order.

    SBMM Ray35 – Cheapest by far but gets good reviews
    MM Stingray 5 – Only if it feels 1k better than the Ray
    MM Bongo – Budget buster but it’s so cool
    G&L Tribute L2500 Carved Top – Have never heard one but specs look like it should be considered
    Ibanez SR1405e Premium - Nordstrand Big Singles, it must sound great right….. This may be the one to beat, I think it will feel closest to my current bass a Cort B5 which is very comfortable for me.

    I am still putting the fund together but should be set in about 8 weeks with no major setbacks. That gives me some time to try the out sound and feel of hopefully everything on my list and maybe a few things that are not. Please let me know if you see anything that I should try but have not thought of and any thoughts you have of the basses on the list.

    Thanks all!!!
     
  2. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I picked up an Ibanez 1405 Premium a couple weeks ago and it's been everything I could hope for . The tone is great and it's very comfortable . The most surprising thing to me is how good the B string is , very articulate all the way down . I was also looking at Carvins and Lakland JO5s because the wider necks work for me too but in the end I'm glad I got the Ibanez . I can't find any negatives with the bass at all .
     
  3. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    Blues Bass 2.. Congrats on the new Ibby! I was hoping the B would be nice, and with the Norstrands I would think the sound would be excellent.

    Couple questions for you. How is the balance? Neck dive just kills the feel of a bass for me. How is the maple top on yours? I have seen some pics where the flame is pronounced and some that are a little more subdued. I think they all have looked pretty nice though. And lastly with the bass work without batteries in passive mode or is it only an eq defeat like my B5?
     
  4. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    You can easily get a EBMM Bongo, EBMM Sterling or EBMM Stingray all in that range. All are amazing IMO. This is especially true if you buy used.
    What kind of music do you play? What overall tonal qualities are you looking for?
     
  5. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    The Musicman stuff is at the edge of my range but if thats what I liked best I would just save an extra couple weeks. It would have to be an extra clean peace for me to consider used as I have a plan to slowly relic it over the next 20 years or so. :bassist:

    I play mostly modern country, classic country and classic/hard rock.

    I don't really have a predetermined sound that I'm reaching for but the sound in my head is a deep tone with a little punch and lot's of note definition but not too much rumble. The highs I would like to be on the sweet side but not cutting or brittle. Nothing overly nasal or honkey sounding. It's much harder than I thought to put sound into words. I will try and think of a couple songs that sound close to what I mean.
     
  6. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Just remember with the Dingwall the string length goes from the nut to the bridge which fan in opposite directions so it really doesn't feel that long and nothing compares to the Dingwall B string.

    I have owned a couple of Laklands which are 35" and I find the Dingwall to be much more comfortable.
     
  7. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    If it helps I play through a GK RB700II and a pair of the neo 410's
     
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    If you like narrow spacing and 34" scale, it's going to be hard to beat a G&L L2500. You can get a USA model well within your price range, with enough leftover for a new amp setup.
     
  9. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    DiabolicLow B, Yeah the Combustion is within my range and is one of the bases that started my gas for a nice bass. I really want to play one before I make my decision. It doesn't seem like the fanned frets give most people any real trouble to adjust to so it will be all in how well I can play first position and if I can deal with going to a wider string spacing. In fact if I go that route I even have the color picked out.
     
  10. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    The balance is good . The tuners are kind of heavy but still on a strap or sitting with it on a leg it doesn't neck dive at all . The finish is a little more subdued than some of the advertising pictures I've seen but it depends on the light too . It's got more of a red tint than I thought it would kind of like the MTD Z-5 I had a few years ago but it does look great to me . The EQ bypass just does what it says , the bass still needs batteries to work with the switch engaged . Here's a picture of mine that gives a good view of what the finish looks like .

    S7300426.
     
  11. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    Blues Bass 2, That is indeed a great looking bass, I usually don't like gold hardware but I think it works very well there. How do you like the preamp that is in it?


    I better start playing the lottery, then I won't have to decide... I'll take one of each!

    MMBongo, I figured you would be recomending a different bass on my list just going by your username.:) I think an L2500 is in my range but I don't know if can get one new and still have much left over for an amp.... I would like to play one for sure as what I have read indicates a very versatile sounding bass.
     
  12. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    The preamp works fine is doesn't add any unwanted noise . The mid shift switch makes it more versitile . I'm tending to leave the EQ about flat and just changing the bass and mids for different songs . The bass does have noise if you pan towards either pickup because of the single coils but no more than any well designed Jazz would . It seems pretty well shielded to me .
     
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    How do you feel about frets? I never much play my AC50 from back in the Sprik band days much anymore.
     
  14. redcloud

    redcloud

    Oct 6, 2011
    Why haven't you given Carvin your consideration?
     
  15. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    +1, that's what I would get. I had/have a few Stingrays and prefer my G&L to them these days.

    With that said I'd also have a look at the EBMM stuff. Namely the SR5.

    Both are very similar and fantastic instruments.
     
  16. domestique

    domestique

    Sep 5, 2011
    PA
    I love my dingwall, but my ABI is 19mm spacing. I know you said new, but you van Find a mint ABZ and maybe ABI for close to 1,500.

    Like others said the 37" is not thatdifferent as the bridge is at the very end. When I put my dingwall, next to my G&L 34" it is the same length.
     
  17. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    Phalex!!! So far I need at least 17 unless I'm just wankin. :) It was great to see you again at the cabin. We gotta get together for a brew or two.

    Redcloud, the Carvin SB5000 looks awesome, and I have owned a carvin DC400 back in my guitar days. I know that they build some great stuff but I think I need to play whatever I'm going to buy because of my experience with the Warwick. It was great bass but It just did not fit me correctly. If I run into a used one that I can check out Carvin may show up on the list.

    The good thing is I'm not in a huge hurry so I can check out a lot of options.

    Speaking of options, anybody know where I can check out a Dingwall in Michigan. I don't see a dealer in MI and have not been succesful locating a used one in a store.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
     
  18. domestique

    domestique

    Sep 5, 2011
    PA
    I'm not sure, maybe there is fellow talk basser that would let you demo one. I actually bought my first dingwall sight unseen off of Ebay.
     
  19. LCBurt

    LCBurt

    May 2, 2011
    Michigan
    Shoot, I forgot the Dingwall has 19mm spacing. Still want to play one though. When I played an MTD Artist it kind of felt like I was holding a spatula. Not comfortable at all for me.
     
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My schedule is going to be opening up pretty soon. (Shhhhhh! It's a secret!)

    Let's make it happen capt'n!
     

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