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Thinking about getting a quality 5-string...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tombowlus, Sep 7, 2004.


  1. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    And I am a bit bewildered by all of the choices out there. However, most of the basses that I have played have left me somewhat wanting. I currently have a modded DeArmond Pilot 5 Deluxe (I added Bartolini pups and an OBP-1), which I think is crazy good for the money (bought for $295 brand new!). It was my initial exploration into 5-string land, to be sure that I was going to dig it. So far, it's gone pretty well, and I'd like to step up to something better. The DeArmond plays real nice, so something with similar string spacing would be nice (it's roughly equivalent to the spacing on my Gibson 4-string basses), and I generally like a thinner neck (though wider is okay).

    I have tried a number of higher end basses, and reached some conclusions. While I really like their looks, I just don't like the feel of Smith basses. And I have tried a number of them. It's really a brand that I wanted to like, but so far, none of them have felt "right" to me. Same goes for Brian Moore's basses. Lakland's seem okay, but nothing blows me away. Zon and Warwick basses do feel pretty good in my hands, as do MTD's, but to be honest, even the high end MTD's didn't sound significantly better to me than my modded DeArmond. I'd have to say that the American MTD's are some of my favorites so far, but they don't sound $2,000 better than my Pilot.

    I have only played through one Sadowsky, and it was a Vintage 4, and not even plugged in. But it rocked my world! Based upon that one brief encounter, I have been heavily leaning towards a Sadowsky 5-string (not sure which model). But Fodera looks good, as do F Bass and Elrick. But, I've never had a chance to play these. Hopefully, I can get up to Low Down Sound sometime soon and see if they have any Sadowsky's or Fodera's in stock yet (they hadn't the last time I was there).

    Finally, one of my main goals is to find a bass that can sound similar to my beloved Gibson Thunderbird IV (1991). While some of the high end basses I have played don't sound as good as my modded DeArmond, the Thunderbird blows away the Pilot 5 Deluxe (at least to my ears it does). I don't know how much of it is the mahogany body, or the passive humbuckers, or the neck through construction, but if I could find a 5-string that felt good in my hands and sounded as good as my Thunderbird, I'd be in heaven!

    I realize that this is a wide-open thread, and I guess I am just looking for a few pointers in the right direction. Any bass that I am going to be able to play, I will have to drive to do so, and I'd like to do some homework ahead of time to narrow down where I go to play. :bassist:

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    www.dingwallguitars.com/fd3/

    If you like what you hear, let me know and I can provide you with most info you may want to know hehe ;)

    Trying to convert the world to Dingwall as usual hehehe :ninja:
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have, indeed, been very intrigued by Dingwall basses, going back to the first posts on The Bottom Line about Sheldon's remarkable basses. I need to find somewhere to audition one...
     
  4. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    At the GC here in C-bus, there's a new Pedula Rapture w/ bart JJ pups... It's gloss black w/ a serious birdseye neck & fb... It sounds nummy...
     
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I may be down there sometime soon. I'll have to check it out.

    Did you ever get a rig together?
     
  6. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Nawww, the rig is going to be a long term project... as I'm able to sneak a couple hundred here & there...
     
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Lull basses have slim neck profiles. You've already mentioned Sadowsky... if you're leery of spending more than $3k, you could try a Sadowsky Metro series fiver.
     
  8. freakbass

    freakbass "Pile-drivingly Heavy" since 1983

    Well, Juneau is trying to convert everyone to to Dingwall, And I'm trying to convert everyone to Skjold.

    Skjold Designs

    Pete makes a damn fine bass, and you'll be the only kid on the block with a brand that no one can pronounce. :hyper:
     
  9. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Hehehe, well I must also give Pete's basses a +1 too :)
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Any place to audition them outside of Texas?
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I think that Low Down Sound only carries the Metro line, so I am hoping to check them out. I had temporarily forgotten about Mike Lull's basses. Definitely worth checking out, from all I read about them.
     
  12. freakbass

    freakbass "Pile-drivingly Heavy" since 1983

    There's a list of dealers on the website in my sig. I'm not sure, but there may be one near you.
     
  13. dont

    dont

    Jul 25, 2004
    dontwyman@lycos.com
    If you can get your hands on a Sukop, give it a try; I have one and love the sound and playability---gorgeous too. Also, give Hanewinckel a look; I have one en route as I write; if it sounds and plays half as good as it looks, it will be world-class.
     
  14. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I'm gonna go ahead and suggest Carvin or an F Bass.
     
  15. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I just got a Mark King deluxe Alembic 5 string. It is the best bass I have ever played. Check them out at Basscentral.com
     
  16. one thing that might help you is to determin if you are looking for a modern or Hi-fi type of bass, I'd qualify stuff like MTD, F-bass and that bunch in that catagory. or are you looking for a more classic feeling and sounding bass like a sadowksy or mike lull.

    Roscoe basses are real nice, they have a awesome low B string and a very full, in your face kind of sound.

    F basses are also very nice, they are more of a hi fi sounding bass with a jazz vibe to them, they have awesome necks that really make you want to shred on them.

    another option to consider would be to talk to a custom builder like Chris Benavente or Carey Nordstrand, both make aweomse quality basses and have a variety of styles. they can incorperate any pickup and preamp config for you.

    and then sadowksy seems to be a sure bet if you are looking for a good do it all bass with the classic look. the metro basses are very nice, and it is really hard to tell the difference between a metro and an NYC unless you count the fancy finish options that the NYC's have.
     
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses