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Three basses, need help picking one

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SmurfK, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. SmurfK


    Mar 28, 2018

    I would like to treat myself with a 5 string bass. I'm not a professional player, I play at home, record few things from time to time, or jam with some friends online. I want something affordable, that would provide good comfort and versatile tones.

    My bass right now is a 4-string SX PJ bass. It's pretty good, especially for the price, but it gets a bit noisy (that will probably be fixed with shielding), but the comfort problem is that it neck dives a bit too much. I play sitting down, so I can't really fix it with a strap and also be comfortable. P body does not offer a lot of help either, as it's hard to get a fixed position on my leg or in between my legs. My previous bass was a Cort Action V. I didn't like the build quality on that one not one bit, but it was pretty comfortable. I would keep it on my left leg, and it would be in a perfect position.

    I pretty much decided on three basses, but I'm having problems picking one. I'm pretty sure that I'll probably be very happy with any of them, but I would like to hear your opinion, as all of you are much more experienced than I am.

    I'm interested in comfort more than anything. I play anything, I'm very diverse from this point of view, from hip-hop, pop, to jazz and grindcore, so I would like something pretty versatile too. Weight is not an important factor as far as I'm concerned. Play sitting down won't put much pressure on my back, even if I'm wearing the strap while doing so.

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to test them in a store, due to not having access to them anywhere near where I live. I'm fine with setting up guitars and basses, even doing more complicated stuff, like wiring, fret leveling, replacing nuts, but I would prefer one that won't require much work because I could get a $100 Harley Benton and do all that. I could order and send them back if I don't like any of them, but that rarely happens. I tend to stick with what I decide on, so I would like to make the best decision possible.

    My choices are:

    - Sire M2 - I'm a sucker for the way maple fretboards look, and this one gots a version with one. I've also heard great things about Sire, but more about V7 than M2. I heard the quality is great, but I wonder if it's much better than my other options.

    - Ibanez SR305, the current version - I've rarely read any problems with balance on Ibanez basses, so that would be a big plus on comfort size. The price is great on these ones. The only thing that makes me wonder is the neck. I've had an Ibanez RG guitar, and I wasn't a big fan of the neck. My hand would cramp up after playing longer session, something that does not happen on baseball bat type of necks. It's something about a fatter neck that feels right for me, I don't know how to explain it, it probably got something to do with the support for my thumb. I can get one for about $370.

    - Yamaha TBRX305 - I didn't find information about necks on these ones, so I don't know if they are Ibanez type of necks or more Fender-like. I would like to hear your input if you can help me out. This would be my favorite right now, I like the way it looks, and it seems loaded with awesome features. I've also heard praises for Yamaha quality at this price range.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    If this is your primary consideration than you absolutely need to play them first. More than sound or feel or playability or any other factor we can come up with, comfort is entirely subjective.
  3. SmurfK


    Mar 28, 2018
    Yea, you're right in this regard. I'll probably order one, see how it feels, and send it back if I don't like it. Now I need to decide which one first. :laugh:

    When I started playing guitar, basses choices where "black one or red one". Now I'm a bit overwhelmed.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    3 pretty good choices in my opinion - can't go wrong. I like the Sire, but Ibanez and Yamaha put out great products too.
  5. madmaskbass


    Apr 29, 2008
    get the Ibanez IMO...but if I was really honest I would get a higher model second hand rather than buy new. The prices of second hand Ibanez is silly low for what you get. When I think of comfort their very slim neck profile comes to mind before any other bass. I haven't played on in a very long time but as a intermediate bass especially in 5 string they are just solid and do the job. Well I just re-read your post about Ibanez and see that you like a fatter neck...IMO I have struggled with this on guitars before aswell and I now play 6 string basses and it is just a different playing position..and it is more probably the string spacing on guitar that is causing the cramped feeling over the width of the neck. If you have reasonable technique neck width should not be a huge concern...again IMO...Yamaha do have similar flat, slim necks like Ibanez but not as flat or thin...anyway all the best
  6. LowEndOperative

    LowEndOperative ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    The Yamaha has great tonal variety via its 5-way EQ selector switch.
  7. BubbaZed

    BubbaZed Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    Tallahassee, FL
    Andertons did a great video on affordable 5 strings. They gave top marks to the TBRX305.


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