Upgrading options from RBX6JM (looking for 6 strings narrow spacing)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JC Vallejo, May 3, 2018.

  1. Hey! I got my 4th bass a month ago. A used Yamaha RBX6JM (John Myung). It's my first six'er ever and my previous basses were Ibanez SR305, SR505 and SR905. As far as I Understand all are in the commercial narrow string spacing league (around 16.5mm I think?).

    I'm not planning to sell the Yamaha very soon (unless I get a nice offer) but I want to keep an eye on what's next (drooling on ebay or TB classfieds, you know, right?) and I just noticed how important is to me the string spacing. Before the RBX6JM I tried an Ibanez BTB676 and it felt odd in my hands (I'm a 5' 7" tall guy). Of course it was just playing 15 minutes at most and I could get used to a wider neck, but I think that it would be wise to look first at options that won't modify my playing that much.

    Do you have in mind six string specific brands and models so start looking at? I got my RBX6JM in pretty nice shape for $550 and unless I hit the Jackpot I would think on spending $850 at most for my next bass.

    If this helps, I play in two bands: One plays mainly 50's to 70's rock and the other is a jazz trio (in where I feel literally like I just took off the training wheels from my first bike, I started attempting to play since 4 months ago).

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Attached Files:

    rtav likes this.
  2. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Ibanez SRC6 has REALLY narrow string spacing. Also short scale. Intended by designer to be tuned EADGBE with very light-gauge strings. Active. It's within your stated price range, but those other specs may DQ it for you. Kind of an odd duck.
  3. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Ibanez has a couple of Gerald Veasley signature bass models.

    All GVB models are regular 34" long scale 6 string basses, tuned in standard 5̶t̶h̶ all 4th BEADGC, and have slim and narrow neck with narrow 14mm string spacing at bridge. These basses are pricey when new and the used price for the GVB36 model is likely near the top of your jackpot budget.
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  4. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Squier Bass VI?

    Now there's narrow spacing
  5. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    I think I measured my RBX6JM spacing at 17mm. I've found that Carvin 6 strings, Ibanez SR 6 strings and Peavey Cirrus 6 strings feel similar to me near the bridge. Out of all those basses I like the neck on the Cirrus the best, and it's a definite upgrade from the JM in terms of tone, build quality and (especially) weight. You can get one of the US-made ones around your $850 mark if you look around.

    I kept my JM after I got my Cirrus and ended up gutting and refinishing it, and now it's probably my best-sounding bass. Still way too heavy, though...


    Self-indulgent band photo shoot. Not even plugged in LOL...

    I can see why you'd want to use a six in a jazz setting. But if I were in a cover band like yours, I would probably just use a Fender. I find most six strings are more modern sounding, whereas the Fender sound sits in that type of music almost automatically. I can get that sound out of my Yamaha with the new electronics but even then, I'd rather keep it simple and not bring more strings than I need. But YMMV.
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    MAJORA64 likes this.
  6. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    My Brice HXB-406 has 15mm (.625)spacing.
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  7. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    Have you confirmed that measurement yourself? Rondo's been known to get their specs wrong once in a while in their website copy, particularly string spacing at the bridge.

    Curious because I would actually love to have a bass with spacing that narrow.
  8. I think it's a whole different animal. I don't want to go that narrow on my main bass, but I have to say that I would love to try it for messing around for a while. Thanks!

    It looks nice, the thing is that I would want to try one before buying because I'm afraid that my still pretty low skills slapping would go even lower on a 14mm string spacing... Although I read that narrower string spacing doesn't mean you can't slap, just you can't slap sloppy. If I find one at a hot deal price I could take the faith leap and sell it fast if I don't like the playing. Thanks!

    The same thoughts as the Ibanez SRC6, way too narrow and I would not want to go to short scale. I don't know fender lines so well but somehow I don't see this Squier as an upgrade from my RBX6JM, just like trying something very different. Thanks!

    I'll take a look to Carvin and the Cirrus. The SR's are already listed on my hunt, but I'm not sure if should I look to something like a SR1406TE or go wild with a SRFF806 (I've never tried a fan fretted bass).

    Regarding the Fender, I would not going that way. I don't like that much classic vibe basses. I respect their reputation but they're just not my thing. Regarding the classic sound, I'm not worried for getting the true vintage fit. The band it's more like a rehearsal recreative band (our weekly music dose) rather than an active gigging band committed to a "close to the original song" sound. Also once I tried 6 strings I don't see me going to 5 or 4 strings unless it's an EUB (someday). Thanks for the advice!

    I don't know it, I'll take a deeper look, but after a quick look on ebay I think they might be good basses but I don't see them as an upgrade. Maybe it's the picture but it looks wider than 15mm for me. Thanks!
  9. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Have I confirmed it?o_O
    I own the bass!
    The person in the pic is me.
    .625 or 5/8 =15.875 mm.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Put that tape measure to 0 and the distance between your B and D strings is over 25 feet- that’s some wide string spacing!
    flojob and gebass6 like this.
  11. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    I've played an SR multiscale and found that it really wasn't much of an adjustment. It looks pretty weird, but especially with a fan under 2" like theirs it feels about the same. Going from straight scale to multiscale is a much smaller adjustment than adding a string IMHO.

    No problem! You're right, there's no real need to get another bass if nailing an authentic sound and vibe isn't important. Might as well spend the money on whatever you really want.

    Hey man, no disrespect intended. I don't measure all my basses LOL. I would have taken your word for it, but thanks for the pic!
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  12. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    This cheap MIT tape measure is 25 feet long.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  13. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Hmm... if you are considering slapping using a 6er, then maybe you need to search no more. Your Yamaha with 17 mm string spacing (if correctly described by other poster above) or the BTB 6 string that you had tried is already considered to have ideal string spacing for slapping for those who don't want wide string spacing 6er.

    Yes, it's all about practicing not to slap sloppy (and IME also to mute unplayed strings correctly) when using narrow string spacing extended range bass. But on stage, situation changes. At times when I had devoted my self to play just 6ers (with all having 16 mm string spacing and I even had 6 string fretless), things were getting harder when band mates started putting in slap intensive songs more and more.

    Don't get me wrong, I can slap with narrow string spacing bass just fine, even with my 15.5 mm string spacing 7er. But when doing a gig, I'm not just gonna stand still to concentrate on my playing. I want to enjoy the songs and present myself in front of the audience. Showing up with 6 string or even 7 string bass would appear awesome, but only for very small portion of those who understand. The rest and eventually most of the audience wouldn't even care how many strings you play.

    So, since then my main gigging bass has changed to a 19 mm string spacing BTB 5er (with a 16.5 mm spacing fretless SR 5er when needed). Easier to slap on a 19 mm spacing, not that many strings to mute, and I can still play low-B.

    you have the same preference as mine regarding the Fender... they're just not my thing either. But difference is, I'm no longer forcing my self to use only 6 string bass(es).

    I enjoy of having multiple variety of basses: an acoustic electric 5er, a fretted 5er, a fretless 5er, a fanned fret 6er, a Bass VI breed 6er, and a 7er. I'll used each of them accordingly. Mostly, any of my 5ers goes out with me on gigs. Only when I'm sure I will use the high-C, based on the set list, then I'll bring the 6er.

    BTW... the SRFF806 that you're GASsing for, I have one, and it's currently my one and only 6er which I have left (besides the Ibanez SRC6 crossover bass, which is also a 6er but doesn't count as this one is a Bass VI breed).
  14. Not sure which one would be wrong or maybe some of them changed throught the years, but the BTB string spacing felt far larger, but I would not go for a larger spacing even if it's the best for slapping, since I slap just a very few notes here and there and I would take the hard way (focus on technique instead of getting a larger string spacing)

    I know it looks like a poser, wanting a 6er just because 6 strings looks cool, but considering that it's my only bass, I want to get it as the most complete option and maybe in the future invest on different basses for specific use. I would love to get a 5 string Ibanez Portamento fretless, but not as my main bass.

    Thanks for your feedback!
  15. I can't find a Carvin or a Cirrus in good condition for $850. Any ideas beside TB classfieds, ebay and reverb.com??
  16. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    Guitar Center's "used gear" section often gets them, but I don't see any currently.

    Honestly, you can't always avoid the waiting game if you're trying to get a good deal. Keep checking those sites and one will eventually pop up. It will take longer if you insist on pristine condition, of course. Cirruses in particular tend to get played a lot and it may show.

    I did find this Carvin on reverb:

    Carvin LB76 - 6 String Bass 2013 Tung Oil Walnut | Bass Alley

    The seller's asking $900 but if you offer $850 they'll likely accept.
  17. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    I browsed around... there was a post mentioning the RBX6JM had 16.5 mm string spacing (instead of 17 mm mentioned by a poster earlier on this thread). If so, this explains why you felt the BTB676 has larger (17 mm) string spacing.
  18. I got today my Cirrus. IMO it's indeed an upgrade. I'm eager to get to my rehearsal on Tuesday!

    Thanks for your comments.

    IronSpatula and Aidil like this.
  19. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
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