What's a not too expensive PASSIVE 5/five string bass with an excellent B ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by topo morto, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    As per title really. Have done a bit of homework... so far I have seen people suggest:

    Lakland Skyline DJ5
    Lakland Skyline JO5 (55-60)
    Fender Roscoe Beck V
    American Fender Jazz V
    Dingwall Afterburner (EDIT - I probably mean ABZ here, price-wise)

    TBH I would prefer to pay much less than some of those, so cheaper suggestions very welcome! :) Would lean towards 35" plus, or basses that have a reason why they're good, other than just 'magic', if you see what I mean.

    Thank you.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Do you like wider or narrower string spacing? I have had a couple of Ibanez BTB basses that were EXCELLENT players, and very versatile as far as tone goes. I like both the Ibanez pickups and the Barts that came in some models. They both have their strong points. The spacing is wide though. But if you are looking for longer scale basses I assume your hands aren't tiny to begin with. Used, the BTB is pretty cheap. There are some models that aren't too bad new either. I think they even make a passive model or two if you prefer.

    All that being said, my Roscoe Beck sig V became my main player the day I got it. If you sneak up on a good deal on one of those you won't regret it. But, believe it or not, with the asymmetrical neck and wide spacing, there are similarities in how the Roscoe Beck and BTB basses feel.
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thanks. I have seen BTB's mentioned too, but most of them looked to have active EQ - I'm really looking for a straight passive if at all possible.

    My hands are a bit smaller than average but 35" is fine and I'm not too fussed on spacing - I have one 5er with 16.5mm which is fine, and one at 18mm. 19.5 might be a bit too much for a 5er.
  4. Try an Ibanez with Nordstrand's. They are active/passive and the "B"s or killer in both. The narrow spacing is the only thing I DON'T like.

    I'm partial to the SR1405E
  5. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    I haven't played it but many people say the Yamaha BB425 is great. I have a BB1025X and the low B sounds & feels great. Great-sounding bass. It's 34" scale though. The BB1025X is $1000. I'm not sure how much the BB425 is.
  6. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    DJ5 all the way! I own one and it has an exceptional B string. I installed an Audere JZ3 preamp in it for extra versatility. It literally does EVERYTHING.
  7. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Any Lakland 5er would be a good choice....because the B string has some of the best sound in the industry...and overall, the quality on the Skylines is great.

    ...and many people will back me up on that....so see, I did not say "magic"... :)

    if you like a J bass go DJ (55-71) or a Joe osbourn (55-60)...if you like a P sound go with a 55-64.

    you can find used ones for reasonable prices here...

    good luck!



    PS - don't neccesarily go "cheaper" "just because"....you may regret it....save money and buy a good/great instrument...even if you have to wait a little longer...overall, I think you will like it better....I found that out over many years with instruments and other things....
  8. Basspariser is dead on with his P.S. It's a lot cheaper in the long run to buy really nice stuff that you'll want keep then buy cheap and trade up.
  9. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I always feel like I'm a few months away from skipping the country so the only things I really get for keeps are very small... but you are right, I have toured budget bass land comprehensively, I need to put a few more £$£$£$£ in.
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    G&L Tribute L-2500. Switchable active/passive. Probably the best 'bang-for-the-buck' bolt-on 5-string I've played. I know the OP is looking for a straight passive bass and may not be into the series/parallel switching, but it's easy to find good tones on this bass...IMO.
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Do you think the USA ones offer much extra? They're available used here in the UK for about the same as Skylines.
  12. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
  13. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I sold a Mike Lull 5'er and picked one of these G&Ls up just to have a 5'er around. I don't miss the Lull at all...this bass plays much easier and has a ballsier sound too. It even weighed the same..I heard G&L's can be heavy basses.

    I spent $450 for it!
  14. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thanks a lot for the ideas so far.

    Any more? (Not that I want to be GASsed up too much...)
  15. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Yeah, the KSD Burner Ignition 5er. This one is mine, and I got it from zZounds for $300. Very impressed so far. 35" scale with a powerful B.

  16. Another vote for the Schecter Diamond P5. I'd put it up against any five string twice it's price.

    I pity the fool who doesn't at least consider it.:eyebrow:
  17. DaRQsiDe


    Jan 17, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    I am exactly looking for the same thing, that passive-vintage sound is missing from my arsenal and I am a lover of 5's and 6's.

    Can we get the price range up to $2000? :)
  18. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sounds like a new thread.
  19. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    If we're talking new prices, I think that probably is about my range... Isn't that's what a Dingwall ABZ would be seen in the shops for?

    Personally I'm not solely going for a vintage sound - I just prefer to do EQ and other processing outside the bass rather than being limited by the unit in the bass. Also I get the feeling that a lot of active basses lean on the preamp way too much, and what you end up hearing is more down to the EQ rather than the pickup / string, which makes for a boring and fatiguing sound even if it is superficially 'big'.
  20. It's an interesting perspective. I would say that on-board electronics gives you much more flexibility at the tips of your fingers than doing all on the post-bass chain. The bass is a complete package either way, and you just need to find that combination of tone and use. I think you're going to enjoy that search. Try everything out!!! Let us know which option you pick.

    I would have thrown "SX 5-er" but that's probably below your minimum price lol.