What's your best B?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by songwriter21, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    My home-built (not by me) 36” scale 4-stringer.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  2. J33


    Nov 13, 2021
  3. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray

    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire
    Like most of you, I’ve gone through a TON of basses trying to find the right B for my. I’m strictly a 5 string player and gotta say the best for me is without a doubt the Stingray 5 Special HH. My Bongo 5 HH is very close second.

    For me I’ve found the key is having 18V and a flexible preamp (also an amp/cab with tons of power on tap).

    I’d have to say Spector is definitely up there as well. They have a really wide/full foundation, I guess you could say the tone has girth to it. The B strings are also great all the way up the neck.

    I also owned a Modulus Genesis and Sweet Spot which were great but not as strong throughout the neck as the SR special or Bongo.

    I absolutely hated the Low B on my Schecter Studio 6. I found it lacked clarity and wasn’t really usable above the 5th fret. A close runner up was my Jazz V. It sounded good in recordings but super loose and easy to bend the note out of tune (totally could be controlled by adjusting technique, but I wasn’t interested in working on that since it’s not an issue for me on other basses).

    I think Ibanez 5rs always feel great and the B sting is usually great all the way up the neck but there preamps/pickups are usually mid/treble forward so you loose that thunder.
    Element Zero, Dasgre0g, Benko and 2 others like this.
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Best B strings I have played...

    Roscoe Century 5
    Warwick Dolphin Pro 5
    Modulus Q5
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I've only owned one 5 string, my Modulus Q5. Nuff said!

    songwriter21 likes this.
  6. I do like the B on my Yamaha TRBX305.
  7. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    Best B string I ever had was a MusicMan Stingray 5. I never got along with the tone of that bass but the B was crystal clear, authoritative, and not overbearing or muddy.

    Right now I’ve got a Sire P7 fiver with a decent low B- it’s fine but it just sounds different than the rest of the strings. The ‘Ray B was totally uniform, and I didn’t realize how rare that was until I unloaded it.

    I also have a home-built fiver with the neck from a G&L Tribute L2500. The B is frankly crap. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of tuning it E-C instead, just to get rid of that dreadful B. Funny enough, I played it in bands for years and never realized how flabby that B was, until I went out and got something nicer. If only I had stuck with it, I wouldn’t be so gas-stricken.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
    lowdownthump and songwriter21 like this.
  8. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Brice Defiant 53437. A 37 inch B is a wonderful thing!

  9. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    Lakland Skyline 55-64 with a .150 Kalium string (35-inch scale)
    Dingwall AB-2 with a .135 Dingwall string (37-inch scale)
    NS Design NXT-5 with stock strings (41.7-inch scale)

    Short answer, it's a combination of scale length and string thickness/stiffness.
  10. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    I have not had the pleasure of playing several of those basses on your list, but I have always loved a Spector 35", and the Peavey Cirrus! Other than those, I have a TBC MM/J fiver that has an amazing B string...I would swear it is 35" scale from the clarity of the B, but its 34"
    songwriter21 likes this.
  11. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    The Yamaha TRBJP2 in my pic. KILLER B string.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    My Kiesel has a very solid B. It’s through body, not sure if that matters. But it feels pretty close to the E in tension.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  13. WarwickE36


    Oct 28, 2010
    My 91 Warwick Steamer Stage 2 hands down best B I've ever played.
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  14. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    My 34" scale fretted 6 string I built has a killer low B and my 34.5" scale fretless 5 also has a rock solid low B. I find that strings can have an affect on how good a low B sounds.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  15. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    My Physics education and my experience with building (and playing) my own basses agree. A good low B is more of a string issue than it is a bass issue. Either that, or I somehow have some magic, in that every 5'er I've built (with the right strings) sounds great on the low B. Sure, a thicker, better reinforced (and roasted) neck helps some, and going 34 inch scale also makes the neck more stiff and solid than a 35 inch scale, but the real trick is getting a B string that is the right construction and gauge. I play very light gauge strings - 40/55/70/95 for the top 4. A 130 is the right gauge for similar tension for that set (that means you have to buy singles to get the right gauge - there is literally no packaged set on the market that does that). If you play a 105 E string, a 140 is where you need to be for a similarly tensioned B string.

    I've had B strings that were dead-ish, but never "floppy", so long as I got that gauge. I've had good luck with D'addario XL's, GHS Boomers, Kalium Hybrids, and SIT Powerwounds.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  16. micguy


    May 17, 2011
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  17. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I've been through the mill and lost count of the number of times I've had an iffy low B and tried for months to get it to maybe work.
    After all that time and effort, my standouts are:
    • Dingwall Afterburner I. Physics of a 37" scale + their attention to detail in design & construction = THE best low B obtainable.
    • Warwick Streamer Stage I. The sustain with the heavy woods & the growly response of the more bridge-bound pickup placement make for a low B response that consistently & profoundly satisfies my fussy self.
  18. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    My Dingwall NG3 was the best B I've ever heard.
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  19. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    On my '00 Lakland 55-94, the sub-E1 notes are simply monstrous. Beats the B on the Smiths, Fbasses, Sadowskys, EBMMs, Warwicks, Muckelroys, and others that I've played (and those were all great instruments with solid Bs). And it sounds good with nickels like Sadowskys or stainless-steels like HiBeams (my favorite on the 55-94). (EDIT: I string through the bridge, and not through the body.)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  20. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    My Shechter Stilletto and my Ibanez BTB both have 35" scale and have been the only B strings I've been happy with.
    songwriter21 likes this.
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