What's your best B?

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

  1. TrevorG

    TrevorG Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Spector NS XL 5. It's 35" scale so it should be good.
    Arthur U. Poon and songwriter21 like this.
  2. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    The best overall was probably a Tobias (early Gibson) Killer B 5 lacewood that I owned from about '98 to '01. Very tight feel and punchy as all hell. It started to need a little fret and neck work so I ended up trading it toward a Lakland 55-01 when they first rolled out. I sometimes regret the decision - it sounded exceptional and was very easy to play.

    From my current lineup it's probably my Alien Audio Lunar 5. 2Tek bridge and 35" scale have a lot to do with it I suspect. Close second is my G&L L2500 Tribute. One of the best imports I've ever laid hands on.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  3. Dingwall D-roc 5 string.
    Hands down the best tension, feel, punch and sustain if any other 5 string I've owned ( Ibanez, Spector, Warwick etc. )
    J R Knots and songwriter21 like this.
  4. Ibanez sr675 and Ibanez sr1405. Light 34 scale basses with great B strings.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  5. Gormsgade


    Jun 17, 2005
    This! Combination of the most stabile neck I`ve ever tried and electronics capable of catching and reproducing every detail of the B string
    Chris Todd, TrevorG, FunkHead and 2 others like this.
  6. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 14, 2012
    MJC Ironworks
    Lakland for me. That has been the best 5 string neck I have played to date followed closely by Fodera, Dingwall, and Modulus (only owned the Modulus out of those 3)
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  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I have more than one. All of them have 35” scale lengths.

    In no particular order:
    Mike Lull M5V
    Ristola Exotic-6
    Spector Euro 6LT
    Roscoe SKB3006

    The Spector has EMG-X Series pickups into an EMG BTS eq circuit. I believe it’s pickups and electronics add something that I just can’t put into words to it’s tone. Through my amp, when I start digging into my strings, it’s B-string “feels” like you’re being punched in the gut.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
    songwriter21 likes this.
  8. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    My Kiesel Vader AW5 with a DR Nickel Lo Rider .125. Rings clear and even and perfectly intonates to the 12th fret. After that it's very slightly sharp.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses

    +1. I own a Euro 6LT, and it’s B-string sounds incredible.

    I have three other basses with 35” scale lengths that also have fantastic sounding B-strings. They all have bolt on necks.

    The Spector is of course a neck-through. I’m not sure if it’s the neck-through thing, or it’s EMG pickups and eq circuit, or if it’s all of these things, but it’s B-string has a very focused sound and feel when it’s plugged into my amp.
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  10. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Granted, it has passive, lower-volume HZ pickups, but my Schecter has neck-thru construction, with an EMG setup, and even though I don't really use the eq (I use an amp or pedals), the tone and build reminds a lot of my previous Spector Euro LX. Pretty remarkable for less than $700.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  11. burgerdj


    Dec 4, 2006
    I’ve been very content with the B on my 34” Warwick Pro M. I attribute it to the countersunk bridge, bell brass frets and especially the stout wenge neck and fingerboard.
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  12. Bartrinsic

    Bartrinsic Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    San Diego
    37"-34": Best, but slower playing due to more shifts needed on the B and E strings
    35.5"-34": Great compromise (e.g. Ibanez SR, Warwick Rockbass); like playing a 35" straight fret
    35"-33": Great compromise, with an average 34" scale making it fairly easy to get used to
    35"-32": Takes a bit of getting used to, but eventually supports fast use of G and D strings, including multi-stops, since they're quite short.
    34": Don't really use 34" B strings much. None can match the longer scales if everything else is the same.

    Neck-thru: Best tone definition on the B string overall, due to highest stability and sustain of overtones. That said, bolt-ons can have great B strings too. I'm happy with both.

    Strings: need overtones for note definition, so brighter strings will be better.

    Higher mass and routed-in bridges: Better bridge design may help. For monorail bridges, routed-in models like Ibanez MRV have an advantage over simple surface mount monorails. Heavier bridges like ETS, Dingwall and Kiesel's Vader bridge, for example, may help.

    Good break angles and string routing at the bridge and nut are important.

    I haven't found any particular brand or model to have magic beyond the above.
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  13. kmd88

    kmd88 Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    Lakland 55-94. I have an old one with the Barts. Crystal clear piano like B. Music Man and G&L are fine but the Lakland is a notch up in this regard. I also prefer the 19mm spacing on the Lakland.
  14. IMG_20210129_234708.jpg
    My Ibanez BTB1205E.

    Thunderous B string.

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  15. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Dingwall Afterburner I by a long shot.
    Lakland 55-01 would be 2nd.
  16. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    The best I have ever seen is on my Knuckle (not a Quake, but 36.5" scale). Pretty darned good - Carvin, MTD.
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  17. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    MTD Grendel 35”
  18. I've had great Bs on 34" and 35" scale, so I don't personally think that makes any difference, the law of physics not withstanding. My experience is that's it's the luck of the draw. I've had 35" Tobias, TRB and Cirrus, and 34" Yam BBG5, Stingray, Bacchus and Manne. I could make all of them sound great by paying attention to the little details that are needed for a great B. My current Manne with a LaBella tapered B is 34" and is as good as any B I've ever had. I find keeping the pickup magnets away from the mass of the B is just as important as break angle etc. I've never tried multiscale, but I have no need to. My conclusion is: there is no right or wrong, some basses even of the exact same model are going to have better Bs than others. Maybe it's a combination of the woods used, heck even Fenders sometimes have good Bs.
  19. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    I had a Prestige 1005e (2nd year, I think), bolt-on, and it was also very good.
    Michael Jewels likes this.
  20. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    Aside from my Dingwall Combustion 5 (or NG3 and DBird tuned down), my current other favorite is an Ibanez Ergodyne EDC 5 string. The overall tone of the bass is very good, like way better than I remembered them sounding back in the day. Great for rock stuff, not so much with super hi fi slap tones IMO. Either pickup solo'd sounds good down to a low A as well.

    Honorable mentions:
    Warwick Fortress 5- heavy bass but killer tone. Had the Mega baseball bat wenge neck.
    Lakland Skyline DJ5- Super nice bass, more vintage sounding than my 44-60.
    Ibanez SR305E- really nice basses for the money, super versatile tonally. This was the last 5 before getting a Dingwall, no regrets!

    Dishonorable mentions:
    Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5- I was shocked because this bass was a total turd. Built well, awful tone. Dreadfully bad. Couldn't sell it fast enough.

    Ibanez SR406- I liked the bass but it sounded so lifeless! I was too poor as a youngin to upgrade anything but strings so off it went.
    J R Knots and songwriter21 like this.
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