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Where to go next - 5 String or P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Big Ginger Bass, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. 5 String to save taking the Bongo everywhere!

    8 vote(s)
  2. P Bass, Because well, you need a P Bass!

    42 vote(s)
  3. Resist the G.A.S.and wait it out for your Bongo!

    15 vote(s)
  4. Other (Feel free to elaborate!

    12 vote(s)
  1. Big Ginger Bass

    Big Ginger Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Hi Guys!

    So I currently have a MIM Fender Jazz Bass, and should be due to receive my Stealth Pearl Bongo 6 in the next 2-3 weeks.

    However GAS strikes again before my Bongo has even arrived! Though I'm rationalising it to myself as "Productive GAS" haha!

    With a budget of around £600/$870 I had 2 potential ideas on where to go/what to buy next...

    A 5 string of some sort

    The main justification I've given myself for this idea is a way for me to play extended range bass without having to take my Bongo everywhere!

    Possibly 35 inch scale for a tighter B string as I've never owned a 35" 5 at the moment looking at a Spector Legend Classic 5 in Black Cherry just now for an idea... Was also toying with a Ray35 perhaps for the "Ray tone" for my arsenal but not sure whether that or 35 inch scale would be of more use to me in truth... Obviously open to other suggestions!

    A P-Bass

    Do I really need to explain this one? I know there is many here who think every bassist needs a P-bass and some who feel the only bass needed is a P-Bass, I already have my Fender MIM J, I was contemplating getting a MIM Standard P in Candy Apple Red with a Maple neck...

    Once again open to suggestions on either of these ideas....


    Obviously I know this is often useful... I play a lot of progressive rock/metal - Haken, Dream Theater, Scale the Summit you know the sort (Hence the Bongo) though I also enjoy just about anything a guilty fun pleasure being Pop Punk (All Time Low, You Me at Six, Paramore and the like) which as of right now my Jazz is my go-to for such things.... I'm also in talks as of this week to be joining a Pop Punk style band in the coming few weeks if that comes to fruition...

    Also in terms of amplification, I have a Fender Rumble 75 Combo, an Orange Crush 100W BXT and for in my room a Peavey Microbass 20w if that influences anyone at all... seemed easier to provide too much info rather than too little!

    Anyway many thanks for taking the time to read through this little GAS related ramble - I've had a guitarist friend telling me "You can't just buy another bass while waiting for your Bongo!" I told him "You underestimate the power of GAS!"

    Anyway thanks for your time and input

  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    5 string P bass. Kill two birds with one stone. :thumbsup:
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I believe the Bongo 6 will have your 5 string needs covered. so a 5'r would be redundant. Therefore I suggest a P-Bass but only after you make sure you can't get a great P-Bass tone from the Bongo.
    idoker, pbassrules, dheafey and 2 others like this.
  4. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
  5. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    If I may be honest, I don't know what your playing situation is, but I would consider upgrading your amp before buying a 3rd bass, regardless of which decision you make. If you ever want to play with a live drum set, those amps will not hang unless the drummer has a really light touch. I think you would much happier with ALL your basses if you got a more substantial rig to play them through.
  6. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'm in the "every bassist needs a P (and if you have only one bass it should be a P)" camp:)
    StuartV likes this.
  7. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    I'm not in the "everybody needs a P bass" camp. However, if you want something more different than your other basses, the 6 string would make your 5 string redundant as previously stated. Therefore, I guess I'll vote P bass. In my opinion though, a P bass-esque tone is not hard to cop with other basses.

    Honestly, I would use the money for an amplification upgrade. No offense intended.
  8. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I also recommend the P 5 string. They are very fine basses, a P through and through, with the advantage of a B string.

    basspraiser likes this.
  9. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I'll say P-Bass since I prefer P's over J's. Your Bongo will be awesome. I had two Bongo 5's and would still have them if I was not Spector exclusive now. I personally try to keep all my basses the same scale so that's another reason I'd go for the P in your situation.
  10. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    This is sound advice.

    jd56hawk and Tanner5382 like this.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    This ^ ^ ^ ^. I love my Precision V.
  12. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    It's all really up to you! No one can really tell you what you like, and you gotta try out some basses to see what works for your play style and the music you write.

    Between the MIM Jazz and the Bongo 6 you have a pretty solid set right there. The Jazz bass gives you most of the slap-scoops and classic rock/funk/etc. tones you might need, then you have an extended range more modern bass with a preamp to get many different tones. Active basses like that Bongo are kinda of like tone chameleons--lots of options available to get the timbre you want.

    I'm not sure how much you'd actually need the 5-string considering you already are getting an extended-range bass, but as other's noted you could get a 5-string P-bass and kill two birds with one stone. I'd recommend Lakland for that purpose. They just seem to do 5-string P's better though I'm sure others will disagree.

    The only thing you might be missing there is that vintage thump. I'd suggest looking into a P-bass and if you get it, consider stringing it with flats or pressurewounds to get something really different sounding than you probably currently have.

    I think the Fender Road Worn 50s P bass is one of the best basses coming out of the Mexican plant right now. It's basically equipped with everything a P bass in the late 50s would have had. It has a real rosewood skunk strip, heel-adjust truss rod like they have on MIA Fenders, vintage reverse tuners, Nitro finish, anodized metal pickguard with places to bolt on a pickup cover and thumb rest, and a vintage threaded saddle bridge. The fretboard radius is 7.25" and nut width is 1.75". With the vintage sized frets and round radius it's real comfy. The bass neck also feels broken-in already but I did take some steel wool to the back to get a more satiny feel (with nitro it will eventually gloss up again, but you can just rub some more steel wool on it).

    Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.36.05 PM. Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.36.11 PM.
    If you don't like the road wear, try to track down a Fender 50s Classic. There is a distinction between the Fender 50s Classic and the Fender 50s P bass. The 50s Classic seems to no longer be in production but you can find it at a few stores like Sweetwater or it can be found used. The 50s Classic has a nitro finish and other features like the 50s Road Worn does, minus the road wear and it's cheaper. The 50s Precision has a poly finish which isn't correct to the period. All three of the Fender 50s basses (Road Worn 50s, Classic 50s, and 50s) have the same features otherwise.

    If you want to get something that can also back up your Jazz bass I've heard great things about these : Fender Deluxe PJ Bass (they also have one in sunburst finish)

    Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.49.30 PM.

    PJs get all the P sound you want, but the bridge pickup just adds some versatility. On a PJ I tend to favor the neck pickup and blend the J pickup in as needed. Just like on a Jazz bass you can have both pickups on at 100% volume to get a mid-scoop. Jazz basses are designed to change tones by favoring one or the other pickup (or both). If you back the bridge volume off on a Jazz bass you get a warmer sound and the mids come back along with a slight increase in output. If you back the bridge off a little on a PJ you get a P sound with some more punch and the mids come back as well. PJs IMO are the best of both worlds, Jazz and Precision.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    kosmicwizard likes this.
  13. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I would recommend my Lull PJ5 to anyone who wants a 5 string bass or who wants a P bass.
    kosmicwizard likes this.
  14. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    While less fun, I'd say wait it out... who knows, maybe you'll figure out you don't need that Jazz anymore... and then you can get a P instead :)
  15. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Upgrade the amp. That will give you much more bang for the buck unless you're not playing out at all.
  16. rob2966


    Oct 19, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I agree that the Bongo 6 should meet all your 5-string needs and it's B is probably pretty descent (haven't heard any complaints about it on TB) so no need for a long scale length.

    I also don't think you "need" a P-bass, despite the many posts to the contrary. I did have a Fender P5 a while back, didn't gel with it so sold it off. I am tempted occasionally by the Fiesta Red RW 4 banger though, just to have a classic Fender bass around.

    And yes, if you gig (or plan to), I also vote for #3, upgrade your amp :).

    Oldschool94 likes this.
  17. Not to be rude, but you need amplification more than another bass. A 100 watt combo is never going to get you heard during practice or gigs with a drummer. If you love the tone of your fender get the rumble 200 or 500 (v4 is the newest right?) or see if you can get an 8 Ohm cabinet to plug your Orange into. Build a fEarful 15/6/1 cabinet or buy a bergantino 2x12 and try out various amp heads such as aguilar's tone hammer 500, MESA's subway d-800, try Gallien-Krueger 800RB, 700RB or 1001RB as well as their micro amps, or even try out some all tube amps (fender 100T, ampeg v4b, mesa d-180, 400 or 400+, fender studiobass, ampeg svt, svt 2, svt-cl, sunn 300, fender bassman 300, fender superbassman 300 pro) depending on if you think you need around 100, 200 or 300 all tube watts before breakup. Efficiency and surface area of your cones is where your volume comes from, but don't run an amp into the wrong impedance. Many SS heads for example won't handle a 2 Ohm load. Have fun!
    Oldschool94 and JLY like this.
  18. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    I agree with other folks' suggestion about upgrading your amp but also, I'd like to throw in my opinion of the Ray35: Hated it. The neck is both wide and fat and was super uncomfortable in my hands. I own a Ray34 and really dig it, especially for the price (compared to a legit Stingray) but the Ray35 was just the worst feeling 5er, IMO.
  19. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    You are right about both of these facts. Good job!
  20. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Personally, I think this is the wrong reason to buy a P-Bass (or any bass).....
    40Hz, Oldschool94 and Tanner5382 like this.

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