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Which high end 5 string bass to purchase?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dumpster Funk, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Dumpster Funk

    Dumpster Funk

    Jan 10, 2017
    My wife gave me the green light to purchase a high end bass ($5000) after we pay off some debt and build our savings and retirement up some more this year. I play in a church (Gospel & Christian Contemporary) on salary as my side job, I have a full time career as an educator.

    There are so many variables in regards to woods and electronics that choosing a custom bass may be harder than paying for it. Anyway the basses I'm looking at are:

    Fodera Emperor 5
    MTD 535
    Benavente SCA

    Right now I have the following:

    Ken Smith BSRG (1998) 5 string
    MTD ZX 5
    Fender Jazz 4 string FSR
    Fender Squier 5 Deluxe Jazz

    I've played a Modulus, Cirrus, Roscoe, and Brubaker and they were all great but didn't really grab me so to speak. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
    TolerancEJ, Ballin'bass and robinunit like this.
  2. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Fodera Emperor 5.
  3. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Yeah the Fodera. No question.
  4. bassman74

    bassman74 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    From all the 5 string basses I've tried, the fodera Emperor and the F bass Bn5 impressed me the most feeling wise and tone wise
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  5. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I've played a couple of Fodera's and they oozed quality. Amazing instruments, sadly a lottery win away for me.

    I own Mike Lull and US Lakland basses which suit me right down to the ground. . . but I played a Sadowsky Will Lee 5 a month ago. . . I'm still in shock. . . it was that good!
    fourtet102 and Rapisme like this.
  6. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    From a resale value perspective (since it is an investment) nothing compared to a Fodera, followed by Ken Smith, then MTD.

    Ken Smith's sound like Smith's to me, Fodera and MTD give you the greatest tonal options.

    Oh. And but used. At $5,000, you can get into a $7,000-9,000 instrument. In Fodera world, that is the difference between a bolt on and a set neck. Other differences include the tilt back head stock instead of the string tree, a different bridge as well.
    robinunit likes this.
  7. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    At that price level you should check out LeFay, Zon, Drozd, Pedulla, Marleaux, Dingwall, Roscoe and Lakland.
    Also used Celinder or used Tyler's have great long term value
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  8. Dumpster Funk

    Dumpster Funk

    Jan 10, 2017
    Thanks for the replies. This bass is likely going to be the last bass for sometime which is fine with me (I don't look through the classifieds anymore lol). The problem with tone is that is that I like all of it. From Andrew Gouche, VW, Richard Bona, Mat Garrison, Janek G, Anthony Wellington, etc.
  9. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Today I played a friend's G&L L2500.

    Honestly I think it's probably the best 5-string I've ever played.
    the_Ryan, mambo4, Tommyc and 2 others like this.
  10. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    Looking at that list, maybe you've answered your own question. All of them except Andrew Gouche play Foderas.

    I would also suggest that, since you were in the price neighborhood, you add Alembic to your list of basses to try. Like the others on your list, they are incredibly well-made and have a sound all their own. Be careful, though, because more than any of the others on your list Alembics are often highly customized as far as body shape and neck dimensions so they don't all play the same.

    Good luck!
    Rogue5, pcake, Joebone and 1 other person like this.
  11. campbems


    Jun 20, 2013
    I would look into buying a Benavente or a Custom Warrior. I have owned a Benavente and now own 2 custom Warriors and play gospel for a couple different churches. These are the best basses I've played and tried. Build and tone will rival anything on the market.
    morrisonhendrix likes this.
  12. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    I was about to say buy a Smith until I saw your current equipment list.

    There is a really really nice vintage custom Fodera Emperor 5 from 1995 that just came up on the classifieds asking $4800. I would love to get that bass.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  13. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Try a custom shop G&L though Rocket Music. More then likely you will have money to spare
    Tommyc and audreycashin like this.
  14. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Get a $4500 bass and get something nice for your wife. ;)
  15. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Have you considered a Wal?
  17. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Why a $5000 bass over what you already own?
    Mechanical likes this.
  18. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    when you get that green light, you don't ask why ;)
  19. Hmmn...

    What doesn't the Smith do that you're lacking


    Is it just you want a new bass?
    malthumb and lfmn16 like this.
  20. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    If my wife said I could spend 5k on a bass, I would use that money to buy her a high end bag (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc.) because that is what the real meaning behind the green light.
    twinjet, Spidey2112 and podmornica1 like this.