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Wide necks,,,,wide spacing.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassix, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado
    :bassist:Started to write this thread,,,,then it turned into a vent,,,,then a rant,,,,,,,! So, I'm trying again.

    I'm a tall guy, with large hands. Several years ago I had the priviledge to take a couple of lessons from Carol Kaye. At the time I had a custom Veilette-Citron 4-string. She told me that the neck was too small for my hands and that I looked cramped. It was,,,,and I was. Subsequenly I found a beat up mid 60's Jazz bass in a local bass shop with (what I found out later was) a 1960 P-bass neck. I traded my VC straight across for it! I lost $1,000 on paper, but I got the best part of the deal!

    Since then I've searched - in vain - for a production 5-string with similar spacing. And, as far as I can tell, the onlyproduction 5-string neck on the planet with the same string spacing as my 1960 P is Warmoth's Gecko Wide 5 neck with a 2 3/16" nut width! For the last few years I've been playing a pretty agressively modified Squier Precision Special 5 solely because it's nut is slightly over 2". It has turned out to be a pretty decent instrument after I replaced the electronics (Villex) the bridge (Badass), and did some other tweaks. But, there's only so much you can to with a 'FrankenFender" and I'm just needing to get something that fits. Of course I can have something custom made: I lean toward either a MTD 535 or what's really got me GASing right now is the Xotic XB!

    I'm just frustrated because there's literally NOTHING I've found at a reasonable price point (under $2,000) that fits! I know that some basses like MTD's non-American made instruments have the right hand spacing I like, but shrink down to something the size of my Fender 4-string at the nut. I have tried adapting to tighter spacing; I have a beautiful Lado Studio Custom neck-thru 6-string that I bought a few years ago that has a comfortably wide nut - but tight (16.5 -17mm) right hand spacing. While it sounds wonderful, and records beautifully, I've become so irritated by the tight feel that I'm selling it!

    I'm sure there are few on TB that share my frustration - maybe not many - but a few. I know there aren't a lot of guys that want wide necks, but you'd think there are as many of us as there are, say, left handed players. I know there are a couple manufacturers who make wider necks, such as Modulus (Quantum Wide 5) and Warwick (Streamer Stage 1), but try and find one of them in stock - anywhere! ("We would be tickled pink to order one for you though, Sir!") Even Fender's new American Standard Precision V just shares the same neck with their American Standard Jazz v. I would be thrilled if they went to the trouble of offering a 'real' Precision 5-string neck - at least as an upgrade. I've been told by custom builders that wider spacing is a common request, so I think it should make sense to offer an upgrade option, just like one might offer left hand spacing or fretless options on some production instruments.

    Does anyone share this problem,,,,,,or opinion?

  2. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    I would guess you are putting a little to much emphasis on what someone told you.
    I'm an average height guy and I have no problem playing mandolin, guitar, 32/34/35 inch scale electric basses, and double basses. I own basses with close spacing, wide spacing, thick necks, thick necks, flat profiles, deep profiles, light strings, and heavy strings, round wounds, flat wounds, and gut. It's really not a big deal if you practice.

    Granted, I do take glucosamine and chondroitin.
  3. MSM here, but my bod is pretty beat up for a 46 yr old. Think I would agree. 19mm is pretty wide spacing; although some basses which I havent played like Fodera LOOK like they have 19.5mm spacing.
  4. low-endz


    Dec 18, 2007
    Miami, FL.
    @ 5' 8"I am not tall but have longer fingers than either of the bass instructors who I had/have.
    The thing is I have never been as confortable playing the usual 5 or 6 string with the narrow neck & tigher spacing & Nut & bridge. I have been playing on and off for about 20yrs.

    I recently purchased a Squier Jazz Deluxe 5 with a larger than 2 inch Nut & 19mm spacing. I play this bass as comfortably as any 4 string. I love the G&L 4 bangers too (wide necks)

    Funny thing my current theory instructor is a professional double bassist/ electric bassist and allthough is upright neck a trad. chunky one, his EB is a pencil thin Ibanez and he is on the market for a 5er with 16.mm spacing & narrow Nut and finds my latest bass the Squier Jazz Deluxe 5 to be Huge.

    Diff. strokes for Diff. Bassists
  5. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    Hi Mark

    I can understand your frustration, but I have to disagree with the word "reasonable", it's just your price range. You pay for quality and specs, and they don't come cheap if they are out of the mass production scheme. If you look around long enough, you will find what you are looking for at a "reasonable" price.

    I have to agree that not all basses are meant for all bass players. I don't feel as comfortable on my Emperor Fodera as I feel with my Dingwalls. Keep on trying as many as possible and maybe a neck will fit without second thought
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    There are some wide spaced budget basses. A super inexpensive alternative is the Squier Jazz Deluxe Active basses. They have very wide spacing, near 20mm, and are very, very easy to upgrade. My Cort GB-75 is adjustable to 19mm and has nice wide neck and can be had for around $500. For around $1,200 new, you can get a Lakland Skyline with full 19mm spacing too. Finally, what about MIA Fenders? They have wide necks and very spacing and run way under your $2,000 limit.
  7. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Carvin BB75 will fit the bill, same spacing at the bridge as what you are lookinng for. Any 5 string bass advertised as 19mm string spacing should come close. I think 5 string MTD's are default 19mm as well as several others
  8. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Bassix, you should check out the Fender Roscoe Beck V model :).

    It's designed to match the same string spacing as a '60s Jazz Bass on a wide fretboard. The eliptical neck makes it feel very comfortable too (I'm also tall with large hands, BTW ;)). My bass teacher has one and I always look forward to getting the chance to play it :bassist:.

    I think that they may be temporarily out of production, but lots of stores have old stock available and you should get a new one for well under $2,000.
  9. A 20mm 5-string?

    Check out the Warwick Streamer Stage I!
  10. Ibby btb's have 19mm spacing and a wide, fairly flat neck, available in bolt on and neck thru models, in a wide price range.

    I am 6' 4" and have large bisquit mitts, and the btb 455 I play is quite comfortable.

  11. Fender J or P 5. Cheapish used, not bad new. Wide.
  12. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    I share the same view. Besides the Fender RB model, which other Fenders have 19mm and wide necks? Seems the cheaper Squire does and the V24 model. I wish Fender would put "Fender" string spacing on their Fender 5's. Sadowsky does and some others, but not Fender. That's the only thing keeping me from getting a Fender 5. Same thing with the Stingrays.....too narrow for my taste.
  13. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado
    I appreciate the feedback,,,,really I do,,,,but much of it just reinforces my frustration. Many kindly refer me to 19mm Fenders, Laklands, G&L's, etc., but as I said in my posting, while I do like the right hand spacing, in each case they 'narrow' down to a 1 3/4" to 1 7/8" nut. That's why I make special mention of the (in my view) realistic dimensions on the Gecko Wide 5. I do appreciate the reference to Squier's new Deluxe Jazz V. It looks like they used the neck from my Precision Special 5 and put in on the Jazz V. Interesting bass, but since I already have my 'FrankenFender' I'm looking to upgrade. I agree, that there are different definitions of 'reasonable', but the point I'm trying to get across is that there's no 'middle ground' between the Squier Deluxe Jazz V and a $3,000+ instruments. I certainly think a $4,000 MTD or Xotic is very reasonable compared to an $8,000 - $20,000 Fodera or Alembic! But it would just be nice to at least be offered an upgrade of a wide neck on a Fender, Lakland, MM, Sadowsky, etc.

    I am curious about one thing though. I've played the Sadowsky Metro V and Lakeland Skyline V side by side and, while they have the same spacing on paper, they feel very different. The Sadowsky feels MUCH more comfortable to me. I'm not sure why. Still, in both cases, I find myself still wanting a little more room, especially when slapping.

    And PocketGroove,,,,,,,,you rock man! I'll buy the next round!
  14. jzbass6

    jzbass6 One Nation Under A Groove

    Check out the Yamaha TRB series, I have a TRB 6P and it has avery nice wide spacing at the nut.
  15. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    I think the Sadowsky neck is wider at the nut and even possibly a bit wider at the last fret as compared to the Lakland.
  16. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    The Sadowsky feels more comfortable cause the scale length is 34, not 35.
  17. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Check out a Ibanez BTB 1205 or 1305.
  18. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I misread your first post ...Nut width: 2 3/16" :eek:

    Holy Moly!
  19. Do you need the wide nut for all your commas? :meh:
  20. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    The Modulus Wide Five is 2" at the nut 3.25" at the last fret and has 22.25mm spacing at the bridge. They just use the 6 string neck and give it 5 strings.
    It also lists for 4099 though.

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