Zon Sonus 5 - advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sifi76, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    Hey all, a friend of mine overseas has offered me a sweet deal on a zon Sonus special 5 string, it's one of the older bubinga topped models with the mid control in the back. Has anyone had any experience with these basses? I'm particularly interested if anyone has had any issues with neck dive as at one point I owned a zon 4 but shelved because the neck had crazy dive issues. The thing is I love the graphite sound, but It would be nice if some zon heads would give me a bit of advice in general before I pull the trigger. Cheers :)
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Here's my old one, is the one you're looking at similar to this?


    Man I loved the sound of that bass. Had this one maybe 15 years ago. The pickup placement really gave it a sweetness that not many other basses can produce and is probably the reason why I love the sound of Roscoe basses these days. That being said, there's nothing like a Zon.

    But, here's why I no longer have it:
    They can be prone to neck dive, especially the 5'ers.
    The Wilkinson bridge is an abomination. If it has a Wilkinson, plan to replace it with a Babicz (it has the same footprint).
    I can't get along with the narrow string spacing.
    The neck is very thin and flat front to back. That makes the edges of the 'fingerboard' seem very sharp to my short, fat fingers!

    Sounds like I'm picking it apart, but I know most of that is personal preference. If you can deal with those things they are phenomenal basses.
  3. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Recently picked up a fretless version
    Very lightweight with no neck dive
    Loving it so far
    Good luck!
  4. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    Yep it's the same model but has the vol, blend and stacked bass/treb controls. The thin profile you mentioned is actually what I prefer and I'm not fussed on spacing as I used to own a spector euro 5 and a moddy q5 and they were fine. I hear you on the bridge, it's prob the biggest culprit for the dive issues, my old zon 4 had the standard bridge and due to it being so light the body was featherweight.. Unfortunately the graphite was not :\

    Still I might be willing to put up with it if a bridge change fixes things
  5. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    I've been thru a few Zon's. For me personally I loved the fretless, not so enamored of the fretted ones...
  6. I have a Sonus Special V.. It has been my primary (and pretty much only) bass since I got it brand new in 1998. I think it is one of the fairly older generations. Three knobs (volume, balance, and stacked bass/treb. No midrange control as far as I can tell).
    I can't express enough how awesome the tone of this bass is. "Jaco bass on steroids" is how they describe it now.. and it truly is. I cut through the mix in any live situation and I get tons of complements on my tone at every gig.

    HOWEVER.. I would not buy one, or any Zon for that matter, unless it had the newer neck with the truss rod. My neck now has a significant bow to it which causes some higher then desired action around mid-neck, and unwanted buzzing above the 12th fret. The only solution is a new neck. Thankfully I've gotten used to it and can live with it for a while till I can spare sending it off to CA to get fixed at the factory.

    As i understand it a very small percentage of Zon's without the truss rod have this issue. I just got "lucky". lol.

  7. I'll second what Chris said about the relief. Make sure your friend measures it so you know what you're getting yourself into.

    I've had two of the older Zons (a Legacy and Sonus). One with perfect relief and the other had massive amounts of it. I didn't notice any neck dive with Sonus I had, but that wasn't a Special (don't know if that makes any difference).

    Zons are definitiely quite nice. Food luck.
  8. Dan Mc

    Dan Mc

    Jan 9, 2015
    If you don't buy it I will.!! Seriously.. Looking for my 2nd special 5. 1st one had an accident and the head stock is shattered.. New neck is almost as expensive as a good used bass.