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randymussel

Given up on the B string

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1470926616' post='3109387']

You do know that Lakland's sport 35" also?
[/quote]

That's true. I do think Ibanez's quality is very impressive with the mid to high range basses, much better than Lakland (although the early Lakland's were great).

Whilst I can see why the 35" scale would 'add' to a pot of a recipe for a good B string, all of the Lakland basses I've played over the past 4 years or more have just felt focussed on big low bass. The B's were not at all tight and defined.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1470679383' post='3107615']
Unfortunately IME there are no cheap and good 5-string basses. There's more to making a good 5-string than simply widening the neck and pickups and adding an extra bridge saddle and machine head, which is all the cheaper end of the market does.

Even if they are currently out of your price range, go to a specialist bass shop such as Bass Direct, Bass Gear or The Gallery and try some around the £2k mark. Then you'll see why you've been unsatisfied with the budget end of the market.
[/quote]

This. A thousand times this.

I only found decent 5 strings once I hit Pedulla and Modulus. Others...very floppy. A lot depends upon proper construction and stiffness of the neck. Scale length matters too, but the neck is a big deal.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1470679383' post='3107615']
Unfortunately IME there are no cheap and good 5-string basses. There's more to making a good 5-string than simply widening the neck and pickups and adding an extra bridge saddle and machine head, which is all the cheaper end of the market does.

Even if they are currently out of your price range, go to a specialist bass shop such as Bass Direct, Bass Gear or The Gallery and try some around the £2k mark. Then you'll see why you've been unsatisfied with the budget end of the market.
[/quote]I couldn't disagree more. A Lakland 5502 has one of the best B strings I've ever heard. Ive played Dingwall,s, Pensa,s, Sadowsky,s. You can get 55s for what... £800. The graphite neck helps, the 35 scale helps, the USA electronics help of course. But to say you can't get a great B string on a budget for me just isn't true. Lakland 55s are world renowned for there b string. What about an SR5.? Amazing B strings.!! My Maruszczyk has an amazingly focused B string. No flop, sounds really tight Both of those are 34". Dont mean to be rude but an I'll informed post BigRed.

Edited by bubinga5

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My £250 Yamaha BB425 had a great B string. I completely agree that it's not all about how much money you spend. A badly designed bass is a badly designed bass regardless of its price tag. I've had some great 5 string basses and never spent anywhere near £2000

Granted there should be less basses with bad B strings at that price having spent so much money

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Given up on the B string. . . . .

It seems to that there are a lot of players who like what they know and don't like having to think too hard about what they are doing. They've done the "heavy lifting", can play pretty well and feel comfortable in themselves.

Some of these players will look around, see 5 string basses and think, "I'll have a go at that." I reckon 99% of those guys will give up and the reason doesn't really matter.

You can discuss shortcomings in the instruments as much as you like but IMO most of them will give up because they didn't [i]need[/i] to play a 5 string bass in the first place. They fall at the first hurdle because they didn't buy into the requirements and changes they'd have to make in order for the transition to be successful. You can play anything on a 5 string bass, McCartney played Beatles songs on his Wal, but there are a lot of songs where you [i]have[/i] to play a 5. If you're not playing any of those songs or it doesn't matter to you if you are playing them an octave up then you didn't [i]need[/i] a 5 string bass in the first place.

If you [u]want[/u] to play a 5 string bass, don't bother. If you [u]need[/u] to play a 5 string bass then work it out. Work through the changes and difficulties and if the first instrument doesn't feel or sound good find one that does.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1470997803' post='3109853']
If you [u]want[/u] to play a 5 string bass, don't bother.
[/quote]

I want to, so I do. Most of the songs I do I could do on a 4 string if I worked that out but not sure why I would want to.
And some of the older cover songs and the blues stuff, well, I could play those on a 1 or 2 string bass, but I don't have one.

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[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1470937675' post='3109510']
I couldn't disagree more. A Lakland 5502 has one of the best B strings I've ever heard. Ive played Dingwall,s, Pensa,s, Sadowsky,s. You can get 55s for what... £800. The graphite neck helps, the 35 scale helps, the USA electronics help of course. But to say you can't get a great B string on a budget for me just isn't true. Lakland 55s are world renowned for there b string. What about an SR5.? Amazing B strings.!! My Maruszczyk has an amazingly focused B string. No flop, sounds really tight Both of those are 34". Dont mean to be rude but an I'll informed post BigRed.
[/quote]

Don't think an 800 quid bass can be classed as cheap.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1470926902' post='3109389']
Sorry I have to disagree there. Jabba of this Parish can make a superb 5er out of an old door and a shelf!
Wow that man has talent!

Sorry, I digress.
[/quote]

I think if he were charging a living wage for the hours he puts into each build (from what I've seen, haven't had the pleasure of trying one in person) - and a modest fee for the experience he brings to the bench - those wouldn't be cheap instruments. They'd still be as awesome, but not cheap!

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[quote name='PlungerModerno' timestamp='1471109852' post='3110625']


I think if he were charging a living wage for the hours he puts into each build (from what I've seen, haven't had the pleasure of trying one in person) - and a modest fee for the experience he brings to the bench - those wouldn't be cheap instruments. They'd still be as awesome, but not cheap!
[/quote]

I've had the pleasure. My comment was very tongue in cheek. Jez's basses are superb. £1000 would not be a rediculous price for a bass from his hands.

On that one occasion his materials may have been low cost, but his talent could demand a good price.

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[quote name='lefrash' timestamp='1471090319' post='3110460']


Don't think an 800 quid bass can be classed as cheap.
[/quote]I was referring to BRX,s post. You can go even cheaper. I bought a Yamaha TRB 6 for 500 and the B string was epic.

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The bottom line is as always with talk about instruments. There are so many variables when it comes to any opinion on a bass it's tone, or its playability. I don't like Fender 5 string Jazz basses. They to me have a floppy B string. But, put some tight strings on it and really good quality pickups on it. Hey presto. There you have a great B. Nothing to do with scale length or the string through the body nonsense.

Edited by bubinga5

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[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1471177872' post='3111010'] Hey presto. There you have a great B. Nothing to do with scale length or the string through the body nonsense. [/quote]

+1

I never believed the scale thing makes a lot of difference on its own - 34->35" is less than a 3% change

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1470997803' post='3109853']
Given up on the B string. . . . .

It seems to that there are a lot of players who like what they know and don't like having to think too hard about what they are doing. They've done the "heavy lifting", can play pretty well and feel comfortable in themselves.

Some of these players will look around, see 5 string basses and think, "I'll have a go at that." I reckon 99% of those guys will give up and the reason doesn't really matter.

You can discuss shortcomings in the instruments as much as you like but IMO most of them will give up because they didn't [i]need[/i] to play a 5 string bass in the first place. They fall at the first hurdle because they didn't buy into the requirements and changes they'd have to make in order for the transition to be successful. You can play anything on a 5 string bass, McCartney played Beatles songs on his Wal, but there are a lot of songs where you [i]have[/i] to play a 5. If you're not playing any of those songs or it doesn't matter to you if you are playing them an octave up then you didn't [i]need[/i] a 5 string bass in the first place.

If you [u]want[/u] to play a 5 string bass, don't bother. If you [u]need[/u] to play a 5 string bass then work it out. Work through the changes and difficulties and if the first instrument doesn't feel or sound good find one that does.
[/quote]

Pretty much this.... I was hearing one every time so I got one. It was about an 18 month transition where I got really comfortable with it without having to think or worry about any muscle memory issues.
I couldn't go back and neither would I want to.
If you areco

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I love 5s. In fact, I would never choose to play a 4 now. It's not all about the lower notes either - which seems to be the thing that people concentrate on. For me, it's about the economy of motion - you can cover more notes without moving as much as you would on a 4... and additionally, transposing and not having to bother dropping string tunings is also where it's at.

Making the transition to a 5 was quite difficult for me - I always wanted to head back to the comfort of a 4... but the key is to force yourself to play it and accept that you may brain fart from time to time and think that you are on a 4... but once you get past that, I don't see why anybody would want to go back to a 4. But again, I know we are all different.

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This thread has prompted me to finally sort out the B string on my StingRay 5 which has been slightly floppy ever since tuning down half a step. The application of a new set of Power Slinkys seems to have done the trick! They're a bit hard on the finger ends at the moment as I'm used to 40-125 and have gone up to 50-135, but they feel much more responsive to play on and they sound absolutely great. Granted it's not a 'cheap' bass, but it's not a mega-expensive one either, has a normal scale length and can, with the right strings, have a very un-floppy B or even Bb.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1471250381' post='3111457']
I love 5s. In fact, I would never choose to play a 4 now. It's not all about the lower notes either - which seems to be the thing that people concentrate on. For me, it's about the economy of motion - you can cover more notes without moving as much as you would on a 4... and additionally, transposing and not having to bother dropping string tunings is also where it's at.

Making the transition to a 5 was quite difficult for me - I always wanted to head back to the comfort of a 4... but the key is to force yourself to play it and accept that you may brain fart from time to time and think that you are on a 4... but once you get past that, I don't see why anybody would want to go back to a 4. But again, I know we are all different.
[/quote]

Pretty much sums it up for me too.

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I can't remember ever having a problem getting used to the extra string when I bought my first 5-string in 1990.

I did have 2 things in my favour. Firstly I had plenty of experience of other stringed instruments with different numbers of strings - guitar, bass, mandolin, balalaika; so for me the 5-string bass was just another stringed instrument with yet again a different number of strings. Secondly I had spent most of the 80s playing synths and only really using my 4-string bass as a writing tool. As my new 5-string bass was a far superior instrument to the 4-string bass that I'd been playing previously, that was the one I played all the time from then on.

Even when I went through a period playing fretless and originally couldn't find a 5-string fretless that I liked - I simply played the songs that required fretless bass on the 4-string and those that needed a fretted bass on the 5-string swapping between the two with ease.

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I wouldn't go back to 4 either. I don't really play much below low Eb other than the odd D. Have probably never played a low B or c on a gig. But, i find it more comfortable and logical. I used to play and 7 string guitar and my first bass was a 5 so I probably learnt things differently than if I was using open strings and playing more at the 1st fret. If you play functions and covers or dep and play with different singers it makes life much easier IME.

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If I play an electric bass with 4 strings I lose the plot as my brain is totally 5 string now, but oddly when I play upright I don't look for the B string, when faced with a normal 4 string bass just holding it vertical works to switch my brain over.

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I read this thread with interest, as when I started on five strings I was a bit underwhelmed by the B string, subsequently, I have started plucking the B string with my thumb resting on the bridge pick up rather than the neck pick up which is my usual anchor point. It might just be me, but I find this gives the string a better feel and allow me to dig in that little bit more without flop.

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I've just sold my Warwick Corvetter $$ 5 which had the best B string I have heard, probably even better better than my MTD 535-24. It was seriously phat and not flabby at all. And it was a 34 inch neck. Truly awesome bass.

Here's it in action: ( land of confusion and I feel for you covers)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB-GYzef3Ok
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgQA4XJdsqA

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[quote name='doc40hz' timestamp='1472065056' post='3118196'] I've just sold my Warwick Corvetter $$ 5 which had the best B string I have heard, probably even better better than my MTD 535-24. It was seriously phat and not flabby at all. And it was a 34 inch neck. Truly awesome bass. Here's it in action: ( land of confusion and I feel for you covers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB-GYzef3Ok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgQA4XJdsqA [/quote]
Nice ! I use to have a 5 String Warwick Streamer but I just couldn't get on with my slap technique

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Having moved over to 5 string I would never go back to 4. It's the economy of movement that does it for me.
And I've two 'cheapies'. A Warwick Chinese RB Streamer Neck thru and a Warwick Korean Pro2 Series Starbass. Both B strings feel absolutely right. Both are 34 inch and both would be considered definitely 'non boutique'. I've also just sold a Korean Squier Protone Precision 5 string. I'd say the B string was even slightly better than the Warwicks (but I refuse to play anything Fender shaped so it had to go - but that's another thread)).

Edited by 6feet7

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