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Al Krow

Best 5 string bass you've ever owned and why?

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That is clearly wise advice thodrik. I also agree that Sandberg are likely to make a really good 5 string bass, but my main concern with another Sandberg is that it probably would be "more of the same" and eliminate the need / desire to ever get my 4 string out! So it's definitely helpful to hear from fellow BC's as to what some of their own 5 string loves are (as well as what has not worked so well for them) and for me to find a great 5 string with its own distinct "personality and flavour" to my Sandberg.

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For me, stingray 5 wins hands down. Especially if you can get one with a HS pickup co fig like I just got yesterday.

The necks a shallow so can manage with small hands like mine, and don't have to deal with a 19mm string spacing. For me it's the perfect compromise on a 4. Some would argue the 34" scale makes the B a touch floppy, but I don't find this to be the case. If you can find a transparent colour, they tend to be a little warmer when you tweak the pre just right or can go balls out slap machine.

DO IT!!!!

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For me, stingray 5 wins hands down. Especially if you can get one with a HS pickup co fig like I just got yesterday.

The necks a shallow so can manage with small hands like mine, and don't have to deal with a 19mm string spacing. For me it's the perfect compromise on a 4. Some would argue the 34" scale makes the B a touch floppy, but I don't find this to be the case. If you can find a transparent colour, they tend to be a little warmer when you tweak the pre just right or can go balls out slap machine.

DO IT!!!!



Well I didn't want to just suggest what I use mainly but well Damon is correct :D What were you saying about Benchmark 5 stringers in your OP Al Krow? ;) Edited by Dad3353

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My Roscoe Century - just a superb neck to run up and down on, and a great set up. Also a lovely piece of art to look at (it is their Signature series) . Closely followed by my Dingwall Combustion 5. In both cases the set up and balance is just perfect for me; both necks are fast.

To balance the books and show that you must try for yourself, I could not get on with my Stingray V - I could never get the set up to suit me and cope with the narrower string spacing. Others have great success however.

I can only suggest that you try all on this thread

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The best five string I've owned was my Spector Euro 5LX.
Worst was a Musicman Stingray 5.

Went back to playing four strings as I never felt really comfortable on a five & didn't need the extra low notes for anything I was doing.

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Starting with your point "how does it compare to a Fender Jazz V" - I played one for 20 years, but it originally arrived new with the neck set in badly, I had to install a shim straight away, the single coils picked up lights and hummed in many venues and the range of tones was not as good as I expected. Probably should have sold it earlier but instead I bought 2 others. An electro acoustic Washburn AB35 which was fitted with a tree trunk for a neck, that went quite soon, then more recently the Spector Spectorcore (fretless) which I still have and really like. Perhaps not enough growl from the EMG pickup (and new ones have a Bartoloni) but it is well put together for the money looks great and doesn't weigh a tone, which the Fender did!
I have also had access to a Status headless 5 which is amazing, but not everyone's cup of tea & expensive and a Godin which is a good workman like bass but not exciting.
The trouble is there are now too many out there and one man's (or woman's) meat etc........
Hope you find something you like and can afford, hear very good reports of MTD & am tempted to try one.

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I am new to the world of 5 string basses. I tried a couple on a whim a few years back but didn't get on with them. A recent project means I need one so I persevered and now find I like them... but my requirements are fairly specific in that they have to be light weight and with a narrow string spacing. Sadly that kind of excludes all the Fender 5ers I have looked at, even though I am a Fender type of person. Anyway, of the narrow light ones I haven't tried too many but here goes.

I bought an unusually lightweight Musicman Sterling 5er on here - stock it was around 8.5lbs! Width of the nut is 43mm, spacing 18mm at the bridge. I had Andyjr1515 put an Aguilar vintage Precision pickup in the P bass 'sweet spot', do a little extra routing to conserve weight and change it to passive. I also put lightweight tuners on it. It is totally fabulous, the best bass I have owned. A reasonably expensive project, though.

I just bought as a back up 5er a Yamaha BB425, New it was £315. It was also around 10lbs, which is a bit heavy. A set of Hipshot Licensed Ultralite tuners has reduced this to a more acceptable 9 and a bit lbs. 43mm at the nut, 18mm spacing at the bridge. Exceptional value for money - if I didn't have the Sterling I'd be happy to use this all the time. Which given the post above proves that it is all so subjective! :)

The Yamaha replaced a Peavey Foundation 5er. This was even narrower string spacing - nut was 42mm, strings 16mm at the bridge. Also a tad heavy at 9.5lbs. Lightweight tuners would cure that, though. I prefer the Precision sound so moved it on in favour of the Yamaha but this was a decent bass.

Hohner B2V - 5 string headless and body-less. Narrow string spacing, electrics don't work exactly right but it is good enough to use as a portable 'get out of jail free' bass in case my main one fails/string breaks. Probably my least favourite of the 4 I have tried.



That Sterling sounds great, got a photo? Edited by Dad3353

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That Sterling sounds great, got a photo?



Andy's pictures, I am sure he wont mind my posting them,

9FE4OE2l.jpg&key=cb58c14e6cd329172e10fefa73cd5b7b7d0bb31f4a0e65c2b69f755994308b92

NI6TMk8h.jpg&key=24d092b22cfc28d330393b30e481f99115bb34d93727e14cf01dd4975d592a8c

Andy did one of his photo-rich threads on the changes: http://basschat.co.uk/topic/294193-paul-ss-sterling-5/

As per usual he did a fantastic job on the bass, which was returned to me polished, fret-dressed and set up, just because he likes doing it!

But, yes, in practice it is really good. I am very impressed with the Aguilar pickup. The cover has an extra bit on for the Aguilar logo so that it looks symmetrical - something that appeals to my little mind... but it really does do that mellow, organic Precision tone I was hoping for. Edited by Dad3353

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Fender Roscoe beck is one of the better regarded passive 5 strings I think? Not tried one

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my favourite 5's are a Warwick custom shop streamer stage 1 and my Wal, so probably not a good recommendation for the casual buyer. As others have said, try some, I'd recommend a thru neck (but that's a personal choice) and my personal tip is to check how the pickups handle the low B string. Some are better than others, and for personal preference I'd suggest having a look at an active bass as they often handle the we much better

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Andy's pictures, I am sure he wont mind my posting them,

9FE4OE2l.jpg&key=cb58c14e6cd329172e10fefa73cd5b7b7d0bb31f4a0e65c2b69f755994308b92

NI6TMk8h.jpg&key=24d092b22cfc28d330393b30e481f99115bb34d93727e14cf01dd4975d592a8c

Andy did one of his photo-rich threads on the changes: http://basschat.co.uk/topic/294193-paul-ss-sterling-5/

As per usual he did a fantastic job on the bass, which was returned to me polished, fret-dressed and set up, just because he likes doing it!

But, yes, in practice it is really good. I am very impressed with the Aguilar pickup. The cover has an extra bit on for the Aguilar logo so that it looks symmetrical - something that appeals to my little mind... but it really does do that mellow, organic Precision tone I was hoping for.



That just looks brilliant Edited by Dad3353

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Musicman Stingray 5 is one of the best 5 strings money can buy. Closely followed by Warwick Streamer or Thumb and I'm sure a Wal would be great or a Sadowski.

The Stingray 5 was one of the first mass produced 5 strings. A USA Sub 5 is also good if your budget is tighter.

I personally wouldn't entertain the idea of a passive 5 string - One of the main points of a 5 string in my view is to enable playing keyboard-like bass lines on a bass guitar. I've never found 50s technology with an extra string fitted to achieve the heft required.

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I used to have a Lakland 55-02 and it was pretty awesome. Neck was just great.
Stingray 5 necks are too narrow and strings are too close to the edge of the neck for me. And I was never so impressed with their sound, IMO of course.
However, I bought MTD Kingston AG5, and it's on totally different level. I still can't believe how good that bass is.

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Same here, didn't get on with the MM 5, due to string spacing. The Kingston MTD range is great, and the Saratoga 5 is 34" scale with good spacing for my digits, liked it so much I got two...!

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This is the best passive 5 string I've ever played -- OldGit's gorgeous Shuker P.

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Having gone from 4 to 5 specifically to extend the low range for a particular singer, I'd say make extra sure you need to do this - if I could have stuck with 4's I probably would have been better to do so, and so might you.

How much do you want to spend, and are you looking for something made in a factory, or by a luthier or small-volume manufacturer?

The best mass-produced 5er I've ever owned is a Yamaha BBNE2, which kicks sand in the face of all the opposition I've tried or owned due to the huge range of tones available from it, the quality of construction and materials, the feel, the string spacing, body contour - everything is right for me, but it might not suit you. It's not my gigging workhorse though. That's a Bass Collection 465 from the early '90s, modified with Delano pickups and Nordstrand pre-amp. The BBNE2 only comes out for special occasions.

If you're specifically looking for passive, you'd do well to check out the BB1025 and 2025, and if you can tell the difference buy the more expensive one, I couldn't!!

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Hey Chris - had a quick look on the web, I see that Guitar-Guitar stock them in the UK. They do look good and I must admit weren't on my radar. Are you playing one yourself, if so which model? How would you say they stack up against the "benchmark" Fender Jazz 5 string?



For me, I'd get the idea out of your head that the Fender Jazz 5 is the benchmark.. All the best Jazzes I've played have been clones of the Fender which is why there is such a market. People 'need' a Fender, but they don't want one made by Fender..:lol: IMO. Edited by Dad3353

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Guys - some amazingly helpful insights and suggestions on here, which I am really enjoying digesting and working through. Thank you - and please keep them coming - I'm 100% certain that I am not the only person benefitting from this collective wisdom!

And JTUK to your point - I've definitely got the message from this thread to look beyond a Fender Jazz 5! (As a complete aside - I know you are a big fan of Markbass and together with Molan influenced my decision a couple of years back to get a Markbass AC Combo Lite which has become my gigging workhorse amp. Well I had some very positive (and unsolicited!) comments from a couple of musicians in the audience, last night, about the bass sound quality and tone...so I guess I have you, in part, to thank for that!)

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I can't put my Cort Jeff Berlin Rithmic V down. It's passive and weighs around the 9lb mark. Don't be put off by the Cort or Jeff Berlin names (if you're not a fan of either - seeing as Cort build Lakland's, Ibanez etc etc etc they know what they are doing). Top quality bass.

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