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Al Krow

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

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So guys I've been through your list of recommendations in some detail. I have narrowed this down to three guitar brands in the "mid-range" price point based on basses that seem to have had a lot of love from you BCs in your comments above. This has been massively helpful as my starting point before I had your feedback was a Fender Jazz V, and that has now not even made it onto my shortlist :) I've also now found out where they are available in Central London, so I can try them out.

The three on the shortlist are:

- Lakland Skyline 55-01 [GuitarGuitar - Camden £749]

- Yamaha BB1025 [Yamaha centre £810] (I personally think the appearance is improved without the pick guard!)

- Warwick RB Streamer V NT [Wunjo £895]

With the Warwick I was also interested in the Corvette but read another thread where the feel of the Streamer seemed to get BC support as being a lot more comfortable than the Corvette, due to the Corvette's protruding horn. Agreed?

Two further final Qs, if I may, before I head into town and try them out:

1. The Lakland Skyline Darryl Jones is £1,169 - is it worth an additional £420 more than the 55-01?

2. Am I missing anything obvious in the sub £1,000 category that is as good or better than the above three on my shortlist?

Cheers! Al

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Q1: they are different. If you like passive and vintage get the DJ. 55-01 is more modern sounding / active.

Don't forget the classifieds over here!

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I'm sure I've seen a few 55-01s on Gumtree for less than that.

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Cheers OmeDunk - noted re the difference between DJ and the 55-01

ead - the prices quoted are for new models with taxes paid. You're both correct to keep a look out for decent second hand gear which will be definitely cheaper on Gumtree and this forum. It's just then needing to have the second hand bass in a location that is easy to get to, to try out, in a very good condition (i.e. comparable to new), in a finish and colour that I'm going to like, at a decent price and still available! :)

But I'm encouraged that neither of you are saying I should be casting my net wider than the short list of three listed at that mid range price point?

PS ead my main bass is a Sandberg TM 4 - I see that you and I are both part of the Sandberg fan club :) (btw- I didn't go for a Sandberg 5 string to get some "choice" when playing gigs).

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PS ead my main bass is a Sandberg TM 4 - I see that you and I are both part of the Sandberg fan club :) (btw- I didn't go for a Sandberg 5 string to get some "choice" when playing gigs).



Indeed I have a Cali II TT passive with a few mods. VS on order in a custom colour too :) Edited by Dad3353

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Update: checked the Warwicks at the Wunjos, they only had the Corvettes in stock. Apart from the slightly protruding top horn it was surprisingly heavy, which perhaps is a good reflection of build quality but I thought that the weight could be wearing over a typical 2 hour gig. Shame they didn't have a Streamer in stock. The Lakland kinda looks (to me anyway!) very similar in appearance to my Sandberg TM4, so I ruled that out on purely those grounds.

Popped into Yamaha store in London to check out the BB1025 and REALLY liked it. Not too heavy, great action.

Now here's the interesting bit of news to share with my fellow BCs: the Yamaha BB1025 is about to be replaced by the BB1035! The new model is going to be pretty similar but slightly thinner / a little lighter and is currently being shipped to the UK. So that means that the BB1025 is now end of line and being discounted. I managed to bag the last Tobacco Sunburst BB1025 they have in stock in Europe with shipping, set-up, 12 month service and gig bag all in for £670...should arrive in a couple of weeks. I see Gear4music are doing their final BB1025 black for £599, which looks like another very good deal if anyone is looking?

Thanks for all your input guys. Looking forward to getting the new bass. Definitely time to put the credit card down now and to spend some quality time on improving my bass playing skills! :)

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The Yamaha's finish, when it arrived last week, was sadly less than 100% and the store agreed to give me a full refund no questions asked. I've taken the opportunity to pull the trigger on my other front runner the Warwick Rockbass Streamer (from your recommendations above) which looks great and is available new for £100 LESS than the discounted Yamaha - which seems to be a really good price for such a highly recommended brand (albeit their budget line).

Edited by Al Krow

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The best most missed - My swamp ash Schack with Padauk board, I modded it with additional J pup and a pan pot + a tonstyler tone pot. light great neck profile sounded like a 60's P bass + some

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This thread was very helpful to me when I was first looking to get a 5 string nearly 3 years back, and didn't know my 'benchmark' Fender from the back of my Yammy. I now pretty much only play 5'ers! There have been a bunch of new and excellent 5 string basses released in the past couple of years so, in case there are fellow BC'ers who are looking for a steer on getting a 5'er, I thought it might be timely to ask folk to share thoughts on their current 5 string bass favourites to bring this thread up to date. 

@Dad3353 has kindly 'refreshed' the thread for us so that our earlier posts are easily read - many thanks for doing that! :) 

Edited by Al Krow

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My SKC Bogart Blackstone takes the top spot here. I've owned some great five string basses and it's a close run thing with my Pentabuzz. It just has such a great tone. The feel of it is also delightful but it's a million miles away from a 'traditonal' feel with it's wide, flat neck. The bridge pickup running solo is absolutely mint. 

If it has any downsides, it's that it takes a bit of practice to learn how to restring it. It's a piece of p iss once you've learned the trick, but I was fortunate to have some friends on Basschat tell me that the trick was to pull the string taut with pliers when locking them in. It's also not particuarly adjustable, as it has no truss rod so the relief is built in. The action is pretty low, but not as low as some of my other basses. The tuning is naturally very stable, the neck never moves, there are no dead spots and every note on the neck is very consistent. 

The strings need a change now, with fresh strings it sounds amazing but with dead strings, it sounds crap. At least that pressures you to change strings. 

 

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I've never played a Bogart, but they do look good and seem to have got themselves quite a following. If you're preferring the Bogart ahead of your Pedulla then that is saying quite a lot, right?! :) 

Would you say Bogarts were in direct competition to Status?

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Dingwall Super P5

Amazing neck with a modern flat radius  and very comfy to play. It nailed the p bass tone and was a very well balanced bass. The B string was great as you’d imagine with a multi scale/fan fret bass and it felt very even across the neck with all strings feeling at the right tension which is something not often taked about with a multi scale bass. It was my main gigging bass for over 4 years and it was light and resonant and at 3.9kg just the right weight for a bass regardless of the amount of strings. Expensive yes and I’d never have been able to afford a brand new one but really a cracking bass. Dingwall combustion’s also have a good rep and a really comfy neck. If a smaller,  more modern neck profile is your thing and you like the look they are worth trying out however they are certainly a more modern sounding and looking instrument!

Edited by krispn
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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I've never played a Bogart, but they do look good and seem to have got themselves quite a following. If you're preferring the Bogart ahead of your Pedulla then that is saying quite a lot, right?! :) 

Would you say Bogarts were in direct competition to Status?

If my Pedulla were fretted it would be a much closer bet. My brother has an MVP5 which is really something. I'm just more into frets than I am into fretless. 

As for competition with Status, I don't think so but they would appeal to the same sort of buyer - someone who wants more than just a P or J design, someone who likes hi-tech materials and modern tones. Stefan Heß followed his own vision for making a bass and it just happened to share some of the materials Status use. However, I do find them rather less 'obvious' than a Status, in the way that the signature Status sound tends to stand out. With the Bartolini pickups mine has, it sounds more like a Modulus. Very modern, articulate and direct but quite organic and woody. My Bogart has a headstock too, so the 1st position will feel more familiar to those unused to a true headless. Out of the two, I prefer Bogart.

I do love Status basses, having owned a few, and I no doubt will own more in future. 

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Strange isn't it - both my Dingwall P5 , and Bogart 5 (both mentioned in last couple of posts) , are both currently being built .

The Bogart a 50th present to myself , and the Dingwall the same , but I have to 'repay' the house fund the cost of it , with some sales as and when .

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12 minutes ago, E sharp said:

Strange isn't it - both my Dingwall P5 , and Bogart 5 (both mentioned in last couple of posts) , are both currently being built .

The Bogart a 50th present to myself , and the Dingwall the same , but I have to 'repay' the house fund the cost of it , with some sales as and when .

Sounds like (i) you have impeccable taste and (ii) are in for a treat :) 

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Sounds like (i) you have impeccable taste and (ii) are in for a treat :) 

Can't comment on (i) , but regarding (ii) , I do hope so . Had two stabs at 5 strings over the years (Status Series 11 , then Sei Jazz) , and neither were 'right' for me . Taking a punt, but what the hell - you're only 50 once

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2 minutes ago, E sharp said:

Had two stabs at 5 strings over the years (Status Series 11 , then Sei Jazz) , and neither were 'right' for me. 

I suspect it will be informative / interesting / useful to hear what you felt was 'missing' for you with your Status and Sei? 

I did try a headless Status recently with a view to buying, but having driven for nearly two hours to get there it wasn't for me...maybe it was the amp and cab, or that particular bass & pups; but despite having a 4 band EQ I just found it lacking in tonal sweep. Such a shame - it was a stunning looking bass! And I know plenty of folk do love their Statii. 

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On 09/12/2016 at 23:58, Al Krow said:

Hey BCs - it's nearly Xmas and I'm thinking about treating myself to a 5 string (probably passive) bass. I play in a couple of rock and pop covers bands with music ranging from 50s rockabilly to the modern day and have been purely 4 string focussed so far. This is likely to be my only purchase of a 5 string, so I'd be really keen to hear from you about your own choices, particularly if you LOVE your 5 string!

Just re-read my OP on this thread: oh how optimistic I was about my self-control back in those days! 🤣

Kinda amusing that I thought I would have the self control to only get one 5er; I've just recently got my collection up to six having moved another four on along the way :)

Edited by Al Krow

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5 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I suspect it will be informative / interesting / useful to hear what you felt was 'missing' for you with your Status and Sei? 

I did try a headless Status recently with a view to buying, but having driven for nearly two hours to get there it wasn't for me...maybe it was the amp and cab, or that particular bass & pups; but despite having a 4 band EQ I just found it lacking in tonal sweep. Such a shame - it was a stunning looking bass! And I know plenty of folk do love their Statii. 

The Status I bought about 25 yrs ago , and was cheap 2nd hand - a really early Series 2 headless 5 . String spacing was just way too narrow for me . Can only go by memory , but I'd say it was around 15mm or something - just found it unplayable .

The Sei I bought about 18 yrs ago , from The Gallery - 2nd hand but pristine . Lovely and light , but just sounded dull as ditchwater . Completely bland , and the white body had started to go slightly yellowy , and the frets had started to oxidize .

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Without doubt its my Dingwall ABHS. 

I've owned quite a few 5 stringers (Musicman Stingray, USA Fender Jazz, Ibanez SR1205, SRFF805 and SR505) but it's head and shoulders above the rest.

The clarity is unreal across the strings and it's an extremely versatile instrument. It ended GAS for me.....

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Well... a hard issue... subjective comments coming up...

Modulus Graphite Quantum 5 SPi Custom: a voice to die for, this instrument needed taming, honestly a contradictory preamp and irritating pots (changed), her voice (especially that lo B) is very dependent on string choice. When she is in the mood, she has only very few sisters that can produce similar voice. But the time needed to find voices through playing, settings, and strings was and is nerve-wracking. Complicated. String spacing (17 mm) is too tight for me. If her neck was wide, we would never part, although we will never stop this love/hate relationship. Open to offers. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes! I HATE YOU! Yeah, she hates me. This is exactly how it has been all these 20+ years. And I still love her neck and that gorgeous voice.

Clevinger electric upright. Very low. Very big sound. Very low.

Pentabuzz has that very special and distinctive meaouw (this lacks a few vowels). I do not own one. But I could.

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The Pentabuzz does have a very distinctive voice. It has the most 'mwah' and bloom of any fretless bass I've known, but it gives so much tonal and dynamic control the player just through how you attack the strings. Absolutely thunderous low end too. 

 

Do you have any pics of that Modulus? 

Edited by Chris2112

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My Rob Allen MB-2. It is so different from the other 5 stringers I’ve owned (EBMM, Lakland, Ibanez) in feel and tone, but I guess that what RA is trying (and succeeding) to achieve. It is also the one instrument that Lady Ez says I’m not allowed to sell.

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Edited by ezbass
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Despite my ever growing collection of 4's, I've only ever owned one 5'er at any one time, up until fairly recently that is. Over the past few years I've been using a Lull BBM5 which is a great bass, super light and with a thunderous B.

I've been getting a bit skittish lately about just having the one 5'er in case anything untoward happens to it, so had been looking around for something else; something a little different. I happened across a Status S2 on this here very site and picked it up a few weeks back. I must say, despite owning other Statii, this 5'er is a revelation to me. It's just a superbly put together bass and feels like everything about it is in just the right place (for me) and sounds great. When I played some of my 4's afterward they just felt all wrong and awkward, like I was having to stretch further.

This really made me think whether I actually need anything other than this bass. I'm not flogging everything off just yet; at least not until I've mulled it over properly anyway. 

Just a little bit blown away by it really. I know they're not for some, but a great fit for me.

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