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Tankdave

Why so many 6-string basses for sale?

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I've been spending far too much time looking at the basses for sale on this site, probably because I can't plass bass at the moment, but I cannot quite beleive the number of 6-stringers that come up for sale.

To me it seems dis-proportionate and the most obvious reason would be, people buy them and don't get on with them.

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Tankdave said:

To me it seems dis-proportionate and the most obvious reason would be, people buy them and don't get on with them.

 

Sshh! It's like the Emperor's New Clothes - you just don't mention it!

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Posted (edited)

Nine out of seventy-three on the first three pages. Is that a lot? Five of them have been for sale for ages; at least one since last year, and another for almost two years.

I wanted a new six string a month or so ago, in the end I gave up on here and bought my new instrument from Bass Direct. 

Edited by ambient
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Shhhhhh, I’m trying not to buy another six string bass 😂😂😂😂 my main squeeze for 25 odd years! 

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8 hours ago, ambient said:

Nine out of seventy-three on the first three pages. Is that a lot? Five of them have been for sale for ages; at least one since last year, and another for almost two years.

I wanted a new six string a month or so ago, in the end I gave up on here and bought my new instrument from Bass Direct. 

That don't sound so bad, maybe its because most of them look so nice?

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I owned a mid-price one for just long enough to help me ascertain that I didn’t need one often enough to justify the much higher cost of one that would be worth owning when I did need one. These days I don’t need one at all. I want one, of course, but I want other stuff more with the same money! 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Playing a six requires really good technique.

I play fours with my thumb over the top edge of neck and I use that thumb to mute the lower 2 strings when required.

You can't really get away with that on a five, let alone a six. Because of the width of the neck it really needs the classical thumb-on-the-centre-of-the-back-of-neck fretting hand position. Muting strings to stop sympathetic resonance is more difficult.

It won't stop me getting one at some point, but I know it's going to be a bit of a challenge.

Edited by Cato

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There’s quite a few in the over £2,500 bracket, many of which aren’t in the UK, the usual churn of high-end makes such as Fodera, Ken Smith, Pedulla, Modulus etc plus some that I can only describe as weird and wonderful. Compared to the number of 4-string players, the 6 is quite niche, and whilst it is possible to get a good used 6 relatively cheaply, most tend to be rather expensive, which further limits the affordability, so they hang around.

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1 minute ago, Cato said:

Playing a six requires really good technique.

I play fours with my thumb over the top edge of neck and I use that thumb to mute the lower 2 strings when required.

You can't really get away with that on a five, let alone a six. Because of the width of the neck it really needs the classical thumb-on-the-centre-of-back-of-neck fretting hand position. Muting strings to stop sympathetic resonance is more difficult.

It won't stop me getting one at some point, but I know it's going to be a bit of a challenge.

I went from a 4-string to a 6-string after a lot of research, back and forth, worry about the additional strings, etc., etc. and many conversations with @ambient.

This was 2015/16 and now I'm down to just one bass - a 6-string. Ultimately it's been fine. You just adapt and get used to it.

Never say never but I can't see myself moving away from a 6-string now.

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5 has always felt like 4+1 to me but 6 is totally different, it's 6

I love 6s but for 99% of what I do it's a guilty pleasure. I'm ashamed to say it leads me places I probably wouldn't go.

FWIW I agree with Ambient, it looks like a fairly reasonable spread of 6ers at the moment with one or two of them being longer term residents

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Also one guy is selling two of them, and another selling another two, possibly to fund another instrument?

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12 hours ago, Tankdave said:

I've been spending far too much time looking at the basses for sale on this site, probably because I can't plass bass at the moment, but I cannot quite beleive the number of 6-stringers that come up for sale.

To me it seems dis-proportionate and the most obvious reason would be, people buy them and don't get on with them.

This type of observation happens all the time over on Talkbass where someone posts that 5 string basses can't be that good, because there are so many for sale. Over there the guys who notice this can also be the ones who post "Jaco only needed 4" when 5 string basses are discussed!

There are always far more 4 string basses for sale. Does that mean people don't get on with 4's? I think this is a case of trying to make random data fit a hypothesis.

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11 hours ago, ambient said:

Nine out of seventy-three on the first three pages. Is that a lot? Five of them have been for sale for ages; at least one since last year, and another for almost two years.

I wanted a new six string a month or so ago, in the end I gave up on here and bought my new instrument from Bass Direct. 

Hmm., That's 12%. I'd be surprised if 12% of basses are five strings, let alone six, so I would say they are over-represented in the classifieds. Also, why aren't they selling?

Clearly there are people who get on well with six strings and even musical styles that virtually demand that you have them (djent!), but I think for most people the extra width and weight is a step to far. The benefits of a fifth string - dropping down to B, two octaves in a single position are fairly easy to justify. Adding a high c-string brings less obvious benefits, not many people with 24-fret basses find themselves running out of high notes.

My view, having only had a few tries, is that six-string basses are significantly harder to play (or at least to adjust to) and makling eth adjustments does change your playing (from my experience with five strings making me play rather differently).

If you have the ability to make full use of what a six string offers that's great and more power to your fingers - but I suspect a significant proportion of players who buy one end up feeling it was a mistake.

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19 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Hmm., That's 12%. I'd be surprised if 12% of basses are five strings, let alone six, so I would say they are over-represented in the classifieds. Also, why aren't they selling?

Clearly there are people who get on well with six strings and even musical styles that virtually demand that you have them (djent!), but I think for most people the extra width and weight is a step to far. The benefits of a fifth string - dropping down to B, two octaves in a single position are fairly easy to justify. Adding a high c-string brings less obvious benefits, not many people with 24-fret basses find themselves running out of high notes.

My view, having only had a few tries, is that six-string basses are significantly harder to play (or at least to adjust to) and makling eth adjustments does change your playing (from my experience with five strings making me play rather differently).

If you have the ability to make full use of what a six string offers that's great and more power to your fingers - but I suspect a significant proportion of players who buy one end up feeling it was a mistake.

Like I said in a later posting, five of the number being advertised are by two sellers.

Not all music, or all players require the use of a six string instrument; I think most players would actually get away with a three string bass and just four frets. I think Tony Levin had a three string Stingray built for him?

I mostly play solo, and I tend to use a lot of chords, so for me the high C string is really a necessity, as is having 24 frets. It all depends on what you do. I remember one of tutors at uni kept asking if I wanted him to remove one of my strings. He was d**k though, his thing was playing like Victor Wooten, totally different to my thing.

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1 hour ago, ambient said:

Like I said in a later posting, five of the number being advertised are by two sellers.

Not all music, or all players require the use of a six string instrument; I think most players would actually get away with a three string bass and just four frets. I think Tony Levin had a three string Stingray built for him?

I mostly play solo, and I tend to use a lot of chords, so for me the high C string is really a necessity, as is having 24 frets. It all depends on what you do. I remember one of tutors at uni kept asking if I wanted him to remove one of my strings. He was d**k though, his thing was playing like Victor Wooten, totally different to my thing.

...I wonder if I'd be able to guess who that tutor is... :D

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42 minutes ago, thebassist said:

...I wonder if I'd be able to guess who that tutor is... :D

No comment, at least not in public 😁

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2 hours ago, ambient said:

{snip}

Not all music, or all players require the use of a six string instrument; I think most players would actually get away with a three string bass and just four frets. I think Tony Levin had a three string Stingray built for him?

{snip}

If I am honest, I would say that most of my gigs at the moment have no requirement for a 6 strip and only some times the low B - Though I like to use it a bit more to add depth to some versions of songs we do. I could easily gig with just a 4 string, but the reason I use the 6 all the time is because.. well... its my lil babe. The best bass I've ever played and therefore even if I don't need all the strings, it's coming out to play with me every gig :) My keyboard player uses a full size 'piano weighted controller', the full 88 keys. I guess it would be the same as her leaving 20 of those keys at home ha ha. She loves that deck! 

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A huge number of Fender basses for sale on all bass forums, when taken together => must be a really shite brand right?

There is not one single Yamaha BB 1025 for sale in the whole of the UK currently** on any bass forum => clearly this must the very best bass available today!!

 

But obviously neither statement is correct.

 

** if there is, please shout - as there's a queue on the Yammy BB thread for one!

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I didn't get on with my first 6 (Warwick Thumb) purely because it's too heavy for me. Should really make more of an effort to sell it.

My second (Ibanez Premium BTB 1406) is a delight, absurdly light and easy to play. I'm not as confident with it yet as I am with my first bass (GMR 5), so for now I'm still taking that out for proper gigs, and the Ibby to casual jams and OMs where there's less pressure.

Also I would feel pretentious turning up in front of an audience with a conspicuously  unusual and high-quality instrument - the GMR is just as good, but you'd have to understand bass guitars to know. I'll just have to get over that 🙂 

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20 minutes ago, josie said:

Also I would feel pretentious turning up in front of an audience with a conspicuously  unusual and high-quality instrument 

I completely disagree here - you should never feel like justifying your gear with your audience. Why feeling that way? If you're in front of an audience it means that you're good enough to play an audience, they're here to hear you play, not check out what kind of bass you have and judge you :)

 If it takes a 5 strings and a half, 54000£ sandwich of 34 layered rarewoods to inspire you to play at your best, why the heck not (assuming you can afford it xD

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52 minutes ago, akabane said:

If it takes a 5 strings and a half, 54000£ sandwich of 34 layered rarewoods to inspire you to play at your best, why the heck not (assuming you can afford it xD

Or you could just listen to Carol Kaye playing some of her amazing bass lines for an hour? Won't cost you a penny and in terms of inspiration... :)

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

 Or you could just listen to Carol Kaye playing some of her amazing bass lines for an hour? Won't cost you a penny and in terms of inspiration... :)

Hmm..how is that excluding what I said though? I mean, seriously? I'm inspired to play by {whatever artist}, so I need to play it on a 2 string plonker made of Tesco bags? 

What about: anyone is inspired by {whatever reason/artist} and they are also inspired to play THEIR instrument, which is {whatever instrument, including the aforementioned plonker OR a 20k Fodera) ? No?

I come in and take away your favourite instrument (which likely you drooled over for a bit, maybe saved for it but definitely bought) and you're just like 'Pfft whatever, got my second and third favourite bass here, I'll put on some Carol Kaye to make up for missing my first favourite'?  You really don't separate your sources of inspiration?

My reply was because josie said they felt pretentious bringing what could look like a 'high quality' instrument in front of an audience, which I don't agree with - they bought that instrument because they love it and love playing it. Whenever they are playing they should feel at their best, and if they have a favourite instrument to do so why should they feel shy or conscious about it when playing in front of others? 

 

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Posted (edited)

Nothing wrong with great gear, but you don't need a fancy bass to be inspired to make great music. 

You can take away ALL my fancy gear, and leave me with 'just' a £200 used Yamaha BB 425. I will still love playing bass with my band. 

Edited by Al Krow

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