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Newfoundfreedom

Jumping straight from 4 to 6 strings?

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18 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Fast neck usually means string spacing is gonna be 16-16.5mm but for that money you'll get use to it. Its exactly how i did it. The narrow string spacing is great for learning those top end chords tho.

You can't argue with that price. I've heard pretty good things about Harley Benton gear. Well done and let us know how you get on.

At that rice i might even order myself one.

Dave

Yeah that's another reason why I didn't want to spend much. Until I try, I just don't know what string spacing will be right for me. My feeling is, that I will get on with a tighter spacing and slimmer neck, far better than a wider spacing and  fat neck. Time will tell.

HB's are just ridiculously good value for money. They're cheap, but barring the odd quality control faux pas, they're certainly not cheap crap. I've looked and been tempted by several, but this is the first time I've taken the plunge. To be honest, with Thomanns 3 year warranty, I can't really see how I can go wrong. If I get a lemon, I just send it back. No harm, no foul. 

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It will be good value if you focus on why you bought it. Forget any short-comings or dislikes, just learn how playing a 6 string bass works and the adjustments you have to make to your technique and open the door to a whole new area of playing . With that in mind I'm sure this will be a great bass for you.

And even on a new bass, a good set up will make it play even better.

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It may well be fine. At that price you’re not going to get really nice fretwork, finishing or electronics. You’re not going to be able to reach the top 4 frets or so as the cutaway is too shallow and the headstock looks quite big compared to the body so there may be a bit of neck dive, but at least the top horn is at the 12th fret. It’ll probably need a setup, and maybe the nut may not be cut properly, which will massively affect the playability, but who knows? It may be perfectly usable, and I’ve played basses > £1,000 that had a terrible set up (Fender American Deluxe Jazz, £1,500, nut was absolutely awful, for example).

With many cheaper instruments the electronics are usually weak, so if the basic instrument is good it could be a platform to upgrade. And better than spending £3,000 on something only to discover 6’s aren’t your thing!

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Yeah I'm not expecting miracles, in fact I still wouldn't be surprised if it's an absolute pile of crap at that price, but all the reviews (and there are plenty of them) say otherwise. Apparently the fret work is really good, and the electronics are useable, with (supposedly) great tones. Many even saying it's better than basses they own over worth well over a grand. Personally I find that difficult to believe, and even when it arrives I have nothing to compare it to. But as long as it serves its purpose, which is to be a learning tool. Then it'll do for me for the time being. If nothing else, it will teach me whether or not I can play a 6er, and whether a 16mm string spacing is right for me. At £135 that's a cheap lesson. I could buy an expensive bass, sell it on if I didn't like it, and lose that much in shipping costs and selling fees. 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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10 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Well I've taken the plunge and ordered the cheapest 6 string available on the planet. 😂

I'd previously dismissed it as being "too cheap" and assumed it would be just a useless plank, but then I read the reviews on Thomann, and watched a few videos on YouTube, and this thing just seems too good too be true. (Seriously! Check out the reviews for yourselves) So I ended up ordering it as much out of curiosity as anything else. 

A brand new 6 string bass, which (if the dozens of reviews are to be believed) is not only useable, but actually quite good. Light weight (for a 6 anyway), with a fast neck, good build quality, decent tones, and extremely playable. For.......

 

Are you ready for this?.........

 

Are you sitting down?..........

 

 

 

 

£135!!!!!! 😱

How is that even possible? 

I mean, granted it's ugly, but if this thing even gives me an idea about playing a six string at that price I'll be happy. 

I look forward to reviewing this one when it arrives. 

 

https://m.thomann.de/intl/harley_benton_b_650_black_progressive_series.htm?i11l=en_GB%3ABG.EUR%3ABGN

 

I bought the 5 string fretless version of that, as a cheap toe in the fretless water. It's not a boutique instrument, but honestly I'd gig it tomorrow without a single worry (if my fretless playing wasn't so laughably stinky poo).

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I went from a 4 string Ibanez 1979 Roadster straight to 10 string custom Bee Bass (Binky). 

So don't worry about skipping the 5 string!

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5 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Yeah I'm not expecting miracles, in fact I still wouldn't be surprised if it's an absolute pile of crap at that price, but all the reviews (and there are plenty of them) say otherwise. Apparently the fret work is really good, and the electronics are useable, with (supposedly) great tones. Many even saying it's better than basses they own over worth well over a grand. Personally I find that difficult to believe, and even when it arrives I have nothing to compare it to. But as long as it serves its purpose, which is to be a learning tool. Then it'll do for me for the time being. If nothing else, it will teach me whether or not I can play a 6er, and whether a 16mm string spacing is right for me. At £135 that's a cheap lesson. I could buy an expensive bass, sell it on if I didn't like it, and lose that much in shipping costs and selling fees. 

You've got the right attitude towards it so you can't go wrong with it. Listening to the tone on the VID clip it sounded quite nice. Sharp clear tone with that little growl edge. For a 6 string i find that cuts thru a mix very nicely.

With cheaper basses i've found the fret edges are usually a bit ragged and a quick file down soon sorts that. If required a good set up can work miracles on a bass.

When does it arrive ?

Dave

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7 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

You've got the right attitude towards it so you can't go wrong with it. Listening to the tone on the VID clip it sounded quite nice. Sharp clear tone with that little growl edge. For a 6 string i find that cuts thru a mix very nicely.

With cheaper basses i've found the fret edges are usually a bit ragged and a quick file down soon sorts that. If required a good set up can work miracles on a bass.

When does it arrive ?

Dave

Who knows Dave? Usually it takes Thomann orders about 7-10 days to get from Germany to here in Bulgaria. But with the Christmas post and everything it's anyone's guess. Once it arrives, I don't mind getting stuck in and sorting the basics myself. I have no qualms about adjusting truss rods, intonation, bridge height etc. Anything other than that, I've got a good mate a few miles away who builds guitars for a hobby, so any fret levelling, fret edge filing etc, is easily sorted. 

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8 hours ago, binky_bass said:

I went from a 4 string Ibanez 1979 Roadster straight to 10 string custom Bee Bass (Binky). 

So don't worry about skipping the 5 string!

Superb! That's a hell of a leap! I wouldn't know where to start with a 10 string. Fair play to you!

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I went 4 to 7 (although I had owned a 5 and 6 years ago). The funny thing was, I have played four string fretless with my fingers for years. When I went to a 7 string (just to see what it was all about), I IMMEDIATELY tuned in BEADGBE (i.e. as a octave down guitar with a low B) and played with a pick. This was literally the second time I have played it out of the box. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

I went 4 to 7 (although I had owned a 5 and 6 years ago). The funny thing was, I have played four string fretless with my fingers for years. When I went to a 7 string (just to see what it was all about), I IMMEDIATELY tuned in BEADGBE (i.e. as a octave down guitar with a low B) and played with a pick. This was literally the second time I have played it out of the box. 

 

 

Awesome. 

Is that a Harley Benton BZ? I was looking at getting a 5 or 6 string version of that. They look stunning. But I was put off by a lot of the reviews saying they weigh a tonne. 

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It is the BZ. I don't find it heavy at all but I play a Wal which apparently is although I have never found it  to be a problem. 

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I went to 6 before I'd even half got the hang of 4.  Not really a problem, just a more complex fingerboard picture.  In many ways easier to play because you can go across instead of up and down the fb.  Great for chordal work, and the B is useful for many songs.  I don't find 5 any easier. 

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6 hours ago, lownote12 said:

I went to 6 before I'd even half got the hang of 4.  Not really a problem, just a more complex fingerboard picture.  In many ways easier to play because you can go across instead of up and down the fb.  Great for chordal work, and the B is useful for many songs.  I don't find 5 any easier. 

Cool. Thanks. 

That's pretty much the way I see it. 

I'm a born again bass player. Having played back at school thirty three sixteen years ago, then not touched one again until about a year ago. 

I've always learned songs verbatim. Usually using tabs, and I know pretty much nothing about music theory. 

I've recently signed up to online lessons (with Talkingbass, and I've learned loads already. Highly recommended. Mark is da man! Anyway, I digress.)  and I figure, if I'm going to learn, I may as well go the whole hog and learn a sixer. 

I might be wrong, but my logic is, it's easier to learn six string initially, then apply what I've learned to a four string, (if I wish to do so.) Than it is to learn a four string, then later try to adapt to a six. Even now at this early stage, it feels like I'm missing half the picture just playing a four string. 

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28 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Cool. Thanks. 

That's pretty much the way I see it. 

I'm a born again bass player. Having played back at school thirty three sixteen years ago, then not touched one again until about a year ago. 

I've always learned songs verbatim. Usually using tabs, and I know pretty much nothing about music theory. 

I've recently signed up to online lessons (with Talkingbass, and I've learned loads already. Highly recommended. Mark is da man! Anyway, I digress.)  and I figure, if I'm going to learn, I may as well go the whole hog and learn a sixer. 

I might be wrong, but my logic is, it's easier to learn six string initially, then apply what I've learned to a four string, (if I wish to do so.) Than it is to learn a four string, then later try to adapt to a six. Even now at this early stage, it feels like I'm missing half the picture just playing a four string. 

Good for you. The thing is not to dither.  If you're going to go 6, do it, and don't go back to four. Let your muscle memory learn its chops.  Not to divert your thread, but the same is true of unlined fretless.  I'd never have tried it but I accidentally bought one (eBay pix were so bad I thought I'd bought a lined fretless.).  Any road, as I'd bought it I thought I'd try it.  Much to my astonishment it took very little time before my hands were placing themselves precisely on the notes, even without me looking. But I stuck to it for several weeks, not touching my fretted bass.  I now find fretted as frustrating as stabilisers on  a child's bike and I'm now idly looking for a 6 string fretless.  Or I would be if my hobby budget wasn't horribly overspent.     

Edited by lownote12
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On 24/12/2019 at 15:06, Bilbo said:

I went 4 to 7 (although I had owned a 5 and 6 years ago). The funny thing was, I have played four string fretless with my fingers for years. When I went to a 7 string (just to see what it was all about), I IMMEDIATELY tuned in BEADGBE (i.e. as a octave down guitar with a low B) and played with a pick. This was literally the second time I have played it out of the box. 

 

 

I’ve played basses that cost thousands that sound way worse than that.

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