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miles'tone

Best 5 string for a grand?.. Sorted 🍻

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I need some ideas guys. I'm looking to get back into fivers again, got a grand that won't be around long if I don't act soon. I want one that records well, (as that's all that's happening anyway 😉) is versatile and has a great B string. It will probably end up being my only electric bass so I must choose wisely! New or used doesn't matter btw.

I'm thinking Stingray 5 but what else? What would you do?

 

GO!..

Edited by miles'tone

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A ‘Ray is a good shout. I’d also consider a used Lakland Skyline fiver. Folks will be along soon and I would be surprised if Sire don’t get a massive thumbs up from them, they seem to be really good VFM.

Edited by ezbass

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Don't laugh...

 

Ibanez SRMD 205. Mezzo (32 scale)

£299 and use some of the rest to upgrade the pickups and preamp.

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+1 for Lakland. My 5501 was my 3rd five string. The first was something really cheap from Ebay, just terrible. The second was an Ibanez SR305 (or maybe a SR405..) - I couldn't get on with the narrow string spacing, and this seemed a common theme through other five strings I've tried.

The Lakland just feels right to me. While the fingerboard is quite wide, it allows similar string spacing to a regular four string bass.

George

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Yamaha 5ers are amazingly good for the money.  A used BB425 will leave you plenty of change but not leave you feeling short changed.

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One step up from the BB425 (an excellent bass btw!) is the Yamaha 735A which retails for around £750 and will cover a lot of bases: active 3 band EQ or passive if you want (a nice to have if the battery ever runs out mid-gig!), and P / PJ / J pup settings.

Body through stringing and 5 piece laminate neck all add to the quality and durability.

And as Paul has just mentioned, you'll still be left with a decent chunk of change to spare from your budget...

Yamaha BB735A.jpg

Edited by Al Krow
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I’d say Sire, Yamaha, Ibanez or LTD all give you great bang for the buck.

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Stingray 5s are great bases, a bit over budget even used unless you go for one of the Sterling by MM 5ers which are good value, my only issue with Rays is that it is a "one trick pony" (but its a darned good trick!). As stated above, Sire makes great instruments however, weight can be an issue. 

Also, would be helpful to know what kind of music you play. Jazz, blues, rock, solo noodling? What kind of tone you looking for? Vintage, modern? 

If you wish to cover a lot of ground tonewise, a PJ would be something to seriously consider. 

Spectors are great, if you can find one at that price!

 

 

Edited by achavarin
Offered items for sale outside of Marketplace posts. Not proper etiquette.
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How do you feel about scale length?

I know that it doesn't bother a lot of people, but my experience has been that every single really good 5-string bass that I've ever owned had (or, more accurately, has) a 35" scale.

That extra inch isn't particularly impressive on the E or A, but seems to make a world of difference to the B.

So that puts me firmly in the Lakland / Tobias / Mike Lull camp.

 

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57 minutes ago, miles'tone said:

I need some ideas guys. I'm looking to get back into fivers again, got a grand that won't be around long if I don't act soon. I want one that records well, (as that's all that's happening anyway 😉) is versatile and has a great B string. It will probably end up being my only electric bass so I must choose wisely! New or used doesn't matter btw.

Brings back memories of a thread I started up 4 years ago on a similar theme...

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!

I did actually end up with a Yamaha - a BB1025 and I have another of that same model which is still one of my goto gigging basses alongside an Ibanez SR1825 (and you could also certainly also get the latter for your budget in vgc used).

I'm just amused about the two statements I've highlighted. I wonder if it will turn out to be as false for you as it did for me!😁

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, miles'tone said:

I need some ideas guys. I'm looking to get back into fivers again, got a grand that won't be around long if I don't act soon. I want one that records well, (as that's all that's happening anyway 😉) is versatile and has a great B string. It will probably end up being my only electric bass so I must choose wisely! New or used doesn't matter btw.

I'm thinking Stingray 5 but what else? What would you do?

 

GO!..

Is it all 5 or just the low B?

If it’s just the low B - you could string BEAD or is C enough? Play in drop D or Drop C.

You can fit a double stop Hip shot to achieve this.
If you need a new one of this variety the Schecter C4 Apocalypse Ex - but they are rare.

For a 5er Sandberg are very very Decent-chose your poison out of their models - great Low B strings.

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Seen some of the Ibanez Premiums go for £600 or thereabouts on the classified’s here. A lot of bass for the money and enough left over for something else bass related?

USA Fender Dimension is another one that regularly sells below their worth. I got one on here, a Deluxe HH 5 string for £600. Killed my GAS for another StingRay 5 as soon as I got it.

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2 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

How do you feel about scale length?

I know that it doesn't bother a lot of people, but my experience has been that every single really good 5-string bass that I've ever owned had (or, more accurately, has) a 35" scale.

That extra inch isn't particularly impressive on the E or A, but seems to make a world of difference to the B.

So that puts me firmly in the Lakland / Tobias / Mike Lull camp.

 

Yet IME, the extra inch makes little difference to the sound but much more difficult for my short arms to stretch. 

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2 hours ago, Cuzzie said:

For a 5er Sandberg are very very Decent-chose your poison out of their models - great Low B strings.

Agreed, I bought a used Sandberg TM5 earlier this year for a grand and it is superb. Probably the best playing bass I’ve ever owned. 

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A grand??!! That's loads...

You should be able to find many good 5ers in your budget - Yamaha, Sire, Squier, Lakland, G&L and some of the "lesser" Rays. I can't remember seeing a 5er Revelation but the 4 strings are well regarded and great VFM.

With your budget I'd say it's not "best 5er" but "what would sir like..."

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7 hours ago, achavarin said:

my only issue with Rays is that it is a "one trick pony" (but its a darned good trick!). 

SBMM now has HH versions with Roasted Maple neck; may be more versatile and also do that 'One Trick'

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I started on an SR5 and moved on to a Lakland. Both great basses but my preference  is firmly with the Lakland. 
 

if I was starting to day I’d also be checking out Sire and Squire.

Edited by chris_b
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If you’ve not owned a fiver before, I’d suggest that aiming to make this your one and only fiver purchase might be a tad unrealistic - most of us go through a few before we work out what we really like in a five string, they’re not really the same as four strings.

It’s a bit like asking what girl you should marry, and that you’re willing to date one and only one 😂  

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I've been thru' some basses in that range and IME a used Stingray is hard to beat. Having been to modern era alnico flavors too, my faves are ceramic era (only EBMMs I own these days). Also been to Maruszczyks, Sandbergs, several Yamaha BBs, even an American Deluxe P 5. None is anywhere remotely close to a Stingray 5 bass. Also, I personally despise Delano big pole pickups, some of the worst pickups I've played and owned (PMVC5 + MC5 in a Maruszczyk Jake 5a+). Not only they don't carry the balls (my maruszczyk also happened to perform poorly in a mix), they sound several flavors of DEAD compared to the real thing.

Edited by andruca
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I can’t believe I’m saying this because if I’d read it before I owned one, I’d have laughed but...

Sire P7 V

Stunning quality and you’d have enough left over to buy a second one!

Got mine as a project bass really not knowing if it’d work out or I’d keep it and now it’s all I pick up (despite owning custom instruments, vintage instruments and everything in between!). They really are decent!

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1 hour ago, therealting said:

If you’ve not owned a fiver before, I’d suggest that aiming to make this your one and only fiver purchase might be a tad unrealistic - most of us go through a few before we work out what we really like in a five string, they’re not really the same as four strings.

It’s a bit like asking what girl you should marry, and that you’re willing to date one and only one 😂  

Thanks. I have had a few fivers in my time and I've realised that I need that low B more than I don't. I bought a corking Stingray 4 string over the summer which I'm loving but I realise now that I should have held off for the right Stingray 5. 

Musically speaking I'm just playing at home and recording, in no particular style. Could be anything, whatever comes out!

The Lakland Skyline 55-02 ticks many boxes for me but I'm unsure of the extra scale length and obviously I can't go to get a feel for one (or anything else) anywhere for the foreseeable, so it will be sight unseen which I'm loathed to do but that's the way it is right now.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys they are most appreciated and I am googling every one to see.

 👍

Life was so much simpler when it only involved a P bass! 😄

Edited by miles'tone

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Sires 5’s are fabulous- P7 and V3 here. V3 gets more airtime these days, nicer neck.

Shame not to spend the full £1K though - go with your gut , Ray 5 a great choice.  

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G & L 5 strings are pretty good. 

I own a G & L L-2500 tribute and the B string sounds very tight and punchy. It's not flabby at all.

 

 

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