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miles'tone

Best 5 string for a grand?.. Sorted 🍻

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Have a trawl through the "Basses For Sale", there's plenty of nice 5 strings to choose from there, and at many different price points, from affordable to lottery win.

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I have to vote lakland 55-01....i just bagged a mint one in black with maple neck for £450....very good platform for upgrades....pickups/preamp, also, even though it has a 35" scale it is still very manageable. 

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5 hours ago, miles'tone said:

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.

Isn't that your answer there then?

Or a G&L 5 which is pretty similar

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Isn't that your answer there then?

Or a G&L 5 which is pretty similar

Possibly. Probably. 

I'm just not into the looks of G&L basses. A bass needs to invite you to play it every time you see it. Important to me anyway.

I think the real answer is to be patient, sit out the current situation and wait until I can try any contenders out in person. Otherwise I can see this ending in expensive regrets!

There's more important things to worry about at the moment really. 

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String spacing on the G&L can be a bit tight. I had a 2500 Tribute which was only about 16mm. Great sounding bass though.

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On 20/10/2020 at 17:23, 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.

 

I used to think that.

Then I got a 34 scale Marleaux and the low B was better than anything longer I'd ever played / owned. Even the 37 inch stuff.

Zon Hyperbass was similarly amazing in lower tunings.

 

And the little Ibby 32 scale has a better low B than any Stingray 5 I've owned, and I've had a few.

I'm of the view that construction is more important than scale length.

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12 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I used to think that.

Then I got a 34 scale Marleaux and the low B was better than anything longer I'd ever played / owned. Even the 37 inch stuff.

Zon Hyperbass was similarly amazing in lower tunings.

 

And the little Ibby 32 scale has a better low B than any Stingray 5 I've owned, and I've had a few.

I'm of the view that construction is more important than scale length.

Were you using the same brand of strings on all these basses? I find some strings/brands just work or sound good on certain basses, and poor on others. No idea why, just the experiences I've had.

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25 minutes ago, pete.young said:

String spacing on the G&L can be a bit tight. I had a 2500 Tribute which was only about 16mm. Great sounding bass though.

Its more than 16mm (would have loved it if it was), AFAIK it is 17.5mm. It was right on the limit of how wide I will put up with (I only sold mine a few months ago)

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What kind of tones do you prefer? Classic or modern? And therefore, would you be leaning more towards precision/jazz style pickups or humbuckers?

Are you looking for an active or a passive bass?

 

The answers to these two points alone will narrow down your selection considerably.

Edited by CameronJ

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Its more than 16mm (would have loved it if it was), AFAIK it is 17.5mm. It was right on the limit of how wide I will put up with (I only sold mine a few months ago)

Dug back into my archives and the 2500 Tribute I owned was definitely 16.5mm spacing at the bridge. Maybe the US made ones are different?

That's the reason I got rid of mine: I found a Bass Collection with 19mm spacing and I find that much more comfortable. The BBNE2 is 18mm and I wouldn't want to go any less. Horses for courses.

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42 minutes ago, pete.young said:

Dug back into my archives and the 2500 Tribute I owned was definitely 16.5mm spacing at the bridge. Maybe the US made ones are different?

Mine was a L2500 tribute, I just looked, it was 17mm spacing / 68mm bridge, so smaller than I thought but wider than the Sub Ray5 I had. Maybe yours had a non standard bridge (maybe american custom, although I don't see them doing that as a custom thing), as looking on the net that is what the specs say. 

Either way, he doesn't like the look of them so thats that out (and I understand that, I never really liked the look of a stingray 5).

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14 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

Were you using the same brand of strings on all these basses? I find some strings/brands just work or sound good on certain basses, and poor on others. No idea why, just the experiences I've had.

Mostly - not the 32 scale as D'addario don't make a medium scale B string that is for sale to the public. They only supply it to Ibanez for fitting to new ones.

Monumentally thick as that is.

So the 32 has Newtones on it and I like them enough that I may well swap the other basses when they need restringing.

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Whatever you get, factor in a couple of hundred quid to have it properly set up, have the frets stoned and recrowned.

Trouble is, people spend all this money on basses but dont realise that the frets are usually just knocked in and out the factory the bass goes. If you have somebody spend the time looking at the playability, even the cheapest of basses nowadays, are perfectly great. In essence, a cheap bass that has had the right work done on it can easily outperform an expensive bass that hasn't - in terms of playability at least.

Edited by EBS_freak
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14 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

Mine was a L2500 tribute, I just looked, it was 17mm spacing / 68mm bridge, so smaller than I thought but wider than the Sub Ray5 I had. Maybe yours had a non standard bridge (maybe american custom, although I don't see them doing that as a custom thing), as looking on the net that is what the specs say. 

Either way, he doesn't like the look of them so thats that out (and I understand that, I never really liked the look of a stingray 5).

Fair enough. I'm not a fan of the standard SR5 either. The Classic looks much more like a proper Stingray, with the control plate.

Edited by pete.young
Custom , classic, think I'm going to turn myself off!

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16 hours ago, fretmeister said:

I used to think that.

Then I got a 34 scale Marleaux and the low B was better than anything longer I'd ever played / owned. Even the 37 inch stuff.

Zon Hyperbass was similarly amazing in lower tunings.

 

And the little Ibby 32 scale has a better low B than any Stingray 5 I've owned, and I've had a few.

I'm of the view that construction is more important than scale length.

+1, I've had 32",34",35" and 36". Scale length was not the thing that gave me the best low B. I'm back to 3 x 34" basses now, Sadowsky and Xotic. I think neck rigidity possibly has more to do with it.

Edited by MOSCOWBASS
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28 minutes ago, pete.young said:

Fair enough. I'm not a fan of the standard SR5 either. The Classic looks much more like a proper Stingray, with the control plate.

The control plate of the stingray looks like the control plate the G&L had when they started (but then dropped). I like that but the rounded pick guard looked just wrong. Which is a shame, I always liked the sound of them.

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Cort do some really nice 5 strings with great pickups and preamps!

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On 20/10/2020 at 17:23, 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.

 

Or a Sandberg California.  Less character than a stingray but the B string sounds much tighter.  The only 34" scale bass I found to match or better the Sandberg B was a Wal ( bit more than £1k though! ).

Edited by NickA

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Thanks for all the input guys.

I ended up with a 1991 Stingray 5 which I'm over the moon with. A rare lightweight one with a lovely Birdseye maple neck 😍

Crap picture but here it is..

IMG20201030165232.jpg

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On 21/10/2020 at 02:51, geoham said:

+1 for Lakland. My 5501 was my 3rd five string.

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

This.

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9 hours ago, miles'tone said:

Thanks for all the input guys.

I ended up with a 1991 Stingray 5 which I'm over the moon with. A rare lightweight one with a lovely Birdseye maple neck 😍

Crap picture but here it is..

IMG20201030165232.jpg

Lovely, is ‘91 quite early for a stingray 5. I thought they were introduced only in ‘88.

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G&L L2500 was the best value 5 I ever owned. Lovely tight B string. (Plenty of change from your budget to buy a cheeky fretless 5 too - I love my Yamaha)! 
 

That said, I did move on the G&L because it was a bit “boring”. My current go-to 5 is a Clover Avenger - which has tonnes of tonal variety and lovely to play. And within your budget 2nd hand. 
 

Good luck! 

 

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10 hours ago, miles'tone said:

Thanks for all the input guys.

I ended up with a 1991 Stingray 5 which I'm over the moon with. A rare lightweight one with a lovely Birdseye maple neck 😍

Crap picture but here it is..

IMG20201030165232.jpg

Very nice! It looks very much at home on your wall. Hopefully it's the right bass for you - have fun!

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1 hour ago, OliverBlackman said:

Lovely, is ‘91 quite early for a stingray 5. I thought they were introduced only in ‘88.

Yes it is really, the serial number is 2000 and something..

It feels like a 'Bass Birth Year Bass' actually as I began learning/playing bass in '91 ☺️

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Great write ups on the USA Fender Dimension 5s. In your budget secondhand too. I don't have one but did try one out for quite a while. Loved it. Sort of a Stingray that does loads more tonally.

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