Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The games our minds play with us...

Ok...as an owner of many (too many??) 4 string basses I can pretty much justify each and every one of them for one particular reason at least - nice neck, nice balance, good tonal package, etc...

However I started playing 5 string recently - went out and bought a very nice looking Lakland 55-01 (love the looks) with upgraded pre which plays really nice, great tones, well balanced, etc...I like it a lot - many assets and positives but it is a 35" scale. I can live with that methinks, but, being new to 5 string, I'll look at 34" scale 5ers as well.

So I bought a very well (under?)priced Sterling SUB 5er with MAPLE fretboard. Lot of bass for not too many pennies...it plays nice, well balanced, nice string spacing, nice tones from the split coil MM pup...in short, again, many assets and positives...but TBH not a big fan of maple fretboards.

While looking at the SUB I was also looking at a Sire V3 5er - very highly regarded - one impulse buy later... It's 34" scale, Rosewood board, nice variety of tones, etc - however, at 5kg+, it feels like it weighs the same as two elephants and neck dives like Jacques Cousteau...and I'm not really a fan of JJs either. Even though this doesn't sound like most Jazzes I've played it's still at the back of my mind....better than the SUB in some ways, not in others...the Lakland still my favourite except for the 35" scale...

Now, as I said, I can justify all the 4 strings but with the 5ers all I can see are the downsides. Bearing in mind I'm struggling with depression and anxiety currently (and this may be a factor) why is it soo difficult to find "The One"??? Admittedly I have owned many, many 4 strings to get to this point, sold some that didn't suit, some that I shouldn't have - how are people supposed to find what they really want without spending a fortune and going through an endless list of gear.

Just caught myself - am I complaining about too much choice??? 

Ideally I'm looking for a well balanced, fretted 34" 5er with a good low B, active PJ/HP/ SimS pups, and RW/Ebony board. None of the three I own fulfil all my wants - what do I do? Soldier on and compromise or find another bass which fits all the above criteria?

Blooody GAS!!!

20210126_123719.jpg

20210126_123737.jpg

Edited by TheGreek
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's far easier if one is not so fussy about details, and with wider tastes. Fretboard..? If it's not backed with sandpaper, I say 'Whatever...'. I've never found any difference whether ebony, rosewood, maple, other... Pickups..? They make sounds I can use; that's all I ask of 'em. I can use sounds from 'P'-style, 'J'-style, 'MM'-style, 'H'-style or 'Other'. It's my ears that tell my fingers how to get whatever 'tone' I want from whatever bass I'm wearing, with, maybe, a little help from EQ, on the bass or from the amp/DAW. It's all good. Scale length..? I play long-scale fretless sixer, long-scale fretted fiver, long-scale four, medium-scale four, several six-string guitars and baritone guitars, 12-string electric, folk guitars, nylon classical... I adapt to the instrument, and play 'em accordingly. It's true I'm far from virtuoso on any of these, but it's my playing that is the issue, not the scale length, nor neck width, weight, neck profile or whatever. I enjoy the moment, or even the challenge, and am not looking for, nor expecting, perfection in any one aspect. I'm looking to get the best I can with what I have under my fingers, and, for the past half-century and more, it's my fingers that are the weak link in the equation.
Disclaimer : I'm a drummer; I don't spend any time or even thought trying to get 'whatever' tone from a kit. I play to make the best I can with the kit I have. Should I use a chrome snare, or wood, or Vistalite..? Which hoops..? Nylon tip sticks, or hickory, or oak..? Which grade of metal is good for cymbales..? Should they be mirror-finish, or hand-hammered..? 16" crash..? Or 17"..? or 18"..? Don't get started on pedals... Chain..? Direct..? Webbing strap..? Felt beater or nylon..?
It's all irrelevant. Choose what suits best within budget and enjoy it, whatever it is, for what it is, or don't buy it at all. Simple, really. -_- 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the middle of last year I made a decision to choose one of my basses to keep in my music room the the rest I sold or put into storage. This meant I spent all my time playing rather than deciding what bass to play. It did wonders for my mental health as I wasn't using my mental bandwidth for anything other than playing.  I didn't feel anxious about having money tied up in expensive instruments, and I got to know my main bass intimately. My touch and dynamics improved massively. 

Just an idea. 

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mick, I feel your pain.

Also sorry to hear you’re facing those twin torturers of anxiety and depression.

It’s difficult to know whether making decisions about a bass is wise at this time, or if it might help distract from other things that are contributing to your struggle. 


Just a thought, and might not be a popular one, but is it possible to swap the necks so you get the neck you like with the pickup config/body you like?

I once put a P bass neck on a G&L L2000 body with a Stingray scratch plate. Proper Leo tribute. It had all the bits I liked best, without the bits I didn’t. 
Only got sold when I got rid of every musical instrument and gear I had, in a depressive episode.

Good luck in whatever you decide. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand where you’re coming from Mick, I’ve found the right Precisions & Jazzes for me but simply can’t find the right PJ configuration bass. I’m thinking of just putting in a J pickup in one of my Precisions as this seems to the only way I’ll get the exact spec that I’m after.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never aim to find The One because it doesn't exist. With changing tastes and requirements, what may appear to be The One now, may not be even in a few months time. I find I have less anguish if I just choose what i need or like now even if it's a mistake, then sell them all when the time comes. Whatever the case, I've learnt from the experience.

New basses is all about discovering what you like, don't like, and what's available, so just see it as a journey of learning and improving. Don't see it as searching for that perfect one because it doesn't exist.

Edited by TheLowDown
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, oldslapper said:

Just a thought, and might not be a popular one, but is it possible to swap the necks so you get the neck you like with the pickup config/body you like?

I think I now know what I want. I'll just need to keep my eyes open for a bass that conforms to those wants.

I may have to put two of the three up for sale in the not too distant future.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Just caught myself - am I complaining about too much choice??? 

You're on to something there. There's such a mind boggling array of choice. For my big bass purchase a few years back I went in to Wunjo with a budget in mind and came out with a deal done for my number 1 bass. There were only 3 appropriate lefties, only two were realistic choices, so it left me to make a judgement call and form the bond. I'm happy with what I got. If only shops were open!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The conundrum of choice...........GAS is a killer......but...so much fun.  I can also justify all of my purchases (ha ha ha) and will continue to do so with each purchase!!!  I am going to stay away from 5 strings.............I think......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dipped my toe into the waters of 5 strings last year and got a Cort A5+ FMMH. They are discontinued and you can (or could) pick them up for bargain prices. Balances nicely, 34" scale, Bartolini p/us and per-amp/eq (basic models, but still Bart'), through neck, light. I like it. However, I have to say, the Lakland you have is a very nice instrument. I didn't want to spend that much, but would have got one if I had. The difference between 34" and 35" scales is not really significant, unless you have particularly small hands. The frets are only about 1mm further apart, after all. Provided you don't use through body stringing, virtually all 34" string sets will be fine. I'd definitely persevere with the Lakland were I in your shoes.

Edited by Dan Dare
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

I think I now know what I want. I'll just need to keep my eyes open for a bass that conforms to those wants.

I may have to put two of the three up for sale in the not too distant future.

Get one made, now you have narrowed down your wants list.  I'm sure Andy would do something for you.  Or have a play with the configurator at Public Peace, see what comes out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tbh I think ‘The One’ happens over time and naturally despite what you think it will be based on specs and price. The One is the bass you know inside out, have used live and in the studio, you’ve learned it so well that you can hear it in your head and know how it’ll sound every time. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ped said:

Tbh I think ‘The One’ happens over time and naturally despite what you think it will be based on specs and price. The One is the bass you know inside out, have used live and in the studio, you’ve learned it so well that you can hear it in your head and know how it’ll sound every time. 

True. I'd love to find the 5 string equivalent of my old 72 J bass, which I've had for 30 years. I've never liked any 5 string J I've tried, sadly, even expensive ones. A Lakland I tried came closest, but was too spendy for a first 5..

Edited by Dan Dare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. How many members have actually found "the one"?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. How much to ultimately find it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ProfJames said:
  1. How many members have actually found "the one"?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. How much to ultimately find it?
  1. Me
  2. not long and by accident
  3. £1000
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:
  1. Me
  2. not long and by accident
  3. £1000

How many basses did you buy before you found it?  Glad you have by the way........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Paul S said:

Get one made, now you have narrowed down your wants list.  I'm sure Andy would do something for you.  Or have a play with the configurator at Public Peace, see what comes out. 

Good idea Paul, but I know that Andy has already made him at least one bass! 😂
As a client and local friend of Andy I got the chance to see it. 👍
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a decent professional instrument and forget about it. Its about the music, not the gear. 

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ProfJames said:
  1. How many members have actually found "the one"?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. How much to ultimately find it?

A keyboard playing pal found my old Jazz in a hock shop in the 1980s. Used it for a couple of jobs and then sold it to me for what he paid for it - £250.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I had The One for years & recently found a new The One, so now have a #2 that's damn fantastic, but the #1 is more comfortable to play, has a stiffer neck, & has split-coil humbuckers.

After a week of negotiating with SweetWater, I got it for $1,350 USD (there's 5.8% sales tax, BUT I got 5% cashback to the card I used to pay)

IME, you should not settle for 34" scale for a 5-string, get a multiscale:

https://www.ibanez.com/eu/products/detail/ehb1505ms_1p_01.html

p_region_EHB1505MS_PLF_1P_01_sub_3.jpg

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Killed_by_Death said:

 

I had The One for years & recently found a new The One, so now have a #2 that's damn fantastic, but the #1 is more comfortable to play, has a stiffer neck, & has split-coil humbuckers.

After a week of negotiating with SweetWater, I got it for $1,350 USD (there's 5.8% sales tax, BUT I got 5% cashback to the card I used to pay)

IME, you should not settle for 34" scale for a 5-string, get a multiscale:

https://www.ibanez.com/eu/products/detail/ehb1505ms_1p_01.html

p_region_EHB1505MS_PLF_1P_01_sub_3.jpg

 

I love my Ibanez fan fret......so easy to play......that's nice

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s all just a learning curve, you don’t know if it’s gonna be the one unless you try it, and if it isn’t what you thought just move it on, I’ve been through sooo many jazzes(over 40)  looking for the holy grail  , including custom shops which I moved on,   So  I’ve settled on a 2014 US jazz ,it’s superb,  I also have a 5 string and I do enjoy it, but if I’m honest with myself, I prefer 4s , so I treat it as something that’s fun to play now and again but not as my main bass, I also found  that I got so caught up in buying gear that I neglected actually playing 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found my ‘One’ in 1993. It can exist. Wasn’t looking for it, didn’t expect anything of it when I picked it up and plugged it in.......and then my head exploded. Thing is, at the time I couldn’t even afford to buy it, so I was resigned to never having it.

A year later I walked in the same shop having saved up for a new amp, and there it was on the wall, still there, and what’s more it was on sale. So I bought it. I’ve had many, many other basses before &  since and enjoy the journey of buying new instruments a great deal, but nothing else has ever come close. 

I think there’s a danger in obsessing over the things you think you want, and another in thinking because you’ve tried/bought quite a few different instruments, one of them should surely be right? It doesn’t tend to work like that, although of course everyone is different. 

I spent a good deal of the past 40 years playing every instrument I could get my hands on, literally thousands of instruments. And I only found The One once. 
 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

, I’ve found the right Precisions & Jazzes for me but simply can’t find the right PJ configuration bass.

Have you tried a Tony Franklin signature precision? 
I’ve got the fretless version and it’s a dream to play. I’d say almost if not custom shop quality.
Im on the hunt for a fretted version but they are harder to come by. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...