Jump to content
FDC484950

Sire V7 5 string gen2

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I fancy a 5 string super jazz. I initially tried with. Sadowsky MetroExpress, but for the money I wasn’t impressed - tone was good but the low B, although sounding good, was noticeably quieter than the other strings, no matter what adjustments I made - and one of the pots wasn’t working when I received it, so it went back.

I’m looking at the Sire version 2 5ers. I prefer a more traditional sound so considering an alder/rosewood (or is it ebony?) model.

Given the silly low price can any current owners answer the following?

- What’s the weight like? Do they vary a lot of is the weight consistent?

- What’s the B string like? 

- What’s the fit, finish and fretwork like?

- Is the tone as good as the YT vids suggest?

- How noisy are the single coils?

I gather that they’re almost too good to be true at this price, but before pulling the trigger I thought I’d ask for the collective BC take :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one.

Fit & finish - superb for the price ( better than some higher priced models ).

Pickups & pre-amp - no noticeable noise & quite usable tones.

B string - underwhelming & ( personally ) not enough tension or presence.

The B string was the only reason I sold it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I had the P7 Mk2 which is pretty similarly configured to the V7 - liked it a lot.

  • sounded really good
  • weight was fine
  • value for money - superb
  • parametric mids - how often do you get get that on bass, regardless of the price?!
  • no issues with the low B string for me
  • didn't gel with 'only' 20 frets and not great accessibility of the 19/20 higher frets, so it felt more like an 18 fret bass to me - probably my single 'gripe'
  • found in the end it wasn't getting played that much in comparison to the rest of my herd (but tbf it was up against some very decent competition, some at several times the price point of the Sire), so I moved it on to a chap who turned out to be pro bass player who wanted to add a P7 to the V7 Mk2 he had as his goto bass. But the fact that a pro-bass player was really happy to have a V7 as his mainstay, is probably all the recommendation you need to hear! 
Edited by Al Krow
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There'll be a lot of opinion on here, popular basses. 

Owned few 1st and 2nd gen, also P7. Best for playability has been V3 2nd gen 5er by some margin. Luck of the draw but also the lightest of all Sires I've owned. 

Differences; Standard vs 'Super-J' pickups. Standard vs Premium tuners. Std vs Heavy Mass bridge. None of these to my ears move the dial. Also prefer the dots not blocks. 

Same pre amp. Same neck and body build. Identical finish , my V3 had the best fretwork of them all. 

For £320 it's the same bass day to day on sound and feel. Passive with flats as good as any MIA jazz I've owned. 

If you're set on the look of V7 go for it, but from what I've played that's really the only reason to spend more. 

 

Edited by Drax
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

Given the silly low price can any current owners answer the following?

- What’s the weight like? Do they vary a lot of is the weight consistent?

- What’s the B string like? 

- What’s the fit, finish and fretwork like?

- Is the tone as good as the YT vids suggest?

- How noisy are the single coils?

I gather that they’re almost too good to be true at this price,

I had a 1st gen V7 Vintage 5, Ash body maple board. 

Mine was heavy. As it should be, it's a lot of wood. No idea of variance as I ordered online. It wasn't uncomfortable for long gigs though, and it did a few! 

B string was strong and full, not floppy, consistent volume with other strings. 

Fit and finish nearly as good as a Japanese Fender in my view, though didn't have quite the same quality of feel. It was far better than I expected at the price point though. 

The tone, and the possibilities with the pre are fantastic. As good as, if not better, than all the demos. There's something for everyone in there. 

I didn't find the pickups noisy. 

They are very, very good value. I regret selling mine. Only sold it because I felt guilty about the number of basses I owned and had spent a LOT on a new US Stingray. Still should have kept the Sire though because I'm still lusting after one, knowing how good they are. 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s all very helpful, thank you!

1 hour ago, Drax said:

There'll be a lot of opinion on here, popular basses. 

Owned few 1st and 2nd gen, also P7. Best for playability has been V3 2nd gen 5er by some margin. Luck of the draw but also the lightest of all Sires I've owned. 

Differences; Standard vs 'Super-J' pickups. Standard vs Premium tuners. Std vs Heavy Mass bridge. None of these to my ears move the dial. Also prefer the dots not blocks. 

Same pre amp. Same neck and body build. Identical finish , my V3 had the best fretwork of them all. 

For £320 it's the same bass day to day on sound and feel. Passive with flats as good as any MIA jazz I've owned. 

If you're set on the look of V7 go for it, but from what I've played that's really the only reason to spend more. 

 

Very interesting - I hadn’t considered that. Thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

I had a 1st gen V7 Vintage 5, Ash body maple board. 

Mine was heavy. As it should be, it's a lot of wood. No idea of variance as I ordered online. It wasn't uncomfortable for long gigs though, and it did a few! 

B string was strong and full, not floppy, consistent volume with other strings. 

Fit and finish nearly as good as a Japanese Fender in my view, though didn't have quite the same quality of feel. It was far better than I expected at the price point though. 

The tone, and the possibilities with the pre are fantastic. As good as, if not better, than all the demos. There's something for everyone in there. 

I didn't find the pickups noisy. 

They are very, very good value. I regret selling mine. Only sold it because I felt guilty about the number of basses I owned and had spent a LOT on a new US Stingray. Still should have kept the Sire though because I'm still lusting after one, knowing how good they are. 

 

Sounds - good. For me heavy would be over 4.6-4.7Kg. If it’s in the 4-4.5Kg range that’d be fine, plus I’d hope that the alder version might be reasonable. I have a set of Ultralites ready to go on, which will probably improve balance and shave ~300g off the weight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

Hmm the ability to return it with the duty/VAT issue has unfortunately put me off ordering from outside the UK. That is cheap, though!

Agreed the HB is amazing value and @horrorshowbass's link I suspect is going to end up me getting another bass that I hadn't planned on (see the Berg VM5 vs HB MP5 thread just started) but maybe saving £££'s on a Sandberg so I'm not sure whether my wallet is moaning or feeling happy right now! 😁

4 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

That’s looks astonishing for the price - basically £300!

Exactly! (And the MP5 is pretty much on for the same). At that price, it's worth a punt - if it doesn't hit the mark and you move it on for a 30% discount, that won't mean having to suck up a large loss in absolute terms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all, I plumped for the sparkle blue (Sire calls it lake placid blue but it looks more like a sea blue and appears to have a nice subtle sparkle to it (I am a sucker for block inlays, a bit of sparkle and a matching headstock). Due on Monday so fingers crossed it’s a good’un.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So the Sire arrived today. First impressions weren’t great as although Andertons had boxed quite well the inner sire box wasn’t sealed and th bass was hanging out the bottom! Luckily no damage (local DPD guys are pretty careful with parcels).

Onto the bass. The finish was a lovely subtle sparkle blue and the paint was near flawless - just a couple of tiny marks near the neck pocket and on the painted headstock as it joins the fingerboard. The board is ebony with some lighter steaks and blocks and binding are flawless, as is the fretwork. Nut is good - E and A string slots need to be filed down maybe 0.5-1.0mm, which I’m happy to do, but playable right out the box.
A quarter turn on the truss rod to straighten up the neck and it feels great to play. No need to adjust action or intonation. Neck pickup a little low on output but was too low so a quick tweak to raise it up a bit and all is good.

Pickups aren’t hum cancelling but aren’t noisy even panned to a single pickup unless you crank the treble and high mids. Overall output isn’t massively loud but the payoff is active and passive are almost identical in volume. Passive tone is great, eq flexible and it sounds like a proper Jazz. Not thin and wiry, but not woolly and poorly defined. The bridge pickup maybe doesn’t have exactly that 70s ash Fender bark but is really be splitting hairs as it’s very usable as-is.

Low B is really good - I mean as good as my Us Sterling 5 and is deport and clearer than any Fender 5 I’ve played or owned. A real surprise!

Downsides? Well the tuners weigh a ton - I popped one off and on the scale with screws and ferrule, 1 tuner weighs 125g! However I have a spare set of Ultralites that fit and will knock about 350g off the headstock, which is a good thing as it’s got quite serious neck dive when seated (but then all jazz 5s do because of the offset lower cutaway). I predict it’ll be 4.3Kg with the new tuners (it weighs about 4.6-4.7Kg out of the box), which is lighter than most of the rest of my collection. Bridge is fine but the stacked pots are a bit awkward - move the the top pot and the lower one moves too (although I think the bottom pot can be lowered, might just have been screwed in too high).

The finish inside the truss rod cutaway looks like it wasn’t quite sanded smooth before painting but that’s the only negative I could find with the finish overall, other than the two small marks I mentioned earlier. The main thing is overall the bass looks fabulous - but I did say I have a soft spot for sparkle, matching headstock and blocks and binding...

So, the verdict? Stunning. For £450 I’d have this over a US Deluxe/Elite Jazz 5 anytime. I even prefer the tone to the Sadowsky MetroExpress I owned and returned. 
When you look really closely at every detail It’s not as high end a finish as those basses (but it’s 99% as good) but the tone is every bit as good, if not better, B is great and it looks fantastic. Even the rolled fingerboard edges in the binding are well executed. Everything is well executed, no rough sharp corners of obvious evidence it was built to a price.
I’m well aware that at this price point you may get a duff one, but if this is representative of the average Sire, I can see why they’re selling like hot cakes. I’ve owned pretty much every high end bass out there (Ken Smith, Modulus, F Bass, MM, Warwick, Sadowsky etc) and if I had to take one bass to any gig, I’d take the Sire :)

Well done, Marcus!

Edited by FDC484950
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve only seen & played a Sire very briefly but I was very impressed with the quality of the instrument. It wasn’t plugged in so no idea of sound but the playability suggested a much larger price tag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Further update:

Nut

I’ll slightly temper my effusive praise as there was a bit more setup required. In the end I took between 1mm and 1.5mm off of the G, D and E strings and approx 2mm off the A string. The nut wasn’t terrible but it made playing in the first 3-4 positions unnecessarily difficult. it now plays really nicely - helped by the neck and fingerboard profile feeling just right. This is one area where they could perhaps improve as its critical to playability and the less experienced player may not be able/confident to file nut slots properly.


Setup

Setting up the bass to my taste was relatively straightforward. The bridge saddles are the more traditional Fender style rather than the large blocks previously used. The slots cut in the bridge to keep the saddles aligned are too shallow and don’t do their job, and for some bizarre reason the intonation screws are only just long enough (all 5 saddles were adjusted to correct intonation resulting in the screws being part-way through the saddles), but action and intonation adjustments are very easy.

 

Truss rod

The truss rod cut out is extended and the supplied Allen key fits without having to remove either pickguard or neck. Adjustment is easy and the stabilising rods either side of the truss rod do an excellent job of providing smooth and consistent neck adjustment. To get the neck relief to my preference (.012” at 8th fret with first and last frets on low B held down) took just over a half a turn to tighten, spread over a couple of days. The result is a buzz-free 1.5mm action at 12th fret G to 2.5mm at the B. The neck has a tight 9.5” radius so string to string there’s a noticeable height difference required at the bridge.

 

Fretwork

I don’t think I’ve ever played a bass sub-£1500 that didn’t need some kind of fret profiling, but the Sire seems just right out of the box (hence the low action). I can’t detect any high frets or the bump you often get with a bolt on around frets 14-18, and the binding and rolled fingerboard edges are smooth and consistent to the touch. It’s a real players’ bass.

 

Finish

As mentioned before, the painted finish on body and headstock are excellent, with just the inside of the truss rod cutout being a touch rough. In very close inspection there are one or two marks and slightly ragged bits of finishing (small dirty mark on the back of the neck, it’s a touch messy where the fingerboard joins the painted headstock) but overall very positive. Not up to £1000+ finishing but good enough.

 

Electronics and sound

The output is quite low for an active 18v circuit, but not gutless. Given that active and passive seem to be pretty much identical in volume, selecting the passive bass input on an amp works perfectly (and I’d rather have that than the massive volume drop to passive on a Fender Ultra/Elite, which isn’t much louder active than the Sire anyway). There is a bit of hum and sizzle with lights on (didn’t notice it in daytime with lights off), but not intrusive. EQ is flexible and powerful, but cranking does not lead to an unmusical sound. The passive tone control adds an extra dimension. The basic character is to me much better than any Fender active circuits and on a par with the Sadowsky, but with the extra flexibility of a mid EQ that’s also sweepable.

Most importantly it sounds just like a jazz bass should, and again that B string is excellent - really growls and has the same tone and character as the other 4 strings.

 

Balance

I got the weight of the Sire tuners wrong - re-weighing them, they are only 93g each. Nevertheless, fitting a set of Ultralites has shaved about 250g off the headstock and it’s made all the difference - a bass that was previously very neck-heavy is now well-balanced. If buying tuners for this bass I’d plump for the licensed ones as they’re half the price and the same weight (I had a set spare).


I hope this helps anyone considering a Sire.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

fitting a set of Ultralites has shaved about 250g off the headstock

That's still 8 ounces which sounds a lot. My one complaint with my V3 5er is the neck dive - an 8oz reduction would go some way to addressing this...

Off to eBay!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time a Sire thread gets started, my resolve gets slightly thinner....wish the did the roasted maple from the V5 with the active preamp... 😅 

Share this post


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

https://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Hipshot,_Licensed_tuners.html

You probably want the 1/2" clovers (HB6C) at 57g each.

The lightest are the 1/2" Y (HB6Y) at 50g each, but they won't look as good as the clovers (IMO).

For a five-string you'll need four bass tuners and one treble tuner. The bassdirect website isn't the most intuitive; bass and treble are on different pages.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BassApprentice said:

Every time a Sire thread gets started, my resolve gets slightly thinner....wish the did the roasted maple from the V5 with the active preamp... 😅 

They do but in the 10 series, double the cost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other small tip is that the housing of the ultra lite tuner is quite small, so be careful when lining up to drill pilot holes as it’s easy to end up with the tuner hanging slightly over the lip of the hole in the headstock. Ask me how I know! Fortunately the pilot holes were so small I could re-drill correctly...

Pic to follow tomorrow as obviously it didn’t happen without one 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

They do but in the 10 series, double the cost. 

And that's where I lose interest, the whole thing is the value for money, not the fancy finish. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say, it speaks for the quality, quick search of eBay/Gumtree and there are remarkably few used ones available. Considering these are on back order new it means they are being kept! 

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...