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Is there a 5 string, 19mm spacing, 35", 24 fret, lightweight bass with a P bass type tone?


SumOne
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4 hours ago, SumOne said:

Is anyone aware of a Bass that fits this description:?

  • 5 string
  • 35"
  • 19mm spacing
  • 24 frets
  • Lightweight (or at least not a back breaker)
  • Tone: I guess it'd be described as P bass type tone - not bright and modern 'hi-fi', mostly to play stuff like 70's Reggae and Funk and 60's Motown, big solid thumpy low mids, fingerstyle, there won't be intricate tapping going on and no need for any clanky plectrum riffing. I use tapewound strings at the moment which I really like. If it's got active EQ then a mid control would be good but I mostly play in passive.
  • Price: Up to £1,500 

 

My passive Mike Lull PJ5 fits that description exactly. . . . and it's 3 tone burst, with rosewood and tort. With flats and foam it's a perfect Soul machine. Take the foam out and it slots into any genre. I bought it used, 10 years ago, in unplayed condition. It's 8.6lb weight is very playable, even on long gigs. I fell on my feet with this one.

 

There have been some fantastic basses in the classifieds lately. I'd check the adverts out for a few months before I'd consider buying new.

Edited by chris_b
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1 hour ago, SumOne said:

Bass Direct have given a fair estimate for the Sandberg TM5 SL part-exchange so perhaps by the end of the weekend I'll be the owner of a Bass that has 1mm wider strings, 1" longer scale,  two more frets, and a mid EQ.....marginal gains!

Hey, if that’s what you want, that’s what you should get. There’s nothing to beat actually going to a store and trying different basses. However, I know you have your criteria, which I have just endorsed, but don’t be blinkered into not trying something if it catches your eye or is suggested. You might find that you’re willing to compromise on one of your requirements if a particular bass just ‘speaks to you’ and it’s no skin off your nose if still isn’t right, you can always go back to your requirements. You’ll be in a bass emporium, go mad, take your time, but don’t feel that can’t leave empty handed, you can always go back.*

 

 

*This was all typed as pretty much a stream of thought, so I hope it makes sense.

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37 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Hey, if that’s what you want, that’s what you should get. There’s nothing to beat actually going to a store and trying different basses. However, I know you have your criteria, which I have just endorsed, but don’t be blinkered into not trying something if it catches your eye or is suggested. You might find that you’re willing to compromise on one of your requirements if a particular bass just ‘speaks to you’ and it’s no skin off your nose if still isn’t right, you can always go back to your requirements. You’ll be in a bass emporium, go mad, take your time, but don’t feel that can’t leave empty handed, you can always go back.*

 

 

*This was all typed as pretty much a stream of thought, so I hope it makes sense.

 

Yeah, I really don't 'need' a new Bass and am actually quite happy with my current one and I'd be fine keeping it - it's just I've found that there are these small things that I think would make a Bass perfect for me. I'll certainly stay a while at Bass direct and try a lot out, it's good there that I've never experienced anything resembling a sales pitch- just get handed the Basses I ask for and get left to it.


I've generally bought second hand or ex demo and always sold/exchanged my previous Bass so it's never been a huge financial hit (but they have gradually got more expensive as I get more spoilt). The way I sell it to myself is that good Basses don't really get worse with age, they hold their value so it's basically an investment on something I'm going to play for possibly 1000's of hours over years so I might as well try to get as close to perfect as I can afford - if I go off it or get skint it can probably be sold for similar.

Edited by SumOne
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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

 

My passive Mike Lull PJ5 fits that description exactly. . . . and it's 3 tone burst, with rosewood and tort. With flats and foam it's a perfect Soul machine. Take the foam out and it slots into any genre. I bought it used, 10 years ago, in unplayed condition. It's 8.6lb weight is very playable, even on long gigs. I fell on my feet with this one.

 

There have been some fantastic basses in the classifieds lately. I'd check the adverts out for a few months before I'd consider buying new.

 

Nice, the Mike Lull PJ5 looks like a great Bass.

 

I mooch about the Bass classifieds so will keep my eye out but generally with Basses I've gone to shops as I like to try out lots side-by-side for a few hours rather than travelling around the UK for private sales of individual basses that I can't directly compare.  Added bonus with bass direct is that they give decent part-exchange prices so it does away with any faff of selling my only Bass privately beforehand to raise the cash (or getting desperate to sell quickly to pay off the credit card after getting a new one). 

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3 hours ago, SumOne said:

I don't think I'd be leaving Bass direct with the same Bass I went in with:

 

image.thumb.png.4b6210045149ef959cd8f588c69f9178.pnghttps://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/MTD_AG5.html

 

That's a beaut and also fits the wishlist of 5 string, 19mm spacing, 35", 24 fret, 3 band EQ (not sure about weight though), and is £1 under maximum budget!

 

 

That's lovely!

 

I don't like 35 scale or I'd have one on my wish list. Andrew Gouche is a phenomenal player.

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I went to Bass Direct today and must have tried about 20 different basses.

 

I went in knowing I had a good part exchange offer for my Sandberg TM5 SL so I fully expected to leave with a different Bass.....but I'm going home with the same Sandberg! 

 

Turns out that 35", 19mm spacing, mid eq and 24 frets are all things nice to have (which I still kind of wish the TM5 had) but they don't make much difference and the TM5 SL wins on comfort/weight and tones so is staying. 

 

Edited by SumOne
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54 minutes ago, SumOne said:

I went to Bass Direct today and must have tried about 20 different basses.

 

I went in knowing I had a good part exchange offer for my Sandberg TM5 SL so I fully expected to leave with a different Bass.....but I'm going home with the same Sandberg! 

 

Turns out that 35", 19mm spacing, mid eq and 24 frets are all things nice to have (which I still kind of wish the TM5 had) but they don't make much difference and the TM5 SL wins on comfort/weight and tones so is staying. 

 

Well done that man! It takes a lot of inner strength to do what you’ve achieved. When taken by the GAS, it’s all too easy to get carried away and ‘have’ to leave with something, I’m certainly a victim of those feelings. Maybe what you need is something that is massively different, not a tweak on something you already have. I’ve just discovered (well in the last 12 months) short scale basses and their complete difference has affected my perception of what I want from a bass, both in terms of feel, weight and tone, quite a bit. Keep us posted on any developments.

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18 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Well done that man! It takes a lot of inner strength to do what you’ve achieved. When taken by the GAS, it’s all too easy to get carried away and ‘have’ to leave with something, I’m certainly a victim of those feelings. Maybe what you need is something that is massively different, not a tweak on something you already have. I’ve just discovered (well in the last 12 months) short scale basses and their complete difference has affected my perception of what I want from a bass, both in terms of feel, weight and tone, quite a bit. Keep us posted on any developments.

Thanks, yeah I spent a while with an unmarked fretless 4 string that almost felt like a new type of instrument - was good but I figured it'd be a few of years practice to play well. 

 

The MTG AG5 had an excellent neck and string spacing, the tones I was getting from it weren't quite what I'm after though (and there seemed to be some issue with the preamp picking up electrical interference type noises and humming), and it's a bit heavier and more cumbersome than my TM5 and would've cost me a few hundred £ extra so I wasn't sold on it. 

 

Nothing else seemed much of an upgrade either -  the Rickenbacker's strings felt a bit close and clanky, old P and J's felt heavy and un-balanced (and usually lacking a 5th string!), Thunderbird types look cool and play okay but don't balance well sat down, Dingwall don't have pickup blend, the music man Basses all seemed good and were the closest I got to a trade. I did stay clear of the £3k Mike Lull and Sadowsky and Dingwall custom type Basses though, I'm sure they would've been an upgrade but I knew I couldn't afford them. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

For anyone with the same shopping list as me, the Ibanez BTB 845 (& 745 & 1835) seems to also fit the criteria of:  5 string, 19mm spacing, 35" (and 47mm nut), 24 fret, and they are reasonably priced.

 

The numbering is a bit confusing but basically go from 'standard' BTB845  and BTB765 which I think are only really different as far as fingerboard and the top, or quite a big price hike to get the 'premium' versions like the BTB1835 for £1,350 with better spec & gig bag. Confusingly, the BTB 845V is quite different with 17mm string spacing and 33" scale.

 

I'm not sure about their weight but the Ibanez SRMS805 I owned was light and sounded good and I think had the same Bartoloni BH2 pickups and preamp (the 3 way mid-frequency switch is great), main downside of that for me was the tight 16.5mm string spacing (again, it aparently it's adjustable - but I never found all strings could all be adjusted equally very much without slipping off the fretboard). 

 

.....I'm not sure if it'd actually be an improvedment over my Sandberg TM5 SL but it potentially has advantages for me of slightly wider string spacing, 24 frets vs 22, 3 band EQ with 3-way mid selection (vs 2 band). 

 

BTB845 (£843 at Thomann)

image.thumb.png.de4f0551e18da6fec9e19325e227d3f7.png

image.png.23f16f878772723e90f4a1b67aaab67c.png

 

BTB765 (£773 at Thomann)

image.png.7e625865c2962ce8786d2f32b7f6fbc8.png

Edited by SumOne
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