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Well im going to school, need a be all end all bass


bassarama19

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Im going to the university of Manitoba to get my B of A in music with the intent of teaching bass and doing some session work here and there. Ive gotten in touch with Steve Kirby leader of the jazz faculty and bassist, and me and him are going to create a course for me

 

my question is

I have a bunch of different basses ranging from a 4 string mexican fender to a 6 string custom fretless with alembic PU's in it. Im looking for something I can play on any gig, and something comfortable. I dont want another 6 string, but I really want the low B So im thinking of a 5 string fretted fender Jazz with passive PU's

http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0136600

 

or what about the American series one....

http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0193560

 

is it worth the extra cash

 

or what about the active PU's

http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0194680

 

Also how good is the B string? I want a bass with a good even tone from the low B all the way up the neck. Ive played 5 or 6 string basses with low B strings that get farty, dont sustain or are full of harmonic overtones and not enough fundamental pitch. Any help appreciated.

THE ace of bass
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I would think that any of those three Fenders would work. If you can, play all three types at a store. Pick the one you like the best.

 

Also, I believe all three have passive p'ups, just that the third one has an active preamp.

 

Some of the evenness across strings can be accommodated by carefully selecting string gauges. D'Addario has a handy chart about string tension on their website.

 

Another way to accomplish it is through varying scale length. Dingwall does it by having the fanned fret system and different scale lengths for each string. Some others do it by having 35" or 34.5" scale basses -- this doesn't help with evenness of feel across all 5 strings as much as it helps the low B feel tighter.

 

If you want this instrument to offer potential as "the one", then I would recommend trying only to buy one that you actually play, and really liked, rather than testing different models and ordering one -- which could show up at your door and not feel or play or sound as good as one that you tested.

 

If they made a 5-string BenLoy model, I'd vote for that! :D

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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The good news is that it seems to be getting harder to find crappy basses. It's also getting harder to overprice basses. As SW said, any of those would probably be great (although it's important to buy the token, not just the type). I'd also advise getting to as many shops as you can (I'm not sure what's available in Winnipeg; where I live, it's not so great, but tolerable), & trying as much stuff from as many makers as you can. (If I were in Canada, I'd be all over those Godins!) Don't let appearances, price tags, or brand names fool you. Buy what you like best for the money.
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Thanks for the help guys, I want a really good high end "working mans" bass but dont want to have to sell a kidney or an eyeball to get it. Ive always loved the way fenders sound and feel. Ive just needed a reason to plunk down some serious cash on a good one.
THE ace of bass
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I actually dont own a fretted instrument with a low B on it anymore. I have my fretless 6 wich I play mostly on my gigs. And after playing the fretless 6 going back to the fretted 4 is just so easy, I dont have to worry about extra string muting and intonation etc. However I need the low B string so I think a great fender 5 string would be an excellent compromise. Ive heard lots about sadowsky basses, im interested..... what scale length do they have for there 5 strings?
THE ace of bass
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I see that you're in Winnipeg. I have a friend there, and he's told me that the temperature range can be from 100 degrees in the summer to minus 50 in the winter. Based on that, I would definitely suggest that you get something with some sort of graphite reinforcement in the neck. It might help you quite a bit with the drastic change in the climate at your school.

 

I know one bass that Fender offers with that feature. It's my main bass, in fact. It's a Roscoe Beck V string. They also make it in a 4 string version, and both of them have a graphite reinforced neck. Oh, and it plays like a dream, too. I see that two of the instruments you posted have that feature as well. I'd check those out, definitely.

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Originally posted by Nicklab:

I see that you're in Winnipeg. I have a friend there, and he's told me that the temperature range can be from 100 degrees in the summer to minus 50 in the winter. Based on that, I would definitely suggest that you get something with some sort of graphite reinforcement in the neck. It might help you quite a bit with the drastic change in the climate at your school.

 

This is a good thought from Nick. You should look at the Roscoe Beck 5-string -- I've heard good things about it from other people besides Nick.

 

I think all the newer American Fenders have graphite neck reinforcement.

 

Also, if you go with a jazz style bass, think about whether you're concerned about single coil hum or not. You can, however, always replace pickups at a later date.

 

However, a MIJ BenLoy 5 would probably kick some serious butt. Alas, Fender hasn't developed it yet. ;)horse>

 

I think a Sadowsky Metro 5, as Jeremy has suggested, would kick some serious butt. Also, along with the Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn 5, you should see if the Lakland Darryl Jones 5 is on the market yet. Just some other J options for ya'.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Yes Winnipeg is almost smack dab in the middle of North America Geographically spaeking ;) Far away from any large body of water so there is no moderating effect, translation = extreme weather.

 

Frost bite occurs to exposed skin within 45 seconds in the winter time, and going for a brisk walk in the summer time without a water bottle is a great way to pass out from dehydration.

 

Im very weary of basses being shipped to me. And something else that troubles me is that Fender is notouriously bad for variability in there assembley line. I havent personally seen many (read:any) 5 string fender jazzes in Winnipeg, so I would probably have to order mine through a local dealer. Basically this boils down simply to me makeing the haul down to a couple different places in the city and inquiring and trying a couple different axes. I appreciate all of the help, and ill keep you updated in my search.

THE ace of bass
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Originally posted by Nicklab:

I see that you're in Winnipeg. I have a friend there, and he's told me that the temperature range can be from 100 degrees in the summer to minus 50 in the winter.

Ahaha your friend is a funny guy... I live in Winnipeg too. Temperatures are extreme but not THAT extreme. My instruments have survived quite a few summers and winters here, one of them without a single truss rod adjustment (besides changing string gauge).

Bassarama... L&M and Mother's usually have some Fender 5's in stock... I'd be interested to know how Steve and the U of M work out for you... it's something I've considered too.

Dave

P.S. check yer PM's bassarama

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Talk about extreme--I moved out here (Kansas) about 5 years ago from Arizona, in the summer; I came from wicked hot & dry, to wicked hot & humid. It can get well over 100 in the summer, and good-god-a-mighty-i-hope-my-pipes-don't-freeze cold & icy in the winter. I haven't done a THING to the neck on my Ric bass, since a few years before I left Arizona. Now THAT is stable. There's something to be said for good reinforcement & truss rod technology.

 

My MM Sterling just needs a very little tweak once or twice a year. That's good. As much as I love my BenLoy bass, it's neck does move a bit (and has to be removed to be adjusted!).

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The Sadowsky "Metro" basses , which are made in Tokyo, are probably the most professional-quality instruments you'll find in their price range.

 

Other makers I'd say are comparable are Ernie Ball and G&L.

 

Fender makes great instruments, but they're hit or miss...some of 'em are incredible, while some of 'em are...well...not incredible.

 

If you're limited to mail order, I'd recommend a Sadowsky Metro mainly because you're practically guaranteed to get a good instrument. Roger doesn't make "assembly line" instruments. His bodies and necks are outsourced, true, but his people in Japan (a staff of 5, I believe) carefully select the ones that end up as instruments, and they do the assembly, fretwork and preamp wiring by hand in small batches.

 

With that level of attention paid to each instrument, even though they're techincally outsourced to Japan, you can pretty much feel safe ordering one sight unseen. There are few other makers you can say that about that are charging less than $2500 for their instruments.

 

I don't own a Sadowsky Metro (I'm tryin' to make up my mind between a Metro or a Mike Lull right now), but for your situation I'd recommend a Metro without even thinking about. They're awesome.

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Originally posted by BenLoy:

I don't own a Sadowsky Metro (I'm tryin' to make up my mind between a Metro or a Mike Lull right now), but for your situation I'd recommend a Metro without even thinking about. They're awesome.

I was surprised to see a Sadowsky Metro hanging at the Guitar Center on 14th street at the most recent Low Down Lowdown get-together. I didn't try it out, but I admit I was almost shocked to see that someone had parted with one so soon. You never know what the circumstances are when someone decides to sell an instrument, but I think the Metro series hasn't been out all that long and it was strange to see one being sold secondhand already.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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