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what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

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what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:23 am

i have quite a dilemma. i want to buy some bass effects, but don't want to spend too much money. i would buy the pandora px5d that dman uses, but i feel that it is too expensive for me now and it is way more than i need. but honestly, getting a new 5 string at roughly $150 (or a used one for potentially less) might be just as useful for me now as effects would, as i plan to eventually switch to a 5 string. however, i have only been playing bass for about 6 months, and most of the songs i have seen that are played on a 5 string are way too difficult for me to play right now. i suppose i don't truly need either, but i plan to eventually buy both, but not necessarily now. i have sold some stuff, so i can buy one if i want to. which should i buy: effects or a 5 string? should i buy anything yet due to my lack of my experience? should i buy something to help with my inexperience (i.e. some kind of helpful tool maybe, or something generally used a lot by other bassists that i should buy, etc.)? anything helps. thanks!

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:46 am

Well, if you want a fiver, then I would save up much more than $150. At that price the build quality and playability would be questionable. You should never feel that you're 'not ready' for a 5 string, if you want a low B, get that low B! Smile But obviously I recommend you spend more so you can get a really nice bass. I've read that the Squier Deluxe 5 Jazz bass is excellent and is good value, as it's a Squier. Here's a link: http://www.squierguitars.com/products/search.php?partno=0300575500

If you feel you want to use the many, many effects and features of the Pandora, then buy that. It depends on how you're going to use it though. I used to have a multi-effects but I barely used it that much because there was too much stuff on it. Now all I have is three dedicated single effects pedals, and I'm happy with that.

So, if you feel you want lots of effects, get the Pandora, if not, or if you want the B string more than effects, then get the fiver Smile

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  Aster on Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:02 pm

I'd say the 5 string

PS: ...I don't know how to use effects... silent

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:45 pm

but what are your guys' thoughts on my experience? like i said, i've only been playing for a little over months, which means i've only had my current bass for that same amount of time. should i already be getting another bass?
i think i've decided i'll get a 5 string if i buy anything at all. how much is that squier 5 string? it looks sweet, but i didn't see a price on that website. if i don't buy a jazz bass like that squier, what 5 string should i get? roughly how much should i save up for a quality 5 string in general?

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  akyra on Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:48 pm

zsquad wrote:but what are your guys' thoughts on my experience? like i said, i've only been playing for a little over months, which means i've only had my current bass for that same amount of time. should i already be getting another bass?
i think i've decided i'll get a 5 string if i buy anything at all. how much is that squier 5 string? it looks sweet, but i didn't see a price on that website. if i don't buy a jazz bass like that squier, what 5 string should i get? roughly how much should i save up for a quality 5 string in general?

Ive only been playing for a while too and Im deperate for a new bass.. My "knock off fender" just isnt doing it for me.

If you have the money dude go for it... but I'd save up to buy something amazine


Last edited by akyra on Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  BlackF89 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:10 pm

I'd be looking at doubling your budget, then thinking second hand, if I where thee

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:34 pm

so like 300ish for a used 5 string?

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  BlackF89 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:25 pm

yeah, you'll get a much better instrument then, it'll be better for you in the long run if you get something that is durable

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Alright. The squier looks nice, I might save up to buy that. What are some other basses I should look at?
Also, what's the differnce between a jazz bass and a not-jazz bass? I've never known the difference. Just curious. If I play a little of every genre but mostly punk and rock, what 5 strings should I look at?

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  BlackF89 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:49 pm

Smaz has done a decent summery of the differences with jazz and p basses

Smaz wrote:I was waiting for this topic Very Happy I've actually thought about doing one already on it, but here's the basics... Smile

First things first: NEITHER IS BETTER THAN THE OTHER ONE!

Ok, now that's out the way... Smile A few main differences:

Neck:

Jazz: The neck on the Jazz is quite thin, so the strings are fairly close together. This gives it what people call a 'fast neck', as you can quickly move around the neck - perfect for slap playing, and improvising etc.

Precision: This one is much thicker than the jazz, so the strings are further apart. If you have small hands you may struggle with it, but some people prefer the fatter neck. As the strings are further apart, playing with a pick is a little bit easier.

Body:

The two basses are very similar in terms of size. They both have cutaways near the neck, to allow you to reach all frets easily, without having to reach over the body.

The Jazz has an offset body, which (if I'm right) means that the middle of the bass, where the body curves in, don't align. I don't know of any major benefits of this, but it looks cool... Very Happy

Pickups: Probably the most important thing! Smile

Jazz: The Jazz has two pickups - one by the bridge, one closer to the neck. Because of this, you can control how much of each pickup is being used, and get a huge variety of sounds from it to suit the type of music your playing, or to whichever you prefer Smile Playing over the neck pickup gives a nice warm, almost soft sound. Playing over the bridge pickup gives a much more harsh & defined sound, as the strings have higher tension towards the bridge (and nut).

Precision: The precision has one pickup, which is split down the middle & are placed on top of each other, to form an almost 'Z' shape (just extend the two lines ^^). This means that you don't have as much variety over the sound, but it's one of the best sounds in the world... Smile It's a much more 'crunchy' sound I suppose.

Uses:

Well, what do you want to use the bass for? Rock? Metal? Funk? Reggae? Slap, fingerstyle or with a pick? While both basses are suitable for all genres you will find that...

NOTE: Both basses are suitable for ANY kind of music, with ANY tehcnique. The following is more my opinion, than facts.

Jazz: The fast neck & the pickups make it perfect for slap playing - quickly move around the neck & get a great funky sound from it. The closer string spacing also helps fingerstyle.

Precision: The string spacing makes it great for playing with a pick, while the sound can cut through anything - playing in a metal band, your sound won't be lost over those heavy guitars... Smile

I think that pretty much covers everything...? If you have any questions, just ask!

The main thing I suggest, is going & sitting down with them both in a shop. Try them, and try them again. Don't pick one based on what people say, pick one based on which one feels better, when it's in your hands Smile When I bought my Jazz, I went in there knowing I wanted a Jazz for the slap playing, funk etc. When I played them, I prefered the Precision, but still went with the Jazz as I had it in my head thats what I should have bought. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the Jazz... But I ended up going back a year later & buying a Precison Very Happy

I'll add some pics tomorrow too!

Smaz

king



The only things I have to add are Squier and Ibanez are decent budget brands that I've tried, I've heard the new Warwick Rockbass' are awesome but Dub on here had a bad experiance with them. Go to a music store and give a few basses a try... after that what I normally do is check ebay out for second hand ones haha Smile

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  Stryfer on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:52 pm

If your current bass is around the same price you mentioned ($150) then it's ok to upgrade after only a few months, that is if you're sure you want to stick with the bass.

The first bass I bought was the same 5 string I'm using today (3 years), it's an Ibanez GSR205 and it was roughly $300. Probably less today and depending on where you buy it. It's very good quality. Either I got lucky or it's just great, because I am able to get a sound for any song and fit in well in almost any situation. True I'm finding a few problems with the sound today, but those are just minor issues. I don't want to sound too much like a commercial, but it's a bass that will last for years.
Slapping will be an issue, but as my bass teacher said: "If you can slap on a 5 string, then you CAN slap."

As for buying effects, I wouldn't recommend multi-effect processors unless you really need them. For someone who is just looking to beef up or modify his sound, a few single pedals will do wonders and make everything a lot simpler.
When you find yourself in need of a change in sound (like a chorus, or overdrive/distortion, or a funky wah) buy a single effect and stick with it. Only after several years will you know if you truly are an effect freak.

Finally, I would suggest the bass. Despite what people say, playing a 5 string from the start isn't a bad thing. It challanges you and helps you improve faster and it also forces you to be more precise from day 1 (or in your case from half a year and on).
Unless you really need a certain effect for a song you're doing, go for the bass.

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:40 pm

Yea I have a gsr200 and I bought it used for $80 (not bad condition, it was just a good deal), so it's not really an expensive bass that I shouldn't already replace. I hear that the gsr205 has a pretty narrow neck, so I was probably gonna buy one with a little wider neck than that. I love my gsr200, so I wouldn't mind getting another ibanez, just maybe not a gsr205. I haven't tried out any 5 strings, so I guess it isn't truly ruled out yet.

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  Stryfer on Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:01 am

Yea, it has a narrow neck...but like I said - it'll teach you to be precise Very Happy
Plus, a narrow neck means less travel time and less time means more speed.

If you already have a GSR, than getting another one would be silly obviously Laughing

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:32 am

I like my gsr200, and gsr205's are pretty cheap. Like 250. The squier is like 325/350 new at guitar center at it looks nice too. I want to try out both, if I can. So you like your 205, stryfer? Does anyone here have that squier jazz bass mentioned earlier? It'd be great if I could get someone's opinion on that if I can

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:14 am

Have a quick search on Talkbass.com, all the bass snobs on there are raving all about it! From what I've read, I haven't found a bad comment on it

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:30 pm

huh i just looked on talkbass, and i didn't find too many people praising the deluxe 5 jazz but A LOT of people that hated squier in general. they said they are poorly made often and that the fretboard wood on the deluxe 5 jazz wasn't nearly as good as some others

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:52 am

I just got back from trying out some basses. They didn't have too many 5 strings, and I only had time to try out 3. The gsr305 (yes 305 not 205) was okay, nothing special. I didn't like the warwick (can't remember the model ha), I couldn't seem to get the right tone to sound right on different genres. I couldn't definitely see how they would be good for metal though. Lastly, I tried out the squier deluxe v jazz. It sounded great and the slap switch was nice, but the strings seemed loose. Especially the B. I'm just getting into 5 strings, so going in I didn't really know that the B was going to be so loose. But compared to the other 5 and 6 strings they had, it seemed loose. REALLY loose. So did the other strings on that guitar. Whenever I'd try to play finger-style on the squier I'd always get a clicking noise from the next thickest string (i.e. When I'd play the A string, my fingers would land on the E every time I strummed. Every A I played resulted in a muted slap sound coming from the E along with whatever I played on the A, which sounded horrible). And it was loud too. The other 5 strings resulted in this sound too, as does my current bass, but not of that magnitude. If I bought that squier, would there be a way to fix that clicking?

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:49 am

The fretboard on the Deluxe 5 Jazz isn't actually wood. It's ebanol Razz
26 pages of Deluxe 5 praise: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=374320

As for the floppiness, one way you can fix it is by replacing the strings with thicker ones; they'll have more tension. You may also want to adjust the action

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  akyra on Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:12 am

ooooo shiney

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  DubHertz on Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:41 am

Not sure if the Squire is fitted with Fender strings but I had some Fender strings on my Jazz bass and found the B string to be quite floppy so I ended adding a new string tree acress the B and E strings, this improved the tension a lot by forcing the string to have a greater downward angle toward the tuning peg. Funny thing is that afterwards I strung the bass with D'addario Chromes (flatwound) strings and there was no floppyness at all, so as Supermaximo says, change those strings.

Also most 5-String basses that that only have a 34" scale will suffer from floppy B-String-itis. Look for a 5 string with a 35" scale

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:56 pm

what are some 5 strings with a 35" scale?
yea i read somewhere that some people just replaced the strings right when they bought it. i was thinking about doing that. however, i have not replaced strings before either. what are some good bass strings that you wouldnt think would be floppy? dman recommends super slinkys, and i know they make a 5 string slinky pack, if those would work

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  BlackF89 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:58 pm

You'll have everyone telling you different strings, I personally prefer light gauge nickel ones.

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:04 pm

what is actually the difference among strings i figure different strings give different sounds, but which strings generally give which sounds?

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  BlackF89 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:20 pm

Well you've got roundwounds and flat wounds (I think there's halfwound too but ive never tried them). Rounds are bright and flats are dubby, also flats are very smooth that's why they're used on fretless' most of the time. Rounds tend to be the most common used, you can get steel and nickel ones steel ones are bright and long lasting (but sound a bit scooped), in my opinion, nickels are brighter and have more mids but don't last as long. As for gauge, light gauges are jazzy, and heavier gauges are more for metal or music where you want a dubby sound.

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Re: what to buy: effects or a 5 string?

Post  zsquad on Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:45 pm

How long do steel and nickel rounds last? Well I guess I should say how long do they last for you, and how often do you play? I'm sure it depends on how much you play them, I'm just looking for a rough time estimate between nickel and steel

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