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Author Topic: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!  (Read 7372 times)

Offline DWBass

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String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« on: December 29, 2006, 12:58:55 PM »
I have now begun my quest for the perfect 5 string bass for me. I've decided I prefer 34" scale necks, active electronics and user friendly aesthetics (Fender Jazz shapes, Peavey Millenium shapes, etc.) I desire string spacing in between wide and narrow! 18mm, 19mm are too wide for me. Ibanez SR's are a bit too narrow. What basses have a nice in between spacing? I would say 16mm-17mm spacing! I was lloking at a Warwick Stage Streamer and saw that they come in 20mm!!!! Wow, that's wide! If they made one with 16-17mm spacing, I'd be all over it!
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Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 01:46:26 PM »
While these may not be considered to be high-end instuemtns, I beleive that the American Dlx. Jazz V and StingRay 5 both use 17mm string spacing.
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Offline BigFoot_BigThumb

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 03:06:35 PM »
Conklin allows you to choose your spacing with their custom-built basses.  You can choose from 15 to 19 mm spacing.  They even have neck lengths from 35" to 31" available.  The 5-string starts at $4200 with a ton of standard/no-charge options.  Don't know if you want to go the custom made-to-order route, but they've got it for you.  That's why I like them so much.  If you want to read up on them check it out.  Once you're in, click on the custom shop icon......


www.conklinguitars.com

Also did some quick research and read that Roscoe, Modulus, and Alembic are around 16-17 mm as well.  You also may want to see if some of these companies can give you that spacing with out charging you an arm and a leg for it.  You may be surprised how reasonable they may be.  I was gonna buy a production Conklin once and I wanted an oil finish on it and Bill Conklin himself told me  that he would disassemble it for me and wet sand it down to get all of the laquer off and give me that finish.  I call that a pretty good price.  Only reason I didn't get it is because when I finally ordered it from the retailer, it was on backorder so I cancelled the order and got something else.     

Oh, you may want to heck these cats out too.  they sell a lot of high-end stuff.  some of the prices are a little inflated, but they got good stuff.  Good luck

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Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 04:13:22 PM »
Well, I've set my $$ limit to about $1500 so I may be looking at Fender Deluxe 5's! I'm not too thrilled with their B strings so I'll be doing a whole lotta testing. I'll also be on the lookout for American made Peavey Milleniums!
"Never Leave Home Without Your Groove On" :)

Offline BigFoot_BigThumb

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 04:34:20 PM »
Well, I've set my $$ limit to about $1500 so I may be looking at Fender Deluxe 5's! I'm not too thrilled with their B strings so I'll be doing a whole lotta testing. I'll also be on the lookout for American made Peavey Milleniums!

Have you ever looked into Warmoth basses?  Basically you can build your own bass to your own specs with very nice materials at a fraction of what major companies will inflate the price on.  If anything, you could find a bolt-on neck and bridge in the spacing you seek and put it on your present 5-string.  They have Fender-licensed parts.


www.warmoth.com





I was gonna buy a production Conklin once and I wanted an oil finish on it and Bill Conklin himself told me that he would disassemble it for me and wet sand it down to get all of the laquer off and give me that finish.  I call that a pretty good price. 

  I left out that Bill said he would do this for me for just $150.  My bad.
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Offline Steelpulz

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 05:44:30 PM »
I Llike Conklins also!!
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Offline carlmack7183

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 10:08:06 PM »
With a $1500 limit I would also look at the Fender American Jazz Roscoe Beck V (if you go this route, get a good professional set-up and that will make the B-string tighter and more solid). I would also look at the Lakland Skyline  (my next major purchase, and you wont have any set up problems with the Lakland)

http://www.musiciansbuy.com/FENDER_ROSCOE_BECK_BASS_V__FREE_0196500-000KIT.html


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lakland-Skyline-Deluxe-5502-5String-Bass?sku=517707&src=3WFRWXX

Offline play4zero

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 11:03:32 PM »
Have you considered a G&L 2500 American made unit.  Very nice.  The neck shape almost forces you to have good technique.



the Lakland is a 35" scale and also has very wide string spacing (which I like).
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Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 08:04:06 AM »
I owned a Lakland Skyline 55-01 and traded it away. The spacing was 19mm, way to wide for my taste and I hated those thin mandolin type frets! I may try a G&L but I also desire a bass with a basic 2 or 3 band eq. Not really interested in all the switching options typical on a G&L. The neck and string spacing are attractive though. I just bought a Peavey Millenium AC BXP 5 string just to use as a beater bass to hold me over until I get my really good bass and I can't believe the quality of this bass in relation to it's price! Less than $400! If I can find a USA made millenium in near mint condition, that may be just what I'm looking for. It's 34" scale and the string spacing is perfect! Not too wide and not too narrow! A nice comfy medium!
"Never Leave Home Without Your Groove On" :)

Offline Andrzej

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2007, 02:40:16 PM »
I dunno what I prefer.  I like both narrow and wide string spacing for different reasons.  I like wider string spacing for slapping, but I find myself more agile (i.e. soloing) with narrow string spacing.  I owned an MTD 535 for a short time and that had 19mm string spacing and was 35" scale.  The low-b was very tight, but that was the only advantage I could make out.  The neck is incredibly comfortable which made it easier for the extra finger stretching I had to do due to the wide string spacing.  I think that is quite important when buying a bass with a wide string spacing...comfort.  I have played many basses with wide string spacing that were quite simply painful to play (and that is coming from a guy with very long fingers!).  My Warwick 5-strings are both 16.5mm I think, which is pretty narrow.  I don't like the feel of the 20mm wide string spaced models (Broadnecks as Warwick markets them as).  Warwick can't make me an 'inbetween' spacing because of machining restrictions.  My ideal spacing would be 17.5-18mm.  I'm still waiting to find a company that can do that for me.

DW, if you like the Warwick Streamer but you can't swing with the Stage I model being that it is a Broadneck model then I would recomend the Stage II model which has a narrow spacing.  I have a custom built 5-string that is awesome.  The standard model is quite a tone monster in its own right and for a high end bass it definately does the business, as you would expect.

One of the most user friendly 5-string basses that I have ever played on is the Music Man Stingray.  They play great, sound great, look great and retain their value pretty well.  I think is the perfect starting point if you want to upgrade to high-end basses.  I would try to find a 2nd hand model in good condition that was built between 1990-1994 with a birds-eye maple neck.  The quality of the basses dropped off after this period...they stopped using the birds-eye maple and the wood selection and build quality has never been the same after 1994ish.  You often find one in good condition on Ebay going for about £750-£1000 (thats about $1650-$1900).  Brand new, they are still pretty good and hard to beat with all the other basses out on the market for the same price, but I would no longer say that they are a high end bass anymore...not like they were considered 15yrs ago.

Another thing to consider when buying a high-end bass is the re-sale value.  Afterall, you can spend a heck of a lot of money on a great bass, but also lose a lot if you want to sell it on.  You have to treat your instrument as you would with a car.  How quickly will it de-apreciate?  What is the general appeal for the instrument?  Is it made by a well known company?  Will it be used in a sweaty night club 5 nights a week or will it be a home or studio instrument?  All these things have to be considered.  For example...my Warwick Custom Dolphin has a trade retail price of £2550 and I know that I willl only get a best re-sale price of around £1750...even in mint condition.  From the day that you buy a brand new high-end instrument (especially custom made) you can knock off at least 25% of the trade retail price that you bought it for on the very first day that it is in your hands.  On a similar note, the same principles apply to buying vintage instruments.  I could have kicked myself really hard a few years ago when I sold my Fender 73' Fretless P-Bass.  First off, I had no idea that they were quite rare (Fender didn't make many fretless P-Basses back then) and I also made the mistake of installing an EMG electronics package and selling the pickups to a local tech.  I could have sold that bass for over £2000 to a collector (a heck of a lot more than I bought it for) and only because I sold the orignal pickups I lost £1000 on the collectors price!  You have to treat your instrument as investment to possibly buying or trading for another bass and it can be a fruitful experience or a very painful one.  It might be an object of desire for you and might serve you very well, but you also need to have a business head on your shoulders too. At the end of the day, you will always have to spend money when buying a new bass...even if you part-exchange, but limiting your losses takes a lot of careful thought and research.

I know I added a lot more that I needed to for this post, but I thought that this could help anyone on LGM considering upgrading into the high-end market.

Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2007, 03:23:30 PM »
With a $1500 limit I would also look at the Fender American Jazz Roscoe Beck V (if you go this route, get a good professional set-up and that will make the B-string tighter and more solid). I would also look at the Lakland Skyline  (my next major purchase, and you wont have any set up problems with the Lakland)

http://www.musiciansbuy.com/FENDER_ROSCOE_BECK_BASS_V__FREE_0196500-000KIT.html


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lakland-Skyline-Deluxe-5502-5String-Bass?sku=517707&src=3WFRWXX



A lot of people have had good things to say about the Roscoe Beck V.  Most even found the B-string to be quite satisfactory (so whatever they did on that bass, they need to apply it to the Delxue J and P 5's).
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Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2007, 03:51:47 PM »
Thanks for all the replies and insight. I will find that perfect bass one day. I'm sorta on a quest for a USA Peavey Millenium. I don't know why I overlooked these basses over the years but had I known, I'd have bought one years ago! It's too bad Peavey doesn't do USA's (except the custom Cirrus line) anymore! The G&L's are attractive to me as well. I would just have no use for all the p/u switching options. Do they do custom eq options? Gotta investigate. I also desire 9lbs or less!
"Never Leave Home Without Your Groove On" :)

Offline Andrzej

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2007, 09:14:44 PM »
A lot of people have had good things to say about the Roscoe Beck V.  Most even found the B-string to be quite satisfactory (so whatever they did on that bass, they need to apply it to the Delxue J and P 5's).

Yup, definately my fav 5-string Fender...great bass! 

Offline play4zero

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2007, 11:43:02 PM »
I owned a Lakland Skyline 55-01 and traded it away. The spacing was 19mm, way to wide for my taste and I hated those thin mandolin type frets! I may try a G&L but I also desire a bass with a basic 2 or 3 band eq. Not really interested in all the switching options typical on a G&L. The neck and string spacing are attractive though. I just bought a Peavey Millenium AC BXP 5 string just to use as a beater bass to hold me over until I get my really good bass and I can't believe the quality of this bass in relation to it's price! Less than $400! If I can find a USA made millenium in near mint condition, that may be just what I'm looking for. It's 34" scale and the string spacing is perfect! Not too wide and not too narrow! A nice comfy medium!
If you liked the Peavey, check out a Cirrus.  Those are excellent instruments for the price, particularly the used ones.  For that matter, if you like what you've got, who cares if it's a cheapy?
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Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2007, 05:35:00 AM »
I asked on the Peavey forum why they no longer make the USA models and he said they could no longer afford to build them here. But I asked why 'dumb' them down? They could still make high quality instruments using quality hardware. I initially bought the Cirrus and I didn't like the pickup placement. A bit too close together and it's also 35" scale. I prefer 34" scale necks. I probably would have kept it if it didn't have a buzz in the neck. I ended up sending it back. The neck and dimensions of the Millennium are exactly what I'm looking for in a 'pro' bass. Doesn't unnecessarily have to be a Peavey but if I could find a used USA Millennium in mint or near mint condition, I'll jump on it!
"Never Leave Home Without Your Groove On" :)

Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2007, 09:22:48 AM »
The Washburn USA made XB925 is attractive to me. I just need to check the string spacing but I'm used to narrow string spacing anyway.
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Offline BigFoot_BigThumb

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2007, 11:52:44 AM »
Have you looked into the Warwick Thumb basses?  Those necks are pretty narrow.  Might be perfect for you.   All of the Warwick 5 and 6-string bolt-on spec out at 16.5mm.

If you haven't been on the website, here it is......www.warwickbass.com
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Offline DWBass

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2007, 12:18:40 PM »
I don't like the Warwick body shapes (except the Stage Streamers) or their necks! I've tried out a few and they just didn't do it for me. I did try out that Washburn a few years back and remembered it feeling really nice in my hands. I need to find another to try out.
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Offline MikeGee

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2007, 03:44:58 PM »
I don't like the Warwick body shapes (except the Stage Streamers) or their necks! I've tried out a few and they just didn't do it for me. I did try out that Washburn a few years back and remembered it feeling really nice in my hands. I need to find another to try out.

Out of 8 different Warwicks only one bass felt good in my hands it wasn't a Thumb I beleive it was a Streamer.

Offline jeremyr

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Re: String Spacing question for those with high end instruments!
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2007, 05:04:17 PM »
honestly 19mm isn't that bad.

I believe that my schecter stilleto studio 5 has 16.5 or 17mm spacing and at first switching to the BTB with the 19mm spacing threw me off, but within a day I was back to my normal groove.  It hasn't slowed me down and it actaully allows for cleaner slapping.
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