Happy Birthday to me!! Yesterday, I decided to celebrate my birthday by buying a used 5-string bass. Cheap.
I'm working with the KXK 7-string again, but the problem was that I only had 4-string basses. Enter the MusicYo-era Kramer Baretta 522S. It's got 3-piece maple neckthru with alder wings, and 2 dual-rail humbuckers with a weird control system--5-way rotary switch, vol. for each pickup, and master tone.
The switch allows you to select between dual and single-coil options for either or both pickups. Frankly, the pickups sound best on humbucker settings. Not surprisingly (given the way it looks), it reminds me a lot of the '80s Jackson/Charvel neckthru basses. A very mid-rangy sound that goes better with humbuckers than a J-Bass setup. It does a pretty nice Geezer Butler imitation on the dual humbucker setting, and that is exactly what I wanted.
I'd think about changing to EMGs, but the pickup routs on this one are larger, the mounting would be more difficult, and the control cavity is small and might not have enough room for a battery. I prefer to record basses with passive electronics, anyway.
It plays nice, though the B string on it is a little floppy--may have to go up a few gauges. I haven't had the chance to change strings yet, though I might do so this evening and work on a bass part I've been meaning to get to.