Product Description

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Artist AMSB5 Black 5 String Multiscale Bass Guitar

This latest addition to the Artist Headless range is certainly an eye-catcher! With a classy gloss-black finish, the AMSB5 is a mean-looking low-end machine. The bigger brother to the Artist AMB4, the ASMB5 features a 24-fret multiscale Purple Heart Fretboard over a Roasted Canadian Maple Neck. With a matte finish ensuring smooth runs up and down the fretboard, there will be nothing standing between you and lightning-fast runs, though the skill to perform them is unfortunately not included.

The headless construction makes for a shortened string length, which leads to immensely improved tuning stability when compared with a traditional bass. This has the added benefit of ameliorating neck dive, an issue that has plagued bass players for far too long! Headless basses in the vein of the AMSB5 are also considerably lighter... who knew the headstock made such a difference? This is further improved by the incredibly lightweight poplar body.

 With active pickups and a Belcat EQ-B3T active EQ, you'll be slapping and popping with the best of them, or sludging your way through the dark if that's more your speed.

The Tech Features

Brand: Artist

Model: AMSB5

Neck: Two Way Truss Rod, Scale Length - Treble Side 33" (838mm), Bass Side - 35" (889mm) 49.5mm Bone Nut, 24 Frets, Purple Heart fingerboard, Canadian Roasted Maple Neck

Fingerboard Radius: 1534” (400mm)

Machine Heads: Black Chrome

Body Wood: Poplar with Basswood Veneer

Pickups: Active

Controls: 2x Volume(Balance and Master), 3x Tone

Included Accessories: Neck adjustment Allen Key, Guitar Lead, 2 x Picks

Colour: Black


Reviews (1)

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Superb value

By: on 4 January 2024
Okay, it’s not like I needed another 5-string bass (just ask my wife!)— I already have five of them (a Schecter, a couple of Fender Jazzes, a Yammy and an Artist VHYB5). But I’ve long been intrigued with the possibilities of fanned fret (multi-scale) units, the problem always being that they run between $1.5K and $4K in Australia, and my curiosity simply didn’t extend to those prices. However, a couple of weeks ago, I was browsing the Artist site (which I do regularly), and came across this AMSB5 for around $500. My past experience with AG has been consistently good — I’ve bought an awful lot of Artist gear over the past 10 years, including basses and electric and acoustic guitars, and the quality has been very good, and the value-for-money outstanding. So, trying this unit was a no-brainer. ….. UNBOXING: Adequately protected in a solid cardboard box with suitable cushioning — courier didn’t manage to break anything! ….. ACCESSORIES: Nice to see three Allen keys provided — one for neck adjustment, one for action height, and one for string changing. (Better than Fender and Schecter in that regard!) There was also a budget guitar lead, and a couple of picks to add to my collection of hundreds thereof. No documentation provided, although I’d imagine anyone buying such a bass probably knows how to do set-up tasks. ….. FINISH: Exceptionally good. I’ve bought AG guitars before, but this one even bettered past units. Immaculate finish, nice fretwork with no rough edges, etc. ….. SET-UP: Action, for me, was just right — didn’t need to raise or lower it. (Your mileage may vary.) Intonation was reasonable, although three of the five strings were a little sharp at the 12th (easily adjusted). ….. CONTROLS: There’s a Volume, Balance, and the usual three Tone controls. The battery recess on the back was readily accessible, and the supplied (9v) battery easily inserted. ….. PLAYABILITY: Relatively lightweight (particularly as compared with my other Artist 5-string (a VHYB5), which weighs a tonne. No hint of neck dive. Fitted some Schaller straplocks and a leather strap, and it was good to go. Fits in a standard bass hard case with room to spare. Getting used to the fanned frets takes a little work, particularly if you’re continuing to play a standard 5-string as well — just have to watch where your fingers are! Probably more of a problem if you’re playing chords, especially high up the neck, where the fret fanning is more pronounced. ….. SOUND: Tried through my two main amps — a MarkBass MB58R CMD 102 Pure, and a Fender Rumble Stage 800. Plenty of variation possible, ranging from bright and sharp, through to dull thump, so you’ll probably find what you need. (I’m just using an MXR M87 compressor and a Boss EQ-200 on my board.) ….. OVERALL: Look, I thought long and hard (well, okay, for 10 minutes anyway) before ordering the AMSB5 — brand new product, so would it have design or manufacturing issues? In the end, I figured I could just return it if it didn’t meet expectations. As it turned out, it was surprisingly impressive, and will definitely be in regular use. As for the purported advantages of fanned frets, all I can say is that the sound of the lower “B” is worth the price of admission — on my other 5’s, there’s a subtle tone change when you run down from higher strings and hit the “B”, whereas such a run on the AMSB5 sounds like you’re just continuing on the one string. (I suspect such an advantage probably applies more on 5-stringers than 4’s, which is perhaps why AG has so far opted for multi-scale only on a 5.) The bass as delivered comes with (by my measurement) 45-130 roundwound strings, which is pretty standard for a 5-stringer, but I plan to swap these out for flatwounds in future when I ferret out a flatwound set that’s long enough. Oh, and I love the precise tuning you can get with the tuners down at the bridge end. ….. At around $500, is this as good as an Ibanez multi-scale for 3+ times the price, or a Dingwall at 6-8 times the price? I wouldn’t know, as I wouldn’t spend that much, but I sincerely doubt they’re 3-8 times “better”. Of course, the 2” scale change from high string to low string (33-35) is smaller than on, say, an Ibanez (34.5-37) or a Dingwall (34-37), so it’s probable that the expensive units have more of the multi-scale special sauce. ….. Nonetheless, Artist Guitars, you’ve done it again, with superb value-for-money in a quality build. For that reason, unquestionably 5 stars.

Artist Guitars Response
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