Ministar Basstar 5 travel bass
This is a great deal at around $200 US ! I have tried a couple of travel basses but this is by far the best, and the first 5 string I have found. It is available as a 4 or 5 string, fretted or fretless.
The bass comes with 3 detachable rods for playing sitting, or standing with a strap. The photo to the right shows the sit rod set up. I have modified these rods by adding foam bicycle handlebar grips.
To the lower right is a stock photo of the bass with the standing / strap rods.It is not possible to use the standing and seated rods at the same time. I usually play seated. The wood block that you see at on the rod at the bottom right of the lower photo is intended as an arm / wrist rest and moves freely along the rod as you play. It is a nice idea, but I found it a little awkward. The foam is much more comfortable and natural.
The action and set up on this bass was nice right out of the box and I have not found it necessary to adjust the bridge or the adjustable nut. I have tweaked the truss rod a couple of times for climate changes and it works well. The intonation is very good.
One warning - the holes for the strings on the bridge are not large enough to accept strings with silk wrapping at the ball ends. I was able to install Firewire strings with no problem and they are a great improvement over the stock strings.
The stock p/u is adequate but midrangy and lacking in lows and the pots are really flimsy. I had the pots and wiring upgraded and the control cavity shielded . A friend of mine here in Mexico, Russell Swider, installed a pickup he had made.
This makes a great practice bass as it is light and easy to handle. It has already paid for itself. It is so easy to carry and so unobtrusive that I took it out to a club when I would not normally have brought a bass along. I got hired to play that night and for a few more.
It also comes with a gig bag, strap and cable. If you need a hardshell case it fits into a gun case.