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Bass of the Week: ESP E-II Stream SL-5

This week we’re taking a look at the ESP E-II Stream SL-5, a bigger variation on the bass model they debuted in 2014. The SL-5 is a five-string version with a 35-inch scale and larger body than its predecessors.

As part of the E-II series, the Stream SL-5 is built in ESP’s Japanese factory. Available in Deep Red Metallic Satin and Snow White finishes, the bass is built with a white ash body, three-piece maple neck, and an ebony fretboard fitted with block inlays. Its electronics include a pair of EMG40 pickups and an EMG BTC 2-band EQ with a mini switch control. The hardware features Gotoh tuners and a Hipshot A-Style bridge.

ESP E-II Stream SL-5 Bass Specs:

Body:White Ash
Neck:3Pc Maple
Fingerboard Radius:305mm
Finish:Deep Red Metallic Satin
Nut Width:46mm
Nut Type:Bone
Neck Contour:Thin U
Frets/Type:21 J
Hardware Color:Black
Strap Button:Schaller Straplock
Bridge:Hipshot A Style
Pickups:EMG 40P5, EMG 40J
Electronics Layout:Vol/Bal/Mini Switch(BTC)/EMG BTC 2-Band (Stack) EQ
Case:CSTREAMSL5FF (included)

For more info, check out the ESP Guitars website.

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Very pretty design. Nice to see something outside the usual mould. I’m always amazed how much bass design keeps to the originals of the 1940s and 1950s. In guitars even more so, there’s practically vintage-itis everywhere. So it’s nice to see designs with a purposefully different look. Even when the article doesn’t say so, much better higher fret access, and a sort of finger ridge seem to be key here. Too bad there’s not much in demos online, none for the 5 string and few for the earlier 4 string models.