2012 Fender Deluxe Dimension Bass V vs. 2013-2015 Sterling by Music Man Ray34

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matt Mallet, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. Matt Mallet

    Matt Mallet

    Mar 13, 2021
    Hey everyone,

    So back in spring I had a chance to purchase a Ray34CA on eBay for a really good price and unfortunately got scammed (got my money back after about a month of the seller not sending the bass so at least there’s that), but since that time I’ve still wanted a good quality SBMM to get as close to that classic Stingray feel & sound without forking out a LOT of money.

    Recently been looking through the various online sale/trade sites and came upon what I think might be the best deal yet… a 2013-2015 SBMM Ray34 in what seems to be the Translucent White colorway with a hardcase for 650CAD. Am I crazy or is that deal too good to be true?

    Now, my problem is… I don’t have 600$ lying around, BUT I’ve got a bass that I can maybe offer up as a trade. A 2012 Fender Deluxe Dimension Bass V. I’ve been playing for about 7 years and have never had to part with a bass, but I’m actually considering it right now – it’s either that, or I try to save up as much money as fast as possible and keep my fingers crossed that someone else doesn’t pick this bass up before I do.

    Before I make any decision, I would like y’all’s opinions, pros & cons, etc. I have the chance to go try a brand new SBMM Ray34PB this weekend at Long & McQuade, does anyone have experience with the newer AND older lines of Ray34’s? Are they still the same basses? Has SBMM made any significant differences? Will testing the Ray34PB give me a good idea of what to expect and how to criticize the 2013-2015 Ray34?

    Any advice, opinions, comments and criticism is welcome! Thanks in advance :) here’s a few photos of the bass I’m looking at buying (2013-2015 Ray34), the bass I have (Dimension Bass V), and the bass I’ll be able to test out this weekend (newer Ray34PB).

    2197F25A-AB36-439F-984A-69E306CCFEED.jpeg F0E0A5EB-3EAA-4D52-A74A-E9E40437227D.jpeg 698BBCB3-7125-4731-88BA-0C04BC33AC5C.jpeg CA8AA01B-78B0-4459-9034-D03946D3BC94.jpeg 16AB1C8C-57D7-4237-88EF-9DB806D22F5C.jpeg image.jpg 2E211894-6B28-4E5E-ADED-2D689722F1E3.png
  2. Do you not like the Dimension for any reason?
    Do you not want to keep a 5?
    I believe your Dimension is MIM?
    What about the Ray34 draws you to get rid of the Dimension?

    I’ve played a couple of those Ray34’s from around the 2016-2018 years, and they seem to be pretty solid. I see that one in particular has the “better” of the off-shore tuning machines that can be swapped out with Hipshot HB-7’s. So that’s a plus…
  3. Matt Mallet

    Matt Mallet

    Mar 13, 2021
    There’s nothing in particular that makes me not like the Dimension as a whole – it’s a good bass. The thing is though, as much as I enjoy having a 5-string for that added versatility – I haven’t used it very much over the past year and a half, I’ve still used my 4 string JB a hell of a lot more. It’s tough, cause I prefer playing in standard tuning to keep perfect intonation – so any songs that are in drop D or other alternative tunings I’ve learned to play on my 5, which means I’d have to relearn a lot of songs and accept the downside of not so perfect intonation. Although, as much as I use it for songs in dropped tuning, I rarely use it for songs in standard tuning. If I know I’m gonna jam or play a gig where I’m playing songs in standard and drop I do everything I can to bring my JB along with the 5, if it’s not an option I put up with the 5 but it’s not very enjoyable when playing it like a 4 string.

    The Ray34 draws me in because unfortunately when I purchased the Dimension I was under the impression that it would sound and play like a Stingray (which, for those who don’t have experience playing both, it’s a very different feeling bass). From the reviews I’ve read and watched, the Ray34’s are almost a carbon-copy of the real Stingray’s – they just don’t have that “Made in USA” stamp of approval, but play just about as well. One person, if I recall correctly, made a very straightforward comparison: Ray4 series is roughly the equivalent of lower-tier Squiers, Ray24’s ≈ higher-end squiers, Ray34’s ≈ MIM Fenders, and EBMM Stingrays ≈ USA Fenders. If that’s the case, that Ray34’s are to EBMM Stingrays what MIM’s are to USA Fenders, they sound like a no-brainer.

    The Dimension is great. From experience, there’s things I love and things I don’t love about it. From what I’ve heard, the Ray34 is also great – it would be a similar feeling as when I compared my MIM JB to a USA JB (ironically, I actually preferred my MIM even though it’s way less expensive).

    So I’m stuck between a rock, a hard place and a third difficult choice: keep my 5 string which adds versatility, trade it which will lower my versatility a bit but potentially allow me to get a bass that will sound and feel closer to what I’m looking for in a single bridge humbucker pick-up bass, or save up 600$ as fast as I can and keep my fingers crossed that someone else doesn’t snatch this great deal before I do…
  4. Matt Mallet

    Matt Mallet

    Mar 13, 2021
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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