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Anyone here got vintage Musicman basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Jan 4, 2007.


  1. Hey, does anyone here have pre-Ernie Ball basses? How do you like them? Compared to current ones?
     
  2. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    I had a choice between an old one and a new one sometime ago.

    The first was a 1979 Stingray. The thing played ok but it sounded awesome. It was heavy as hell (almost 12 lbs.) and just wasn't extremely comfortable for me to play. It was the same way with all the other old Ray's I played.

    I also tried, and eventually chose, a 2001 Stingray. I like the body contours and the satin finish neck, plus the instrument was so well put together it was scary. I know that Ernie Ball's QC is light years ahead of most other companies and it really shows.

    When it comes to Stingrays, I'll take the new over the old anyday.
     
  3. Wow! I'd expect the complete opposite.
     
  4. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    Well it's just my humble opinion. I liked the sound of both..I would say that the older Ray maybe sounded a little better to me than the newer one. But to me, the newer ones have an almost identical sound and are constructed much better, so that's what really won be over.
     
  5. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Don't expect that. With the MM fanboys, for the most part people prefer the new ones over the old ones. The exception of some issues in the early 80's right before Ernie Ball bought Musicman, the newer basses are by far more consistent, in sound and build quality.

    Newer EBMM's are one of the few basses that I would not hesitate to buy used without playing. For the most part the only reason to own an old one is for the collectability, but its not like with Fenders where people think the 60's J basses sound better or anything.
     
  6. I used to think I preferred the old stingrays until I played a newer one with the 2-band preamp, turns out I just prefer the 2-band pre over the 3-band pre.
     
  7. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I own two 77's a 79 and a 92 5 string EB MM(all Stingrays)and I have played some heavy ones and light ones from pre EB to present,the main thing that I have noticed about the pre EB and present Stingrays is the consistency in EB capturing that classic original MM signature(overall)tone,a 2007 MM sounds very very close to the original MM Stingray and that says a lot.Ernie Ball is one of the few companies to ever obtain a company under new ownership and actually keep it continuously getting better which is what great companies should do.
     
  8. Crazykiwi

    Crazykiwi

    Sep 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I've got a 78 mongrel stingray and a 79/84 cutlass. The cutlass is very heavy but the stingray isn't too bad. The design of the original stingrays needed tweaking which Ernie Ball did when they took over the company - particularly where the bridge design was concerned. But jazz basses have their own idiosyncracies too. I bought the 78 just because I wanted something in natural ash which was heavily mojo'd but I'd agree with the opinions expressed on the EB stingrays, they're pretty consistent and good quality although I'd be more inclined to buy a mid to late 80's ray if one came up. They're very good value at the moment and have some nice woods like birdseye maple necks.
     
  9. I love my 77'..... but I also love my E.B. Sr5. But if I had to play any one of my 4 basses, my 77' is MY #1! Love the tone with the alnico pick-up, and that neck is like an old comfy pair of Levis'. But my Sr5, and all Ernie Ball basses construction wise in my opinion are da Bomb. Very consistent, and craftsmanship second to none!
     
  10. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Old Music Man basses are pretty rad, but the new ones are much better.
    hahaha awesome.
     
  11. wow, thanks for the input
     
  12. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    AL
    '78 coming my way. I'll let you know in about a week or so.
     
  13. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    +1

    I'll take a modern Stingray over a vintage any day. The electronics are identical (2 band to 2 band comparison) and the build quality of the modern ones is much higher, IMO.

    Gimme a new, white, fretless 2 band stingray. ;)
     
  14. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    I think the only thing the vintage Music Mans have over the new ones is the string through body design. Besides that, EBMMs seems far and away superior. More neck bolts, satin neck, even a better battery hatch.

    Graeme
     
  15. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    +1.

    I would love to get my hands on a vintage, but just for the coolness factor and mojo, but any year is equally good.
     
  16. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:
    I had a 1977 fretless Stingray.
    It was light for a Ray, under 9 lbs.

    Played and sounded great.
    I wish I still had it.
    Have never found one as good.
     
  17. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I always heard that pre EBs had neck twisting issues. True??:confused:
     
  18. Stox

    Stox

    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    When I've had a chance to AB old and new the new has always come out on top in the feel and construction department
     
  19. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I have yet to encounter that problem with any pre EB MM that I own.
     
  20. ajb

    ajb

    Mar 20, 2005
    I understand that the OP wanted a comparison between pre-EB and EB basses, but I want to digress for just a second and make the point that early EB basses (late eighties to early 90s) are to my mind much better than current EB basses. I have a '93 Stingray 5 that just smokes current EBs. I've said this before and many people have disagreed with me, but the new ones seem lighter, less resonant, and overall less substantial than the earlier EB models. The new ones just don't have the same amount of meat to each note. Give me a late 80s/early 90s EB bass over a current one any day.

    Flame on, my brothers!
     

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