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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Jan 4, 2007.
Hey, does anyone here have pre-Ernie Ball basses? How do you like them? Compared to current ones?
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.
Wow! I'd expect the complete opposite.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Old Music Man basses are pretty rad, but the new ones are much better.
wow, thanks for the input
'78 coming my way. I'll let you know in about a week or so.
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.
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.
I would love to get my hands on a vintage, but just for the coolness factor and mojo, but any year is equally good.
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.
I always heard that pre EBs had neck twisting issues. True??
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
I have yet to encounter that problem with any pre EB MM that I own.
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!