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apples and oranges (RB5 vs. SR5)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by G, Oct 20, 2000.


  1. G

    G

    Apr 12, 2000
    MI
    At long last, here is my review. Let the record show that there are individual reviews of each bass in the reviews section of this page. This post will be devoted to as complete a comparison as I can provide.

    Comsmetics - The StingRay is beautiful bass, as is the Roscoe Beck. I think that the SR5 is a little more subtle, with the sunburst and black pickguard. The sparkly teal and white pearloid of the RB5 is a little more flashy. Both finishes seem to be applied with extreme care, and there is no eggshell on either bass. However, the gloss on the SR5 just seems deeper, and is richer to the touch. The finished headstocks on both basses complement them well, as do the large vintage spec tuners, but again, the SR5 seems to have a little more luster to it. Again, both basses are simply beautiful. The compare well. The birdseye maple on the SR5 is manificient, and catches the stage lights well. In a picture, the fretboard looks as if it has sparkles on it. The pao ferro of the RB5 has a nice dark stripe that runs the entire length of the board. It is very attractive, but under the lights, it just looks like another rosewood fretboard. Both basses have a complement of knobs and switches, and both sport large pickups, the RB5 having two. These are simply two different, but beautiful machines. Personal preference? SR5

    Construction - Tanks. Very simple. These basses are tow of the most solid that I have ever seen. The weight and large neck of the RB5 add to its substantiveness. However, the neck joint, while the tightest I've ever seen on any Fender product, is not as tight as the joint on the SR5. Both necks are attached with 6 bolts. Both are ungodly stable. Inside, outside, hot, cold, dry, wet. Whatever. The bridges are equally massive, with the SR5's piece being of the vintage variety, and thus not as adjustable as the RB5's Gotoh. The hardware on both basses was seated well, no wiggles, but the knobs, and especially the 3-way switch on the SR5 felt more stable and smoother to my hand. However, I really appreciate the fast tone changing options that the RB5 provides. THe 5 knobs of the SR5 can we a little unwieldy. Both sets of tuners on the 4+1 headstocks are smooth and accurate, with similar ratios. Personal preference: SR5. A dead heat if count out the neck joints.

    Playability - Both basses are extremely playable. The wide neck on the RB5 facilitates a very clean fretting of each note. And the classic jazz spacing just feels right. The slightly narrower spacing on the SR5 facilitates faster playing, but at the expense of cleanliness. I am more tempted to try and pull of the 32nd note solo fill on the SR5, with mixed results. The neck profile of the SR5 is very round and pleasing, with a wonderful raw finish. Feels exquisite to the touch. The gloss of the RB5 is also arfully applied, but does not feel as smooth or quick. Again, the SR5 wants to be played with a deft hand while the RB5 wishes for a more deliberate one. Slapping is a little easier on the RB5, and sounds cleaner due to the wider spacing, but cannot be done as quickly as on the SR5. The upper register (12th fret +) of both basses are excellent, both intonation wise and in terms of ease of access. The SR5's cutaway was a little easier to live with though. Personal preference: RB5. Who needs slapping or upper registers? :)

    Sound - These basses are too different to compare in this category, but I will say this. The RB5 is a Fender, to the core, and the SR5 is not. There is very little tonal overlap. The slap sound on the SR5 is just that, STINGRAY SLAP SOUND. The slap sound on the RB5 is of the more vintage variety. The RB5 leans heavily toward fingerstyle, and does so with confidence. The SR5 can do fingerstyle, and it does it well, just different. Very similar sounds can be had from both, but the never become redundant to my ear. Personal preference: Neither. Both are wonderful in there own way.

    I hope that this helps some of the people that had the same *problem* that I had. I solved mine buy just buying both, and considering the differences between these to wonderful instruments, maybe they should too. Feel free to post or email questions.
     
  2. G

    G

    Apr 12, 2000
    MI
    hey, check out my reviews... You guys wanted a nice comparison right?
     
  3. i was just wonderrin what the going rate for an rb5 is. i've been lookin at the stingrays for a while now and was wonderring how much the competition was. thanks


    peace
     
  4. It seems most people have been finding the RB5 cheaper than the Rays....some people have scored new RB5's from crazy salesmen for as low as $800.00, most of us can get good deals in the $900.00-$1,100 range.

    Sorry, G...that was an excellent evaluation you did :) On the whole, I agree with your findings, except I prefer the RB5 tone over the Ray, but not by much ;)

    Personally, I hate you now because you own both, you dog :D :p :D
     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yes, excellent reviews. Also, as I recall, I was one who made it crystal clear that your only option was to own BOTH of these basses. Was I right, or what?
     
  6. If you are going to talk about those two basses, you should probably also throw in the G&L L-2500. It is my personal preference of the bunch and I really feel it deserves to be considered seriously by anyone looking at a SR5 or an RB5. Everyone seems to rave about the RB5 as being such a unique and versatile instrument, but I really feel it has a lot in common with the basic L-2000 design that Leo Fender developed 20 years ago at G&L. He didn't have the 5 string version back then, but the electronics were there.
     
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    WRONG! The reason he is talking about these two basses is that he owns them. I do not believe that the G&Ls meet this criterion.
     
  8. Yes you were right. You are ALWAYS right. I am only right sometimes. You rule. I suck. You're handsome. I'm not attractive. You're smart. I'm stupid.

    :D :D :D :D :D :D

    I LOVE Happy Gilmore!

    Seriously, Munji called it....and I still hate G, you dog :p ;)
     
  9. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I think neither of them looks good but who cares, they both sound VERY GOOD and the quality is sufficient.
     
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I'll have go with nanook on this one, I'm afraid. Both of these basses are butt ugly IMHO ;):D

    But guess what? They are 2 of the best, most versatile 5's around for under $2000.

    They both have tight B's, they both have a long tradition of bassbuilding behind them, plus the Stingray has that killer signature sound and with the 3 band EQ added options, and of course the Roscoe Beck has got to have the most tonal options of any passive bass ever made.

    I think most of us would be happy with either of these.

    Hey, I almost bought a Stingray 5 until I found my Pedulla.
     
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Slaphappy, we can be friends. Just don't touch me "there."
     
  12. LOL! :D

    Yeah, I'll try to control myself!
     
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Nanook, I must disagree. They're both good-lookin' basses. Perhaps even bitchen. See? It's always subjective. That's why we must NEVER rank on Ibanez basses.





    I WILL be a nice boy, I WILL be a nice boy, I WILL be a nice boy ...
     
  14. These are both fabulous looking basses! Unless you get a Stingray in that baby-poop green! :p But the shape, layout of the controls, headstocks, necks, quality of finish...I think they are beautiful.

    ...and Munji thinks they're cool, so I MUST ALSO!!! ;)