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Back up bass for Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Warpeg, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I'm in the hunt for a low-cost (less than $400 new or used) back up bass for my SR4. In reality, this bass will only be used in live situations when I break a string or have technical issues with my SR4. My concern is that I won't be able to find a bass with similar tone and output to the SR4 without dumping quite a bit more money. Any suggestions?
  2. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I've never A/B'd them, but what about one of those SUB 'Rays? They seem to get a lot of love around here.
  3. BowserBass


    Jan 18, 2012
    "Sterling by musicman" is the budget model. pretty nice basses for $300 or so. Or maybe a OLP, but i don't have any experience with them.
  4. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Definitely, an EBMM SUB. They are a US-made (by EBMM) lower-budget version of the StingRay. They don't make them any more, but you often find them for less than $500. I saw one on my local CL yesterday for $350, I think.

    After that, I'd say SBMM (Sterling by Music Man) Ray34. New, they go for $600 - 700. You should be able to find a nice used one in your budget.
  5. Get a USA SUB and you'll be set. I love mine, it's a great player and has the stingray USA 2band EQ. Sounds better then the Stingray 5 lined fretless I used to have.

  6. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    To be clear, EBMM used to make SUB basses in the U.S.. NOW, SBMM makes a bass called the SBMM - in Asia somewhere. It's easy to be confused by them. But, based on your criteria, I would definitely be looking for an EBMM (U.S. made) SUB.
  7. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Heck, I like my SLO SUB4 better than the SR4
    It's just not as pretty
  8. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    Another possibility is the Ibanez ATK series.
  9. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I have a SUB ray 4 (the Asian made one), and it is surprisingly good for the money. I bought mine just a a goof around on bass...and it has become one of my main players. Just lower the pickup down, give it a good setup, and don't run the volume knob at 100% (unless you have a compressor) , and you'll get surprisingly close to classic Ray tones for under $300.
  10. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Do all of the MM spinoffs (Sub, Sterling, OLP, etc.) have the same or similar preamp to the Stingray?
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I've never owned a regular production StingRay, but I've played many and owned a Sabre. I have a US made StingRay (slightly modded) and an import SUB Sterling (pending mods). The import is a fine bass; the only thing I had to do was file the ends of the frets. The US SUB is also a fine bass. Both are not quite as nice as regular production StingRays but both would easily be an acceptable (to me) backup for one. I would not hesitate to play either one at a gig. Aside from the rough fret ends the import SUB was setup great out of the box, and even the stock strings are better than the average stock strings.
  12. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I love my sub ray 4. Its a great bass for under 300. It sounds better with a pickup upgrade but still not a bad bass.
  13. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Mine didn't have any sharp or uneven frets....but the setup was terrible. Luckily, I do my own. So I had a great playing bass with about 45 minutes worth of work.
  14. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the OLP has no preamp and is a passive instrument, the Sub should have the same preamp as the classic stingray and the Sterling(SBMM) has a very similar preamp to a modern stingray.

    I have a Ray35 and it's the nicest, smoothest playing bass I've ever owned, a Ray34 sounds right up your alley of what you are looking for.


    Seen plenty of them used for 450
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Get a USA made S.U.B. and you might end up prefering it over your StingRay. Mine is an outstanding instrument. I didn't much care for the textured finish so I refinished it.
  16. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    The US SUBs from what I can see are most commonly active but some are passive. The active ones came with a boost only bass and treble EQ; I replaced mine with an SGD Lutherie boost only (modeled after the original StingRay preamps) but I had mid detente pots used so I could feel the halfway point without having to rotate the knobs all the way around. The import SUBs all come which what appears to be a cut & boost preamp for bass and treble which is functional. Neveer owned an OLP. I love my US SUB StingRay, but I like the playability of the import SUB Sterling a little more, so I may be on the hunt for a US Sterling (SUB or otherwise) after the holiday pain is gone from my wallet.
  17. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    The SBMM Subs are very nice and for under $279 you can't go wrong.
  18. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Grab a used MIM P Bass then you got a great second and/or back up bass of at least equal tone.
  19. Pick up an older Ibanez ATK bass. They blow away any SUB or Sterling by MM models.
  20. TwinBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Spokane, WA
    I picked up an Ibanez ATK700 on clearance a few years ago for $300. It is an absolutely killer bass and a great back up for my 'Ray. I haven't tried out the current crop of ATKs, but if you look around you might find a gem on the used market.

    Good luck.