1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Brubaker Brute MJX5 or SBMM Ray 35

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frintic5String, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Frintic5String


    Jan 24, 2014
    I am in the market for a new midrange bass. I am currently looking at the Brubaker Brute MJX5 and the SBMM Ray 35. I was wondering if I could get any opinions from any of you who own either (or both) of these basses, because right now Im cant make up my mind.
  2. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    Do you need a neck pickup? The brute has one the Ray doesn't
    Do you want narrow or wide string spacing? Brute = wide Ray = Narrow
    Do you want a 2 or 3 band EQ? Brute is 2 the Ray is 3
    Do you want to try before you buy? Depending on where you are the Ray would be alot easier to find in a store.

    I own a Ray35 and its a great bass but from everything I've heard so are the Brutes.
  3. Frintic5String


    Jan 24, 2014
    Im not partial to one PUP config as opposed to the other. I currently play a Fender MIM Jazz V. Tone is AWESOME on it. String spacing doesnt really concern me too much. Neither does the EQ options. Im running out of a GK 700RB and A GK 410 NEO.

    Here is the most disappointing part of my dilemma...I only have a GC where I live. Their Bass selection is less than stellar. They are stocked full of low budget Ibanez soundgears. UGH.

    I guess what I SHOULD HAVE asked was how is the build quality?

    How does each handle the low B?
    (looking for definition in the lower notes and dont want a farty mussy mess when I get to that B)

    How close is the Ray 35 to an actual Stingray?
  4. drpepper

    drpepper Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Columbia, Maryland
    Like therhodeo was pointing to, lots of love for each bass. Look for the differences and how meaningful those difference are to you.

    Are you able to get your hands on both of them? For me, I'd think this would largely be down to feel.

    My Brute (JJX with Barts) has been getting all of my playing time for a while now. I let go of my 5502, and while I love it too, I'm barely touching my 5501 (put it up for sale and then pulled it because this could be a phase, ha).

    Do you play multiple basses or largely stay on one? The string spacing sticks out, to me, if you switch a lot. I had an Ibanez SR505, and while I liked it, the string spacing was a problem for me in switching between basses. If that was the only one I played, or if I had others with similar spacing, it would have been fine. So, that might be a consideration involving the spacing, if you don't feel that you have a strong preference.
  5. Frintic5String


    Jan 24, 2014
    I do have multiple basses in my arsenal. However, when I gig, I stick with one per night. The problem Im having is that I cant get my hands on either of these basses because guitar center in my are seems to have a hard on for Ibanez. So in essence ill be "buying blind". Im looking for as much input as I can get. I know they are both well review. I also know that in the end it will probably come down to personal preference. Just looking for input from owners of these 2 basses before i pull the trigger.

    What do you guys like/dislike about your Brutes or Rays?

    All help will be GREATLY appreciated. Dont want to have buyers remorse.
  6. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    These are two entirely different basses. If you like the sound of a Sting Ray get the Ray35. If you desire a modern sounding 5 string bass that only a few guys in the world have and if upgraded with state of the art Pups and Pre would absolutely kill get the Brute. I bought a stock MJX-5 in 2011, a MJXSC-5 in 2012, and a KXB-5 Custom in 2013. So I guess I like Brubakers. The new ones on the market have better pups, pre, and a coil splitter and sound very nice IMO in comparison to the original Brutes. Please, if you are looking for the sound of a JB, or a SR the Brute is not going to satisfy you. The Brutes have their own unique, punchy and modern tone and right out of the box are very comfortable to play. The MJX-5 is not heavy and feels good when strapped up. The Brute Single Cut is solid hard ash and is heavy. It however does not feel bad and balances well when strapped up. As I've said I own one of each. Both Brutes have 19 MM spacing at the bridge, The neck on the MJX-5 is wide, thin and kinda flat *which I like). The neck on the Single cut is more narrow and faster to play but I like each one . The single cuts come with a flat black paint on the back of the neck and makes it feel really smooth. Go on youtube and search for malcolm hall. He demos the Brute Series as well as the USA Brubakers. At least this way you'l be able to judge for yourself if you like the sound of the Brutes. Again, the newer Brutes do not sound like a hyped up Jazz with single coils or a Sting Ray. They have their own uniqure sound.