Build Quality-Musicman vs. Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cantstandsya, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I currently play an Am. Deluxe Jazz. I've been shopping or a five string. In comparing the Am. Deluxe five to the Stingray five, I noticed something. The Musicmans seem to be built more solid than the Fenders. I don't know what it is but the Fenders just feel kind of cheap next to the Musicmans.The Stingray five also seems to have significantly more output than the Am. Deluxe Jazz five.Opinions?
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Build quality between MMs and MIA Fenders looks about the same to me. But the MM neck shape has a P-feel to it, and is more substantial than that of a Jazz. There's also six screws on the neck joint, and the MM bridge is a little fancier than the plain Jazz bridge. These features probably contribute to the impression that the MM is more solidly built than the J.
  3. well, i own a stingray 5 now and have owned a couple jazz basses from Fender in the past. i think that the bridge on the stingray has more mass which would contribute to the solid feel you're describing. the neck on the stingray does have some heft to it, but it feels great for some reason - i don't know what it is. i guess i have fairly large hands so it suits me well. also, i dig the birdseye maple neck on my ray over the wood quality in the necks of the Fenders i've owned. all in all though, there's something about the warmth and punchiness of a passive axe that sits in the mix so well on recordings and so forth. the ray is great for the rock thing, but i prefer passive over the ray's high output for other situations.
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    ive always found the build quality of Ernie Ball to be better than fender. id put it up there with the boutique parts bass makers.
  5. The construction of Musicman basses is excellent and IMO is better than the Fenders I've played. The neck is very consitent and and the notes ring very clearly on all frets.

    Having said that, I found that I still prefer the feel of Fenders. But of course, the feel of an instrument and the quality of construction can mean totally different things. IMO, I can dig in a lot harder on a Fender than on a Musicman. Just my 2 cents.
  6. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I've owned a MIA Precision and MM5. The bridge on the MM made it appear more substanial. On the other hand, I liked the string through the body option. It's close, but the MM seems to slightly better made.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ernie Ball has some of the most consistent fit & finish of any of the mass produced basses.

    But Fender has made great strides over the last couple of years. I was in GC in Plano the other day, and picked up 2 American Series and 3 American Deluxe series. Very nice work. The fretwork was actually a little better than the Stingrays that they had in stock(and EB's have great fretwork) and the rest of the construction was right up there. Looks like Fender's commitment to improving the MIA's is for real.

    I agree about the bridge. The Musicman bridge is a great, high mass design. The Fender piece doesn't measure up, although the one on the Deluxe is not too bad.
  8. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    My MIA Jazz Deluxe is active.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I own an American P-Deluxe, and a MM Sterling. I've complained in many threads here about the Fender. I've had all kinds of problems with it, my biggest peave being the tuners. There's a play in all of them, and I've been assured they're like this on all Deluxe basses. There's some sort of ground problem with my midrange knob that I don't entirely understand, the center detent on most of the knobs is almost worn away, I had to stuff the holes for the straplocks with toothpicks and glue to keep them in, the ferrets in the back that the strings go through needed gluing... blah, blah, blah...... For the money payed, the quality is really shoddy. I've glued it all together however, gotten past it's shortcomings, and have gotten quite comfortable with it in lui of all the above. It sounds pretty damn good, and is light and comfortable to play.

    The MM on the other hand is and has always been flawless. It seems totally solid, feels great too, and like someone else said - seems to have the same quality as some boutique basses. It's the only bass I've ever owned and not had a single complaint.

    PS. The thickness of the stingrays neck is a myth. You can go to MM website and check the dimensions. It's virtually the same as the Sterling which people often compare to a Jazz (I think 1/8th of an inch wider). That's why they feel so good. I think everybody expects a huge thick neck, and it's just some kind of rumor or something. Go figger........
  10. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I always hate it when the ferrets need gluing. :D