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Can a MM SUB hang with a real deal Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by michaelc, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. michaelc


    Apr 17, 2007
    C-ville Michigan
    Has anyone had any experience with the stingray sub and a run of the mill regular music man stingray. I played a sub today which retails new for 599.99 at my local shop and it kinda sounded like crap. Unfortunately with the economy so slow (and it’s been slow here in Michigan longer than most places) basses are sitting longer in shops than usual. Of course nobody changes the strings on a bass they're not sure they can sell, so it can be hard to determine if a bass sucks because it sucks, or if it has just had the same strings on it for 3 years.

    My budget is kinda low this time around, and I just missed all the good deal here on TB for used stingrays.

    The same shop also has a used Ibanez SR900 for 225.00, so that’s tempting too.

    Anyway, just looking for insight.
  2. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I liked the SUB I played.

    Its basically the same thing with crappier electronics and a different headstock,
  3. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No, it's not "crappier electronics".

    The Sub StingRay uses the same pickup, and the same 2 band preamp as the expensive 2 band StingRays.

    If this is a new bass that's sill hangin in a store, then it's been there for more like 4 years. You think 4yr old slinky's sound good?
  4. I never found the sound to be that close, but I dare say it's close enough.

    What I really didn't like was the finished neck and the general finish/build quality of the bass (and the PG, but that's easily changed).

    If you want the Stingray sound on a budget, there are the new "Sterling" range of EB-MM basses, which is the new budget range, maybe try one of those?

    Or if you can find one, try an Ibanez ATK. Tone isn't quite as crisp, but it is very similar, and they (were, at least) really well built basses at a good price :)
  5. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
    I've had a Stingray and still own my Sterling and Bongo. My SUB comes pretty darn close to the tone. I agree that the fit and finish are not on the same level, but on a budget, it's tough to beat.

    I think 95% of the general audience would not be able to tell the difference in a mix. I've somewhat proven that with other basses comparing higher end basses to Squiers, etc.

    So in this economy, buy what you need, not what you want :)

    Of course, IMHO!
  6. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    The S.U.B. came in a passive and an active version... did you try the passive one?
  7. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    The SUBs are amazing basses. They definitely do not sound like crap. Having had three of them I can tell you this from experience. The one you used probably wasn't set up correctly.

    By the way, $600 is a bit high for a SUB. I would pay in the $400-$500 range for one.
  8. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I never meant crappier sounding... :p

    I just meant not as high grade. I've just forgotten.
  9. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    I had a active SUB, a proper 3 band 'Ray and a 'Ray5, now I only have the SUB. In my case I found the SUB played better than the proper 'Ray once the paint on the neck was removed (although I miss the body contours) and soundwise had a far better fundamental the the 'Ray, less clanky. Of course your mileage may vary and you may prefer them the other way round, but the SUB was and is a proper 'Ray.
  10. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
  11. I'd say about 95% of an audience wouldn't tell the difference regardless of what bass you are using (unless the sound is totally terrible). The other 5% would be bass players :bag: .

    All I know is that whenever I gig with my 'ray (plus SVT-II & marshall 810 rig), I always get compliments on my tone. And it isn't always just by other bass players :)
  12. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I had 2 Stingrays, a Bongo, Sterling and SUB and the SUB was my favorite of the MusicMan basses. I thought the SUB had a nice warmer sound to it than the Stingray which to me, was very bright and cutting. I would like a SUB to a modern P bass.
  13. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    Eh, Had a SUB and a couple Rays side by side at a local guitar store (hot licks Hawaii), and they had just gotten 7 different MM basses in. There were only those three left when i got there four hours after they opened.

    I played them all, the SUB and one Ray were 4 stringers, one Ray was 5. All but the 5 Str were the ones with the single humbucker.

    In my opinion after playign them all (this was when i was lookign to upgrade, before I bought my Schecter), the SUB just felt fake compared to the real Rays. It felt clunkier, the finish wasn't as good, and the diamond plate pickguard on it was cheap plastic stuff that felt like a stiff breeze would blow it away.

    It sounded alright playing through an Ashdown Electric Blue 180 and an Ashdown 650w cab, but the Ray sounded gorgeous.

    I would have gotten the Ray, I doubt I would ever get a SUB.
  14. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Yes, make sure it's an active one at the shop.

    I would be willing to bet virtually no one could tell an active SUB from a regular EBMM based on sound alone.
  15. Gnosticbass


    Dec 24, 2006
  16. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    I have the 2 band SUB5 great bass and you can't beat the price.Sounds and plays every bit as good as my 2 stingrays.
  17. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I owned three SUBs (2 fretted, one fretless, one passive fretless) at one point about 3 or 4 years ago and loved them all. Build quality was the same as the 'Rays (built in the same factory, folks!) and the 2-band EQ and pickup is/was the same as the 2-band 'Rays. If you can find a SUB in decent shape, PICK IT UP. I always compared the SUBs to an affordable approximation of a vintage Stingray... 2-band setup, uncontoured body, etc. The only thing that I didn't really like was the inability to get a maple fingerboard, but that was never a deal breaker at the time.
  18. michaelc


    Apr 17, 2007
    C-ville Michigan
    I understand that any bass with that old of strings will sound like crap. That's why I was asking what the bass actually sounds like, not what it sounded like in the store. Here's what I'm looking for:

    A simple bass with a fairly bright sound (I play a lot of old stuff like Zep and Hendrix, but I also play a lot of Tool and pick style stuff)

    And a bass that is well built and will sound good with my 2000RB head.

    Does to SUB do the bright rock tone as well as the RAY and still have to goods when it comes to classic tones.

    BTW I tried both the active AND passive versions of this bass (the store had both, both with equally dead strings) and while the sub they had didn't sound great with its dead strings, the passive version sounded much worse. I couldn't even imagine it being anything remotely close to what I wanted.
  19. michaelc


    Apr 17, 2007
    C-ville Michigan
    Yeah, 600 seemed high to me for a bass that has been in stock at a store for 3 or 4 years. I'm suprised they haven't marked them dow just to get them out of the store. What's a good price for a used sub. After buying the 2000RB, my budget for a new bass is only like 350.
  20. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    This is pretty much what Cliff Hugo of Supertramp said to me when I was talking to him when the SUB first came out. He was using one and a pre production Bongo when on tour with Carl Verheyen.

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