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Cheapo MM5 gig experience.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrelwood, Apr 30, 2005.


  1. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    I had the opportunity to do my yesterday gig with a cheapo MusicMan Stingray5 copy, and I want to share my experiences. I have used my custom neck-thru EMG-active 5-stringer for 5 years, and I've been doing intensive comparison with MM's and MM copies. And now, finally real life experience.

    What I like in my custom bass (sounded very much alike when comparing with a new Skjold) is the solid fundamental of tones, and that the tones are very unfloppy. The notes are constant right from the attack. I have been missing some G-string aggression, partly because I tend to have my strings very low. Pop-slapping is a lot quieter than regular fingerstyle. Also, 2KHz is something I always tend to boost.

    Now to the MM. It is a chinese made Eko MM305. I believe it is quite comparable with OLP MM, except priced like an SX. I set the bass up for old Elixir strings, 'cause I'm familiar with them, unlike the strings that the bass came equipped with. I also put a series-parallel-single controller. The neck was thick to my taste, and the strings are very close to eachother at the bridge. I adjusted the string saddles in an arch so I got them just a bit further from eachother. Surprisingly there were no severe high or low frets, and I was able to put the strings quite low.

    I took both basses for the gig, 'cos I thought that the rather heavy Eko would be too weird to play. I noticed in the soundcheck that the Eko doesn't need any EQ from my amp. I ensured this with my own bass (soapbar J and soapbar DC EMG's), and noticed that I had to boost 70Hz, cut 250Hz, boost 600Hz, and boost 2KHz. Eko was good flat out.

    First set was mostly jazz. I thought I'd play the first song with the Eko, just to try how un-jazzy it is. Singlecoil from the neck side with most of tone rolled off, the sound was actually very good. I played the whole set with the Eko. 2nd set, groove, same thing, except the Eko was marvellous! I love the parallel mode the most, and this bass sounds and feels great! I ended up playing the whole gig with the cheapo Eko.

    What is the biggest difference is the dynamics. I am used to my bass where very silent notes come out quite quiet, and extremely loud notes come out on medium volume. Lousy dynamics. Therefore, when I meant to play a short fill on the G-string, I ended up playing loud and the volume was VERY LOUD thru the amp! I almost wet my pants! And my bandmates' too! The other big difference is the attack. Bolt-on neck combined with a pickup in a perfect position yelds an incredible attack, that punches You in the stomach even when the whole band is in the "forte" part and You need to strike a few accents. My custom would've been drowned a long time ago.

    I think I have a handmade custom for sale. No smiley, this Eko is so much more versatile and it's capable of doing several things that my custom can't. The weight is heavy, but even if I'd have to carve the body and put a new birch etc top, I think I'd do it. A bass this cheap is no problem to be used as a trial-error project. I can always get a new one!


    Conclusion: I'll never get myself a neck-thru bass or EMG pickups, and Stingray is the best bass style in the world.

    -Aki.
     
  2. I never played a bass with either option, but your thread just proofs my prejudices to me correct for me.
     
  3. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    I don't know, can't you keep both basses? Stingrays may be great for aggressive playing and cutting through in a live setting, but I think there are better basses for ultra-deep, smooth sounds. Just my two cents.
     
  4. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    What bass did you compare the Eko too ? you mention a new Skjold , so I am curious.


    Thanks ,

    Pete
     
  5. And I bet your bass is passive if its SX priced. Just stating that because this guy is not playing a EXACT MusicMan copy, most likeyl.
     
  6. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    My bass is a handmade custom made by a finnish luthier to my exact specs. The reason I mentioned Skjold is that it is the closest sounding bass to my bass that I have found. It felt and sounded very very familiar and comparable to my custom.

    I do have to confess that I have gotten rather bored with my custom bass, and the Stingray style is a perfect medification for this. I do have to admit, replacing the EMG's with something else (no Bart) could help also.

    As for the smooth sounds, the pickup in series mode and using the tone control, I got a LOT deeper sounds that I've even imagined getting from my custom.


    -Aki.
     
  7. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio

    Wow ! you have my attention !

    where did you play this skjold and what type of pickups did it have?

    Our new basses use our own custom pickups and electronics. Our Stage series now uses a single housing pickup which is actually two pickups in the sweet spot. It uses a selector knob to go from neck , to series , to parallel to the bridge side. It is also passive and I really like the simplicity of this design. It sounds like you are going for the more natural and direct type of sound. I like this approach myself.


    Pete
     
  8. What? :confused:
     
  9. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Well, funnily enough, I went through the exact opposite a while ago. After using a MM copy (Ibanez ATK 300 four string) as my main bass for six-ish years, I eventually broke down and got a fiver last year, an oldish Status with two beefy soapbar pickups.

    It took me a while to get used to having to deal with two pickups again (I started out on a cheap Epiphone PJ bass,) but I eventually figured out that I could make people's trouser legs flutter and produce huge sounds my ATK simply wasn't capable of with the neck pickup while I could dial in super-twangy sounds with the bridge pickup. I guess right now, two-pickup basses are the "ultimate" in my book.
     
  10. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    He was saying htat his custom doesnt handle dynamics too well, in which probably the Eko was like quiet when quiet and uh, loud when loud.

    Where could I check out an eko?
     
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    As a SR5 owner, I really like the look of those single pup Skjolds. I may have to add that to my GAS list with a single pup Bongo 5.
     
  12. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    Bass Center, Helsinki, Finland. It had EMG's, so I'm not surprised that it sounds quite like my EMG equipped bass in rather similiar design. I don't know the Skjold model and I don't remember much of it, but it had 5-strings and rosewood fretboard, perhaps a mahogany body. The bass felt very natural and seemed to have noticeably more even tones around the fretboard than mine. But the overall sound was quite close, even unplugged.

    The Stage 5 with an Ash body is extremely close to what I'm getting built right now! I have no doubt the Stage would please me very much. Too bad I'm in a quite different budget range. :meh:

    For US, I have no idea. If I remember correctly, someone had seen a new 4-string Eko for about $130 in the US. It costs more than double here in Finland, but it is still very cheap!


    -Aki.
     
  13. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Hey Aki,

    I was not aware that we had a bass in finland :eyebrow: I wonder how it got there :meh: I just sold one to a dealer in Sweden and that is the closest I knew about.

    The Stage Series is along those lines but like you said the bass would be very expensive on your end :rollno:

    Thanks for filling me in !

    Pete
     
  14. mrelwood

    mrelwood

    Dec 15, 2004
    Finland
    :D There were a few models. A virtuoso called Puppe Strandberg from company called Soundata has been visiting US every once and a while, and I believe he brought the Skjolds to Bass Center.


    -Aki.
     
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Seriously, stop reviving stuff about MM knock offs, we get it.