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Flea + Stingray: The missing link

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 4string fury, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. i was wondering if anyone could clear this up from me. ive always wondered why flea did not end up with his own signature stingray. iv heard various tales that they refused to make him one n thats why he went to modulus but it doesnt add up, why would musicman turn down one of the finest, and you must say influential bassist in modern times, i know he played other basses like wals n alembic etc but he predominantly used a stingray. he was the whole reason i bought a stingray and id expect it was the reason for a lot of other stingray sales aswell. it appears that it would have been a good idea for sales for musicman, n i know there not publicity hoars like fender slinging signatures out left right n centre but flea isnt exactly a flash in the pan (plus if that idiot guitarist from good charlotte can get a signature out of them why cant flea?!?!)or am i barking up the wrong tree completely? please help
  2. P.S. sorry for the bad spelling/typing, this keyboard sticks
  3. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I can't confirm any of this, but I've heard that flea wanted the stringray renamed after him. EB offered it to be "nicknamed" that, but Flea didn't accept, and after a bit, we find the Modulus Hammer (I think that's what it was?) renamed the Flea Sig.
  4. I heard the same thing...he wanted the bass to be called "The Flea Bass."
  5. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    That is asking too much considering it was making waves way before he was wearing socks on his.....feets
  6. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill

    Dec 30, 2001
    Boston MA
    he asked Gibson to make a new line of Ripper basses called the "flea bass" too, makes him sound like an ass when he turns down offers cause they dont rename the whole line after him.
  7. Thats the correct thing right there. He wanted Flea Bass on the headstock instead of Stingray and MM wasn't willing to do it so he took his business elsewhere - Not a huge loss for MM IMO due to all the other artists using their instruments (basses + guitars). I have been told though that he uses the Stingray during recording instead of his sig bass.
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I remember reading that he would not record with his stingray since the D and G strings didn't come out the way he liked (I think it was the Bass Player with him on the cover). Thats why he used the wals and alembics to record.

    And the new stuff sure sounds like a modulus to me.
  9. Well, I was only told that, didn't know how true it was.
  10. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    That's what happens when you set your ego as your priority rather than your sound. Notice, on the earlier albums such as Mother's Milk, Uplift Mofo Party Plan, etc. Flea's Stingray sounds absolutely incredible. In fact, I'm not a big fan of Flea (I don't hate him either), but I still admit that that is one of the best sounding bass rigs ever recorded. Granted, this is due to several factors, such as a different recording engineer, different rig, and a different sounding RHCP; but this is also due to his bass.

    IMO, the Modulus Flea is a terrible bass. I have two main complaints about it: sound is too thin, sound is too unagressive. This is mainly due to the combination of the Lane Poor p/up with the graphite neck. A graphite neck has a naturally bright sound, to combat overbrightness, one needs a pickup with some growl. If I were Flea, I would of used a Seymour Duncan p/up instead, or at the very least (in terms of aggresiveness) a Bartolini. IMO, there are few basses that could use a Lane Poor effectively. In fact, the only bass I can think of in the whole world that could use one would be the Hamer CruiseBass, which has an active circuit that's on crack and has way too much gain.

    The Stingray, on the other hand, is a classic. It is unbeatable in its catagory. Renaming the Stingray for Flea would be like renaming the Stratocaster for John Fruscante, or renaming the automobile for Dale Earnhardt. It would be just silly.
    ELG60 and armybass like this.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Didn't he play a Spector on the early recordings?

    Also, you should come by sometime and hear the thin unagressive sound I get from my Q5 with lane poors ;) You can get just about any sound you want from that bass if you have the right amp.
  12. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I don't know, I really don't know too much about Flea. I thought that he played a Stingray on the two albums I mentioned above.

    It's important that we distinguish between Lane Poor soapbars and Lane Poor MM's. To be honest, I've never heard Lane Poor soapbars before. In fact, the only Lane Poor p/up I have ever heard was on the Modulus Flea I played at the music store. Though, theoritically, if the soapbars sounded like the MM's, a Q5 should have the same problem because it also has a graphite neck. But apparently not :) .
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Just plug 'er into an SVT next time ;)
  14. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    As a matter of fact, I had it running through an SVT-4 into an SVT412HE.
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    :confused: well that is wierd.

    As the great Roger Waters once said about the breakup of his band "Different strokes for different folks".
  16. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow:

    That's like someone getting famous playing a stock Fender P-bass and when Fender wants to make them a sig bass they demand Fender stop calling them precisions. :rollno:
  17. modflea


    Apr 26, 2004
    Lafayette, LA
    Should.... really..... sit.... this.... one.....out... :meh:

    Well I will say that is MM wanted a Flea model there's no reason why they couldn't have made him a custom Stingray (features, electronics, finishes, etc.) and put his name on it. They've done it with other artists at MM and other companies have done that trick to death as well.

    Now on the other hand, if he wanted all the Stingrays called Flea Basses then that's another story. If that's the case, then they did the right thing to turn him down.
  18. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Dave LaRue Dosnet have a Sig bass from MM and he is 10 times better than Flea could ever be... If He got a MM sig Before Dave I would be pretty freakin mad personally...
    armybass likes this.
  19. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Big +1 Dave is one of my faves! So versatile, down to earth, nice guy, sweet tone. I never knew Flea's head was so big :eek: thats ridiculous if he wanted the Rays to be called Fleas...
  20. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Signature basses are not made for people who are good, they are made for people who are famous, like Flea. Ibanez makes a signature bass for the guy from Korn, and he's not good by any long stretch of the imagination. Some people who are good happen to have signature basses, that goes without saying. Flea happens to be one of the few bassists out there who is good and famous.