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I want a Jazz Bass to sound like a Music Man

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EXKid, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. EXKid


    Aug 10, 2008
    HI, Kinda new here.

    I have a '92 Music Man Stingray the I have been playing for close to 10 years, and I absolutely love the way that it sounds. It's really a great bass that I'll own forever, as I am kind of married to it now.

    I also have recently purchased a 1975 Jazz bass and I love the way that plays. I have been going around and around with pickups in the jazz and nothing compares to how well that Stingray sounds. Any suggestions on what I can do? Adding a pre-amp is certainly a possibility, but, I'd rather not start shotgunning 150 dollar pre-amps after having done similar with pickups already. Any advice?

  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    A stingray's sound is in the pickup and the placement of it. You're not going to get that out of a jazz bass, short of routing it and dropping in an MM pickup.
  3. +1 If, on the other hand, you aren't looking for an exact MM tone, but rather a bigger, wider, more active sound from your J, just drop in a J Retro preamp. It won't sound like a MM, but it will sound like a modern, active instrument.
  4. FortessOne


    Nov 8, 2004
    Advice? Yes. Don't do it.
  5. Thump Jr.

    Thump Jr.

    Jun 8, 2008
    SW FL
    . . . but you have a Music Man. Is there anything wrong with how it plays?
  6. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    You'll need magic dust to turn JB into MM.

  7. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I have to agree with what's already been said. You aren't going to get the J sounding like a MM, nor should you try. That's the point of having a J, a 70's one at that.

    All you need is a P and you can cover every genre of music ;-)
  8. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    It's a bit puzzling as to why you want your Jazz to sound like a Stingray....when you already have a Stingray????

    At the moment you have the best of both worlds in that you have 2 very good instruments, each with their own individual sounds and characteristics.

    As has already been said, it is not possible as the Stingray's pickup and it's position gives it its signature tone.

    It reminds me of some years ago when the guitarist in my band had a Gibson 335 and then bought a Fender Telecaster. He immediately changed the pickups on the Telecaster and then said to me "it's great now, it sounds just like my Gibson"!!! :eek:
  9. mynan


    Nov 7, 2007
    Grand Haven, MI

    I think he wants a Sterling, but may not know it...
  10. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I know it`s not the same but why don`t you try a bass with a MM+J configuration ?

    You can start with a Lakland 44-02 or a Peavey Millennium. Both are good choices and you might like them.
  11. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    Hi EXKid,

    I think you have to ask yourself why you bought your Jazz Bass in the first place, was it for looks, playability, because it is a classic bass etc etc???

    Possibly you have got used to playing (and enjoying) the sound of your Stingray for so long and now find it difficult to get used to the sound of another bass (i.e. the Jazz Bass) which is a completely different sound? From what you've said you've already changed from the stock pickups and tried various others by the sounds of things.

    It could be that the Jazz sound is not your thing?

    Personally I would sell the Jazz bass, and as you appear to love your Musicman so much look into whether other Musicman basses can give you what you are looking for, i.e. the HH or the Bongo which are 2 pickup models. Although I have an SR5 I am no expert on Musicmans, perhaps someone will reply back and advise if these basses would give you the sort of Jazz / Musicman sounds in one bass that you are looking for?
  12. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    I want my bike to be a Lamborghini too but its not going to happen :)
  13. Mikeyd74


    Jul 28, 2007
    I have been playing my Stingray for 12 years and I just got myself a Geddy Lee Jazz bass. There must be something in the air. Anyway, I feel the same way about my Stingray as you do. But I wanted a passive Jazz as well, they are just so dang comfortable and unique sounding, just the same as a Stingray. Unique sound and a feel all their own.

    Since one is passive and one is active there was a big difference in volume and punch between the two basses. This might be more of the problem you are having.
    To solve this issue I've stopped cranking my Stingray's controls up full and I've dropped my Stingray's pickups down a little bit. Plus I raised my Jazz's bridge pickup up closer to the strings. Now I have a similar volume and punch on both basses without them losing there signature sound and feel. I couldn't be happier.

    As for trying to make your Jazz sound like a Stingray, I don't understand why you would want to. You now have two of the most classic bass sounds of all time at your disposal.
  14. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    That was exactly what I thought, too.
  15. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    if the '75 Jazz hasn't been modded yet I'd sell it or trade it for something you want. If you want to mod a bass to sound like an MM trade it for a new Precision and a Delano MM and get a few extra $$ as well to pay for a pro routing. This would give you 2 great tones in one bass without forever changing a vintage bass. I've screwed up a few in the past and regret it now.
  16. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    this thread confuses me but, look into sandberg basses
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The guitar player in my band wants a Strat that sounds like a Les Paul.:p
  18. I think putting in another preamp is the way to go.

    I have some sympathy with the OP's situation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it the case that you like the stingray tone just fine, but there's something about the playability and aesthetic of the jazz that you dig? In that case, it makes perfect sense to me to make the j sound more like the stingray. In the same way that it isn't crazy to make a strat sound more like a les paul, or vice versa. There are some real differences in how those instruments are built that make a great deal of difference as to whether you like playing them or not, but you might like the tone of the other one. In bass terms, it's like the difference between a j and a thunderbird. If somebody wanted a thunderbird tone in a j, I'd be less likely to say, just go get a thunderbird, because they play so different.
  19. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma

    I have a fleet of Jazz Basses and a fleet of StingRays, and appreciate their different sounds.

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