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I want Stingray tone, but I don't want the weight.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Eristic, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    What are my options? Recently spent some time with a couple, after inexplicably passing them over for a few years. I can't get the sound out of my head, but 20 minutes with one and my back hurts for days. Boutique is not out of the picture, but I'd prefer something I can find used for a "working musician's" price. The last thing I need is another excuse to spend all the money I've been saving in one shot. :^| ;^)

  2. Well.... I suppose you could look at a Sterling (EB Sterling Page). They are made by the same company and look and sound very similar to Stingrays, but have thinner necks and smaller bodies (hence lighter). Either that, or ask Basscentral for their lightest Stingray. Good luck!
  3. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    Thanks for the suggestion on the Sterling, but I checked a couple out, and the necks are just too small. They're not too much lighter, either. I should've specified, I need something as light as possible.

    I'm 6'7" with big hands and long fingers. However, I have a genetic condition called Ehlers/Danlos Syndrome that causes my joints to be extremely hypermobile and unable to take much stress without dislocating. :^|

    However, if it boils down to it, I will eventually start shopping around for the lightest 'Ray I can find. I've got to have that sound on hand. :^)
  4. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    The trademark 'Ray tone is just that, a 'Ray trademark. You will NOT find a bass that has the same tone. This is a major reason some TB'ers don't like 'Rays, to them they can only sound like 'Rays.

    Just get the 'Ray, you will get used to the weight in no time.
  5. angrydad


    Jul 31, 2004
    Like yourself, I suffer from back problems (injury related) and I play full time. My solution...I built my own J style bass.
    Companys such as Warmoth, and USA Custom Guitars, offer traditional bodies, and "dinky" bodies that can be routed for the pickup(s) of your choice, They also offer different neck shapes/radius.
    You can request that they find you a light, medium wieght piece of wood piece (your choice: alder,ash,poplar,etc.) . Warmoth even has a return policy if you don't like it, I'm not sure if USA custom does,check.
    As long as you use a Music Man pickup, in the traditional MM location, the tone will be there. Active electronics will help you dial in the "beef" you "might" lose with a lighter piece of wood. I say "might", because my insrument (passive) sounds pretty full and wieghs in at about 7, 7.5 lbs. Good Luck!
  6. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You might try an MTD Kingston. They have a MM style pickup and a lightweight basswood body.
  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I guess you've never had back pain. You don't get used to the weight. I can't play my favorite bass (L-2000) for more than an hour without severe pain.

    Like angydad I built my own bass (7 lbs.), with a G&L MFD humbucker. It doesn't sound exactly like my G&L, but it is close enough, and I can play it all night without pain.
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Another possible option, but it would probably require some work: an OLP copy. The bodies are thinner. I have a MM3 that I cherrypicked, and it's actually pretty decent. Replace the pots and jack and maybe add a preamp, and you'd have a giggable bass.

    Otherwise, the suggestion to have a chambered J made up with a MM pickup rout is a good one, IMO.
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    A lot of the Stingray mojo comes from the Musicman pickup and preamp. The pickups pop up on Ebay fairly regularly, since people mod their Stingrays (who knows why). The preamps not as often, but they're out there, too.

    If you're willing to have the wait on a custom built bass, I'd imagine you could take the wait of hunting down a real Musicman pickup and preamp on the used market.

    And, don't forget the ash body and maple neck.
  10. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Not to the extent that you guys are implying to suffer, thankfully. Didn't realise how much the weight could affect people.

    BTW, i'm 22; so its rare for people my age to get severe back pain.
  11. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Yea, when I was 22 I played a 12 pound Jazz bass with no problems. I'm 43 now, things change... :D
  12. One option I'd throw out there if you really want the Stingray is to either get a nice padded strap or a 3" leather strap. One of the SX basses I own is 12 pounds, it's a heavey bass. When I first got it all I had was my nylon dunlop strap and I got back/shoulder pains all the time from it because it was so heavy. Then my friend gave me his padded strap for helping him with some stuff and that helped/helps tremendously (sp?). I can now go for 3+ hours with no issues. I also have used the same friend's 3" leather strap and it works like a charm too.

    Otherwise, getting the OLP and upgrading like HeavyDuty would be the next best option I'd say.

    Good luck on your quest for finding what will work for you!

  13. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
  14. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    you need a good used Modulus Flea Bass
  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    +1 on the strap, or if you don't mind, playing sitting on a stool.

    Isn't the weight of the Stingray something that gives it the tone that it's know for and that a lighter body may sound different?
  16. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to harass some MM dealers and see what's the lightest Ray they can find, then compare it to something I can have built (or I can build from Warmoth). I hate to admit it, for my bank account's sake, but I really want a Hanewinckel and/or a Pulcinella (who, btw, builds some of the lightest basses I've ever played).
  17. Modulus Flea Bass
  18. Radiobass


    Jan 10, 2005
    Maybe you can try to make a Stingray with Warmoth parts? You could choose a lighter wood or what not.

    EDIT: It's been mentioned :(...
  19. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    The guy has a genetic condition - not a question of getting used to

    I've got a Flea bass, and I don't find it to be particularly light and it has a slimmer neck profile which wasn't the cited preference.

    I think you have a good plan: just keep looking for a light Ray.

    I wonder if it would be possible to get someone who really knows what they're doing to chamber out a Ray for you - and I wonder if this would hurt the Ray tone at all.
  20. I imagine it might since some are saying that part of the Ray tone is the thick, full body it has. Chambering it will help with wait, no doubt about that, but might alter the tone a tiny bit.