Input on my next bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johngalt1977, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Morning.

    So, I've spent the past couple of months browsing around here and have learned an awful lot about an awful lot. Clearly I have a long way to go, and I'd just like to see a little discussion on my next purchase.

    Note: I'm aware that the only answer to this is to play lots of instruments and decide what I like. What I'm really interested in is what am I not thinking of/where might I make a choice that I regret.

    I've been playing for about a year, and I currently play a Jackson that a buddy gave to me. When I got it the neck pickup didn't work and the action was high enough that playing anything above the 5th fret not only made me feel like I was going to get carpal tunnel in about 2 weeks but actually detuned the note.

    I got it set up, fixed the pickup and dialed in the intonation, and now have a decent playing instrument, but its just not "mine.".

    I've been playing long enough that I'm sure I'm going to stick with it, and have improved my skill to the point that its starting to be fun rather than frustrating to play.

    In short, time to make an investment.

    The lengthy discussion on the SUB Ray's got me into my local GC about 2 months ago to check them out. Ended up disliking it, really not 100% sure why but my reaction was "get this thing out of my hands.".

    There goes my dream of a cheap upgrade :)

    So I played my way through just about every other thing they had there. SBMM, EBMM, lots of fenders, a schechter or 2, some Ibanezes.

    Since then, I've been back there 2 more times, basically doing the same thing. I've also gone to the independent place a couple of times and played a couple of Warwicks, more fenders, and some more EBMMs.

    I've come to a couple of conclusions:

    1.) I will own more than one. Foregone conclusion probably, but for now I need a solid all-around.

    2.). I really like the Ray34 I played at GC. I don't know they are all like this, but the thing that makes me hesitate about this one is the finished neck. Much preferring the unfinished neck of the Ibanez and the EBMM I played.

    3.) Didn't feel like the extra cost of the EBMM was worth it to my, from fit and finish or sound. Am I missing something here?

    4.) Liked the Warwick I played. It was an older fortress 5 I want to say. I could see going that way.

    5.) Could go 5 or 4 at this point.

    6.) Can't get on board with the fenders doe some reason. I kept playing them thinking I just hadn't picked up the right one yet.

    Oh, and I play everything music wise. No metal, although I do like the occasional Rage song. I'm working on slap, but I don't see that being my main MO.

    SO, I know its very subjective, but any thoughts?
  2. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    So, if you're not that into proper Fender's, yet you liked the Sterling by MusicMan Ray34, I suggest the Ray35 as well and G&L Tributes L2000 and L2500, ash bodies you know and love, with dual humbuckin' pickups, serial/parallel and active/passive

    Or Ibanez ATK 800/805 Premiums, less MusicMan clones than they used to, yet value for your bucks

  3. Thanks for the thoughts, Wallace. I'll take a look at your recommends.

    Interested in any thoughts on what I might regret if I decided to go Ray34 over EBMM. I could live with the finish on the neck for a $500-$1000 savings. I did play them back to back, and was able to dial thoroughly satisfactory tones in on both.

    I'm fine with spending the extra $ (if I go that route) if there's something that I'm not realizing that I'm missing, but I'd rather put that money toward a rig or upgrading my recording equipment if I will be fine with the Ray34 for a few years.
  4. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    TB Classifieds are a safe bet - I've never bought a bummer from this great group. The EBMM Stingrays are a good deal used, but if you like the skinnier neck and generally sleeker design of their similar Sterling, those go way too cheap used in my opinion. I'm a big Sterling fan and yes, nothing feels quite like a nice EBMM neck. The attention to detail an material quality of EBMM is fantastic. That said, all the Sterling By... examples I've tried have played and sounded very well. Used older Warwicks (which you say you like) are also under-priced IMO.

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