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It's always in the last place you look (NBD)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lousybassplayer, Nov 11, 2010.


  1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54842565@N04/5166406159/


    I tried all the greats, and owned at least one of most of them. The Thunderbird, the EB-3, P's, Jazzes, and the great Rickenbacker that I lusted after for 10 years before I bought one. But there was one biggie missing from the list of "iconic" American basses, and I'm sure the fans of them noticed. I had never owned a Stingray.

    After much dithering over getting rid of my Rick (a painful thought at the time) and not having any luck finding the Jazz that I thought was my ideal bass, I ended up getting into a trade deal for this 'ray. I took a little cash with it of course, but it still felt funny. I knew I had to see what the 'ray brought to the table, and I never fell as in love with actually playing the Rick as I did the thought of owning it. This was a risky and possibly economically stupid trade.

    So it shows up, and the first thing I think is "*** did I just do?" The neck is an enormous chunk of (beautiful) maple. IT has dual pickups but they are humbuckers (to annoy both ray purists and jazz guys like myself). It's active, it has way too many gizmos, it clanks a little, but the action is too high. The fit and finish are phenomenal, probably among the best I have ever owned, and I have owned moddys, an Elrick, a Rick and more than a few Fenders. I am still not sure if it's stunningly beautiful or looks like a toilet seat :D

    By rights I should hate this thing. It is everything I thought I hated about basses. And yet.......

    I'll put it like this after that long winded rant. I don't miss that Rick in the least and if it weren't for practicality in resale values, the cash would not have been necessary (No, Rick I am not going to send it back though, it's already gone ;) )
    I am converted. I want more 'rays. I've said it before, but I mean it this time. It stays.

    Oh, better pictures will follow once I get the digi-cam working again.
     
  2. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    I too just bought a SR4 HH and I've been really impressed with the tone. Very "wide" sound, for lack of a better term... seems to fill a lot of space in the mix, so to speak. Yes it is a massive chunk of wood. But that tone!!!

    :bassist:
     
  3. kjpollo

    kjpollo

    Mar 17, 2008
    CT
    Its funny how we have these epiphanies along our respective musical journeys.

    I'm kinda going in the opposite direction, though not 100%.

    Ever since I got my old Ibanez Musician back in the mid 80's, I've been a HUGE fan of active electronics in my basses. For most of the 30 years I've owned basses, the actives have ALWAYS outnumbered the passives in my "arsenal"-at least when my arsenal exceeded 2 basses. This was true until last week.
    I added 2 additional passive 4's, one new and one vintage-esque, so I now have 4 passives, 4 actives and 1 A/P hybrid. I definitely find the passives getting more & more playing time and this is really different for me.

    I can definitely see where you're coming from- sometimes change really can be eye-opening!!
     
  4. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Yawn. So you just discovered that 'Rays are totally unique among bassdom. A lot of us been there. Done that. A ray is the ultimate active bass. The active isn't just a rehash of the knobs on the front of your amp, but an integral part of the nature of the instrument. The tone isn't just some other bass but that close to the bridge split humbucker gives that 'ray a sound that NO other bass has! It's just like the Jazz or the P bass in that you look around and ask just what other bass is like this one? And the answer comes back "none". [except the people who copy them, of course] The tone. The cutting the mix. The range of tone that maintains its unique quality over the range. And best of all it's a step forward in time from the primitive days of passive "J" and "P" basses with their "toy" tone controls. It's a step into a Brave New World of bass that leaves "old school" behind and yet still can go back there and show those geezers a thing or two! Yes. Welcome aboard! (It's never too late to join us)
     
  5. At first I thought you were poking fun at me, but I now feel welcomed to some shadowy Stingray fraternity. I agree completely with the unique nature of the preamp in this thing. After looking through the most recent MF catalogue, I realized that active basses seems to far outnumber passive ones in the inexpensive markets now, and I have owned a bunch even though I never really cared for them. Most of the imprted active basses I have owned seemed to have active electronics as almost an afterthought, with out much real utility. Even my Elrick's preamp, though very "natural" sounding, was nothing really special to me. IT very well could have been a passive bass for my needs, and I only ran it active for a bit of a boost in low end. With my 'ray, I feel like I have an actual tone shaping tool in the preamp, something I have come to hear from active fans when talking about much more expensive boutique active basses with proprietary (or at least really fancy) preamps.

    Now to find a matching 5 string.
     
  6. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Been thinking about trying a Ray myself. Need to check on the radius though. I like a flat fingerboard. 12" radius+ makes me happy. Congrats on the new Ray, Lousybassplayer!
     
  7. Thanks! I am not sure of the numbers on the radius, but it feels pretty flat to me. It's a chunky neck, which I generally can't stand, but the neck just feels flat on both sides and makes it surprisingly easy to play, and this coming from a Jazz lover.
     
  8. steamthief

    steamthief

    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Condescension is your strong suit, huh?
    11" radius on a four string. A very comfortable neck to play on.
     
  9. jmbstudios

    jmbstudios Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    South AZ
    Welcome to the ray family.

    I have a 77 that my dad gave me back in 1984. I have owned a few basses but always went back to the Ray!


    They are great!!
     

  10. Well who keeps looking for something once they found it?

    "I lost my coil-cord but thankfully I found it in the 3rd to last place I looked for it". Sounds like a guitarist.
     
  11. Hehehe. My subtlety was not quite subtle enough for everyone it seems :D
     
  12. So for anyone who cares, we can now turn this into a Ray bashing/praising thread for a few hours and then let it die it's natural death. I never did get my camera fixed, so no pics, but hell, its a black and maple Stingray HH, I'm sure you have all seen one.

    On an aside I played it with a band for the first time last night. It was sold to me as a funk/rock thing, but turned out to be more bluesy than I had anticipated. I hd played with the drummer in the past but the guitarist I had never met. So going in there knowing none of the material, and playing through the drummer's fairly humble makeshift dual Fender combo "rig", I still was able to get that think singing in no time. With very minimal fussing I got her sounding super sweet. I was shocked at how when the drums and guitar were wailing it knocked down my mids and when they were playing slower or quiter I had to adjust my playing a bit to take the clanky-ness down a, but with a little more time and my own rig/settings, I could make this the best sounding bass I have owned for what I generally play. It is really sensitive to attack and technique, but by varying both and with extremely minimal knob twiddling I kept it sounding right. Great instrument, versatile yet keeps a distinct voice.

    I waited until I had played just about all I could get my hands on before trying a 'Ray. It was worth the wait and was a fun trip, but I am now a convert. I don't think I'll ever be jazz-less if I can help it, but I can get by on just a Ray. Now to get a classic and a 5. And maybe a Sterling. And maybe a Status neck. Oh, this is going ot get expensive.
     
  13. Yeah, I recently fell in love with an SR 5 HS, so that is likely to be my next bass. I think the switch is very versatile and useable (especially 3 of the 5 positions). Starting to save up...
     
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I was convinced I wanted an MM 'Ray or Big Al before I got my Precision V. I could never get the MM's in a place tonally that I liked.

    I am not knockin' 'em though. If I had either at home with my own rig and a day or 2 to sort them out, I am sure I'd be posting a thread just like this one.

    It's all about working with something a bit to find the sweet spots.
     
  15. Absolutely true. This was one of thsoe deals that if I had played it in a store I might have given up on it over the neck dimensions, electronics etc since I thought they weren't for me. It was only because I was "stuck" with it that I learned how to use it, and now I am in love.

    Definetly would love Fender 5 though. I do want a quality 5 back in my stable, but I fear that a 'Ray neck beefed up to 5 string dimensions might be too much for me to handle.
     
  16. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I think the Stingray 5 neck is a lot friendlier to smaller hands than the Fender 5ers. It's a very comfortable thing to play.
     
  17. I will defer to your knowledge on this one. I certainly would give them a looking into, but I have only ever plunked around with one 5 string 'Ray in my life and it was hardly a real test. They are not very common in the music stores around anyplace I have been.
     
  18. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    As perfect as that distinctive 'Ray sound is, don't allow yourself to get burnt out on it. Keep the Jazz at all costs. If nothing else, it'll always be there to remind you why you love your 'Ray so much.
     
  19. Actually, funny I should use that choice of phrase, as my current "Jazz" is actually a PJ with a Jazz neck. I will definetly be back to a real nice regualar Jazz ASAP though. I had a good reason to part with my last Jazz that had nothing to do with disliking it though.
     
  20. I almost bought this exact model! I wish I had, but instead, got a fender Am P Dlx. It is a great instrument, but so is this. I Think I might have bonded with this one a little more, after playing another like it.

    I love my P dlx, don't get me wrong, but these have a lot more going than meets the eye.
     

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