J bass vs stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fatbasstones, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. jazz bass

    96 vote(s)
  2. stingray

    146 vote(s)
  1. Fatbasstones


    Nov 12, 2020
    So I've been playing bass for about 3 - 4 years now and that entire time I've been jamming on a soungear ibanez bass that was given to me as a gift. It's a cheap bass for sure but I've done a ton of work on it and gotten it to sound really good. Currently I have some Legend DR Flatwounds on there and some custom made foam mutes so i can get a really funky and punchy sound (punchy is more because of my technique though). But I think it's time that I start looking at a new bass, one that'll get me through college and be more reliable through sessions and gigs.

    At first I was looking at some fender jazz basses because a bunch of my favorite players use them (joe dart, jaco, a ton of others) but every time I've gone to music shops to try out some I have been a little disappointed with them. However, whenever I go to a music shop and play a stingray I feel at home. I love the tone and the feel of them, and my gut's telling me that it's the way to go. A bunch of my other favorite players also use them (louis johnson, joe dart again, fernando rosa, pretty much any funk guy)

    That being said, I have heard some poignant criticisms of stingrays, like that they are not versatile, they sound terrible in certain genres, and that they sound nasaly in mixes. I personally believe that versatility is a matter of the player and how well they can imitate genres, but that's just one opinion.

    So what do you guys think would be best for me? For reference, my favorite genres to play are funk, blues, jazz, RnB, and fusion.
  2. Kenan


    Sep 13, 2014
    I'm personally not into the idea of a bass with only a bridge pickup, like the Stingray, for the reasons you listed. How about a Music Man with two humbuckers? Or a G&L L-2000, which can also do single coil, like a jazz bass, if you have the k-switch. Good luck!
    Staccato, dkelley, zon6c-f and 9 others like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I like J basses better, but sounds like you prefer the MM more, so I'd get the MM if I were you.
  4. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    You already have your answer.
  5. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    To be honest, only you can decide what works for you. If you want a Stingray get one. If it doesn’t work out for you move on to something else.
    Play what YOU like and LIKE what you play!!:bassist:

    Try some basses that offer a mix of the Jazz and Stingray. Sabre, Sterling, Stingray HH, Dimensions, Caprice come to mind. You might even like a Lakland that has a Jazz bass pickup at the neck and Stingray pickup at the bridge position.
    NSF, Ggeorges, Mr Cheese and 3 others like this.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I think the fact that you like the feel and tone of a stingray is all you need to know.

    Ive seen Rays in all the genres you list. EQ and string selection go a long way. I know a guy in town, uses a Ray for jazz and blues. He is able to take some “stank” off it, sounds a little more “vanilla” than a typical Ray but still really beefy and punchy.

    my point is don’t let the idea that a Ray doesn’t “fit” this or that hold you back. Play what’s right for you.
  7. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Man, if the MM feels like home, then open the door and walk on in.
  8. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2019
    Just info:
    The Stingray single H pickup location is as though a compromise or blending of Ric bridge and J (60s) bridge*.
    I like to understand it in that way (but it also has the preamp).

    Before I knew anything about basses, I never thought that Cliff Williams, for example, was nasally. And it's tighter than P.

    [*With all measurements taken from the nut, and after making a correction for the difference in scale length, the row of pole pieces in the MM pickup closer to the nut is in the same place as the Ric bridge pickup, and the row of pole pieces closer to the bridge is about .4" farther from the bridge than a J 60s, if I remember right.]
  9. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    Stingray all the way everyday. Its not even close for me. I played jazz basses exclusively for a long time. Once I really took the time to learn how to use a Ray I have never looked back. The new Specials have more of a Fender style voice IMO. Get the Ray. You will not regret it.
    JettBlaq, TheReceder, Artman and 5 others like this.
  10. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002
    I have five US made Sting Rays (four string with single pickup) and a US 1962 reissue Jazz Bass. All are great.

    IMO, go for the Sting Ray first and then follow it up with a Jazz when circumstances permit.
  11. Get what you like. What feels and sounds right or at home to you.

    honestly, we all sound like ourselves on what we play. The bass sound itself does not make as big a difference as well tend to think. It’s the player not the bass.
    JC2238, Morningside, NSF and 2 others like this.
  12. Benko


    Dec 16, 2014
    Tokyo, Japan
    Get yourself one of the Stingray Special, they are very versatile and work in all genre you can think of.

    I love my multi-pick up bass (PJ, Triple Single Coil (Big Al), Dual Humbucker) but I found my Stingray Special with the single humbucker is the perfect workhorse. I have a dual humbucker Stingray coming in a couple of day but I think it won't be the one staying
  13. I also recommend the StingRay Special. I like Jazz Basses, too, but if a StingRay feels like home to you, you can't miss with the Special. Light, versatile, top quality instruments for sure.
    lowdownthump, Joe Nerve and Benko like this.
  14. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    By far the most important question for a player at your level is which bass is going to get you off the couch and into the shed more often.

    The right bass is the one you want to play the most.

    Bandleader preferences and soundman bigotry can wait until later.
  15. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    Two completely different basses. Both each with + or - really depends on what you want...
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I have J and MM and others. The styles you name are when I’d grab my MM. Nothing wrong with a Jazz bass. But the Ray is it’s own animal. If you like a Ray you like a Ray.
    Joe Nerve and Eighthnoterock like this.
  17. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    "However, whenever I go to a music shop and play a stingray I feel at home. I love the tone and the feel of them, and my gut's telling me that it's the way to go."

    Thats a long post - given you already answered your own question.

    What other people think dont matter.
  18. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    I would not discount the MM based on only having a bridge pickup. It also has a robust preamp that will offer you a pretty broad spectrum of tonal variety.

    I played a Sterling Ray 34 with a natural finish and I believe a roasted maple neck and fingerboard. It didn't belong to me but the few times he let me play it I was pretty impressed. I had some mishaps because I didn't understand the controls. kept hearing these clicks not realizing I'd boosted the highs. One day I picked it up and the bass must have been boosted because it was just loud and thunderous. Not necessarily what I'd want to sound like, but, it did show off the capability of the preamp and that thing can make thunder.

    When I did have it EQ'd in a place I like it sounded marvelous. It was a joy to have in my hands.

    I may have even enjoyed it more than my American Special P-bass. Not that I'm going to sell it to make room for a Stingray, but.. shoot I kind of wish I had one hanging somewhere, but I'm not sure it's going to make my list in my lifetime unless by some miracle I find my way into a situation where I can afford a mansion with a room dedicated to guitars and basses.

    I might drool a little bit when I see other people playing their Stingray's though.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  19. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Whenever I have to decide between two or more choices regarding gear, I ask myself: If I could have all of them, which one would I reach for first and most often. So ask yourself, if you could have both a Jazz and a Stingray, which one would you reach for first and most often? Whichever comes to mind first, is probably what you want.
    mateoloco and Joe Nerve like this.
  20. zanzibar jorge

    zanzibar jorge Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    I was in the same boat, wanted a jazz and kept stumbling across stingrays that felt so much more at home. So I got the HH. With the switch you can run the pickups similar to a jazz but better. The special preamp with the top rolled off a bit should give you the best of both worlds.
    mateoloco, Waltsdog and Matty Koff like this.