after reading some good reports about the classic series ray, could not resist the temptation to A/B one with my '79. Called the next GC and sure enough they had a maple one with white finish, white p/g and p/u cover. I spent about 30 minutes going back and forth about five times between the 2 basses. mine is also maple fingerboard but it has a 3 pcs alder body under its dull root beer finish. the weight between the 2 basses was surprisingly similar. they did a great job matching the finish of the neck too, even if the logo doesn't look quite the same (maybe it's more a '77 logo, not sure on that one). In terms of feel, the basses were very close. The necks profiles were almost the same, maybe the classic was a little beefier. The setup on the classic was really good and the bass well playable. The neck curvature was straighter on the classic and hence more suitable for low action. Now comes the catch: in terms of sound it was night and day. I had a set of D'addario XL nickels which are still relatively fresh, but man it was impossible for the classic to come even close with any of the preamp settings. Across all registers, the clarity of the '79 is far superior and the dynamics more responsive regardless if thumbed or fingered The pre exhibited a different characteristic. it was difficult to dial in a decent slap tone without sounding to harsh. Legend has it that Leo Fender was hard hearing when he designed the music man basses preamp in the seventies ...wow, talking about genius ... I hope i do not offend anyone here. This experience made me aware how great values the pre EB remain when you think you can have them for the same price as a brand new classic, i wouldn't think twice, even if the bass is beat up and looks like crap.