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Mexican Jazz or Sterling Ray 34?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DannyBob, Oct 23, 2013.

Mexican Jazz or Sterling Ray 34?

Poll closed Nov 6, 2013.
  1. Mexican Jazz

    40 vote(s)
  2. Sterling Ray 34

    27 vote(s)
  1. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    With a limited budget, I love both of them, but can't decide on which :( btw I play a mix of rock, funk and metal.

    I was set on getting a Ray 34 a year or so ago, but then tried a jazz bass and wanted one of them instead. Recently tried a Ray again and want one of them now. Been like this for a year...

    So finally - Which one?
  2. a_ribbon


    Apr 10, 2008
    i personally like the sound of a jazz more and it's more versatile and usable in a wider array of genres. so i voted jazz.

    however, you ultimately have to decide which one you like more and buy that one.
  3. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    I'm a fender fan but go for a musicman SUB bass. Only around 450$ used and its basically a USA ray with a different name on the headstock, (its made in USA, sounds like a ray)
  4. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Hmm, hadn't considered the S.U.B. It seems awfully cheap though, only about £20 ($32 US) more than I paid for my Ibanez, and I was really looking for an upgrade
  5. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    MIM Jazz basses still have nice necks
  6. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    I don't have a Ray34 but I love my Ray35, best word to describe it is Quality. My MIM Precision was made great as well, but the Ray35 is in another league. In all honesty though I would focus on which you think sounds better in a mix, and remember the necks will be quite different, the jazz thinner and gloss as opposed to a ray34 is more like a precision neck but satin finish instead of Gloss.
  7. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    I vote ray! They are made in Asia but the specimens I've seen in person are very very well done. They are higher quality than a standard MIM instrument. However, some of the higher end stuff made in Mexico is good--it's just the standards that are hit and miss.

    The EBMM sub bass is great, but they are tough to find used even in the states because they were only made a few years. Finding one in the UK might be tough.

    Curious -- what's the street price of a ray 34 and Mexican jazz in the uk? Here the ray is about $150 US more but (IMO) worth it.
  8. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    Jazz for me... as much as I like the fatness of a Ray, I think that the Jazz covers more ground for me.
  9. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012

  10. It's really not as simple. Both of these have their niche. Personally, I'd go for the Jazz, but the Ray's nice too!
  11. jnathanj33

    jnathanj33 There are two kinds of music, Good and Bad.

    Jan 9, 2011
    I voted sterling, get the mint green - great look and sound, but only own Fender- P-bass, 2 american jazz basses, one fretless. :)
  12. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Jazz in the UK is around £595, with the Ray at £729, so similar price difference to the US. If I got the Jazz I would probably end up spending an extra couple of hundred on a badass bridge and some EMGs (my own preference here, I love them), however if I got the Ray it would probably be untouched
  13. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Holy smokes man, a Mexican jazz bass is the equivalent of almost $1,000 USD! Wow. I think they're overpriced new over here at $600! I'm never going to complain about prices here again....

    If you do go the jazz route, the mods you mention will make it much more amenable to your style of music and bring it closer to the ray. But the ray is still going to have a tight, almost compressed sound that's really in your face. Even with good growly pups the jazz is a different beast. The jazz can be tamed but the ray can't.

    If you do get the jazz, consider Seymour Duncan quarter pounders. Great for heavy music, and made in my hometown here!
  14. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    Badass bridges are very hard to find, instead get a gotoh 201. Its only around 40$ and just as good.
  15. s4001


    Feb 2, 2009
    The Ray 34's are astounding value for what you get. If the Ray tone is your cup of tea, I'd say go for it.
  16. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Yeah, I didn't realise how overpriced they were until I did a search for US distributors... think I'm gunning towards the Ray at the moment, but needless to say when I try a jazz again soon I'll be smitten. Shame I don't have enough money for both
  17. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I'd tella ya Fender with the mods you mentioned (and maybe a
    Hipshot BT7 bass extender) but honestly a 2 band Ray Classic active 34 (if you dig the mentioned surf/mint/seafoam green) is a lot of a bass while neck is nearly close to Jazzes (except that glossy while MIM Jazzes are satin finished) and still you could install a BT7 there (same machineheads).

    Considerin' the genres you're goin' to play, the Sterling Ray 34 is the way to go IMHO

  18. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    two very different sounding basses you're choosing from there;
    good luck!
  20. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Nah, seafoam green isn't my colour tbh, has to be a white body, rosewood neck and black pickguard. Can't change on that. But thanks for the suggestion :) the more I read the comments the more I think it will be the Ray, even though the jazz has more votes haha.

    And no, I'm not an Arsenal fan? I don't really follow football, but if I did support a team, it would be Newcastle United

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