Musicman Quality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HMZ, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    What’s going on with Musicman basses?
    I have owned a couple of Ernie Ball Musicman basses over the years. I had a 1999 sterling I bought new at GC and loved it, it was my main bass for a few years. I also had a Stingray five string that sounded amazing but I could never get comfortable on a fiver. I always considered EBMM basses to be of the best quality the always look sound and feel great, but Yesterday I was at GC because I was interested in maybe getting a stingray. I was looking for one with a maple fret board and the GC near me had one. The bass was a natural finish, maple fret with a tort pick guard. I picked it up and started to play and the sharp fret ends stuck and scratched my hand. I could not believe this from a bass that was over $1200.00. This seems not too uncommon on cheap $200.00 basses but on a EBMM Stingray it’s unbelievable. The bass also was in need of a setup the strings were like ½ off the fret board and it was missing 2 tone knobs. How can GC and EB let an instrument like this hang in the store?
  2. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    Unfortunately EB (or anybody other manufacturer for that matter) have no control over their basses once they hit a dealer). If any instrument is allowed to experience high changes in humidity and temperature its not un common for fret ends to feel sharp or for exceptional amounts of relief to creep into the neck. It should be nothing for a dealer to keep their instruments in good condition but the sad fact is most do not, particularly Guitar Centre. I was in the Denver GC (an area which experiences extremes of low humidity) recently and virtually every bass had sort of problems you describe right across Fenders, Warwicks, Spectors, Ibanez and Musicman so dont start focusing on Musicman, I wouldnt single out any manufacturer.

    Its nothing a few tweaks on a truss rod and a fret dress wouldnt sort out.
  3. I've always wanted a 'ray, I love the look of them, and I love the sound of them on record, but having tried a few in various stores, I'm yet to find one I think is worth the money, or is as good as my old BB3000S.

    The last one I tried in a shop in Manchester here in the UK, was a white one, looked fabulous hanging on the wall, but once it was in my hand, it felt awkward to play, and sounded crap, I was so disappointed. I went on to try a Warwick Corvette, which was truly fabulous and cost £300 less.
  4. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    Yes, it isn't MM's fault. I travel all over God's planet doing demos on our bass amps. I have to bring so much stuff with me on the plane that I can't bring a bass.......would rely on using one the of store's basses that I was doing the demo at.

    In about four out of five stores I can't find a bass that is playable for demo purposes.....dead strings, dead batteries and bad set ups. What is kind of funny is that I can look at the basses in the store and know within seconds if their is a bassist working there.

    The guitars are set up nicely and the basses are neglected. Or, the guitarists working there think a bass is supposed to have thuddy strings and a high action.
  5. Diddlysquat

    Diddlysquat Guest

    Feb 8, 2006
    It's the humidity level at Guitar Center - non-existent. Like Stox said, nothing a little tweaking by a good set-up guy can't fix. Use it as a negotiating point to get some money knocked off the price. "Hey, I'm going to have to have my set-up guy fix all this stuff, and that's going to cost me $x."
  6. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    The real question is, of course, what's going on with that particular retail outlet?

    I was in one of their stores a few weeks ago and picked up a Sterling HH to demo. Nothing - no sound. Checked the cables, checked the amp, tried another bass, everything else was fine, so I thought, "Well, the batteries must be dead" but then these basses haven't been out very long, right?

    Popped open the battery cover - no battery.

    Musicman's fault?
  7. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    My Stingray(which i'll forever regret selling:crying: ), was one of the highest quality basses i've owned. The fretwork was exemplary.... I simply could not find a flaw on this bass.

    My Sadowsky Metro has sharp fret ends. It's a common problem with basses/guitars. MM are built in California, then they're shipped across the country/world. If it's 80 degrees and dry in Cali, then shipped to Minnesota where it's 3 degrees below zero.... chances are pretty good the necks going to move exposing it's fret ends.

    Once you have the frets filed, you won't have that problem again.

    MM basses are one of the best built basses in any price range.
  8. WarwickFan


    Feb 7, 2005
    While I like GC, they don't take very good care of their basses. Last week I was in one and they had a new Geddy Lee Jazz bass. The neck was bowed forward so much it looked like a ski jump. I asked the salesman how he expects to sell it like that? He gave me a blank look and walked away.
  9. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Are you seriously questioning the quality of output from an entire manufacturer because you found a single insturment that was less than perfect?:eyebrow:
  10. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    EBMM basses have the most consistantly amazing quality out of any production bass i have experience with it. GC on the other hand, their instruments are abused.
  11. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man

    The man knows how to get your attention.

  12. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    EBMM continues to impress the hell out of me.

    The owner of a major company in the industry personally deals with an issue with one of his products, without the thing escalating beyond a mere posting on a message board.

    On a weekend, no less.

    Name me another manufacturer that displays this kind of responsiveness.

    Think Fender or Gibson would do that?


    Most boutique builders wouldn't even do that.

    A lot of American businesses could learn a lesson or three from EBMM. This is the kind of thing that creates customers for life.
  13. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
  14. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Looks like Big Poppa had his Wheaties this morning.
  15. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
  16. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000

    I really don't understand the purpose in posting this at both the TB and MM forums. It's a lot of grandstanding over what is really a non-issue. Following your logic, I suppose the Asian bird flu is also MM's fault, eh? Poor Sterling Ball has got a lot of weight on his shoulders. :help:

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I've been playing Music man basses since the late 70's(I own two 78's and a 79 and I loaned a 77 to a friend that got stolen from him when he was on the road)my very first 5 string(that I still own)was a 92 SR5(that I purchased brand new in 92 and still own to this day)and I'm thinking about getting a SR5HS.I felt so secure about the quality of the MM that when they went from simply MM to EBMM I was right there.there is not one Bass company that is not able to experience the problem that was described in GC(unless it was maybe made of graphite(and that is even subject to happening on a graphite neck,frets can pop out)temperature changes effects wood,whether it's the body,neck,action/sound etc. a large % GC's have a bunch of Kat's who don't know,don't care to know and will never know because none of that stuff means anything to them,they only want to make a sell and usually by any means necessary.You say that this is the first time you've experienced this type of problem from all of your experiences with a MM that you say has been great in so many ways,then this really is no reason to start hating them now and the problem you described isn't MM's fault any way.When it comes to quality controll MM is one of the few non custom Bass companies that is about quality controll(I stopped playing One companies Basses that I endorsed for a while,because of poor quality controll).
  18. When I think of bass manufacturers, more so, production manufacturers, Ernie Ball MusicMan is the last company I have quality control concerns with.

    Heres the stats for me. I am an EBMM fanatic. Im 22 years old. I have now owned 26 EBMM basses. Ive had a problem with 1, bought used. I bought over half, sight unseen, and have yet to be let down.

    You cant let one instrument decide what a company as a whole is doing.
  19. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Everytime I go to GC I play some EBMM's... they ALWAYS play nicely.

    Blame the GC, not the company.