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Musicman vs. Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wahoolooze, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. wahoolooze


    Jun 24, 2005
    Eau Claire
    I am looking to update my low end Spector, and I have come to two final choices: Musicman 4 string StingRay, and the 4003 Rickenbacker. I play religiously in my school jazz band (Ranked one of the top 15 in the country) and I want to choose the best bass possible. I've heard good things about both of these basses, and I'm just wondering if anyone has any reccomendations or personal preference.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Yer talkin 2 entirely different animals. The only real help I think you're going to get on this one is playing the both of them as much as possible and seeing which one you like the best.
  3. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    These are both very unique basses. I'm a Rickenbacker guy (I own 3) so I'm a bit biased. I kinda believe that Stingrays have their "one sound". It's a cool sound, but that's their deal. (I actually prefer Sterlings...)
    Now Ricks are definitely a beast all unto their own. The more recent 4003's are much more versatile that the 4001 but will certainly have the Rick clank/tone. They seem to be a real love/hate type of bass.

    For the direction it sounds like you're going in, maybe a Fender Jazz is for you...
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    ... or BONGO which covers more basses (pun intended) than any other bass I've ever played.
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    When I first saw the title of this thread it struck me how "similar" these two basses are, in that in there eras they were both kinda the main "alternatives" to Fender. In the 70's the Rick was the "different" voice for some rock players, most notably Chris Squire and Early Geddy Lee because they seemed to provide more bite and a unique look.

    In the 80's the Sting Ray almost occupied the same position. As far as a comparison of the two. They are both very good basses, but they are both "limited voice" basses. You'd better "like" the sound, because with both what you get is what you get. To me the Rick's fatal flaw is weak pickups, I just find it hard to use the word "punch" in a sentence describing the Rick's tone. The Ray is a great slap bass, but the fingerstyle tone takes some getting use too. Neither would be my first choice in a Jazz band. But the Ray would probably do it better.

    I'm with Joe, I'd consider some alternatives, Fender Jazz, Bongo, Lakland Skyline......
  6. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    My tutor plays a Stingray which I am not over keen on
    I play a 4003 which my tutor loves (as of course do I !!)

    As stated above, you really need to try them both out & decide which is best for you :bassist:
  7. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    If you plan to do primarily jazz, I wouldn't actually consider either of these two basses. While their quality is great, these just have very distinctive tones that will not fit in with swinging straight ahead jazz or a big-band situation.

    Look into a Fender Jazz bass, or there are tons of alternatives out there that will match more the music you are playing, plus let you do other genres as well.

    I would say the Bongo could likely get it done. It sounds huge and warm. While its looks aren't everyone's cup of tea, I believe it truly to be an incredibly versatile and playable bass, plus you can easily use it in a rock, funk, or other setting.
  8. wahoolooze


    Jun 24, 2005
    Eau Claire
    I see you mention the Sterling...I've heard good things about it. What's the difference between it and the StingRay?
  9. The Sterling is the lighter and slightly more versatile brother to the Stingray.
  10. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    Is hard to take pick one over the other......i pick StingRay with a gun in my head :(

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