My OLP is now a REAL Stingray!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KenToby, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    As many of you know, I own many high end basses including a Ken Smith Elite, Zon Sonus Special, Tobias Killer B, Yamaha TRB5P, MusicMan Sterling, '62 Precision (Real one), etc. I remind you of this not to brag (I'm sure you have lots of nice stuff too), but to say I think I know what a quality instrument sounds and feels like.
    Lately I have been playing the heck out of my Sterling and I thought, "hey wouldn't it be nice to have a Stingray as well - just for the heck of it". About a week ago I stumbled accross an OLP Stingray copy in my local Guitar Center. One of my students has one but I never payed much attention since I though of it as just a "cheap copy".
    To make a long story short, I made some side-by side, front to back, periphery to periphery comparisons between a real Stingray and the OLP and I'll be darned... the geometry matched spot on!!! The only difference was that the OLP body was about .20 thinner than the Stingray. The OLP had a tighter neck joint and better made tuners. The Stingray has a better bridge and better detailed fret finishing.
    I then A/B'ed the 2 basses using a nice amp and although the Stingray put out a hotter signal due to the preamp (the OLP is passive), I could tell that with some higher quality electronics I might be able to get a real Stingray tone.
    I called Mike Lull guitars (Yes, THE Mike Lull. He's here in the area) to ask their opinion of weather it would be worth it to do the electronics swap. Roger told me "as long as you have a good neck and use either a Bartolini or Seymour Duncan MM pickup you can get very close to the Stingray sound; So close no one will know unless they read the head stock".
    I picked up the OLP 2 nights ago ($160 out the door) and added the Duncan Pickup (Mike Lull himself explained how to wire it). I set it up and played it through my Fodera 2000 outboard EQ stomp box (to simulate the Stingray's on board EQ.
    Well fellow TB'ers, If it feels and sounds like a Stingray, for all intents and purposes it is a Stingray. I'll continue to call it an OLP however I will sleep well knowing that I have saved myself $1000 by doing a bit of homework.

    You may be wondering about the wood differences, etc.
    Keep in mind that Musicman states that they use "Select hardwoods", meaning they reserve the right to use any number of woods in stock, therefore any two Stingrays may not be made of the same wood and you may get a slightly different tone between the two. The painted OLPs are made of Basswood; Many $1000+ basses are made of basswood because of its desired rich, warm tone. I think the biggest factor in getting the Stingray sound is the precise placement of the pickup relative to the nut, again the OLP matches this pretty well. They both use quarter sawn North American Maple for the neck and jumbo frets.
    Yea, the detailed finish work is better on the Stingray but $1200+ VS. $229, I can have Mike Lull rework some of these details and still pocket hundreds.
    If you're looking for the Stingray look and sound and aren't conserned with what's on the headstock OLP IS THE TICKET!!!
    Don't take my word for it, go check it out!!

  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I dont know why people like basswood.
    To me, basswood is so light that it lacks the attack of Ash.
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Cool, I like cheapies. Now can you make Pinocchio into a real boy?
  4. OLP products are the best "copy" guitars and basses I have seen in a very very long time. And the prices, are just ungodly cheap.
    An enormous bang for the buck.
  5. I think that to be fair, you ought to factor in the cost of the outboard preamp. This would put everything at just under $500. With used Stingrays going for as low as $600, I'm still not convinced it's a major bargain in light of its resale value.
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    But what about Aslin-Dane, dammit!
  7. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    I paid $45 for my Fodera 2000 pre at a local pawn shop. They are going for around $150 - $175 on Ebay. New they are about $225 or so.
    Others are selling for Less (Aguilar outboard).

    A nice pickup will cost about $85 new.

    $229 + $150 + $85 = $464

    $464 for a modified OLP is still going to be about half of a used MM - with the same result..., tone and feel.

    I've been an Ebayer for a long time and have yet to see a Stingray go for $600. Yea, maybe 1 out of 500 Musicman auctions goes for $600 but to be more realistic, we all know that used MMs are consistently selling for $800+.

    Please email me first if you have a $600 Stingray.
  8. For what it's worth, I paid $800 for my Stingray. It's black sparkle with a matching headstock--last I checked, there's no OLP exactly like it.

    For somebody who's supposed to be a pawn shop/eBay king, you sure haven't been looking hard enough if you haven't seen a $600 Stingray.

    In any case, I'm glad you were able to find yourself a deal on what sounds like a quality instrument.
  9. I bought my stingray for what worked out to be 800$ canadian... and that was in january so that would work out to be a bit less than 550 american... it has d-tuner and piezo pick-up... not trying to discredit the original post, but am saying that used stingrays fully loaded can be found sub-700$(american)... (including matching headstock, rosewood board, pearl blue, and a black pearl pick-guard).
  10. ftroopy


    Nov 8, 2003
    New York City
    I've been alway's wanting a MM bass but didn't want to fork over all that cash. But been trying out this bass at a local guitar center and purchased one. Hell played both the real thing and this OLP and It felt the same , sounds the same just missing the higher output but its pretty identical. Played on stage with this baby and it's rock solid plus the sound from my ampeg kicks it up a notch. Loved everthing about this bass with feel and size. If anyone looking for a cheap quality instrument and durability go for this one! You can't go wrong.

    The sounds coming from this pickup is awesome! The band mates loved it and my sound engineer too! full roundness of the tone. I'm glad I purchased it.
  11. I don't think you can really say the quality on anything on the OLP is equal to the EB. I mean, seriously, everything on my bass is perfect, but I have yet to play an OLP that even compared to the build quality of a real EB bass. Even a modded OLP is not going to sound the same due to construction and woods. EB basses only use Poplar and Ash. Selected hardwoods is a lie because it's really only those two. Ash on transparent, poplar on opaque, although some opaque finishes have ash as well.

    I also would be worried about how much an OLP could take. Cheap basses are cheap for a reason. Every cheap bass I have owned has crapped out on in under a year in various ways from broken pots to cracked finishes to crappy fret work. OLPs are no different.

    I just think it's misleading to think that you can get a genuine sound out of a $150 preamp and $200 bass with a small pup upgrade. There is more to the stingray then just the electronics.
  12. Danny R.

    Danny R. Supporting Member

    I've played a few OLPs at my guitar center and I must say they felt like crap, the neck is big and chunky, the hardware is cheap and I mean cheap!! the tuners aren't better than the Ray's, even if I upgrade it with a preamp and pickups it'll feel like crap, and people, the OLP does not sound like the real StingRay that's just my opinion, I'm just being realistic, sorry if I offended anyone.
  13. No one is comparing apples to apples, but at $169.00 a person could have a very decent back up or a beginner could have a very nice bass for a quarter of the cost of the real deal.
    The point is OLP are turning out a very decent instrument for a very very low price. I know of many $1,000+ basses that are using basswood as well.
    Personally I feel they are heads and shoulders above anything in the price range or double.
  14. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I've never seen one go that low before. What kind of condition do Stingrays sell that cheap? Where have you seen them that low? I'd love to be able to get a good used one that cheap.
  15. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Well, the Thing that Gets me about Fender's and MM basses is that they dont have 24 fretts. I have a Lakland that only has 22 but it KILLS ME, Maybe ill only use THAT bass for ONE song that requires 24 Fretts, but for some reason it really gets to me... Cant get over it.

    One day I will have (somehow) a Custom 24 frett, MIA Fender Jazz Bass

    AND a 24 frett MM...

    That would be too cool.
  16. Moses and Warmoth offer 24frets on extended fretboard overhangs.
    getting to those frets with the standard cutaways might be a problem, though....
  17. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Thats one why I got the lakland... Having that HUGE cut away let me get into the higher register VERY easily... Even though it ONLY has 22 fretts...
  18. ever tried a Trace Elliot T-bass? (the J-type built by Status) they had 24 frets (with standard J pickup placement).
  19. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    There is a decent OLP at one of the local music stores here where I live... it is natural finish and although I am not 100% on what kind of wood it is, it looks very close to Ash (I have a natural finish StingRay and the grain looks very similar)... One thing I noticed about it, which differs from my bass, is that the string height between the body and string (ie: where you would "pop" the G string) is lower, this may be a good thing for most. My bass is just right with my low action, but if the strings (G string only really) were any further from the body I would not have bought this bass.

    Anyways, it is a nice OLP and it sounds great IMO, but if I bought it I would try and find a MM bridge and I would also put a MM pickguard on it (would have to drill for it because the OLP pickguard is more egg-ish/tapered/funny looking).. yes I realize my dislikes of the OLP are merely cosmetic, but that's just me I guess.

    KenToby - there is no way that the OLP tuners are better made than MM tuners. Try and bend them and you will find out. I say this from experience.

    Masamax - EB basses (sterlings and stingrays) use Ash on trans finishes and mostly Alder on solid finishes... Poplar too although not as often as Alder. The SUB's are Poplar.. this is because they had all these StingRay bodies from Poplar lying around that nobody is wanting because people generally request Ash or Alder.. hence the introduction of the SUB bass (to make use of these Poplar StingRay bodies.) The Bongos are Basswood.

    Just my couple of cents.