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NBD Music Man Old Smoothie Review....of sorts....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by armybass, Oct 10, 2017.


  1. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I am a huge EBMM fan and a particular fan of the Classic series. I have a few of them and nothing makes me happier than the feel and sound of the Classic Rays. So I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a hold of an Old Smoothie as that was right up my alley. I assumed I would have to wait and order one since I had not seen them in stock anywhere but low and behold I was able to score one at Sweetwater last week and I absolutely love this bass.

    I get why this bass was released as the 40th Anniversary. It is different in very subtle ways from any Stingray that most of us have ever played. The pickup is an obvious departure in its design and although it does change the tone ever so slightly, there is more than enough of what we know in our ears to be Stingrays left in it to make that undeniable. I find myself adding a bit more highs to this bass than I normally would on a Stingray and it comes in in a very mild way.... not harsh tonal changes. Sterling is right.... it just seems very old school. The bass is brand new but it feels like it has been played for 40 years.... If you like scotch, you understand that a 12 and 15 year old single malt scotch is nice and smooth.... ah but an 18 year old is just nicer.... in ways that are sometimes hard to put into words. That is what it is like trying to describe the tone of the Old Smoothie. Its just a little sweeter and smoother.

    OK, enough of the esoteric jank.... where the rubber meets the road.... That friggin neck! OMG it is such a sweet feeling player to me. It is one of those basses you just cant put down. It plays so effortlessly. It is one of those instruments that does not inhibit your playing in anyway. It is a slim and fast playing neck that feels great in my hand. And the lovely alder body is nice and light and resonant. The fit and finish are so sweet and my goodness what a looker.

    This along with my new Caprice are the first new basses I have purchased in a while that I will not be putting flat wounds on. It sounds great just the way it came from the factory. Cannot wait to gig this lovely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    Giffro, Chiliwailer, metron and 12 others like this.
  2. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump

    Jul 17, 2004
    Enjoy those beauties . It's rare to get basses that sound so great and feel so awesome . MusicMan seems to have it down.
     
    armybass likes this.
  3. keto

    keto

    Mar 3, 2016
    Edmonton
    Got mine about 4 months ago, and it’s slowly but surely taking #1 spot as I get used to the wide-for-me neck and spacing, which is making me re-train my muting technique. Agree with everything you say, great fit n finish, fabulous tones. Mine wears DR nickel lo-riders, which have plenty of growl and good output balance.
     
    Goy77 and armybass like this.
  4. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Yeah man. These are not collectors Basses. These bad boys are giggers and players!
     
    Tbone76 and Aqualung60 like this.
  5. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    You know the rules - no pics means it didn't happen. ;)
     
    Aqualung60, armybass and pjbassist like this.
  6. keto

    keto

    Mar 3, 2016
    Edmonton
    117EF4A9-EA23-4D1A-87E3-2BE39FCEADF8.jpeg

    Oh yeah? Well, take that!

    Actually just remembered, I did take some 1000 grit sandpaper to the back of the neck not long after I got it, just to knock the gloss stickiness off. Not unusual for me, I’ve done it with several guits and basses over the years, and now you can’t see that I did it - looks glossy - but doesn’t feel like a new gloss finish, nice and quick moving around.
     
  7. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    LOL... How did I let that happen... I will need to rectify that momentarily. ;)
     
  8. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    CB7AA38B-8BF5-4457-9FCA-8BD0845581EB.jpeg C71A0BF3-F581-4E54-B9B9-89B3EC92154C.jpeg 6B578BCF-714E-4681-8848-AE0D1C9F3867.jpeg 15585C51-1078-4A6F-B0BA-95AE2EFC78D3.jpeg C099BCB5-6A2F-483C-B051-CE18A7C3066F.jpeg F00D4A65-8769-4845-863B-D0854B08580C.jpeg 459DA065-C2E2-4581-9530-F69A44CD25B3.jpeg 7CA37481-BEE8-4B8E-A093-F08B758853D4.jpeg D35001A5-F474-4774-A985-103BF36AFD95.jpeg
     
    Giffro, metron, FenderOli and 14 others like this.
  9. extreme

    extreme Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    These are beautiful!
     
    lowdownthump and armybass like this.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I don't know why, but I can't get past the pickup cover alignment.

    I still want one. I thought they were only a 2016 PDN model. Are they still actively making them?
     
  12. The chocolate burst was for the 40th Anniversary bass only. It's available in butterscotch and mint green at the moment - Armybass that mint green is very cool - looks light in colour in your pics - lighter than the mint green offered for the first year or so when the Classic Ray's were introduced.

    I've had mine for 12 months - great bass - it sits very nicely in a mix - warm and defined sound.

    For those who don't know the whole thing is based on 1976 bass B001028 (#28 production bass) owned by Sterling Ball - Leo made the pick up so the strings go between the rows of pole pieces like a Fender bass - intended to make it smoother sounding. There are loads of other cool details not least the pick up is a repro of the original down to the pick up cover being made from two pieces of a four string pick up - taped together with clear tape.

    Although the neck is lacquered I've found it incredibly smooth not exhibiting any stickiness - so playing very fast passages are a breeze.
     
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, I don't mind the polepieces lining up between the strings, but not lining up properly in the holes of the pickup cover would bug the :poop: (chocolate soft-serve ice cream) out of me.
     
  14. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Hot fudge Sundae!
     
    KUETSUM and armybass like this.
  15. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump

    Jul 17, 2004
    I keep returning to this thread to look at pics of your bass.

    I happen to think that this era of Ernie Ball MusicMan might go down as one of if not their best . The quality , the tone, the feel , the innovation as well as the old school throwbacks is all working in everyone's favor . They really are offering products that I don't mind paying new asking price for . When the quality is this good it far exceeds asking price , I know I've found a keeper.
     
    Goy77, armybass and Tbone76 like this.
  16. Old Smoothie owners, have you had any problems with a weak G string? I've had a couple of 3-band Rays with that problem.
     
    lowdownthump likes this.
  17. keto

    keto

    Mar 3, 2016
    Edmonton
    I haven't noticed it at all, though honestly I don't spend much time on G as I'm hard picking rock tunes. I had heard of it as an issue with some Stingrays, so did some initial testing when I got it and didn't feel it was low output, I should go back and repeat that now I've had it a while and recheck my findings.
     
    Pet Sounds and lowdownthump like this.
  18. Mine is very even across the whole fretboard.

    It's a 2 band EQ with a lot of bass and treble boost available so it is possible (though not essential) to dial in a scooped sound. So in a band with a lot of left hand keyboard or crunchy guitars, as with any bass, the upper strings can appear less prominent when stood in front of an amp, without full monitoring and PA use.

    However there's been quite a few ambient recordings of mine in a 2 guitar, sax, bass, drums blues band and it really sits in the mix with no sound reduction wherever played.

    I have a bog standard natural 3 band SR4 which I bought used and I've never really bonded with - until I used it in a rehearsal this week - I tried cutting the mid range a lot and the treble also but with the bass at centre - my goodness it sounded superb - I sort of was influenced by Tony Levin on the SR5 30th Anniversary ad - he says he cuts the mid range on the pre amp a lot. The 3 band EQ is a powerful and very flexible tool.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    armybass and Pet Sounds like this.
  19. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I just st watched the same video and made the same adjustments as you with the same results. Tony is a genius. It works perfectly. I was already cutting the highs but now cutting the mids and bumping the bass. Sounds much closer to my two band now.
     
    Mediocrity Man likes this.

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