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NBD: The Courting Ritual Is Over - Sterling Ray34 TWB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jamvan, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Ok, so I've been going through a renaissance of sorts and have been on a bit of a buying and selling binge lately. It started here when I tried a Sterling Ray34 TWB at my local music store. I'd never fully considered EBMM or SBMM previously as I have a very strong preference for passive basses and the ones I'd picked up were really heavy. As I'd been selling off a ton of pedals, I had a bit of a war chest assembled that I considered (momentarily) buying this particular one brand new, off the wall. The translucent white with the exposed grain was just really beautiful and the active electronics sounded great.

    Fast forward, and a Sterling Ray34CA pops up in the classifieds that is equally as beautiful for different reasons and less than 1/2 the price of the new one I was considering. Long story short, it's mine now as well. War chest reduced but not depleted.

    Then, a silly post about what basses are currently available on your local Craigslist, led me to this:

    FullSizeRender 35.

    The exact same make/model I'd been originally drooling over with hardshell case. It was for sale by a guitar player who bought it but ended up not playing it at all (<10 hours) and was looking to sell it for $500 to fund a pedalboard.

    Too much for me. I was struggling to coax a good sound out of the Ray34CA at this point and wasn't interested in spending that much on another active bass.

    Two weeks pass, I've figured out how to make my Ray34CA sound incredible and I'm searching the local Craigslist again for random equipment and I see that he has dropped it down to $400. Now we're talking so I fire off an email offering him $350 cash.

    Two days pass. Nuthin'. So I send another. Same thing. Now I'm getting discouraged.

    Go back to the listing and see that he has his phone number listed for texting. So I text him the offer.

    I don't hear anything back for a day and all he says is he's not letting it go for less than $400. Seriously? no haggle. No negotiation? Where's the fun in that? So I fire off another text after a couple hours (don't want to appear desperate...) with my own counter offer. Knowing he's building a pedalboard, I offer the same $350 + my Way Huge Green Rhino distortion pedal I've been trying to sell here in the classifieds.

    He's not interested. $400. How 'bout a large RoadieMade pedalboard + $350? Nope.

    So I tell him I'll need to 'think about it' and will let him know if I want to proceed.

    I'm out. That additional $50 puts it in a 'good deal' category for me but not a 'great deal', even with the hardshell case. I like the story a great deal brings. I pride myself on finding/building/coaxing sounds out of low-priced instruments whether their cost is low initially or I've found a great deal on a more expensive bass.

    I've moved on and put it out of my mind so was caught off guard when I get a text yesterday saying he'll take the $350 + the pedal. I jumped on it, met him a couple hours later and, after inspecting it, brought home an absolutely beautiful Sterling Ray34 TWB w/case. After having it on the bench last night, cleaning it, new set of strings, a full set up, Dunlop Strap Locks, and a thorough run through the tones available with the three band EQ, I'm loving this thing as much as the one I played in the store nearly six weeks ago...aside from the fact I believe said guitar player was a bit of a toker as the case has quite the particular smell to it...May need some Febreze to take care of that.

    Anyway, more pics:

    FullSizeRender 34.

    Matching headstock:

    FullSizeRender 33.

    Love the grain exposure through the paint.

    FullSizeRender 36.

    Beautiful (somewhat) figured maple neck:

    FullSizeRender 37.

    The pair (Two for the price of one!): Ray34CA strung with D'addario Chromes and two-band EQ + Ray34 with D'addario EXL160 mediums and three-band EQ.

    FullSizeRender 38.
  2. SBMM


    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM
    Vice nice pair if I may say so :)
    MovingPitchers and Jamvan like this.
  3. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2013
    Whitby Ontario
    Sweet. That translucent white is beautiful!
    Jamvan likes this.
  4. SBMM


    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM
    Translucent White Blonde was a one year only, Limited Edition finish for both Ray34 and Ray35. I think it was our most beautiful finish.
    SirMjac28, TinIndian and Jamvan like this.
  5. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    I really liked the look of it too. Very subtle at first glance but really beautiful when you take a closer look at it. I've played a couple gigs since this post with the Ray34 and the sound guy from one of them absolutely loved the tone of it in the mix. I've also auditioned for a couple country influenced bands using the Ray34CA and have gotten great compliments on the it's tone in the context of the groups. It hasn't helped me get a position yet but I can't expect the bass to address my shortcomings in ability! Ha! ;)
    SBMM likes this.
  6. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Good job, great basses.
    SBMM likes this.
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    That's gorgeous congrats I love it.
    SBMM likes this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Nice bass, nice price. I tried the same bass at Guitar Center but eventually bought this one for $595 in February when I saw it marked down $100. They just came out with this color in 2015 and it's already a clearance item? Not complaining, of course...great bass!
    I put GHS Precision flats on mine and it sounds even better.
    SBMM and Jamvan like this.
  9. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    That's a great looking bass, @jd56hawk. I like the blackout hardware on it. Can you tell me which way the Sterling logo is facing on your neckplate and which end the serial number is located as well? Between my two basses, the neckplates are laid out differently. If you look at the picture above which shows the neckplate for the TWB, the serial number is on the body end of the neckplate but the logo is upside down. On my Ray34CA, the serial number is also on the body end of the neckplate and the logo shows right-side up. Maybe @SBMM can tell us how they're supposed to be machined.
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Thanks...yours looks good in trans white. My next bass is going to be a trans finish...nice to see the wood!
    Here's my neck plate. Weird, right?
  11. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Yeah. Your's is the same as my CA. Here are mine (hopefully no one will steal my serial numbers and make counterfeits...)


    Ray34CA IMG_5412.JPG
    jd56hawk likes this.
  12. You really can't go wrong with a Ray34 or Ray35 for that matter, they are a great deal for a mid priced bass.
    A very solid bass imho.
  13. I'm a bit envious of your score, even for $400 that is still a deal, play the heck out of her.

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