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need help from those who know wood and/or Music Man's

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by flywheel, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS

    I just received this bass off the brown truck. I bought it from Bass Palace after I found it on their website. There are a couple things I'm concerned about with it and am considering a return.

    When I emailed Bob @ the Palace with ?'s on the body, he stated it to be made of mahogony with a flame maple top. I was concerned b/c the description stated it was really lightweight. When I got the bass today, I was surprised how EXTREMELY light it is. It almost feels like it could be made of basswood like the OLP's.

    Does anyone know...can you take this instrument to a shop or a luthier and have them verify that it is indeed mahogony? Is that even possible?

    Also, I was concerned that the bridge was not an actual Music Man, yet the site stated it had the correct bridge. Didn't ALL the old Music Man's have MM written on the tailpiece just like the newer models. All of them that I've seen have had it but this one doesn't. The tuning machines are Music Man but the bridge looks slightly different and doesn't have the "Music Man" in cursive.

    I knew this bass was a "mutt" when I ordered it but I'm not sure I want to keep it at $800 if the body is basswood and the bridge is different...although tonally it's sound is the same from what I can tell.

    Lastly, the clear pickguard looks homemade and although the didn't do a bad job I'm not real happy with it... so that's gonna have to be replaced one way or another if I end up keeping her.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I can't help you out, but let me say that's one of the most beautiful Ray colors I've ever seen.
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I just looked at the backside pic from the Bass Palace website, and the back looks a lot more like mahogany than basswood. Basswood is typically very light in color with little or no grain. From the picture, I can't say with certainty that it is mahogany, but it could easily be.

    The bridge does not look like a MM bridge, though. It looks like a cheap aftermarket replacement, or something that might have come off an OLP.

  4. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Im with him, that is one really sexy bass.
  5. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    That's what I thought and that's what made me want it soooo much along with the old MM maple neck.

    I'm with you Mike... that's exactly what I'm thinking it's off of too. I also pulled the electronics and they don't seem to be MM either. Bob did say he still needed to pull the electronics when I asked him about those but I got anxious and ordered it anyway b/c he said it sounded great and that was my main concern.

    I'm just not sure it's worth the 8 bills considering what I'm finding now that I have it in my hands.

    Also that flame maple top is divided down the center and has two seperate grains. Is that normal? None of my basses have flame maple tops.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    "Mahogany" is a bastardized term . The "real" mahoganies are Cuban and Honduran. Cuban is prohibited in the US and Honduran is headed for the CITES Protected list.

    There's Santos and Phillipine mahogany, which is quite cheap. Java is about to harvest their first crop of fine mahogany which are transplants of the fine Cuban mahogany. They are counting on it to be one of their main sources of income.

    My guess is your mahogany is the cheap Santos or Phillipine stuff.

    I have 100+ yr. old dining room set of Cuban flamed mahogany and it is quite beautiful.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    It's typical for figured wood tops to be divided down the middle, made from a single thicker piece that is split to be bookmatched, with the grain sort of a "mirror image" on both sides. In part this is to give a certain symmetry to the top, and in part because it's a lot easier to find nice pieces of wood that are 7" wide than it is to find pieces that are 14" wide.

  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The pickguards cheap and easy to replace, so don't worry about that.

    I'd be more concerned that it has a cheap, non-MM bridge, and what looks like a different control plate as well. I'm willing to bet that the only thing that is "MM" on that thing is the neck . . .

    Take a look at the electronics, the pickup as well as the wiring and the pots. Can you post a pic?

    I think $800 is a bit steep for a "mutt" like that . . .
  9. Kelu


    Dec 6, 2002
    Lille in France
    I also think that only the neck is MM...
    Light Stingray doesn't exists..
    The wood, pickguard, controls and bridge makes me think it isn't a real one..
    Is there a plate on the back of the body??
    Is it written something on it??
    Do you have the serial number??
  10. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    it really is a beautiful bass, but the thing is, you paid for a musicman, and, it looks like you didnt get one, even if you are going to keep it, i would make a point of going to the shop and asking for some money back. Perhaps there is some sort of legal action you can take on this, If i went to buy a 300w amp and later found it was 150w i would do something about it.
  11. Kelu


    Dec 6, 2002
    Lille in France
    , If i went to buy a 300w amp and later found it was 150w i would do something about it.

    That's not false
  12. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    I wish it was that easy... I already own two EB Music Man's so I took off one of my pickguards and it's not matching up. The pickup is in a slightly different place on this aftermarket body. I'd have to have one custom made.

    I think you're right on that. I was hoping that wouldn't be true. I've called the shop and told them that if I'm going to keep the bass they'll have to discount it. I'm going to listen to it through my rig and if it sounds good I'm going to go ahead and keep it...(as long as they go with the discount--I'll find out tomm.) If not, she's goin' back.
  13. Of course it's possible. Most if not all repair shops worth their salt should be able to tell you for certain what type of wood that is. I'd also gamble and say that most people that work in a lumber yard would be able to tell you as well.

    Why not try the Ernie Ball forum? I go there once in a while, and have met a few guys over there that probably have altars devoted to Stingrays in their houses. One guy claims he owns 79 'Rays. :eek: Not a 1979 'Ray - 79 Stingrays!!!

    Check it out, you have nothinng to lose.

    www.ernieball.com - go to forums and post this thread there.

    Good luck, flywheel.

  14. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    Sorry...I didn't make something clear in my origianl post. I knew it wasn't a real '81 when I ordered it b/c the site stated it had an aftermarket body. Which is fine if the Stingray sound is there. But I did count on the bridge and preamp and so forth being original b/c of the site's description of this bass.
  15. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    The bridge is NOT original. Neither is the control plate and knobs. Post pics of the preamp and the body/neck plate if you want more info. The finish of that body is gorgeous, but I think 8 bills are too many for that bass.

    keep groooovin'
  16. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    I think $550 or $600 is a good price..but not 6 it being not musicman stuff

  17. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Worcester, ma
    Product Manager, Akai Professional
    it looks to me like a photo-flame jay turser body in all honesty. I think ive seen one in a local mom-n-pop shop.

    neck looks legit

  18. the original ad reads:
    i think the first clue about the bridge and control plate is how shiny they are. there is no way even a cherry pre-EB MM is going to have such a high polish on the hardware.

    secondly, just looking at it i can see how close the pickup is to the edge of the pickguard. a more thorough visual examination of the photo -- not a quick, GAS peek -- makes it obvious that this is not to stingray spec.

    i think you're lucky if bass palace sends any of your money back. it looks like the swami fudged the details, however. the ad says the preamp is "right" but he told you he hadn't opened the bass to check. the bridge, we can all agree, is also not "right" like the ad states. astute of you to notice, however. i'm the kind of bonehead who would play the bass for years before realizing there was anything out of place on it.

  19. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    the ad says the it has the priginal bridge and preamp, demand an original bridge and pre amp, or some money back, infact, i would have them compensate me for the fact that they screwed me over in the first place, even if they do fix the bridge and pre-amp. Its false advertising, and i know in teh uk, thats illegal, i can only imagine america's laws being even stricter on this. Make sure you tell them you know whats going on, other-wise you'll be the looser who walked out of the shop, with $800 dollars less than he went in with, and a messed up stingray. Dont just sit there and accept it, take some action against this shop.

    Also looking at rcz's post he says that somone hadnt looked to check that the pre was actually a musicman pre, inwhich case he should not have said it was.
  20. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    I'm REALLY into Ray's. I already have a '91 and '96 and even a great copy by Dillion. I was suspect of the bridge before I even got it just b/c of the way it looked in the picture. I ordered the bass online...so I gave the Palace the benefit of the doubt and hoped they wouldn't have stretched the truth. So...given the same situation I think you would have realized it the same.

    They're supposed to call me today with a more reasonable price. I told them 6 bills is the most I would pay IF it sounded like a Ray.

    I don't think it's a Turser body, although it's possible. The bridge is something I haven't seen before either. I even checked the OLP site and they have a good close-up and it's not theirs. I have checked out most of the well know manufactuers that copy Music Mans (Turser, OLP, Bradley, etc.) None of them have the same bridge. It's a pretty close match, just slightly smaller, and the saddles are of those you would expect to find on a GOOD knock-off.

    Thank you to everyone for your help in all of this. If the Palace calls back with bad news...I'm sending this bass back w/o hesitation. I did let them know that I am very educated on MM parts and own 2 Stingrays presently. If I have any more trouble with them, I'm going to do everything I can to spread the word so that musician's like yourself don't go through the same thing.