Newbie...with a dilemma!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tb1973, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. tb1973


    Nov 9, 2011
    Hi all! I currently own an Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray, early 90's model with passive 2 band eq pickups. Although I still love the sound thro my Trace Elliot combo, I've got money burning a hole in my pocket, of around £400-500.
    I don't want to sell the stingray, but am caught between (a) buying a new (or second hand) bass and (b) modifying my Stingray.
    If I was to buy a new bass I'd like a 5-string with the low B, and probably a Jazz bass.
    For this dilemma, I have several questions which I'm hoping the members here may have some advice on.
    1) How easy would it be to add an active pickup, or maybe an extra pickup / switch to my existing Stingray? Any advice on hardware? (OK thats two questions in one!)
    2) If I were to buy a Jazz bass, should I go for the Squier modern (new), or a second hand Fender (Mexican). Also could I change the pickups in a Squier to get a more decnt sounding / classic jazz tone?
    Sorry if some of these questions are a bit naive! And thanks for your time!
  2. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    +1 for b)

    You own a wonderfull bass, don't modify it or its value could change. I advise you to keep it.

    I would go for the mexican, personal preference. Instead of changing the pickups you could get a preamp in stompbox format (Exotic, Tech 21), that would do the job. But there is no comparison between your sting-ray and those basses.
  3. Sting the Ray

    Sting the Ray

    Nov 9, 2011
    +1 for keeping the Ray, I recently bought my first one and have struggled with tone myself (sounded flat) but found Markbass was the cure. To me, the VM Jazz is INCREDIBLE, very aggressive and growly IMO but, like the Ray must be played through a quality preamp/amp to coax the magical tone. Plus, the VMs are < $300
  4. tb1973


    Nov 9, 2011
    Thanks for the responses. Just a bit of background, I've had my MM stingray for some 17 years. used to play in a serious band that disbanded in 1998. Since then played in a few covers bands etc, nothing serious until now - where I've hooked up with my old band mates and am writing material again.
    I like the option of a low B bass 5-string, and I feel restricted with the 2eq MM. I can vary the tone quite a bit (I have Boss ME50B effects). Part of me is considering selling the MM stingray and buying a 5-string Stingray, but I'm so attached to it as you can probably imagine.
  5. See if You find a SUB5. Not expensive, and still in Stingray territory. That way you may keep both?
  6. I see you are in the UK, I paid £350 for my black SUB5 about 18months ago. Only thing I did to it was change the horrible pickguard.

    Still on 5 string mode and cheap yet cheerful, I bought a used Squier Jazz V deluxe, active, for £170.
    It has a 19mm string spacing and wide neck, which is why I bought it as it just feels great to me. Pretty good bass, works well stock, if a bit polite... but it's easy to change pickups at a later date. Worth considering, in my opinion.
  7. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Since your current 'Ray isn't broken, I'd say you'd be smart to not try to fix it. If you find another bass like yours that has another pickup AND also sounds and plays right, then maybe consider giving that a home. Be careful to avoid falling in love with the idea instead of the actual gear. Once you sit with it, feel it, play it, etc., that's when you'll really know if it's right.

    One question: Have you ever owned a 5-string? I studied with a guy who had one and that planted a bug in my head to look for one, too. Fortunately I didn't make a huge investment when I got one because as it turned out, only the idea of having a B string made sense for me. Turns out that my bass brain is firmly rooted in 4-string territory.

    It could be the best option to go for an affordable 5-string Ray with a layout that you like, but I can't knock the Fenders either. I like my two main basses much because they're quite different from each other despite both being 4-stringers. If the "uniqueness" of the Jazz has its appeal, that's cool, but a 5-string Ray might have enough familiarity that you could get one and really run with it in an easy transition.
  8. tb1973


    Nov 9, 2011
    I've played a 5 string with a low B a few times - I know someone who has a Jazz V, plays in a covers band. I've jumped on stage a few times as a substitute.
    Gonna check out the SUB5 and I like the Squier Jazz V option. Thanks for the advice guys, going to leave the Ray well alone (apart from some well needed maintenance and machine heads).
  9. tb1973


    Nov 9, 2011
  10. Broadstbully22


    Dec 5, 2011
    Why not go with a MIM 5 active jazz. Compared to what you have you would have a hugh range of different tone with those two basses and you would have a bunch of options. I am not in the school of having a bunch of basses that are the same, why not have many different ones to give you a range and options for every song and style. Just my 2 cents.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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