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Opinions on Fender vs. EBMM

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by facepalmmaster, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    So, since im a big planner, I have already been thinking about what my next bass upgrade will be. So far I have about $1000 saved up, and by the holiday season Ill have more than enough to get a really good bass. My dream up until recently was to have a Music Man Stingray (since Modulus is out of my price range), since I love slap, and its good for pretty much anything. But recently I've been looking at Fender P and J basses, and became unsure. Im not asking which one I should buy, I just want to hear comparisons between them, like what a Ray can do that fenders cant, or what a P bass can do that the J and the Ray cant, etc...

    PS Sorry, I make a lot of these, because for some reason i dont trust any answer thats not to my specific question, im weird like that...
  2. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    I've played a Fender Precision Lyte for the last fifteen years. I love that bass and have always been able to get great tones from it. It's one of those "magic" basses that just plays and sounds great. Everyone I know that has picked it up has been impressed with it's playability and sound quality.

    However, I recently purchased a EB MM Stringray HH and I have to say that it wins hands down. It's hard to explain but the bass is just more even across the strings and up the neck then the Fender. (And that is saying a lot.) The tone controls and the five position pup selection switch is awesome and gives me a ton of variety right on the bass. (I play in a cover band so tone switching must be quick and easy.) It also plays wonderfully. Low action with no buzz. Great tones. Balanced. Great feel on the neck. (It's quite a bit thicker then the P Lyte but it's still very comfortable. Wider string spacing, but also comfortable.) The slap tones are head and shoulders above the P Lyte.

    I've been getting a lot of compliments from my band about the sounds I have been getting from the MM. That says a lot as they are all seasoned veteran players. They love it as much as I do. That's a huge compliment and endorsment.

    Maybe I got lucky and found another "magic" bass? I'm not sure and I don't care. The MM is here to stay. ;)

    Good luck on your decision.
  3. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    its like orange, apple, and strawberry, all three of them taste different, so is all the 3 basses, the jazz bass has neck smaller than both the stingray and pbass, the sterling has jazz profile neck though. stingray has 3 band eq, the p and jazz doesnt, except for the american deluxe version. Slap tone wise IMO->stingray>jazz>precision.
  4. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    I've owned all three. Here's my brief take:

    1. Stingray- punchiest, most aggressive of the three. BIG low end, very growly. EBMM preamp has a distinct sound that the Fenders can't copy. Love it or hate it, the preamp is going to have an effect on your tone. A fav for slap and funk guys, prog rock, punk.
    Problems: As I said, it's punchy, sometimes to a fault. Might not sit in the mix as well as the Fenders. The "zing" is notable and can really only be tamed with flat wound strings. I don't think it sounds great picked (accentuates the treble), but awesome with fingers and slap.

    2. Fender P- the gold standard. Just plug and play the thing. Very mid centered, lacks the full tone spectrum of the jazz as well as the big lows and highs of the Ray. However, that's actually it's charm. It sits perfectly in the mix when you want, stands out when you want. Has been used for EVERYTHING. If you've listened to any music in the last 60 years, you've heard a P bass. I like it best when picked. Not the best sound for slap of the three IMO, but it surely can be done.

    3. Fender Jazz- Thinnest neck of the three, incredibly versatile sound. Great lows and treble, solid mids (although not P solid). The "prettiest" sound of the three. Sounds great picked, slapped, or finger plucked. Overall I think it's more on the Stingray side tonally, but others disagree. The Fenders are warmer sounding than the Ray. , However, Jazzes get lost in the mix the easiest of the three IMHO.
  5. If you really want a Modulus, then you could get a Funk Unlimited or a VJ used for $1000-$1500 dollars. Don't get a bass that you wouldn't want to keep for a very long time.
  6. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Oh, I would keep a P, J, Ray, and Modulus for EVER, this is probably my last bass for a long time, so thats why I want something ill like a lot, and I want to do research. If I could find a Funk Unlimited for that money I'd do it in an instant, but I know thats its much easier to find a Stingray or a fender.
  7. I'm going to throw another option in to the mix. Carvin! You can get an American made Carvin bass built to your specs for less than a MM or Fender. Check out the B40 or the SB4000. http://www.carvinguitars.com/customshop/boltneckbasses.php The one downside is they have lower resale value.
  8. I have and use all three and have to agree. I did tame the Stingray's "zinginess" with DR Black Beauties, but didn't care for the slight floppiness and eventually went with Stage III flats which tame the tone without sacrificing character. I use all three in a very diverse cover band, depending on my feeling for the venue. The Ray is a special animal and the build quality is much more impressive--to me--than my Fenders.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If your only getting one I would get the P, there is a reason it has been an industry standard for decades, P's cut through mix fantastic and always have great low end.

    An EBMM is a spectacular bass, I never cared for one until I owned it and spent some time with it, plays great and sounds great, but I wouldn't want it as my only bass, as mentioned it is very zingy and has some attack to it. Great slapper though.

    You cannot go wrong with the jazz either, all the basses mentioned are great choices, there is no wrong choice, it is just which one is right for you.

    Nobody knows what is right for you, but you. Period.

    Seriously, that should be mentioned in the rules of talkbass....
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Check into Lakland basses as well.

    I've never been a fan of the clunky feel and QC issues that Fender has.

    MusicMan basses have extraordinary build quality and QC, but the weak G string of the single pickup models, and lack of a blend knob on dual pickup models prevent me from keeping one.

    Lakland to me is the perfect combination of these two that fixes everything that's wrong with both of them. Of course Modulus would as well, they are outstanding also..if you like graphite necks.
  11. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    This really nails it. Having owned all 3 I'd remind all that the stingray preamp was designed Before the advent of bass tweeters and it sounds best to me in cabs w/o tweeters. Really enables you to tone down the zing.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Modulus Fleas/Funks pop up used for around $1,300ish. It not out of your reach if you choose to buy used, which I highly recommend because they lose their resale value like no other.
  13. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
  14. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Oh god, so many choices! I was going for something with no shipping charge (local GC has plenty of fenders and Rays) but ill have to rethink now, just the sight of those laklands is heaven
  15. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Which is why I stated that i wasn't asking which one I should buy, just opinions on how they compare to each other and what their strengths and weaknesses are, ive been here long enough to know that im not gonna get much if I ask which one I should buy. But about the ray, I love the punchiness of them, thats what i sorta like about them, i like a bass with growl, but that can also mellow out a bit if i need to
  16. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    I had a lovely Amer Dlx Jazz that I was glued to until I got my first EBMM Sterling. It was all over for the Jazz after that, I just found the Sterling to be much more solid and I thought a much better design with much better balance, fretwork, etc.. Sound-wise, I think they're both great. Definitely buy a nice used bass whatever you do. With your budget also consider a Zon Sonus. I got one recently and the wow factor is really hitting me. The composite neck reacts differently to my touch, but I'm getting a good handle on it and the thing really kicks @ss. Perfect balance and ergonomics for me, too. You've got time to take some drives and check out as many great basses as you can find - enjoy the hunt!
  17. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Bongo's are nice.
  18. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    I have no doubt that they are good bases, but I can't get over the look, I have to like the look of the bass as well as the tone, and its just odd looking to me...
  19. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I love Music Man but can't stand Fenders. With Music Man, you get an active bass that gives you a lot more versatility, you have a truss wheel to adjust the truss rod which makes it a lot easier to do without risking damaging your bass, you have a much better finish and better quality of a build.

    I forget the forum members name on here but he has owned both and I love the statement that he made once. It was something along the lines of this. "I have owned both basses and have sold more Fenders. With Fender, they are in the business of making more money off of their product. With Music Man, they are in the business of making the best basses that there are." I also have found that to be true too.

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