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Overall Quality: Fender Marcus Miller vs. MM Stingray/Sterling

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by crispygoat, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. crispygoat

    crispygoat Guest

    Aug 22, 2006
    London, Ontario
    I know they are totally different basses,

    I've had 3 Jazzes in the past (Valenti, Sadowsky, and a Fender RW), and I've also had a Musicman SUB a long time ago, when I didn't know how to play (not that I know now). I feel that the Stingray or Sterling will be a change from the Jazzes that I've never totally been satisfied with...

    I don't have the money for both, and likely won't have quite a while, therefore I need bass that I will love.

    If you had to choose between either, which one would you choose? Do you think one would more likely get rid of the Stingray or the Marcus Miller first? Is the difference in build quality big?

    Thank you.
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    As someone who owns 3 MusicMan basses and has owned the Marcus Miller, get a StingRay or Sterling.
    The Marcus Miller was a boat anchor when it came to weight, its neck felt like a toy, its fret job was poor, and the tone could only be described as 'rubbery' and lifeless.
    By comparison, every MusicMan bass I have ever owned has been top notch in quality. That said, they have a very unique tone and feel, and only you can decide if it's for you or not.
  3. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    Seems to me that, excepting the G string problem, MM is a way superior quality over Fender.
    calamitus likes this.
  4. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    I played a MarMil quite a bit when looking for a new bass. The stingray HH I chose to purcahse blows it away IMO
  5. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    What jmatt said, exactly. IMO, Musicman builds a much nicer bass than Fender. I'm a Sterling guy myself, great ergonomics and I happen to love the tone. My G&Ls are also much more pleasing than the Fenders I've had in the past. Not saying I don't like Fenders - I do very much. But I'd personally rather have an EBMM or G&L.
  6. cabbage


    Aug 16, 2009
    +1 on the EBMM build. Having said that, sterling and stingray are way different in terms of tone as well.

    but anyhow, im giving my vote to the ebmms!
  7. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    Not sure about very different, they are very much in the same tone universe IMO.

    I have a EBMM Sterling. Build quality is outstanding. Marcus Millers that Ive played have been hit and miss.
  8. crispygoat

    crispygoat Guest

    Aug 22, 2006
    London, Ontario
    Really? I A/Bed a Stingray and Sterling yesterday, and although they did sound different, I thought the Sterling could get pretty close to the Stingray sound if I'd put the switch in the middle and boost the treble a bit.

    But then again, I don't know. I ended up with the Sterling :D
  9. I haven't actually taken a Stingray off the hook - I just don't like the looks of them for my personal reasons, not for playability.

    But yesterday I spent considerable time trying to love the most beautiful bass I've seen in a while - the Markus Miller. Gawd, it's beautiful!



    As a package - the physical part of it - it was flawless, although the strings were just a little high for my preferences. The finish was absolutely superb!

    Delightful wood and grain and the knobs were all substantial and smooth. Details were El-Primo and the tint was tasteful and very effective. It sure had me fooled.

    That chrome guard is right where I want to play, but with me as a thumb-player too, it is a workable situation - however I miss getting to the area under that pickup cover.

    Weight-wise, I can live with it, although it is somewhat heavier than 9lbs, for sure I bet.

    The body is to die for - but the neck left me cold. Colder than cold really.

    Too-o-o-o rounded on the frets and too much hard clear coated surface on the fret board which looked and felt like it had been dipped into liquid urethane, several times.

    The frets were clean, well-ended and not a sharp spot on them anywhere.

    The machines were smooth (were the backwards? - something was odd about them to me)

    The sounds wasn't BAD - it just wasn't great.

    Might've been the phony Fender 7250 NPSs striking again, but it just didn't even make good sounds at all.
  10. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010

    +1. ^^^
  11. I looked at both basses, actually three. The StingRay, Sterling and the Marcus Miller. All three where top notch in craftsmanship. Sounds totally diff. between the MM and Marcus. But what sold me was the neck on the Marcus Miller. I've always preferred the feel of a Jazz bass to a P-Bass and the StingRay felt more like a P to me. The feel of the bass and how it plays to your style is the most important in my view. You can always change the sound by changing strings or pups, pre-amp etc. But if it's not comfortable to play in regards to "your needs" what is the point. So for me it was the Marcus Miller that stayed in my music room and I took the other two back. So after I put a set of Tomasik flats and a set of DP123's in it. I have the perfect bass for me. I'd still like to try a Sadowsky replacement for the pre thats in it now. But of course. This is just my opinion. Good luck on finding the right bass for yourself.
  12. i own both the Marcus Miller and the MusicMan Sterling (on which i have changed the humbacker to the Alnico the Stingrays use). They are both great basses only that i find that the Marcus Miller is much more flexible. I would go for the Marcus Miller if i had to choose between the two.

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