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Rickenbacker or Musicman Stingray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Richenbacher, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. I'm seriously stumped. I'm a high school student, but I'm starting to get involved in bands who are playing gigs and would like me to play bass. I'm nearly grade 7 and I'm playing on my first ever bass, a Yamaha ERB070, so I plan to save up money for a new, professional bass and get proper gear, amps etc.
    I absolutely love the look of a Ric 4003 but have no idea what one sounds like.
    But I also like the look of a stingray, and my bass tutor told me it's "twice the bass"
    (his words, not mine.)
    Any advice? Reviews on gig performance? Any response would be helpful :) thanks
  2. Get a Squier CV Jazz Bass.
  3. SwagAttack


    Sep 14, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Between those two, the Stringray would be my choice. Definitely try it first, for some people it is a love/hate relationship, but I think they are awesome and can be tamed if need be. But if you are looking at that price, there are some other basses than could be looked at too.
  4. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    For info on Rickenbackers, use the search function. They have been discussed adnauseum, with many old and ongoing threads.

    As to whether it's the right bass for you - you need to try it; although it's important to like your bass, there are more important considerations than look - like feel and sound.

    As to your music teacher - that's a typical bone-head comment from a Ric hater. All basses are very subjective. If it was actually twice the bass, it would cost twice as much, not the same or less. The fact that most used Rics sell for more than most used MusicMan basses tells me that not everyone agrees with your music teacher.

    For the record I have 2 MusicMan basses and 1 Ric in my collection. They are all great basses.
  5. If you haven't been playing that long I wouldn't drop that kind of cash on a bass. Who knows if you're going to stick with it, or you'll buy the bass and then your rig will be insufficient. Etc, etc.
  6. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Richenbacher, what kind of amp/cab setup do you have right now? If you're looking at getting into playing with bands, I'd recommend having (or getting) amplification that can handle playing with a full band. If you've currently got a little 50w combo, you'll probably want to upgrade that first, so your volume can compete with electric guitars and a drum kit, no matter what bass you're playing. Of course, if you're only going to be playing with acoustic bands, you may be okay with a smaller combo.

    As for the two basses, you could look up YouTube demos for both of these basses, to get a feel for what they sound like. However, your best bet would be to go to a store and try them out for yourself, before plunking down the dough for either.

    Good luck!
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Rickenbacker or Musicman Stingray?


    Both are good basses with a signature tone.

    You won't go wrong with either. Also both have good resale value.
  8. Broadstbully22


    Dec 5, 2011
    I say buy two mim fenders, (so you have a back up) then take the rest and put it in a peavey rig. If you are anything like I was at that age you and your friends are going to be hard on your stuff. Peaveys are bullet proof and fenders (jazz or p) have parts for them in any store. So if you break something you can get it fixed in a minute not a week waiting for parts.
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I love it. "I want opinions on A or B" - *insert people who chime in about totally unrelated C*.
    You're going to ultimately have to get your hands on each and try them for yourself. I do not much like the Rick necks, and they don't come in 5s too, so they're not an option for me. I don't much like Stingray necks though, either. If you end up liking Stingray tone, but not the neck or body size, pick up an EBMM Sterling. A lot of the same tonal characteristics, but has a smaller body and a different neck. If you pick up a Rick and you like the tone, and don't like the neck, well, good luck :meh:
  10. zackthompson

    zackthompson Endorsing Artist: MJC Ironworks Strings

    Jul 18, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    Pepsi or Coke? They're both the same, but at the same time they're completely different. It's all up to personal preference. I have a MM Classic Stingray that I love, but I've played Ricks and they're equally incredible. But they're 2 completely different basses. You have to choose.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
  12. Over all I think the Musicman would be your best bet. Ricks sound amazing but they "feel" awkward for a lot of people. If you have access, try them both out. You can get a hell of a deal on both brands used here in the classifieds.

  13. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    As many have said, it's a personal preference. As far as your bass tutors "professional" opinion; I've had both in my stable together for several years.
    Also I haven't sold a bass in decades, but...


    Too nice to let sit in a case gathering dust, but I never feel compelled to gig her over my Ric, and the Ric only goes out occasionally.
    FWIW, truthfully my Fenders see the bulk of my gigging work.
  14. Broadstbully22


    Dec 5, 2011
    I only chimed in with a different option because people don't think about reliability and parts. Both of the basses are great but I would be nervous if either was my only bass because my local shops carry nothing for either of these. You would have to order everything. If he had five basses then thats a diferent story.
  15. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    My advice: FOR NOW take care of your Yamaha, put some good mileage on it, and use it to get good at doing your own set ups, and to have something you don't have to sweat getting abused at your first gigs. FOR NOW put your time into developing your chops, and put your money into your amp(s).

    Neither of those two basses you mentioned will make you even one lick more of a basses than your Yamaha, and many pro bass players use Yamaha's with pride (Billy Sheehan, Nathan East, etc).

    And not knocking Rics (I used to own one), but be aware of the many many many threads around here about GASing for a Ric because they "look cool" only to be disappointed when they are actually in hand. They are special, unique, retro basses (IMO, YMMV, blah blah) but understand they are different than most "Fenderesque" basses, like your Yamaha that you currently own. If you get a chance to try one out, you'll know pretty quickly whether you really want to live with one, but of course that is often hard to do depending on where you live.

    Try a lot of basses before you settle on "your brand", but again, for now put your money into upgrading your amps. A good reliable 300 to 500 watt head (or more) to start, and a good 4 X 10 cab ( or two 2 X 10 cabs, or two 15 cabs, you get the idea) will take you A LONG WAY.

    Good luck. :)
  16. To be honest, I've only got a 50w but my high school rents me their 350w Marshall amp for quite a decent rate. The Yamaha didn't play well,it was bought at about 160 bucks, but I put vintage 80's dimarzio pbass pickups that were passed down to me by the bass tutor mentioned previously. I really love the Yamaha, but I would really love to get an epic bass for gigging and keep the Yamaha for my grades. :D
  17. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Grosbeak, Yamaha, Fender, BSX. I’m Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    There is much truth in what has been said here. Many younger players have made some grave mistakes when needing to be more "professional". I am of the school that ever investment in a bass is a pretty big one, even if it's just $200. Rics and Rays can both go for the higher half of the $1000-2000 range.

    Between the two, I'd prefer the Stingray. While I am not a huge fan of active circuits, the Stingray is more comfy to me, and has a tone I prefer more. The only thing I like about Rickenbackers is how they look, and that they are passive. I can't stand how they feel, and I was never super crazy about the tone. Both instruments are very polarizing, and both have a lot of die-hard fanboys & fangirls who will defend everything about the instruments.

    With that said, you do not have to break the bank to get a Stingray. There is a fairly recent import line called Sterling by Music Man, and they sell a Stingray (Ray34, or Ray35 5-String) that would suit your needs. They have good reviews.

    Sterling by Music Man Ray34 Electric Bass Guitar: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend
    Sterling by Music Man Ray34 Classic Active Electric Bass Guitar: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend
    Sterling by Music Man RAY35 5-String Bass: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend

    Here is a review of the Sterling by Music Man line from the wonderful Ed Friedland. He plays the Stingray and Sterling 4-string models:
    Sterling By Music Man Basses - YouTube
  18. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Grosbeak, Yamaha, Fender, BSX. I’m Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    "Rickentones may break my bones but 'Rays will never hurt me" :p :D

    I had to.
  19. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    My experience, once I started giggling I started looking for cheaper beater basses to keep beer, drunks, and flying drumsticks away from my good basses.

    No lie, my drummer let a stick go and it popped right into the face of my Jet-glo Rickenbacker. :rolleyes:
  20. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    I'd go to music shops and play everything on the wall. You'll know what you like when you play it.

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