Single Humbucker Basses!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MisterStompy, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Hello!

    I've been playing for a couple years, and as with probably many bassists, I've searched for that tone that makes me happy. Well, it wasn't until earlier this week, when a trend finally dawned on me, from that bassist researching, youtube watching, and music store playing - the sounds that I really like, most of the time, come from four-string basses with a single humbucker, close-ish to the bridge. I love that bright, clear tone.

    I play metal, but also other things.

    I don't actually have one of the aforementioned basses, but I plan to soonish!

    I know, I know, there are plenty of basses with two humbuckers, and if I only use the bridge one it's pretty much the same, and I've occasionally had a positive experience with that. But somehow, and this is probably completely psychological, it doesn't seem quite right.

    Other limitations apply. As a student, cheaper is better (a full-blown musicman is out of the question, unless someone is selling a used one at an incredibly good price). And lighter is better too. I'm not the biggest bassist in the world, and a have to often spend a fair bit of time standing, and dealing with the pain involved. I don't think I could get anything heavier than a run-of-the-mill P bass.

    So I've scoured the Internet, and have found the following basses:

    Ibanez GSR100EX (played it, nice and light)
    Ibanez ATK series (are all of them so monstrously heavy? If they made an antigravity version, I wouldn't even be posting this, I would have bought an ATK already)
    Kramer Disciple (never even seen one in real life, but lightweight, and active electronics good)
    Squire Jaguar Humbucker Version
    Fleabasses (And I've found this board to have...mixed opinions on this. I have no idea how much this weighs either. But I find its looks endearing. All of a sudden, all the Fleabasses disappeared.)
    MTD Kingston Artist (also nice and light, and active. New ones are on the pricier side, but I might be able to stomach it if it's worth it)
    Sterling Ray34 (is it lighter than a stingray?)
    Old Aria Pro Basses (the pickup isn't even that close to the bridge, but it sounded amazing. It was also heavy, and the one at the store was a sickly green-blue color)
    A couple basses that are shaped more like weapons than instruments (not my cup of tea)

    If anyone has any insight for any of these basses, given my unique needs, or would like to suggest a write-in candidate, I'm all ears! Thanks!
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Does EBMM still make the Sterling? Not the Sterling Ray but the model called the Sterling? They're a little downsized from the Stingray and would be a little lighter. MTD's killer stuff, too. The Aria rocks but it's been years since I played one. The ATK is cool but the ones I've played weigh a ton, and the other Ibanez basses are decent but just don't move me. Not familiar with anything else you mentioned.

    If it were me I'd go Stingray/Sterling or MTD. Actually, I'd go Precision ;) but you didn't ask about it.
  3. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    G & L L-1000 Tribute
  4. Id be looking at a SBMM Ray34. And get a decent (like a wider leather) strap and man up a bit. I'm only of medium build and a couple of years past being in college and have no problem played my 'ray during a several set night.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This guy:


    Roscoe SKB Standard Plus MM5
  6. ^ is that the best bass for metal then?
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Tobias Growler
  8. Older Warwick FNA. Wenge neck and lots came with a Seymour Duncan MM pickup
  9. I find Stingrays are great for metal and loud, distorted music in general. They just have a tone that cuts through the mix almost effortlessly. I've played one in a stoner/sludge metal setting and it tore through the heavily distorted and downtuned guitars like a knife through melting butter.

    The downsides? Weight and cost, as you mentioned. However, the SBMM Ray models are amazing bang for your buck. Out of all the low-end "sibling" basses out there, the SBMM Rays are easily the most comparable to their parent company instrument. In short, the SBMM Rays pretty much sound identical to the EBMM Stingrays for a very appealing pricetag.

    I recommend investing in a nice wide strap, though. The Rays are a bit of the heavy side, like the EBMM Stingrays, but a nice wide strap will help distribute the weight around your shoulders better and ease the burden of lugging around a chunk of wood. Definitely makes a world of difference, even after a few hours performing/practicing. This coming from a guy whose had lower back problems for years after getting into a nasty car accident.
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Indeed they do.

    I would definitely get a Stingray or Sterling...or one of the Sterling By MM models that compare. An ATK would be great too.
  11. hip63


    Sep 14, 2010
  12. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    At the sort of price range you're talking about, and looking at a lighter bass, I'd say the MTD Kingston Artist or Sterling by MusicMan SB14 (which is the import version of the Musicman Sterling).
  13. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    Remember the Fender Big Block Precision?

  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    USA Spector.

    But considering your price range and your list, I'd but the MTD at the top, followed by the SBMM unless you can find a good used Warwick FNA or Fortress One in your price range.

  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Warwick Fortress One Masterman. I had one, paid $650 for it. Sold it like a dern fool. I'd like to have another.

  16. tsunami1052

    tsunami1052 What the Funk?

    Sep 13, 2005
    The Ray34 & SB14 are very good for the money.

    The Ray34 around 10 Ibs the SB14 is lighter due to the basswood body.

    Nut: Ray34 (1.69) SB14 (1.5)

    You could also look for a used Spector Rebop-I love mine (not a single humbucker). Seen them around for 500-700.
  17. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    MTD Kingston Artist? It has the same bridge position humbucker as an Heir, but further from the bridge like a Stingray. Also, if it's anything like the Heir it is quite a bit lighter than the average P bass.

  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    yes. without question. :D
  19. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    G&L L-1505:

  20. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Single pickup Thunderbirds from Greco and Mike Lull.