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Stambaugh or Benavente?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jacochops, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Hey all.....
    I'm having a pretty outstanding weekend here! I just went to Walter Woods' house this morning and picked up my new Super Hi-Power Amber Light Woods amp...very sweet guy, and smart as a whip!
    On the bass end of things here, I'm needing some input here...I have the opportunity to order a new bass. I have a couple of Nordstrands on the way, and I'm thinking of adding a third bass to the stable. The Nords will be fretted and fretless basses. I'm trying to decide between a Stambaugh and a Benavente. The Stambaugh I'm thinking of would be a bolt on 4, mahogany body, eucalyptus burl top, birdseye board, and Nordstrand pickups with a Bart preamp. The Benavente would be a Vintage Vortex 4, alder body, myrtle burl top with a clear j-like pickguard, maple board, possible block inlays, and the standard Bene J pickup/preamp setup.
    If you were me, would you go Stambaugh or Bene? Not simply based on the specs I want, but on build quality, tone, versatility, etc. They both have models that make me drool, but if you were in my boots, which bass would YOU pick?
    Fire away! (Brian B, I already know what YOU'RE gonna say! :D )
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    They do both make some killer looking instruments... you already know where I'd spend your moneys too. IMO/E nobody carves a bass like Chris B! ymmv... but I'm set for life!
  3. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Definitely Vintage Vortex.

    Those things are hot!!!
  4. I just love my Vortex 6 and the new Benavente pickups and preamp are awesome !!!!!!!

    Superb playability and unbelievable sound versatility.
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    So I probably don't need to say anything either.....right? :D
  6. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Hey man, I'd tell you the same thing I tell everyone.

    You need to decide for yourself what is the best bass for your needs. Obviously not being able to play two basses side by side, makes the quest and pick a little tuff so it needs to come down to who will provide the desired instrument to meet your goals. What bass do you feel the most comfortable in custom ordering and who will also provide a bass with something your other basses don‘t offer.

    JPJ has a Vortex 4 in stock, I believe.

    Best of luck!
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I think I might have played more Stambaughs than Benaventes and they are indeed very nice instruments, but I have never been so inspired by an instrument as when I picked up a Benavente for the very first time. I think Bennies are right up there with the best of everything whether you are going for a Vintage Vortex or a jacked up exotic single-cut. My vote will go for Benavente every time but, Stambaugh stuff is very cool too...
  8. stamman5


    Aug 10, 2004
    I would say the Stambaugh actually if it were me for a couple reasons. One price. I don't know if price is a consideration or not for you, but from their base prices there is an $800 difference if I am not mistaken. That is some serious dough.

    Second, I own a Stambaugh with, believe it or not, a mahogany body, eucalyptus burl top, and birdseye board :eek: It is neckthru and I did barts with the Aguilar OP-3 but man I LOVE that bass. The sound is so pure. The Benaventes I have played are great, but for me I haven't yet found one that sounds as smooth as my Stambaugh. I haven't played more than 4-5 Ben. though. To rap it up though I will say that building with Stambaugh was a pleasure. He nailed the tone I was after. I still need to try some more stuff out there but I don't think it can get much better only different.
  9. Dude I hate making choices like that ahhhhhhhhh!

    I'd think long and Hard about the Benavente there soooo nice

    you cant go wrong either way.
  10. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I really like that sunburst VV4! Dig the 60's vibe.
  11. dont


    Jul 25, 2004
    Actually, there's a simple solution to your dilemma. I have not played a Stambaugh, biut I have played a few Bene's. Order a Hanewinckel!
  12. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    Hey Matt,

    Well since you have 2 Nordstrands on the way do you really need another bass from a different builder.
    As you know Carey's work is amazing...why not just order another Nord with different specs, pickups so you can have a different sounding insrument from the other 2. (Like leave the neck pickup in the standard postion, or just J pickups instead of the dual coils.)
    Or just spec it after a 60-70's jazz.

    Just a thought.

  13. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    I'm just looking for something different. With the 2 from Carey, I have the fretted F Bass thing going on, and with the fretless, it's the whole pink ivory thing happening. I'm looking for something fretted that will be a variant from what I have coming from Carey.
    Keep 'em coming!
  14. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    You only go around once.

    You my as well get one of each! :bag:
  15. EXACTLY!!!!!
  16. slap_funk


    Oct 21, 2004
    I just sent my money off for a used 219b 5 string and I have never even played one. I know I can't go wrong. Another ridiculous ax would be a cb custom. They have some crazy basses. I know he uses all top of the line components, and can build you whatever. Another bad motha is KB customs. They have some great lookin basses. Never played either, might want to check out their sites.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Either builder is capable of giving you an excellent instrument IMO IME. I've played a few Benaventes and have never been disappointed. I own a Stambaugh fretless (my second one) and the same is true. Doesn't sound like price should be much of an issue, the Bene Vortex basses are pretty reasonable IMO and Stambaughs are in general. Plus they're both named Chris;)

    I know you're looking for a 4 but here's an example of what Chris S. can do... a Stambaugh fretless 6 that's on Bassgear.com that caught my eye:


    Like I said, both builders are capable of hitting it out of the park. One thing I would suggest: listen to them:D. I know it's fun to dream up wood or electronics combinations but bear in mind they actually build the things so they might have a better idea of how to get you into what you want (unless esthetics is the overriding concern... not that there's anything wrong with that;)).

    Good luck.
  18. I have a Stambaugh fretted 6 that nearly matches the fretless on bassgear, except it's a singlecut. It's lighter than my Fender J 5 (semi-hollow) & sounds much better(Good Lord, I hope so!). Bennies must be sweet, too, but I hate putting this thing down!
  19. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    +1. Most artisans will tell you that they do much better work when a customer says "just go for it", without including a lot of really explicit instructions and requirements.

    It's alot like playing the bass...who wants parameters!?
  20. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Hey all...
    Well, I called Brian Barrett yesterday and went ahead with the Bene. I'm going the J bass route, with a few bits of Bling...
    Vortex 4 with a wide (between 5 and 6 string) alder body
    eucalyptus burl top
    quartersawn maple neck--J bass width
    q-sawn maple board
    small frets (banjo)
    clear pickguard (Nu Yawk style!)
    satin finish
    I went the "tried and true formula" route, so there would be no surprises. The next one, however, will be a Stambaugh. I'll probably have it ordered sometime around NAMM. I have almost $6000 ( :eek: ) out there in deposits on basses that I'm waiting on, so the next bass will be at least a couple of months off.