1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Stingray 5 VS. Fender Deluxe Jazz 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyRoBass, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. RyRoBass


    Sep 28, 2013
    Apologize if this is a commonly rehashed topic, but my searches didn’t yield the information I was looking for.

    My next bass is going to be either a Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5 string, or a Music Man Stingray 5. I’ve never owned a Music Man, but I’ve had two Fenders, the latter of which is an American P Bass that I absolutely love. 2011 model.

    Price isn’t very important here since they’re in the same price range. I’m looking for opinions on quality, durability, playability, and most importantly- I need a “do it all” bass. These two are definitely in the top few for versatility. I usually can only have one bass with me when I go out on cruise gigs :bag:, but I need a huge tonal range for all the styles to be as close to authentic as I can get.

    A few other key points are weight, and ease of access to the upper register, especially when standing. Anything else you consider relevant is appreciated!
  2. darrenmt


    Dec 15, 2004
    Apples and oranges my friend. Tonally, one can do what the other can't and vice versa. String spacing, neck profile and fretboard width are all considerations as to what you're more comfortable with. Either choice will work in most situations but there will always be some degree of compromise.
  3. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    If you're buying new, both are excellent basses.

    I have a 2005 American deluxe jazz 5 and just recently sold my Stingray SR5. My stingray had the single pickup and 3 band preamp and was a little less flexible than the Jazz but better for slapping if you're into that playing style. The Ray was also a little heavier than my Jazz which is a swamp ash model.

    If I had to contrast the two I'd say the Ray has more top end sizzle and more grit and grind than the Jazz and cuts through the mix a little better as well. The Jazz has a little more bottom end and a nasally midrange with a nice top end and can play smooth on the neck pickup or somewhat barkey on the bridge pickup. I run La Bella black tapewounds on the jazz and DR Black Beauties on the Ray.

    The only reason I got rid of the Ray was because I found the 3 band preamp and coil switch to be a little less flexible and too slow to dial in vs my 2 band pre EB Stingray. It sounds odd but its what I experienced. I don't know if they make such a beast but a $$ Stingray with a two band preamp would be a game changer.

    Of the two basses you had a question about, I'd recommend the Jazz but understand that both are top notch basses and you can't really go wrong with either one. In fact, all things considered, if I could only take one bass on a cruise I'd actually probably go with an active precision bass vs either the jazz or the ray. It's a sound that just goes with everything.
  4. darrenmt


    Dec 15, 2004
    I'm a Precision man myself but i do know of some people who do not like the slap sound of one. OP of you don't need the grit and grind of a Stingray, go with the Jazz. Sure u won't get a Stingray tone but you will be able to get almost anything else. Also, with the neck pickup soloed, you can get close enough to a P.
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I am a huge fan of the Stingray 5. Especially pre-2008 models, when they still had ceramic magnet pickups. And I'm not a huge fan of J basses. I've had a few, the best of which was a Sadowsky Metro 5'er. All my Js are gone now, except for a self-built fretless. I think everyone should have a fretless and for a fretless, a J is the only thing that seems "right" to me.

    All that said, for the gig you described, I'd probably pick the J. And I would either get a passive, or an active that has a passive option. Being shipboard, I would not want to be in a position where I could not do my job if I couldn't find a 9V battery.

    My main reason for picking the J, in your scenario, is having the option to get a good, appropriate tone for doing jazz standards and old Motown/R&B. Solo the neck pickup, roll off the Tone, and use flatwounds, and a J will give you the "right" tone for that. No matter what you do to a Stingray, it will not get nearly as close to that sound. You can still make it sound good for those tunes, in my opinion - but it won't sound they way I'd "expect" the bass to sound on some of that stuff.

    Plus, the SR5 is active only, which gets back to my point about 9V batteries and being able to do your job.
  6. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    ps. if you know you're not going to be doing Motown/R&B/Jazz standards, and you will be doing rock, pop, and/or country, then I'd probably go SR5 and just make SURE I had an adequate supply of batteries on hand.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I've owned multiple examples of Fender Jazz Deluxe Vs and Stingray Vs (both H & HH.) They are both killer basses. The Stingray tends to be heavier and has tighter string spacing. I never had a problem switching between them. To be honest. Both would work great on a cruise ship. I just don't think perfect replication of classic bass tones means that much for dance floor or lounge gigs. In fact, I think most bass geeks get a kick out of hearing an unlikely bass imitate a classic tone. I say roll they dice and pick one. You can't go wrong.
  8. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    If you like your pbass so much why not get the Pbass V?
  9. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    I earnestly, genuinely, am trying to not sound like a dick by saying this, but have you considered your audience? Do you think they'll have the "discerning ears" capable of telling two basses apart?
    It's important to us musicians to get as close to "authentic" as possible, but does it matter to the 50-some-year-old-couple giggling over their mai-tai's about how they remember this song? For the most part, their thoughts on the bassists performance is "I can hear the bass player!" (Assuming you hit your lines, of course.)
    So this is probably the only time I'm going to recommend this, but I'd go with the Stingray. It cuts through like no other, and it's easy to make drastic tonal changes on the fly - tones close enough to make it work. Plus, depending on your configuration, they look sexy as hell. And that has an impact on a regular gig.+ PLUS they balance very well, and are moderate weight.
    If someone approaches you complaining that you didn't nail that Jamerson tone, then, well, buy that man a drink and enjoy the conversation.
  10. of those two? whichever is prettier, cuz they're both awesome.
  11. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    They both float, so that's good :p
  12. Bassy105

    Bassy105 Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2014
    Used both. In your case I'd go with the Jazz 5(for more flexibility) and make sure you get the active/passive switch. Had a battery die, and they never die at a convenient moment.
    Both would work and are excellent basses.