Stingray MM5: wait or buy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by damon_007, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. I have a question for ya'll, mainly since i've enjoyed reading this board (as it is the BEST bass board anywhere) for many months, and highly value ya'lls opinion here. This is my first post however, so I hope that i'm not beating a dead horse with this post. I've been wanting to get an Ernie Ball music man 5 for years, finally the local music store gets a beautiful one in, but my problem is that it has a maple fretboard rather than a rosewood which is what i had my heart set upon. I've not got to try it out on my own "rig", so i can't tell if the maple neck will be too "bright" for me. So I'd like to ask the experts opinion on this matter: How much brighter is the maple neck on these basses? Now I've played several maple neck guitars (not basses though, and own no maple neck basses) and I seem to really prefer rosewood, but i didn't notice this bass having the same "slippery" feel i associate with maple necked guitars. Would I be better off ordering one just like this one with a rosewood neck? And just for fun, I'd like to hear which one that ya'll prefer. Also I know that all of ya'll will ask "what kind of music do you play", and my answer is basically everything, a little funk, rap, r&b, but mainly rock, hard rock, alternative, bluesy stuff . Thats why I'm a little worried about a maple neck, I don't really need a brighter sound, but I really like this bass and i actually think that it looks a lot better with a maple neck (which isn't a major issue, but anyways, if you are gonna buy/play a bass, it might as well be a nice looking one!).

    Thanks in advance, cause i know that i'll hear some good advice from ya'll.
  2. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    The new MM5 is raw maple. No satin finish even. It takes yearly maintenance. They recommend what to use on their site.

    I had one for a while, natural with maple board. I liked the look and it felt great to me. But the natural is northern ash and it weighed 11.5 pounds. Plus the narrow string spacing would mess me up if I didn’t have it as my #1. If it was my main bass I was fine. But if I played a 4-string more, it would then take me several hours to adapt back. Fours are my main thing so it went bye-bye.

    As far as sound goes, I once read that the electronics is 80% of your sound. Of the remaining 20%, 80% of that was body, then the remaining was fingerboard. So by this account, the fingerboard is a very small percentage of the sound.

    I’d personal go for feel and look. I think if you did a blind taste test, you would’t be able to discern the maple from the rosewood board.
  3. Wait for the one you've got your heart set on... NEVER SETTLE!!! :D

    The difference isn't huge, but I prefir the rosewood fretboard... even that's sometimes a little bright for my taste.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    The bass has to look and feel right to you. The extra wait and cash is worth it. I normally buy used but I ended up ordering a black/rosewood over natural ash/maple.
  5. masaru


    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    I'm a maple fan. Rosewood feels and sounds "soft" to me. I like the bite of a maple board. if I'm not using my MM5, it's a Ric 4001v63. Again, a nice, hard fretboard.
  6. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    have ghad both but prefer the maple. My 2002 MM5 is a maple board and sounds fantastic. I would just add to let your ears make the decision, not your color pref. I went into the shop expecting to buy a natural ash, maple boarded MM5. But I played a 7 of the basses they had and walked out with a green teal MM5 and the bass that came in second was a natural with rosewood....go figure. Anyway, my bass sounds great and I love it, even if it was not what I had my mind set on. I would also suggest playing more than one of these basses before you buy.
  7. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Try to get exactly (or as close to as possible) the bass you have your heart set on...even if it means an extended wait. You'll sleep better at night if you do. For 99.999% of us however, the tone difference of maple vs rosewood vs any other boardwood is ultra-minute. If you think you notice the maple board being 'too bright', try turning down the treble on either your bass or amp. As we all know, chasing the elusive 'perfect tone' is like trying to chase down that pot-o-gold.
  8. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    damon -

    What exactly are you looking for? I bet I know where you can find it.... :D

    ;) gotta PM to check....
  9. Well, I just got one with a rosewood board and I love it. This will also depend on your amp/cab setup, but you might want to keep in mind that the electronics in Stingrays are inherently bright sounding, so the maple board will probably add a bit to that brightness.

    Then again, if you like the look of the maple board better, go for it. You can always tweak your sound with your amp.

    Good luck!
  10. O.K. I'm talking about Stingray 4s, but, I'd imagine that the same applies for the 5s. Last August and then again in December I A/B ed 3 'Rays. Two black; one with a maple neck, the other rosewood. The third one was natural with a maple board. The difference between the two black ones was subtle, but, definitely noticeable.The maple was a little brighter, but, I would also say it was more focused. The natural one was noticeably brighter than the other two - too bright for my taste, but, it still sounded great. I wound up buying the black/rosewood one. I like the warmer sound of rosewood. No 'Ray will ever sound like mush, but, the rosewood ones will have all the cutting power I think you'll ever need.

    If you want rosewood, then get rosewood. As jbandbabyj said, never settle. ;) You won't regret waiting for what you really want, and if it's what you really want, you'll have it for a very long time.

    Mike J.