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Stingray OLP's - Great Knock-Offs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by *ToNeS*, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Hey guys. Got a few words on the el-cheapo Stingray MM5 OLP line that Ernie Ball have licensed recently (Down Under, anyway) - these things are fantastic! What the hell is up with that? Down this way they go for $600 (about $350 in America I think) and the sound is lovely, the playability is the real thing to a TEE, and it's just fantastic all around. I wonder why every 5-stringer on a budget (me all over) isn't toting one of these? I went in to play one the other day and was floored. I'm seriously considering selling off my LTD B105 and purchasing an OLP MM5, and once more I will stand to gain in every respect (that I can ascertain): I get a majorly better bass than the one I currently play, and stand to come off with a $200 profit as the LTD will easily sell for $800.

    What do you all think? Opinions, throw them at me. GARN, DO IT. Dare ya :D
  2. brake


    Jun 23, 2003
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I've been thinking about one of these for a while. Great!
  3. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, youd be a fool not to for reasons stated now wouldnt you? ;)
  4. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Oi, you'd reckon. But there's always holes in my plans (except when the plan is to get to a hole, then it's just part-and-parcel) and I guess I'm after some first-hand experiences and judgements.
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    They play like a dream! If you swapped out that pick up, it would be a screamer.
  6. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Is that Australian? Or whatever passes for currency in the Land of the Long White Cloud? :D<BR>Might have to go check them out. Thanks for the head's up.
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    My friend is a distributor in NY and they are very nice for the price. Not my cup of tea but what else can you buy for $300?

  8. Why not save up for a used SR5?
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I've read messages by some people on this board that they hate the OLPs and think they're junk. I've only ever tried one, a five string, and I was very impressed. For the money they are excellent instruments.
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I have owned a 4, and they aren't bad basses for the money. They do not compare to the USA Ernies though, not at all. Biggest downfall is the hardware, and electronics IMO. The pickup sounds pretty fair, but it could use a decent preamp. I changed out the pu with a SD basslines alnco pickup, and put the original back in.....it just didn't sound right to my ears, and lost any hint of a ray tone.
  11. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    For a better knockoff, look for a AXL suncoast. I've heard from a very reliable source that they have better craftmenship than the essex, and they look fantastic. I actually like them better than the stingray 5, and they are only $180, (less than that if you only want 4 strings)

    I was thinking of buying one of these and adding a p-bass pickup.


    here's the link
  12. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Where are the AXL/Johnson basses made? There are a lot of inexpensive basses on that site. Are there any good reviews out there?

    I tried an OLP 5er at GC. It seemed ok for the price ($300), but not a must have for me. I'm very picky about B strings. It did not feel similar to the US MM, but I'm sure the OLPs vary. If the one you played really speaks to you, go ahead and trade the other bass for it.

    Did you know the natural finish OLPs are made of Elm?!
  13. I have an OLP SR4 and I love it. The sound is nice and it plays fine. I played a few OLP's in a big store and I bought the best one. The quality of some of them was great, but a few had bad necks with very high action or too low action. I've played an EB Ray, but that was only for a few minutes, so I can't really compare. I always look at a bass itselve and if I like the sound I get for that price I'm happy. Of course it won't sound like a real ray, but for now I'm ok with the sound. I played an OLP SR5 for a few minutes too. I always find the B floppy, because I'm not a 5-string player, but with the sr5 I didn't find the B floppier than on other 5-stringers. :)
  14. I have a 4-string OLP myself and I've had a great time with it. Was able to slam the action right to the ground and it plays like butter.
    I actually like it a little better than my fender Jazz (though I have too thick flats on the Jazz, .110 guage).
  15. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
  16. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I have been saying the same thing for a while, these are great basses for the money. I stuck an Aguillar OBP-1 in my OLP5, and it smokes. I will agree however that the stock electronics and hardware are a bit cheesy, but hey, you can get an OLP5 for about $200 US if you look.

    These are basses that really are worth hotrodding. Could you find a used Stingray for less than a $1000? Sure, but IMO it would be foolish to alter it. You can take an OLP and outfit it the way you want to, at a reasonable cost without shooting yourself in the foot.

  17. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Yep, Aussie moolah. They retail for $699 - down at 'World of Music' in Brighton, off the Nepean Highway - but the guys're doing it for $600 because I'm wildly famous and all that :rolleyes:
    Don't see why you couldn't scoop one up for just that much, too. Bloody bargain in my eyes.

    Thanks to everyone who responded, some quality advice here but unfortunately a lot of it doesn't apply to us Aussies who don't get the full spectrum of ANYTHING, let alone bass-related gear. Too bad, because that AXL that tuBass mentioned looked even sweeter.
  18. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Being the Fan of cars that I am, I can only compare what lots of you are saying (meaning upgrading an OLP bass) to what kids are doing in the automotive industry these days. I equate an American Made EB SR-5 to something like a Luxury Automotive Maker and Having an OLP Bass and souping it up is what I see as an Upgraded Civic. While you can get the performance numbers just as high, you still don't have as many ammentities and the prestige of having a lovely San Luis Obispo Made Stingray. I've tried both the OLP Stingrays (4 & 5) and I used to own a 4 string EB Stingray (and plan on getting a 5). I have to say that I believe "for the money", like $200 they are a good buy, but in no way compare to the tonal flexibility and consistency in crafsmanship of the Stingrays that are made in the US. If you want to put an Aguiular Pre-Amp and a Bartolini Replacement pickup in there and it sounds good, more power to you. But the selection of wood, the hardware, and the attention to detail really isn't there like it is on the American made Rays.
  19. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I agree with Philbiker. The one thing different the OLP has from the other ray knockoffs is the 2 tone knobs. I liked it. If possible, play as many as you can and find the one that speaks to you. As with most of the production basses quality can vary instrument to instrument.
  20. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Down this way, 'American Made' is not usually synonomous with 'quality', bro. Great analogies, and you're completely right - for a $2400 price difference (real Rays go for $3000 in Australia), there's GOT to be some kind of superior quality to the real thing, right? Well, yes (I used to bang around on a real Ray), but in my experience not nearly enough to justify the funds. The name on the headstock doesn't bother me, and I think for a lot of guys that's very important (not directed at you at all), but if it sounds great, plays great, and looks pretty grunty... isn't that a car worth buying, even if it comes from some unknown Bravarian country that hasn't discovered steel yet? ;)