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Stingray Special build quality = to Fender Custom Shop

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassgrackle, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. bassgrackle

    bassgrackle Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    7F2B3847-5109-4A77-BE07-9C2CE5A2B5DD. I am simply blown away by the build and finish quality of this instrument. There is no way I would even consider a Fender Custom Shop again after playing this bass. The neck and fret finish is top notch.
  2. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Yes, they are spectacular basses. Love that color!
    lowendrachel, HD007 and lowdownthump like this.
  3. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Ernie Ball MusicMan builds some of the best quality basses I’ve ever encountered. They’ve been called boutique quality and I tend to agree.

    That’s one lean mean green machine you have there. drool
    HD007 likes this.
  4. HD007

    HD007 Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2018
    Love that green. Love these Specials. Congrats on a great bass.
    lowendrachel and lowdownthump like this.
  5. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    You wouldn’t buy a Fender Custom Shop P bass if you had the $$$ and wanted the tone? I know those basses have a neck pickup but they absolutely do not sound like a P bass.

    That’s the only devils advocate card I can play here. Enjoy your new beautiful bass, but know it does not at all sound like a P bass, nor will it ever. :wacky::bassist:
    nick g., nomaj, S.F.Sorrow and 5 others like this.
  6. bassgrackle

    bassgrackle Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    I’ve had 2 in the last few years and sold them both. The baseball bat neck just doesn’t do it for me. I even tried the postmodern with the J neck. Still didn’t really like it and sold that one too.
  7. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    View attachment 3241451
    I wouldn’t . 5th and 4th position can get you Pbass tones. And when I want Pbass with flats my Caprice has that covered. No custom shop fender needed.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    Benko, burgerdj, jmlee and 5 others like this.
  8. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    The Caprice will for sure do The P bass sound, but position 4 and 5 on the HH Ray can only attempt to sound like a P.

    On the HH the neck pickup alone is too mushy sounding and position 4 sounds like a mid focused J bass. Series wiring of the pickups in those positions gets you closer but still only approximates the P tone. These HH basses will never have the bark of a P bass.

    I’m not trying to be a hater, my favorite basses have the HH configuration with a multitude of switches and EQ and still can’t do the P tone. They will eat every Jazz tone alive and do their own tone.

    And I also would never buy a CS Fender when I can get the same tone and playability out of any MIM P bass with a good pickup.

    Also the Charging green totally rocks! I would have a hard time deciding which color Ray I would get. I think green for a 4 and yellow for a 5... That’s the real challenge with this new crop o rays. Enjoy the new bass feeling OP!
    Mediocrity Man and bassdude51 like this.
  9. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Seems like about 90% of Fender Custom Shop is relic and is difficult to compare to a Music Man. MM's stuff is OUTSTANDING in build quality!

    More and more, the prices of USA made basses are beyond the income level of us "regular folks".

    How does the joke go?.............$500 car, $3,000 bass.
    steamthief likes this.
  10. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio

    Outstanding comment here from Sid the Kid!

    I had to opportunity to compare a Stingray HH to a USA Sterling HH. The difference? The Stingray HH pickup selections are in parallel and the Sterling HH selections are in series.

    The series wiring sounded much better! IMHO, the Stingray HH selections need to be in series or more switches need to be added for parallel and/or series.

    With 4 coils, there are MANY more selection possibilities than just the 5!

    bobba66 likes this.
  11. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Sentence 1 and 3 is enough. You dont need to add crazy sentence 2 to be heard here on TB :)
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You find a StingRay neck thinner than a P-bass neck? Don't get me wrong, I love my Ray, but the neck feels way thicker than my P.
    lermgalieu likes this.
  13. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I don’t believe anyone of any reasonable experience expects to get a P-Bass tone out of anything but a P-Bass or a P-Bass clone.
    Ace Of Bass and Sid the Kid like this.
  14. Well, ya know-
    I've had (2) Sterlings and currently own:
    Mahogany Bongo Front.
    (Sorry-can't resit showing this beast!)
    MusicMan builds nothing but 1st-rate, flawless basses.

    However- IF I'm looking for a P-Bass or J-Bass, the FCS might be (one of) the best places to look.
    $$$, but excellent workmanship & detail, and if you want a Fender- You gotta get a Fender.

    That's a stunnning 'Ray you have- I can clearly see that MM hit a home run with the Specials.
  15. JtSD619


    Nov 10, 2011
    San Diego
    I tried this exact bass and almost pulled the trigger until...
    The rest is history. I could get the MM sound through the elite, but couldn’t get the p bass sound through the MM. Those new MM are fantastic basses though! Congrats!
  16. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    I dont know if im wrong or just weird... but every MM ive played in the last 5 years is nowhere near the quality and feel of the 80's/90's models Ive owned/played.
  17. Yeah the neck on my Stingray is way more of a baseball bat than either of my Ps.
  18. keto


    Mar 3, 2016
    To those commentors here on either neck size or quality, who haven't actually had a 2018 Stingray Special in hand, go try one. The neck is not large at all, nowhere that close to P bass size. My best comparison is to my Aerodyne Jazz, which is on the large-ish size of the many Jazzes I've owned or tried. The Stingray is almost exactly that shape, the shoulders fall away quickly into a nice full round but not THICK shape. The width yes is slightly, but not much, wider than the Aerodyne.

    As to quality, I've had my Aqua 4HH about a month now. From the moment I held it, I knew it was the best built bass I've owned, I would say tied with my custom order G&L L2K, which I still own, though they feel very different from one another. I haven't owned custom shop (well, a Strat 8-10 years ago), but can't imagine much higher build quality - I know of no flaws on my Ray, the fretwork (all of them are stainless steel by the way) is great. The screws were all tight from the factory, something I've never had on a Fender though that's not an end of the world issue. MM have upped their game big time with this model, the improvements for the 2018 Specials are real, and are all for the better - tone being a subjective thing of course. OK maybe I wish the pre had a bit more grind, it has less than the old 9v version but the upside is headroom.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  19. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Not on the new Special Stingrays.
    TrentB, StrangerDanger and lermgalieu like this.
  20. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Have you played the new Specials ?
    StrangerDanger likes this.

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