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tell me about Musicman basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hernameisrio, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm still exploring my various options for getting an affordable (read: under $400) fretless and am now thinking, hey wait, I could just get any old bass with a bolt-on neck and buy a fretless neck! So now I'm kinda stepping out of my comfort zone and throwing around all sorts of brands and concepts...and thinking it might be fun to have my fretless bass be something pretty different in tone/feel from my fretted (a Peavey Cirrus).

    One of the brands I thought about is Musicman. I've always been kinda intrigued by them both for tone and design, but got the impression they were expensive. Do they make an "entry-level" (read: cheaper, i.e. what Squier is to Fender) series that might fit within my budget?

    Also, any input on buying a fretless neck (as in, what type and how much should I look to spend) would be appreciated. :)
  2. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    If you can find an Older USA made SUB Stingray or Sterling for around $500 Jump on it!
  3. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    +1 The new SUB line is pretty nice. Not an exact match to the more expensive EBMM's but very close.
    Killer Of Giants likes this.
  4. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I've been looking at that one, actually (4-string)... and then probably getting a Mighty Mite fretless neck for $100. So the total would rack up to about $380. More than I'd originally thought of spending, but it still seems reasonable.

    I mean, my bass teacher originally recommended the Squier fretless but I looked it up and first of all, hate sunburst finishes (It sounds really dumb but it's true...looks matter to me with a bass! Call me shallow!) and I just am kinda skeptical of Squier. True, it's only about $250, but...I dunno. I just have this gut feeling that I wouldn't be totally happy with it. I'm not super crazy about Fenders. They just aren't my style.
  5. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Oh man, I just realized I'm gonna lose the cool headstock if I get a fretless neck.


    That brings me back to the original plan, $200-$250 for a de-fret job.

    I mean, it doesn't REALLLLLY matter...but it does...ya know? :/
  6. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    I own I think 8 Music Man basses and love them. I have also played quite a few Sterling by Music Man basses and just tried their new SUB line as well. All are great basses for the money. I can not talk highly enough about them. With your budget, look for a good used Sterling by Music Man or an older SUB line that used to be produced. The new SUB line is pretty good though too so even one of those new isn't a bad idea.
  7. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Well musicmman basses are made of wood. They have strings and frets. They are electric and make cool sounds. :D
  8. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I picked up the Sterling Sub at Guitar Center...for a goof...it was STUPID Great.

    Light..Sounded like a MM and the Fretwork was great...
  9. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Okay, so, it just has to magically become fretless somehow, and then I will have a winner. Although my bass teacher is still twisting my arm to get the Squier fretless jazz bass. But that finish, dear lord...I HATE SUNBURST FINISH, ARGH!

    AND THEN, the thick plottened when I found a Peavey Foundation fretless on this forum that I am also interested in/curious about.

    The Peavey is cheap and a little boring, being black, yet pimpable for sure with a spiffy pickguard or something.

    The Squier is more expensive than the Peavey but it's UGLY ARGH. However, it seems this could be resolved with a can of spray paint. I'm thinking lime green.

    The Musicman SUB is a little less money than the Squier (like $25 or so?) but it has frets, which obviously would need to come off or something.

  10. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Bumping this thread back up. So I got my fretless (well, sort of, it's a long story involving an ugly Ebay dispute, but SOON, my darlings!). That's that. However, I just can't get this Music Man idea out of my head. I'm cool with even spending around $500-maybe $600 to get a good one...I just can't decide which model. I like the idea of getting a US model, but do you guys think the Sterling Ray34 series are comparable? According to reviews, it seems so.

    It just seems like a slippery slope with these. I keep thinking, "Well, if I'm seeing an import model for $400 and I can get a US one for $500, what's another hundred bucks?" and before I know it, I'll probably be blowing an entire paycheck on the darn thing.

    Enlighten me/talk me down. Now that I've gotten over my monogamous tendencies as a bassist, open my eyes to the possibility of owning yet another awesome bass that I will love forever. :D
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well, if you're wanting a fretless Ray right now on that budget, I would buy a used SBMM Ray34 and have it defretted by a local shop.

    Or, better yet...back in the early 2000's when the US Sub was made, they did make some fretless ones. If you can wait and search, I'd rather try finding one of those.
  12. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    If you monitor Ebay you can get a Stingray in an attractive color from a low-feedback seller with no case for not too much more money $750 or so. And I mean the real deal Stingray.

    A budget of $600 is best used as a base to stock it up to $750 and go that route, IMHO.

    Don't forget that you get screwed on the resell value of the cheaper stuff, not to mention Ebay troubles when dealing with cheap gear.
  13. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I got an Ibanez GWB35 and put a new preamp and pickup into it. One of the better fretless basses you can get for under 1k.
  14. You mean Sterling by MusicMan (SBMM) SUB, right? Because the MusicMan SUB (EBMM) is a different bass, USA made between 2003-2006, and superb basses, better than SBMM ones -which are nice too, don't get me wrong, just not as good- and the original US made SUB can be found for not that much more...
    Of course... you still have the fretless conversion to deal with.

    I have a Squier fretless, by the way, and I love mine... although it's not stock. Previous owner, a friend of mine, also hates sunburst, so he found a shoreline gold body and put that one on. I hate shoreline gold :-D
    He also put SD Basslines pickups on it... very nice.
    Bottom line is, the neck, I really like it. You may want to consider buying a used one, and replace body rather than painting -it's easier, and you can sell the sunburst- and pickups... and you end up with something unique and very good for little money.
  15. Oh, I got here late, LOL

    Look for an original US MM SUB. They are really good basses. I play mine more than my "real" Stingray. They both feel just as solid and well made. I think the SUB Sounds better, to me. The Sterling by MusicMan are alright, but just not as good.
    Best to try for yourself. Just don't forget the original SUB of 2003-2006. Often overlooked, but an incredible bass for little money.
  16. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm just a bit confused about all the different models. Sterling took over from Ernie Ball...? Or they're the lower-end company like what Squier is to Fender? I found a USA-made SUB for $480 on Ebay, should I just freakin do it? If I'm looking at the same bass, these seem to retail everywhere for more like $700. I mean, $500 right now is a littttttle bit of a crunch for me, but that's a really good deal, right?

    Yeah, the fretless thing is...it's a long story which I'll post about in a different thread once it's resolved and once the darn thing is actually in my hands!
  17. levonrocks


    Nov 21, 2012
    Easton, PA
    I suggest looking for used basses that are already fretless. You can probably find a real nice fretless for around $400 or 450. You just have to shop around. Otherwise you will be spending all of that extra money just to alter the neck. There is also a chance that the new neck that you put on will not be a perfect match, or the intonation will be off after you have it defreted. Oh yeah, Squire's tend to suck. Every now and again you will find a rare gem (a cheap bass that just happens to be really well made) but that does not happen often.
  18. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Oh man, I should've started a separate thread, I think I'm confusing you guys! I already got a fretless. I'm now looking at getting a second FRETTED bass! :takes giant crane and moves the thread to New Thread: There, I fixed it. Just pretend this is a different thread. ;)
  19. Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks had a 5 string fretless US Sub about a month ago