The Wild Ride of the Trade Cycle

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MattFoes, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. MattFoes


    Jul 8, 2021
    I was cleaning out my closet the other day and I found my old 2011 MIM Fender Jazz V. The strings were rusty, the intonation was slightly off but since I rarely play it, that hasn’t been an issue for me. For reference I have a Half-Japanese 1990’s Fender Jazz Bass (American Maple Neck, Japanese body and electronics) and a 2020 Fender Mustang American Performer PJ that I purchased this year as a birthday present to myself. Also for purposes of this tale, I am located in New Jersey!


    I thought about listing the Jazz V on FB marketplace and I stumbled upon a listing. There was a 2020 MIM Fender PJ Mustang with a maple neck listed and he was interested in trade offers. Turns out he wanted to standardize his bass scales (he wanted all long scale basses) and didn’t have need for a short. So I inquired about a direct trade. Long scale MIM Fender for a short scale MIM Fender, seemed like an even deal to him. So the deal was struck. I had some "in-store dollars" at the local music shop so i grabbed a pack of Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys so I didnt feel like a goof trying to trade a bass with 10 year old rusty strings on it.



    It’s a fun bass, he had flats strung on it already so I could make a fair comparison with my American Mustang with Labella flats. P Bass tone is there, Jazz pickup is lacking. Slight buzzing issue on the g string and a weird wolf-y tone on the 7th fret. Like there’s a harmonic octave or something. It’s a fun bass and if I didn’t have an American mustang already (I gotta say the Yosemite pickups are pretty great) I would have been happy. But it’s definitely noisy (especially with a preamp). I thought about keeping it and modding it to have a B90 in the bridge and do something funky with the PBass configuration. But the reality of me actually doing that is fairly slim since I’ve been working and playing more (gigs are freaking back!!!) so back to the trade block it goes.


    Went back to the market place to check. Found a listing for a 2011 Sterling by Music Man Ray34 CA. This is interesting. Originally listed for $650 and discounted. So let’s see if he bites on a trade for the Mustang. No go on the bass (no need for a short scale) but he saw my profile and that I also work as a photographer. So he asks if I have any Fuji lenses to trade. An odd request (not alot of fuji shooters out there) but as it turns out, I do, a 10-24mm lens that I rarely use. Turns out he needs one for shooting dance floors with his side job photographing. So I said yes to an even trade. Was this wise? Who knows. Went to go try it out anyway. The Ray34 CA is a guitar assembled in Indonesia but QC checked by the American Factory (at least that’s what I found in my research). Beautiful cream color tortoise pick guard. Active pickup with 2 band preamp. Modeled after the older 70's design, Jazz Bass neck profile.



    Okay this is a great bass. I can see what people are into with MusicMan. It’s my first active bass and my first MM type. NEAR MINT too! I like the pickup a lot. It’s a tad bright and I’m hoping some flats will tame that. I love the chunky bridge. And this guy has his action fairly low. Looks like a bone nut and a vintage Jazz neck radius. Having never played an American Stingray this tone does the trick so far for me. It’s definitely coming with me to the gig to try out the sound with our IEM. I do like this bass….ALOT. More so than the MIM mustang. The only gripe i have is that its a heavy HEAVYT slab of wood. Feels like a bass, and a serious one at that, but that weight is. gonna get fatiguing on 3+hr gigs. I like it, but im definitely gonna have to get a larger, wider strap to handle the weight


    Back on the FB market looking to swap out the MIM mustang. Stumbled across another listing. Sterling Short scale, looking to sell/trade for another short scale bass. Perfect!!! I offered up the trade. The MIM is slightly more expensive than the Sterling but again I have a Mustang already, one that I love. I’m not entirely smitten with the MIM bridge and compared to the Satin finish on the MIA (feels so good to play) I’m not bothered by the dip in price. Remember I got this MIM for a an even trade for a bass I bought for $299 back in 2011. So I made the trade.



    This short scale is really nice. The Neck finish is glossy (nothing some sandpaper can’t fix). Bit of noise with this 3 way knob but that can be cleaned. It plays super fast and theres that awesome big fat bridge again. 3 way selector is a great way to vary up the tones here making it pretty versatile. Not a bad project bass to play with. It's considerably lighter than the 34CA (obviously). The kid I traded with, must have been 17 or so, he said he really likes the feel of the short scale bass and he and his brother geeked out when they saw the mustang had flats on it.

    All in all this was a wild two days. Turned a MIM Jazz V into a bass that I actually would want to play on stage with. I’m sure I’m not the only one with stories like this.
    What are your amazing trade cycles?!

    ALSO SIDE NOTE: I've thought about trading in the two Sterlings for a ray34 (newer model) to get the contoured body, 3 Band EQ and a slightly lighter profile. I do really like the short scale as well, but I don't think its quite there with that classic "StingRay" sound. I do like this 3 way switch idea alot as ways to get some different varied tones outta this pickup, I'm assuming that it cant be too hard to install my own 3 way (maybe a toggle switch, that knob is a bit finicky to me). I can't really see how i would be able to trade "up" from here without going to a store like GC and trying to swap for a new bass or a USED EBMM but those are about a little over $1000 and i dont know if thats the value id get on a trade from a store.

    Would this be a "wise-move"? I don't know enough about the 34CA and its value, all i know is that Sterling discontinued the 34CA in favor of (what ive been reading on forums such as these) the 24CA and It's not quite there. the 34CA really does feel like it should be a much much more expensive bass.

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  2. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    You did good!! Picked up some nice basses. Enjoy !!:bassist::thumbsup:
  3. MattFoes


    Jul 8, 2021
    Thanks!! There’s a pretty good chance I might be able to trade those two basses towards something else. Almost traded the two for another American Performer Mustang which would be an interesting bass to try and trade up with. But I also like the idea of having that “musicman” sound on hand for slap and as a backup bass/different tones for the studio.
  4. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    1 for 1 trades can be great. I bought a new SS Jag bass and hated it, especially compared to my SS Samick which was better in every way. By chance I saw a local ad with someone wanting to swap an Ibanez SR370e for a SS. The other guy and I met, inspected the instruments, and made the swap. The 370 is a 17 but looks new, and the Jag was a 19 that had been in the shipping box since it arrived. Worked out well for both of us.
    I like the 370 so much, I'm now looking for a 375 as I don't play 4s much any more.
  5. MattFoes


    Jul 8, 2021
    Thats Awesome!!! I hope you find a good 375!
  6. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Cheers. No 375 yet, but one will turn up, I'm sure.
  7. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    TLDR…that is all.