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To Flea or not to Flea...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by M.D.S., Mar 5, 2005.

  1. M.D.S.


    Nov 8, 2004
    Right, So I can finally afford a high-end bass! This is good. :)

    But, I live in Scotland. In bass terms at least, this ain't so good... :rolleyes:

    Although I have had some luck in finding dealers based in the UK that I might be able to get what I want, I know of nowhere nearby where I could actually try any of them out. This means that I really need people who know more about these basses than I do to help me out with what they sound like.

    So far my main contenders are Modulus and Musicman.

    I really liked the look of the modulus flea basses, both because I mostly play funk rock/metal stuff and I would imagine that a flea signature bass would be pretty good at that : rolleyes:, and I think that it is a very, very nice looking bass. (Plus, I have found a very good UK dealer that offers the complete range of colours and options.)

    The only thing that stopped me from choosing one of these right away were some doubts about the sound of the carbon fibre necks that I have seen in this forum, and that I had heard that a Musicman stingray might be a better option.

    I have really only heard good things about the stingray, but for some reason I don’t like the oval pickguard on that shape of bass at all, and It’s really put me off them.

    One slightly ironic thing, is that the one bass that a fair amount of people DON'T like the look of, the Musicman bongo, I really like! This would also be a strong contender for what I should buy, were I able to find anywhere in the UK I could get one! :(

    So, could someone who has played one or both of these basses tell me about em? (or has anyone got any ideas for something different?)
  2. Andre_gt7


    Jan 4, 2005
    Atlanta - GA
    there were some pictures around here of Stings with no pickguard...looked awesome
  3. M.D.S.


    Nov 8, 2004
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I haven't played the Flea modulus, but I have played the Stingray and the Bongo, and I've got major GAS for the bongo, though I can't get one since I've ordered a Lakland DJ5, which I wanted even more. :smug:

    Sure, the Bongo is "aesthetically challenged," but I could get used to the looks, and the variety of tones it can put out is tough to beat. Personally, I'd like a Bongo 5-string with HH pickups and the piezo, for maximum versatility in tone.

    Yep, I could dig a Bongo, if I could sneak it past the wife, which I doubt. The Stingray is a classic funk machine, one of the very best for slapping of course. I wouldn't mind having a 'ray, but I like versatility in a bass, and the Bongo more than fits the bill in that respect. Tastes in music and bass tone change. The Bongo would set you up with a LOT of options, particularly if you get the piezo:D
  5. Get a flea. I have one and I think it is an incredible bass. Don't worry about a sterile sound. I have an OBP-1 preamp in it with a basslines pickup and you can create a nice variety of tones with it. If I could find a free site for sound samples I could upload some very simple examples of the versatility of the bass.

    By the way, what does GAS mean? I see it used a lot in the forums but I don't know the meaning. :meh:
  6. flea me baby one more time
  7. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    GAS = gear acquisition syndrome.

    I have a Flea and have played a handful of other Fleas. The neck isn't the problem, the pickup is (IMNSHO). Getting a different preamp or running it through something like an RBI may fix it but I've never tried either. I put a different pickup in mine and it sounds fantastic now. No problems at all with the carbon fibre neck, as long as you like the sound of basses with maple fingerboards (which I do).

    You really can't go wrong with any of the basses you're talking about. Get which one *feels* the best to you. Don't make a move without playing all of your choices, or at least leave yourself the option to sell and get the other if it's not your cup of tea.
  8. funky_bass_guy

    funky_bass_guy Guest

    Jul 30, 2004
    What kind of pickup did you put in it msquared?
  9. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    IMO, dropping that much money on a bass should damn well insure you don't get a sterile sound, and having to put a different pickup in it after the fact to get rid of said sterile sound is awful. The Bongo and Stingray sound great from the get-go -- especially the Bongo. I also love the looks, but the sound is definitely where it's at.
  11. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    i cant afford either im so jealous!!

    anyway i read a review of a old stingray and the guy said it was like having a ferrari- it looks good, sounds good but it isnt practical, he also said that the frets must have been made out of some sort of cheese.

    but personally i would get the flea bass and put lots of stickers on it :p
  12. I own a black flea...damn sparkle wasn't for me. It has the bartolini ntmb preamp and the bart pickup. I really really enjoy this bass. Out of the 3 basses you mentioned, the flea is the easier of the 3 for me to play. I've played this with modern rock bands, blues bands, pop bands, and funk bands and i really really love it....but those 2 batteries kina piss me off when they die...c'est la vie. If the choice was up to me I'd buy the flea again. I think they are also making the flea with two jazz pickups instead as well. I'd really like to compare the 2.
    take care,
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I would get a musicman. The quality is excellent so youre certain to get a good one.
  14. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    if u're really thrown off by the pick guard, i'd deff go with the bongo. from what i read here, people are starting to warm to the odd shape (which i think is badd ass for the record :bassist:)...but i am a huge flea nut, but i've never played that bass. i'd go bongo
  15. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    personally, i'd prefer the bongo, but for what you're after, i'd recommend the flea. if you go for a stingray, go for maple, my friend has a rosewood, and it just awful.
  16. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    i own a Flea 4st with Lane Poor pickups. there's not sterile sound at all.. at the time i was at a Mars Music in OC which i later found out was their going out of buisness sale hah.. anyway.. im from hawaii and when i went to CA looking for a bass. i originally wanted a FLea but only had enough for a Musicman which was my second choice.. when i got to Mars Music i played both a Flea and Musicman.. i loved the Flea way more by far. essecially the Lane Poor pickups(not made anymore...). the neck felt way better then a Musicman and IMO had way more punch. Once i saw the price of the Flea i took it to the counter and bought it hah.. i only paid 1500$ which was about 100$ more then the Musicman.. as a result i dont ever feel the need to get a Musicman.

    The newer Flea's have Basslines instead of Lane Poor.. my friend bought a newer flea after playing mines and didnt like the sound as much as my Lane Poor's.. they still sound great though.

    i'd definately pick a modulus flea over a musicman... i mean if you got the money go for it..
  17. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass

    damn i know about that battery stuff haha.. my friend has a newer flea and it has two batteries.. im glad mines only needs 1 and lasts forever. id definately be dropping too much $$ on batteries.
  18. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    Good Looking single pick up ever


  19. id go with the modulus..built to last..sound great..never go out of tune..but then again im totally impartial to carbon fiber necks..ive had and handful of basses..ive stuck with modulus as my main bass
  20. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    A Nordstrand MM5.2. It took a bit of body and pickguard routing but was well worth it.