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Upgrading to an EBMM

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CanadianFunk, May 18, 2011.


  1. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Hey everyone, I'm Zack and I have a question for you.
    I've been playing bass for a few months now, on a cheap squier $300 indonesian J-Bass.
    I've heard that Sterling Rays are pretty close to jazz's when it comes to playability, as the necks are fairy similar, so I want to save up to get one of those. I can pick one up now for $700 new, but the band I'm in plays everything from country to heavy metal, is a Sterling Ray a versatile bass or will it sound... out of place in certain styles of music?

    Thanks in advance for your advice, and happy to have joined the forum :)
     
  2. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    I assume you're referring to a Sterling by Music Man (SBMM) SB-14. These basses actually have great versatility. However, the secret to finding this versatility involves becoming greatly familiar with the onboard EQ, hand placement, and the 3-way switch. If all you do is crank the EQ, never vary your hand placement, and never touch the switch, then all versatility is lost.
     
  3. RFord04

    RFord04

    Apr 8, 2009
    Flint, Michigan
    IMO, a Stingray is an entirely different beast. An HH model will be fairly versatile, but if you're looking at Sterling brand rays (which by the way, is not EBMM, but rather SBMM), you'll only have the choice of a single humbucker, which IMO won't work too well for country. Also, the necks on the Rays will be more similar to a P-bass than a jazz, as they are generally wider, I believe. I've had many Jazz basses and a few different rays, and I'd say the Ray is less versatile than the Jazz.
     
  4. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Ive read that sterlings are a bit smaller then stings, and that the neck is narrower but I'm probably wrong as I have no experience with MM's at all
    The main reason I'm looking for another bass is that the bass I have is pretty cheap...
    I don't care about a bass that's inexpensive, but the strings dont line up with the pickups right (which i think has to do with the fact that the neck is a little warped), and no matter how much I get the action adjusted the high E's ALWAYS ring off the frets.
     
  5. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    Just to clarify EBMM Sterling basses do have the neck profile that you speak of. Many people confuse EBMM Sterling with SBMM. However, there are two basses within the SBMM line that have the neck profile you're looking for: the SB-14 and Ray34CA. The regular Ray34 has a neck profile closer to a P-bass.

    Based on the music you're playing, you'll probably want to go with an SB-14 since it has a 3-band EQ. The Ray34CA has a classic two band EQ and is a lot smoother, but would most likely not cut it for metal.
     
  6. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    Why not get a nicer J/J style bass? Doesn't have to be a Fender... but I've never played a J/J bass that wasn't versatile.

    Or even a Precision bass. They're simple, but they fit everything. Another option is a P/J. Is there any reason why you want a single humbucker bass in particular? Personally I think it's hard to escape the "humbucker sound." But basses with a HH set-up are sweet. That all said, Rays aren't my thing, but this is my two cents.
     
  7. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
  8. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    Yeah, that's a Ray34. It won't have the neck profile you're looking for.
     
  9. Gomeztool

    Gomeztool Banned

    Dec 10, 2010
    Cali
    I think what you ar referring to is the SB14 SBMM.

    Amazon.com: Sterling by Music Man SB14-CAR Bass (4 String, Candy Apple Red): Musical Instruments

    The Stingray is one of the more popular basses for both country (SR5) and metal so you're covered by choosing a Musicman style bass. Regardless, you really can't pigeonhole most mainstream basses into certain genres unless you are playing in ranges or styles outside of the design of these intruments. So a P, J, SR and a Ric are only limited by the player.
     
  10. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    I know this is a hard question to answer, but will the transition from a jazz neck profile to the ray34 be a difficult one? I just love the sound of slapping an EBMM.
    I would get a stingray but I don't have that kind of money :p
     
  11. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    Unfortunately, I don't think any of us can answer that for you. If you ever picked up a StingRay or P-bass, you'd know if you can handle a Ray 34. You really need to try it out if you're considering the purchase.
     
  12. Gomeztool

    Gomeztool Banned

    Dec 10, 2010
    Cali
    IME, the width of a neck isn't as big a deal as the depth of it. I can bounce back and forth between Jazz/Sterling and P/Stingray sizes.
    Although I'd rather slap on Stingray or P Bass neck.

    I wear medium sized gloves so my hands are average sized.
     
  13. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Alright, guess I'll have to take a trip down to the local music shop and try it out.
    One last question, would you recommend any bass that's versatile, and punchy like an EBMM when it comes to slap?
     
  14. Gomeztool

    Gomeztool Banned

    Dec 10, 2010
    Cali
    [talkbass adage]Tone is in the hands[/talkbass adage]
     
  15. Popbumper

    Popbumper

    Jul 19, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Similar situation for me - picked up a cheap P bass last July, got it set up. It was OK for a beginner. Moving up now, tired of fighting it.

    Tried EBMM - LOVE them, but pricey.

    Tried Ray34 - after hearing good things about them - and their similarity to EBMM - did not like them at all (too bright/twangy, just not solid like EBMM).

    Try yourself a G&L if you get an opportunity. I have recently driven a 1500 and Tribute 2000, and LOVED BOTH. Just waiting for the right one to come along at the right price.

    Chris
     
  16. CanadianFunk

    CanadianFunk

    May 18, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    True enough :)
    Thanks for the input guys, I think I'll try out that ray34 tonight
     
  17. RFord04

    RFord04

    Apr 8, 2009
    Flint, Michigan
    Try a nice Jazz bass. You might like one that's not a POS. Nothing but an EBMM will sound like an EBMM though.
     
  18. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    Just go to the store and try out as many basses as you can,pick the one that fits you best. Don't worry about one bass being more versatile than another. There is no such thing. I played in a variety band for several years with a single H Sterling, never changed any settings,and it worked.
     
  19. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    A lot of versatility comes from the way you play it... fingers, pick, by the bridge, by the neck, on the neck, slapping, etc.

    You could also try some Jazz basses or some Ibanez basses, but nothing but a Ray has that Ray sound, especially slapped.
     

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