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What are the similarities of 4-94, Sting Ray & a Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sneha1965, Apr 17, 2009.


  1. sneha1965

    sneha1965

    Nov 7, 2007
    NOVA
    Having not played a Lakland 4-94 myself, I've read the body shape of the 4-94 was taken from a combination of a Sting Ray and Jazz bass. Is this true? Also, what are some of the similarities and differences some of you have experienced between the two? What makes them distinct from each other? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. I own and use both a StingRay 5 and Jazz V (both strung with rounds BTW).

    Similarities between a StringRay and Jazz are (IME) The can both nail a gritty, "prog" sound easily.

    The differences (to me) seem to be that the Jazz can be more subtle in tone while the Ray tends to always wanna bark.
     
  3. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    i play all these basses. the shap is a bit round like a stingray, but that's about it imo. The neck is the same width as a stingray, but much thinner front to back. the small vintage frets also add to the slim feel. basically, if feels more like a jazz neck to me but with a touch more room to work the frets.

    tonewise, the 4-94 truly sits between both basses. compared to a jazz it has a similar growl, but more heft in the low mids, different character to the high mids and more punch. compared to the Ray, not nearly as aggressive and a bit "tighter" overall (like a jazz in that regard).

    actually, i'm finding that it has really replaced a Pbass in my arsenal. Doesn't sound quite like a P, but has that middy character only tightened up a lot more.
     
  4. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    You're definitely going to want to watch this demo: 4-94, Jazz, 'Ray, P-bass. Enjoy!
     
  5. sneha1965

    sneha1965

    Nov 7, 2007
    NOVA
    +1 That's a great clip. Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member


    It's a bit hard to make out in that clip, since he's playing through an old school rig that isn't the best at uncovering differences in pickups, etc. (although it obviously sounds great).

    The 55 and 44-94 series of Laklands, to me, does a pretty good job of sounding like a Jazz Bass with the single coil pickups replaced by more modern hum canceling pickups when you solo the rear coil of the MM split humbucker. So, it's 'kind of' a J bass tone.

    The Music Man tone is not very good IMO. SO much of that classic MM tone is driven by the Music Man pickup placement, and the Lakland's MM pickup is in a different place. It again 'kind of' sounds like a MM, but not really, especially through a more modern, full range rig.

    The P Bass tone is the typical 'Jazz Bass with the neck pickup 100%' tone... yes, kinda like a P Bass, but not really.... not really close at all.

    I like the inherent tone and the different flavors of tone that you can get from them. If you aren't a real 'purist' (i.e., loving the classic versions of the P, J and MM tone), they can work quite nicely.

    IMO and a lot of IME.
     
  7. sneha1965

    sneha1965

    Nov 7, 2007
    NOVA
    Thanks for the response. I hear what you're saying about soloing the neck PU of the 44-94 being similar to soloing a jazz neck PU in an approximation to recreate the P bass tone and it seems the intention of the clip is more on how the 44-94 can simulate the tone of the other basses. To focus more on what makes the 44-94 tone distinct from the MM, Jazz or P bass, is there a audio clip you would recommend that really nails the tone of what Dan wanted the 4-94 to be?

     
  8. 3toes

    3toes

    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I could be wrong but I believe Dan has stated that the pickup routes were placed where they are to be more accurate to a Jazz bass rather than an MM. That could be why some people feel the tone isn't quite on for pulling off a Ray.

    But again, it's not supposed to be a duplicate of the tones. Those are just the basses that "inspired" the 4-94. It has it's own sound, and I love it.
     
  9. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    +1, I was trying to convince myself to buy a 44-02 because the J, P, and MM are my favorite tones. However, after watching the video I wasn't convinced.

    The J bass tone, as you said, is pretty good but not exact. It lacks some of the classic Fender grind and warmth. The Lakland was a little too "clean" for lack of a better word.

    The P bass tone, as you said is just a J bass neck pickup tone. It can sound pretty close to a P bass if you need it, like Joe Osborn did on all those recordings. However, it just doesn't have "it", I can't put my finger on it. If it did, not many people would use P basses IMO.

    The MM bass tone was the worst IMO. The whole bridge humbucker is too close to the bridge, resulting in a tone that is more burpy, honky, and thin than the MM tone. It also lacks some of the MM fatness. Wow that MM sounded great, I really have to get one sometime... :D
     
  10. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    i also agree that if you want the J, MM or P tone specifically this bass won't cover it for you.

    what I like most about the 4-94 is that it improves on my personal dislikes about those other 3 basses. it tightens up the P tone, fattens up the J bridge tone, and softens the MM tone. Guess that's just the tone I hear in my head.
     
  11. enor

    enor

    Dec 7, 2008
    Hmmm... If you want a "tightened up P tone" why not just get a J? The loose depth of the P is the whole point of a P...
     
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I've a P bass, a J, and a Stingray. I also have a 4-94. My Lakland doesn't have the midrange character of my P bass or the sizzle and power of my Stingray, and it doesn't sit in the mix like my Jazz bass. It does do exactly what bino said.
     
  13. Toneman

    Toneman

    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    wow! well said.
    I love my P which I had made into a P/J I also just ordered a 44-02 it's coming this tuesday. That will be my only two basses I think between the two i can nail most sounds. I put my jazz on ebay.
     
  14. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    right. but it's quite not like a jazz either. not as deep and round. but it does have a present high midrange like a jazz.

    it's vibe really lies in another territory. if you want a wide Marcus tone, don't get a 4-94. you'll really have to crank the eq. likewise, if you want a sizzly slap tone, don't get a 4-94. it's really a punchy, fingerstyle machine with some flexibility.

    the homage to Leo Fender isn't so much in how it replicates earlier basses, but in the fact that it's a modern bass without quite sounding modern. it's got guts, in otherwords.
     
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The 4-94 has a MM shaped pickup routing and a J shaped pickup routing. That's about all the direct similarity there is. My experience is that they don't sound or play exactly like the Stingray or J bass but the Lakland is more sonically versatile and overall more useful.

    Visually comparing the 3 body shapes will help you decide what you want to believe about any similarities in that regard.
     
  16. Toneman

    Toneman

    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    [QUOTE it's really a punchy, fingerstyle machine with some flexibility.

    :hyper:
    that's just what I'm looking for!
    now I just sit and wait for the fed ex truck.
    I hope I get a nice grain on my natural finish they seem to be hit or miss. A fellow TB er was nice enough to give me a brown tort guard I'm guessing that should look real nice with the natural.
     
  17. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Now I understand why I'm still waiting on pics of this bass!
     
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The best tones from a *-94 are the "other" two tones. All coils on, and the coil closer to the neck blended with the neck (awesome pick tone). Those two sound like a *-94 and nothing else. Quit trying to make these basses sound like Fenders and Stingrays, it doesn't work. But the basses sound great.

    Everyone needs a J-bass.
     
  19. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
  20. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    And you couldn't have posted this about 4 months ago? Where were you when I needed you. :p (All right, I could have asked.)

    I just discovered a couple days ago that a "useless" setting may be my favorite one! When you SOLO the coil closer to the neck, you end up with a great tone full of rich midrange and nice tight low end. I mean, doing this gives you a pickup that's pretty close to the magical musicman sweet spot. I found it just goofing around, and couldn't wait to try it out in practice. Worked great! By playing with my hand position, I could sit back in the mix or cut through to the top.

    I'm really trying to find great tones with the active eq pretty much flat. I tind that, with any active electronics, too much boost or cut and you start getting uneven volume note-to-note.
     

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