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Nicko

Lets talk about Musicman

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Joe public probably wouldn't recognise one, a lot of famous players have one, but don't use it much and are normally assoiated with something else  (John Deacon, Flea, Pino).  The US ones are pricer than a US Fender, and the Sterlings are made in the far east and more expensive than Fender badged mexican standards, and the cheap ones (SUB) are badged so that everyone can see you're on a budget.

I'm far from being a fanboi, but I dont understand what the Musicman USP is.

What am I missing?

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The original USP is that the (originally US production only by Leo F) was that it was one of the first widely available active basses with a humbucker positioned towards the bridge as opposed to the normal 'sweetspot'.  This gave the unique character to the sound which was widely employed in a number of Genres but certainly made famous in FunK (e.g. Bernard Edwards).  40+ years on the EB Stingray is an evolution of the original design that you think is up there with the original or not - opinions vary.  I'm sure a number of experts on here will give a fuller description, I for one generally love them and have had a US one in the bass line up since 1990 although my current two are a 2016 Fretted single H 3EQ and 2001 Fretless single H 2EQ.

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A USA Sub bass will answer all your questions about Musicman basses!

I have owned a few USA rays and never liked them, I have owned a couple of the far east built Sterling's and positively disliked them but I have not tried the cheapest Sub range.

I came upon my USA sub a few years back and finally found the Stingray I had been hankering after for many years, it is currently sitting atop all the Precision's as my go too gigging bass.

As for a USP, I personally think they are the best looking bass on the market, just aesthetically right, they have a very distinctive sound especially in their early wiring setup

I would not part with mine now I have finally found the one that works for me! 

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3 minutes ago, Roger2611 said:

A USA Sub bass will answer all your questions about Musicman basses!

I have owned a few USA rays and never liked them, I have owned a couple of the far east built Sterling's and positively disliked them but I have not tried the cheapest Sub range.

I came upon my USA sub a few years back and finally found the Stingray I had been hankering after for many years, it is currently sitting atop all the Precision's as my go too gigging bass.

As for a USP, I personally think they are the best looking bass on the market, just aesthetically right, they have a very distinctive sound especially in their early wiring setup

I would not part with mine now I have finally found the one that works for me! 

Yeah, what I'm tyrying to get at is what made you keep looking for the right one?

PS. That looks a suspiciously un Musicman photo on your avatar. 

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Why do you want a USP?

 

Theres about 20 billion versions of jazz and p basses everywhere. The only USP anything has anymore is the name on the headstock. 

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1 minute ago, fretmeister said:

Why do you want a USP?

 

Theres about 20 billion versions of jazz and p basses everywhere. The only USP anything has anymore is the name on the headstock. 

I'm interested in why someone would be atrracted to the range in the first place.  Clearly the big F is known by non players and when they think guitar they probably think Fender or Gibson.

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2 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Yeah, what I'm tyrying to get at is what made you keep looking for the right one?

PS. That looks a suspiciously un Musicman photo on your avatar. 

I don't think looking for the right Stingray or Sterling is any different than looking for the right P or J bass.  Each one I've had has been subtly or grossly different to the others, you eventually find one that is just right. Also, while flexible, the single H isn't the swiss army knife of the bass world and doesn't work well in all situations/musical genres.

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4 minutes ago, Nicko said:

I'm interested in why someone would be atrracted to the range in the first place.  Clearly the big F is known by non players and when they think guitar they probably think Fender or Gibson.

I don't see why any bass would appeal to non players (maybe other than a Rick......) but they'd maybe recognise the brand.  I can only speak for myself but I was originally attracted to the Stingray due to Pino and John Deacon.

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16 minutes ago, martthebass said:

I don't see why any bass would appeal to non players (maybe other than a Rick......) but they'd maybe recognise the brand.  I can only speak for myself but I was originally attracted to the Stingray due to Pino and John Deacon.

Certainly the Pino aspect influenced me in looking for one, I have only scanned Ebay a few minutes ago looking for that elusive Pino Stingray fretless!

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1 minute ago, Roger2611 said:

Certainly the Pino aspect influenced me in looking for one, I have only scanned Ebay a few minutes ago looking for that elusive Pino Stingray fretless!

Just wish I could play like him Roger!

One thing I did find is that it had to be a 2EQ - for some reason I could never get the sound I was looking for in my head with the 3EQ on the fretless Ray.

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Posted (edited)

I think that the selling point is that a Stingray has a pretty unique tone, which works well in most genres. Coupled with this is that Musicman have always had a consistent build quality, something you can't really say about Fender over the years. 

Edited by peteb
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I liked the idea of owning one for a short while.  That was purely because I saw Bernard Edwards using one.

That was a long time ago.  Now I see them in much the same way as I see Fenders except that I like how the headstock is less clumsy looking.  Not really bothered about them  one way or the other these days.

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1 hour ago, Nicko said:

I'm interested in why someone would be atrracted to the range in the first place.  Clearly the big F is known by non players and when they think guitar they probably think Fender or Gibson.

Does anyone care what non-players think about when buying an instrument?

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, peteb said:

I think that the selling point is that a Stingray has a pretty unique tone, which works well in most genres. Coupled with this is that Musicman have always had a consistent build quality, something you can't really say about Fender over the years. 

This. I've never ever played a bad MM, and I've owned quite a few. Their consistency and quality have remained constant over many years of production, and for me the Stingray remains the obvious next step to experiment with after a Precision. I also think a Ray is one of the best looking basses ever made, and the only reason I no longer have any MM's is due to my shoulder injury which prevents me from using anything much over 7lbs in weight. (If anyone has a really light MM please feel free to PM me now!)

Edited by casapete
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I think MM always sound great, I've just never found them particularly comfortable to play, but that's just me I guess. The other problem I have with then is the 'Toilet Seat' look I heard someone mention recently... I find it hard to see past that now...😞

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I've never especially liked Precision necks - OK, functional, but uninspiring (don't ask me to explain, it's all just "like" or "don't like").  Every MM I've tried has has a very P-like neck profile (understandably so) and leaves me a little disappointed.

Shame, because I love the pickups, and they look good.  

YMMV - I've never seriously looked into buying one, and there may well be ones with necks that I would get on with, but I've never had MM GAS.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, JBP said:

I think MM always sound great, I've just never found them particularly comfortable to play, but that's just me I guess. The other problem I have with then is the 'Toilet Seat' look I heard someone mention recently... I find it hard to see past that now...😞

That's the Bongo you're thinking of... 🙂

I've never played a bad (US) Stingray (I presume that's what the OP is thinking of when he says 'Musicman'), and the US Subs are pretty good, too. I love the look of them (especially the black and maple...oh, and that new Starry Night), and they play very very well, I just don't find myself using them once I own them. So I sell on, then a few months later, I find myself looking at them again... I've had (I think) five now, on exactly this basis...they're getting a bit too expensive to keep doing that, though... 😕🙂

The two Bongos I've played have been even better, if anything, but I'm terribly shallow - see my first comment above 😕

I'd like to try a Sabre or a Cutlass (the graphite Ray one, not the new one), but see 'getting a bit too expensive' above... 😕

Ooo, Steve's just reminded me - a SLO Special Ray, with the slimmer neck...that'd be nice... 😁

Edited by Muzz

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28 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

I've never especially liked Precision necks - OK, functional, but uninspiring (don't ask me to explain, it's all just "like" or "don't like").  Every MM I've tried has has a very P-like neck profile (understandably so) and leaves me a little disappointed.

Shame, because I love the pickups, and they look good.  

YMMV - I've never seriously looked into buying one, and there may well be ones with necks that I would get on with, but I've never had MM GAS.

You tried a US Sterling or a Stingray SLO Special - they both have Jazz type necks?

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1 minute ago, martthebass said:

You tried a US Sterling or a Stingray SLO Special - they both have Jazz type necks?

couldn't tell you

though I'm not a massive fan of Fender necks in general (but have only ever played one Jazz which was "meh" so, again, I've never been on a quest to find one I like and YMMV)

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I love my Stingray. It's the only bass that I prefer round wounds on. Every note sounds very rich and cuts through the mix perfectly. The build quality is top notch too.

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I suppose that another USP is that although they are expensive to buy new, you can pick them up pretty cheaply secondhand. 

£700 will get you a quality classic US built bass that wouldn't be out of place on virtually any gig that you are likely to get. 

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For me it’s:

  1. That tone, which cuts through the mix like a buzzsaw
  2. Great build quality
  3. Optimum string spacing and playability (personal preference of course)

I love Fender too. But with the StingRay, Leo and company got it spot on.

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Posted (edited)

The only thing that sounds better in the mix than my Bongo 5 is my SR5 20th Anniversary....!

Seriously, balls-out tone, great build quality and necks that fit my little hands (no I'm not Trump).

 

Pretty much what Skol said actually.

 

I'll get me coat.

Edited by WinterMute

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For me, the MusicMan USP is simply that’s it’s a MusicMan! It’s got quality, style, history and THAT sound. 

There are plenty of great basses out there inspired by MusicMan and they are of top quality, but they dont’t have the USP I particularly want. YMMV. 

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4 hours ago, Nicko said:

Joe public probably wouldn't recognise one, a lot of famous players have one, but don't use it much and are normally assoiated with something else  (John Deacon, Flea, Pino).  The US ones are pricer than a US Fender, and the Sterlings are made in the far east and more expensive than Fender badged mexican standards, and the cheap ones (SUB) are badged so that everyone can see you're on a budget.

I'm far from being a fanboi, but I dont understand what the Musicman USP is.

What am I missing?

Play one/some and work it out for yourself perhaps? 

To add to the above, IME quality & consistency is generally a step up from equivalent price range Fenders. Tone (especially with flats) is way more versatile than Precisions or Jazzes. Necks are generally very well engineered and stable. I've always had the feeling that EBMM really care about what comes off their production line in a way Fender stopped doing many years ago (i.e., around 1964). 

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