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I love Musicman basses but what is up with those prices?

They literally jumped from 2k to 3k in a year? 

Sorry but there's no way a mass produced bass is worth 3k, even if it's formidable and has those lovely colors (some of the best I've seen btw).

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6 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

They just look like Stingrays to me.  All these companies, Fender, Gibson etc. there's nothing new to see really, no innovation.  It's just about putting sparkly finishes on 45 year old designs.  

 

I think the bass playing community must take some responsibility for that. EB has brought out a few different guitars that they have continued to make, mainly signature models. However, when new basses have appeared, the Reflex for instance, the ‘Ray & Sterling were and are still the models that the buying public flock to. The same can be said for Fender’s Dimension bass, seemed good enough but still Ps & Js were bought by the skip load. Being an established brand seems to bring its own limitations; damned if they do, damned if they don’t. However, the price for a new US EBMM is ridiculous IMO.  

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22 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

They just look like Stingrays to me.  All these companies, Fender, Gibson etc. there's nothing new to see really, no innovation.  It's just about putting sparkly finishes on 45 year old designs.  

 

I thought the 2018 Specials were hugely innovative - ergonomics, preamp, pickup, hardware.... Shame about the new colours or prices - both not for me either. 

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36 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I think the bass playing community must take some responsibility for that. EB has brought out a few different guitars that they have continued to make, mainly signature models. However, when new basses have appeared, the Reflex for instance, the ‘Ray & Sterling were and are still the models that the buying public flock to. The same can be said for Fender’s Dimension bass, seemed good enough but still Ps & Js were bought by the skip load. Being an established brand seems to bring its own limitations; damned if they do, damned if they don’t. However, the price for a new US EBMM is ridiculous IMO.  

FWIW (not much) I would have bought a Big Al, if I could have afforded it :(

Seems these latest prices continue to mean I won't be buying a (new) EBMM any time soon.  We're talking multiples of what my car cost here - I'm clearly not their target market :D

Edited by neepheid
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47 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I think the bass playing community must take some responsibility for that. EB has brought out a few different guitars that they have continued to make, mainly signature models. However, when new basses have appeared, the Reflex for instance, the ‘Ray & Sterling were and are still the models that the buying public flock to. The same can be said for Fender’s Dimension bass, seemed good enough but still Ps & Js were bought by the skip load. Being an established brand seems to bring its own limitations; damned if they do, damned if they don’t. However, the price for a new US EBMM is ridiculous IMO.  

I understand duties and tax ramping prices up, I'm also cognizant of dealer mark ups as well, but pricewise consider Andertons currently have 53 Musicman guitars and basses on sale for £2K+; these aren't boutique guitars, produced in small numbers, these are production line instruments.  Why anyone would want to aspire to owning a fairly commonplace instrument and paying that sort of money for it is beyond me. 

A quick scan on eBay shows you can pick up a fairly minty vintage Stingray (20+ year old instrument) for half the new UK retail price - I just saw a paid listing for a 1991 Stingray - which had seen some action and looked better for it - that sold for under £800.00.  Don't get me wrong, I owned about a dozen Gibson Thunderbirds at one time, so I know what it's like to be in love with an instrument, but only one of them was brand new (I didn't bond with it).  I've moved on.  Small luthiers (Lull) and discontinued luthiers (Hamer) are the way to go for me; the closest I have to a production line bass is a Czech Spector.

I'd concur that we are a fickle bunch that in general find change (or anything new) laughable or abhorrent.  All the manuafacturers have tried to do new stuff and met with disdain and discontinuation.  The big money sadly isn't in Fender Dimension basses, or Gibson EB4s or Musicman Bongos (and so on); it's in the core models, Stingray, Thunderbird, Jazz/Precision, Streamers, NS model Spectors.  These are the models that keep the new bass marketplace active.

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9 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

 

I'd concur that we are a fickle bunch that in general find change (or anything new) laughable or abhorrent.  All the manuafacturers have tried to do new stuff and met with disdain and discontinuation.  The big money sadly isn't in Fender Dimension basses, or Gibson EB4s or Musicman Bongos (and so on); it's in the core models, Stingray, Thunderbird, Jazz/Precision, Streamers, NS model Spectors.  These are the models that keep the new bass marketplace active.

Of course, sticking to what brings in the big bucks quickly also overshadows any newer models, so manufacturers need to play a longer game if they really care about innovation. When I wrote my original post, I’d completely forgotten about the Bongo (bloody daft name) and it’s surprising to me that it’s still around. 

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4 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Of course, sticking to what brings in the big bucks quickly also overshadows any newer models, so manufacturers need to play a longer game if they really care about innovation. When I wrote my original post, I’d completely forgotten about the Bongo (bloody daft name) and it’s surprising to me that it’s still around. 

Part of that maybe that the Bongo has a big name attached to it - albeit with the 6 string variant. That said, Bongos are nice basses and are enough of a departure from their other models to hold their own - IMHO.

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27 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

Why anyone would want to aspire to owning a fairly commonplace instrument and paying that sort of money for it is beyond me. 

As much as I love a MM bass, sadly I think you’re right. They would have to reinvent the wheel in bass form for me to cough up that amount of money - and I do like a sparkly finish! The Specials were decent enough in terms of spec changes (I don’t like to call them upgrades as I’m not entirely convinced they are) and I did buy in, but I think that will be the last time.

As you say, there are other options from independent luthiers where you can tick all your boxes for less money. Might be a bit of a longer wait, but that’s some of the fun.

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Here is a link to a thread where we discussed the new colours and also had quite a heated debate about the new prices. I like some of the new finishes (esp. the HH in raspberry burst. I would have bought one for the old price but then went for a used G&L L2k in CAR instead) but think that the new prices are way too high:

New EBMM Stingray Special Colours and Prices - Bass Guitars - Basschat

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13 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Part of that maybe that the Bongo has a big name attached to it - albeit with the 6 string variant. That said, Bongos are nice basses and are enough of a departure from their other models to hold their own - IMHO.

I don’t imagine John Myung’s name is particularly household, even amongst musicians. I like the Bongo (name notwithstanding) but, as demonstrated, it’s not what I think of when I think EBMM, so I guess Sterling Ball & Co should receive some kudos for sticking with it for so long. Actually, when I think EBMM, my first thought isn’t guitars either (despite being a guitarist too - shhh! Keep it to yourself or there’ll be a mob of BCers with flaming torches and pitchforks), yet they seem to persist with those and extend the range, albeit it seems to be just signature models.

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I've got a Bongo and a USA Silhouette - there were pricey, but each feels well put together and solid in a way that cheaper guitars I have tried just don't.

I realise people should buy guitars to keep and not move on. But a factor in buying the Bongo is that I could probably easily sell it for 1200, so really I only paid £800 for it not £2000.

 

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Part of that maybe that the Bongo has a big name attached to it - albeit with the 6 string variant. That said, Bongos are nice basses and are enough of a departure from their other models to hold their own - IMHO.

I had a Bongo around ten years ago... why did I let it go?! 

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I think these new colours are great and if it wasn't for the fact I already have Stingray Specials in great colours I would be in the market for one of these, in spite of the current prices. They certainly aren't out of step with other low volume high end stuff (Rick, dare I say, Fender CS) - I think we have to remember the world's changed for the reasons mentioned - anyone tried to buy a bike (pedal type) recently? They can be very hard to come by - same with parts of firms like Ikea's range - you'll find some items are fine others not available. Covid has affected production - allegedly Fender had their best year for sales ever - one wonders if that was caused by people buying stuff that had been parked in retailer's warehouses for ages, unless Covid didn't affect them the same way it has everyone else - there certainly seem to be general supply chain issues and shipping issues for goods across the board. 

Im reminded I paid £375 for my brand new pre EB Stingray in 1980 - it'd be worth £2750+ now!! Used prices tend to reflect how quickly people want to sell. £800 is a daft price for a 1991 Stingray!! 

I also have a Bongo and I'm reminded it's sat in its case - I'd better get it out and put one of the Rays away !!! 

I have been mildly tempted by basses in the EBMM vault - notably the Joe Dart - if EBMM want to issue another Stingray variant in one of these posh colours with a graphite neck I would probably buy one - unless any Members here want to sell me one 😏 Has to be a factory variant though - I know of at least one @hiram.k.hackenbacker 👍😂

Conversely an artist series Tony Levin 5 string (or Pino fretless) if EBMM are planning anything like that!! 

Edited by drTStingray
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45 minutes ago, Supernaut said:

I had a Bongo around ten years ago... why did I let it go?! 

Me too.  A 5HH.  Sold it to cover the cost of a Thunderbird.  Well, of course I did.

It was a ridiculous instrument, the pre-amp was uncontrollable tonally (long story), but the design, playability, comfort and looks made it just weird enough to make it special.  I wouldn't mind mind another one at some point.  It would have to be a matt black/stealth one.  5HH.

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1 minute ago, drTStingray said:

anyone tried to buy a bike (pedal type) recently? They can be very hard to come by

I had no problem purchasing one in February. That's because all the 'plastic' cyclists will start to come out in Spring and snap everything up. 😂

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