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TheGreek

New Musicman basses

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The new Stingrays are certainly very nice, but they're not THAT nice to pay £3K for.

If you shop around and bide your time you can get a 'Ray, with case, for well under £1K.

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2 minutes ago, Supernaut said:

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. 😂

There are warning notices in Halfords regarding supply issues on bikes. I know of people who've been waiting months to get hold of certain mid- upper end ones as no retailers have them and won't give delivery dates - a bit like some types of basses!!! 

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1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

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 👍😂

You may to wait until I’m gone and you can haggle with Mrs.H over that one 😜
I do feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this one when I did.

ED415FCE-C27A-47BC-A3CF-611C23C67A2E.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

For those with the £3k to buy a new MM wouldn't you be better "investing" in the earliest model you could find? Vintage MMs are selling for about that currently.

Edited by TheGreek
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Posted (edited)

A Stingray has always been on my bucket list.

They do seem to be heading further and further away from my wallet though.

Tbh I struggle with the idea of spending £3k+ on any factory produced instrument.

In that price band you're moving into Sadowsky territory not to mention any number of slightly less renowned boutique names.

Edited by Cato
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4 hours ago, Supernaut said:

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

I had one of the first batch in the UK. Regret selling it on here about 11 years ago.

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Posted (edited)

I'm kicking myself more now reading this thread for not snapping up a brand new Stingray I saw in a shop in Liverpool when I was over there for a meeting about 10 years ago.  The shop had been struggling and were looking to just move stock on to generate turnover.  I recall they were offering it for about £700.  Fabulous it was, even had a slighter thinner than usual nut width - felt perfect for me.  I walked away, thought about it overnight and called them the next day, by which time, predictably, a less procrastinating punter with a keen eye for a bargain had already snapped it up.  And now we're talking £3k!  What a d**k I was...

Edited by Bass Culture
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Ten years ago £700 would have been a market value, not a bargain which is what most of us are after. Still, if it feels right it's worth every penny.

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9 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Ten years ago £700 would have been a market value, not a bargain which is what most of us are after. Still, if it feels right it's worth every penny.

Might have been less then.  I do seem to recall noticing it was significantly less than RRP at the time.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, drTStingray said:

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!! 

Sorry to say it my friend, but EBMM basses are not "low volume high end". They are mid-market mass-produced instruments. You are kidding yourself if you think they are manufactured to the same standard as a   well designed prestige  luthier- made bass. (However, it must be said, I have much more fun playing a Musicman bass than a great many fancy boutique basses. How good quality does a bass guitar need to be? Anyhow...)I think your Rickenbacker /Fender CS comparisons  are about right,  whilst bearing in mind that most analogies don't bear close examination.

That said, there is no doubt that these new Stingrays are very worthwhile instruments. I am not that keen on most of the colours , but each to their own, there is no right and wrong to it. The real controversy is the grotesque price increase which has accompanied their introduction. The pound has been relatively stable against the dollar. Paint hasn't suddenly rocketed in price. They don't claim to be made any different. The only thing that has changed is the  profit margins that the manufacturer and/ or distributors have decided they need to make. 

I am in the market for a new Stingray Special - I bought one last year but it had holes in it so it had to go back - but I can't see myself being the guy who pays three grand for a Stingray. I might as well abandon all reason and buy a  new German-made "custom shop" Warwick .(Actually , I would probably need to get some kind of a mortgage for that.)

It will be very interesting to see how the market responds to EBMM's new prices. Will this be the guitar equivalent of the European Super League, or will the buying public just shrug their shoulders and accept a new reality where Musicman basses cost that much? And if they manage to get away with it, will other manufacturers follow suit?

 

Edited by Misdee
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2 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

You may to wait until I’m gone and you can haggle with Mrs.H over that one 😜
I do feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this one when I did.

ED415FCE-C27A-47BC-A3CF-611C23C67A2E.jpeg

That’s the ultimate for me. Ah well...more chance of knitting fog.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

You may to wait until I’m gone and you can haggle with Mrs.H over that one 😜
I do feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this one when I did.

ED415FCE-C27A-47BC-A3CF-611C23C67A2E.jpeg

I has one in that colour (Egyptian Smoke with Python p/g?) with a maple board and without mutes, the neck was rather chunky IIRC (probably because of the maple on maple, my other rosewood ‘Rays were nice and slim).

Edited by ezbass

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20 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I has one in that colour (Egyptian Smoke with Python p/g?) with a maple board and without mutes, the neck was rather chunky IIRC (probably because of the maple on maple, my other rosewood ‘Rays were nice and slim).

No, it's not Egyptian Smoke. It's Inca Silver with a black pearloid pickguard. It has a Status Graphite neck with a phenolic fretboard. Officially introduced on 18 January 2001 at the NAMM. All made within first couple months of 2001. Total of 100 made: 49 stayed in US, 49 shipped to overseas locations, 1 retained by Ernie Ball and 1 to NAMM organisers.

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1 minute ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

No, it's not Egyptian Smoke. It's Inca Silver with a black pearloid pickguard. It has a Status Graphite neck with a phenolic fretboard. Officially introduced on 18 January 2001 at the NAMM. All made within first couple months of 2001. Total of 100 made: 49 stayed in US, 49 shipped to overseas locations, 1 retained by Ernie Ball and 1 to NAMM organisers.

Very cool.

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2 hours ago, Misdee said:

The real controversy is the grotesque price increase which has accompanied their introduction. The pound has been relatively stable against the dollar. Paint hasn't suddenly rocketed in price. They don't claim to be made any different. The only thing that has changed is the  profit margins that the manufacturer and/ or distributors have decided they need to make. 

I am in the market for a new Stingray Special - I bought one last year but it had holes in it so it had to go back - but I can't see myself being the guy who pays three grand for a Stingray. I might as well abandon all reason and buy a  new German-made "custom shop" Warwick .(Actually , I would probably need to get some kind of a mortgage for that.)

It will be very interesting to see how the market responds to EBMM's new prices. Will this be the guitar equivalent of the European Super League, or will the buying public just shrug their shoulders and accept a new reality where Musicman basses cost that much? And if they manage to get away with it, will other manufacturers follow suit?

 

Fully agree. I really hope customers will not let EBMM get away with it, especially as they are charging non US based customers suddenly so much more - Price for a new Stingray Special in Raspberry Burst: $2,399 in the US (Sweetwater) and £2,899 in the UK (Andertons). Well, don't think so 😡

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Ten years ago £700 would have been a market value, not a bargain which is what most of us are after. Still, if it feels right it's worth every penny.

To indicate how far off piste you are with this, I found the attached invoice from 2010 the other day.... £700 for a new MM bass in 2010 would have been less than a new one in the early 90s so was an absolute bargain!! 

image.thumb.jpeg.e0f5f26bf409b45b12ba993daa4202d5.jpeg

 

Edited by drTStingray
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6 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

You may to wait until I’m gone and you can haggle with Mrs.H over that one 😜
I do feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this one when I did.

ED415FCE-C27A-47BC-A3CF-611C23C67A2E.jpeg

Well if you ever change your mind.... 😀 the inca silver/black neck/pick guard combo looks great - strings through as well I'm guessing (even more sustain......oops what have I said 😂)!! 

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5 hours ago, TheGreek said:

For those with the £3k to buy a new MM wouldn't you be better "investing" in the earliest model you could find? Vintage MMs are selling for about that currently.

You're right - BUT it's a different thing really - vintage just doesn't appeal greatly to me (I guess it's a bit like cars - there are those willing to take the big depreciation hit for the privilege of having a new car; those who always buy nearly new used to avoid that; those who buy what they can afford - and those who like classic cars and are willing to own one (to be clear I like them - in fact there are a couple of models id love to have but can't take on the responsibility of keeping them roadworthy and wouldn't be willing to use them as day to day transport) 

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2 hours ago, drTStingray said:

To indicate how far off piste you are with this, I found the attached invoice from 2010 the other day.... £700 for a new MM bass in 2010 would have been less than a new one in the early 90s so was an absolute bargain!! 

image.thumb.jpeg.e0f5f26bf409b45b12ba993daa4202d5.jpeg

 

 

Agree.

I bought my Stingray, used, in 2010. It's a 2002, natural/maple 2-band, it was immaculate, with its hardcase. I bought it for £700 which at the time it was fair for a Stingray in this condition. New ones were around £1200-1300, for the cheapest ones at the time.

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4 hours ago, Eldon Tyrell said:

Fully agree. I really hope customers will not let EBMM get away with it, especially as they are charging non US based customers suddenly so much more - Price for a new Stingray Special in Raspberry Burst: $2,399 in the US (Sweetwater) and £2,899 in the UK (Andertons). Well, don't think so 😡

My perspective on this is that EBMM have the perfect right to charge whatever they please for their basses, and the consumer will decide whether or not to pay that price.

What I am wondering is why EBMM have decided that now is the time for such a shift in pricing. Maybe they are in such financial trouble due to to Covid/ lockdown ect that they see no other way to survive. If so ,then they are taking a gamble. They could end up with 100 percent of nothing. Or maybe they feel they have been undervaluing their goods.They may genuinely believe that the buying public has had it too good for too long. It's worth considering that one of the things that contributes to perceived value of luxury goods is the high price tag they demand.It's the retail equivalent of The Emporers New Clothes.

Most likely, though, is that it is a combination of a lot of things, including what I have just speculated on . It would be nice to be able to ask EBMM the question directly. And what will they do if no one buys them ?

I'll still probably end up buying one in the end and be left sucking lemons because of the price. Thing is I could do with two, one for rounds and one for flats. That was my original plan.Now I will have to settle for one if I am lucky and keep changing the strings. As if I didn't have enough to do already.

 

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Posted (edited)

As a massive AC/DC fan I'd quite like the Cliff Williams #1 Workhorse replica but not at $7k!!!!  I'd probably be able to find a genuine late 70's/early 80's model and have lots of change for that kinda cash!

Edited by DaytonaRik

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Most of my bass playing has been on stingray or stingray type basses.

I like the sound and look etc.

But £3k is absolutely bonkers for a factory instrument.

for that money You could get a second hand model, add a status neck, ultra light tuners, maybe try a different pre or pickup and still have most of £1k left.

I know which one I'd rather be performing with.

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7 hours ago, DaytonaRik said:

As a massive AC/DC fan I'd quite like the Cliff Williams #1 Workhorse replica but not at $7k!!!!  I'd probably be able to find a genuine late 70's/early 80's model and have lots of change for that kinda cash!

I found the best way to think of that bass was that half the price went on the instrument and the other half went on the portrait of CW's bass that some artists lovingly placed over it.

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10 hours ago, Misdee said:

My perspective on this is that EBMM have the perfect right to charge whatever they please for their basses, and the consumer will decide whether or not to pay that price.

/etc.

 

I keep trying to put something together to support prices US vs VS, but am struggling to keep it clear.  Let's initially agree that street prices for the Snowy Night StingRay are effectively double here against the US (Andertons; £3,000 against Guitar Center; $2,300/£1,750).  We have no idea what price Ernie Ball sells to Guitar Center for, nor do we know what they sell into Strings & Things for before they sell into Andertons. 

Truth be known, every business these basses go through will be adding a charge that ultimately gets passed onto the end customer, so in the US the distribution chain is likely to be short, Ernie Ball > Guitar Center, whereas over here it's more likely to be Ernie Ball > Strings & Things > Andertons; plus you'll need to factor in shipping, tax duties, $/£ exchange rates, to land these instruments here, so things will fluctuate.

I worked in retail finance (wristwatches) for ten years, one of the biggest watch companies on the planet, and was staggered at the levels of markup, the manufactturing/parts cost for a watch costing £800 street may only account for 15% of the selling price, so it's feasible that a $2.3k bass may only cost $300 to manufacturer.  The key thing here though is we don't know what ErnieBall sell into Guitar Center for, any more than we know the landed price to Strings and Things and what their selling price to Andertons is, but be sure that they won't be selling on for a £10 profit per bass.

 

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11 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

I keep trying to put something together to support prices US vs VS, but am struggling to keep it clear.  Let's initially agree that street prices for the Snowy Night StingRay are effectively double here against the US (Andertons; £3,000 against Guitar Center; $2,300/£1,750).  We have no idea what price Ernie Ball sells to Guitar Center for, nor do we know what they sell into Strings & Things for before they sell into Andertons. 

Truth be known, every business these basses go through will be adding a charge that ultimately gets passed onto the end customer, so in the US the distribution chain is likely to be short, Ernie Ball > Guitar Center, whereas over here it's more likely to be Ernie Ball > Strings & Things > Andertons; plus you'll need to factor in shipping, tax duties, $/£ exchange rates, to land these instruments here, so things will fluctuate.

I worked in retail finance (wristwatches) for ten years, one of the biggest watch companies on the planet, and was staggered at the levels of markup, the manufactturing/parts cost for a watch costing £800 street may only account for 15% of the selling price, so it's feasible that a $2.3k bass may only cost $300 to manufacturer.  The key thing here though is we don't know what ErnieBall sell into Guitar Center for, any more than we know the landed price to Strings and Things and what their selling price to Andertons is, but be sure that they won't be selling on for a £10 profit per bass.

 

I get that UK prices will be higher than US prices for obvious reasons (shipping, distributor markup etc.). That's why the $ dollar price pretty much equalled the £ price (so let's say $2,399 in the US and £2,399 in the UK) even though the exchange rate is not 1:1. However, this year it is $2,399 in the US (Sweetwater) and £2,899 in the UK (Andertons) and that's what's different and what I still don't understand. It also seems to be EBMM specific as, for example, for Fender (Professional II P bass, Dark Knight finish,) it is: $1,549 in the US (Sweetwater) and £1,699 in the UK (Andertons). 

 

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