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Just did a J-bass vs Stingray session

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  • Just did a J-bass vs Stingray session

    I knew a couple guys who'd borrow me their basses, so I figured it made sense to give them a proper test drive instead of just asking you guys which my next bass should be. Tried em both out for each of the songs we rehearsed with my band. So I'm now a little closer to pulling the trigger, but I've still got a couple questions, since the particular j-bass and stingray versions I played might not be prime examples of their species

    J-Bass: Fender, mij, 60s style, from the mid '90s I think. Though the jazz bass vibe was definatelly there, it didn't nearly sounded as present and lively as the stingray, or even my Kawai alembic copy. Actually, a buddy of mine has a classic 60s J-bass, that sounds similiar, just A LOT better. Not sure if it's because of the pickups, which might be lacking output and well...Tone. Or maybe everything just sounded dull and dark because of the ancient strings. Also, it wasn't the string-through-body type bridge, I don't really know how big a deal that is.

    Stingray: OLP MM2, maple neck. About as cheap and low end as it gets, which concidering the surprisingly great tone and feel makes me REALLY wanna try an active, mia musicman stingray. 



  • #2

    Dispite the worn strings on the J-bass...It's still about twice the price of the old OLP, which I actually liked a lot more. Verry agressive/humbuckery, with a lot of growl/bite/whatever, spanky highs,...

    Is it fair to assume that I'm more of a stingray guy? The necks on both basses felt great, the set-up was perfect for me, and after tweaking my amp a bit, I could put em both to good use in my band. 

    What say you hc? Try another j-bass, with string-through-body and fresh strings? The stingray I'd eventually look for would be a SBMM Ray4, or maybe even a Ray34CA. The Fender J-basses in the same price league would probably be a Squier CV or a Classic series...Right? You guys figure a side by side test of those models would maybe make wanna reconsider?



    • #3
      It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try out a few more basses if you can.

      Then, of course, go with what make ya happy—those are all nice basses and good choices.
      Hate is like taking poison, hoping the other guy gets sick.

      How above being tricked are you? Take the test


      • #4
        It's good to read comparisons on here. Thanks! Please come back with updates.
        Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
        Retired and likin' it a lot!
        Regards. Rimmer


        • #5
          Originally posted by thom View Post
          So I'm now a little closer to pulling the trigger...
          If you are only a "little closer" to pulling the trigger, I'm guessing you could probably toss a coin and be happy with whatever you ended up with regarding this particular shoot-out. I confess that the more I play, the more I get my tone from the amp and speakers. The bass is a starting point, but from there it can vary wildly, depending on what I'm playing it through. I'm more concerned with how the bass plays than how it sounds.

          My original bass teacher (very serious pro) said he always purchased a bass based on feel and sound without plugging it in. He'd decide on electronics after that. And the bass really is just a tool, but a very pretty one. Its appearance matters too.
          All text I enter is my opinion. If I feel it necessary to prove it, I'll back it up with links.


          • #6
            If both of those bases don't have brand new strings on them, then the comparison is meaningless. When you use words like dull, or lifeless to describe a basses tone, there is almost no other factor that will influence that more than the newness of the strings. The only way to give an accurate comparison is to start with new strings on both basses. If either bass has dead old lifeless strings, you will never know that basses true potential. I know it would be expensive to restring both basses just for a test, but you are not getting an accurate comparison without it. The difference in tone between a bass with new strings verses on with old is huge. Night and day. Like two completely different instruments. Just something to keep in mind when doing comparisons on basses using all the same supporting gear. This is not a suggective opinion about the preference of tone of a bass with new strings over the same bass with old strings. It is only saying a comparison of two basses can only be done witj strings that have the exact same wear. Of course you could take the old strings off and try them on both basses, youd get an idea of which bass sounds better with dead strings which would be a good test if you tend to play with dead strings, but you will nit be hearing either basses full potential that way. In my opinion, the newness of strings,, or lack thereof, is the single most overlooked factor that probably halso as more influence than any other factor when trying to determine whether or not the bass sounds good, especially if you start using words like sustain, or lifeless, or dull, or bright, growl, etc.

            "You people keep on raining. I'll still be the parade." - Diamond Dave.

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            • #7
              I hope you find what you're looking for. I never was able to connect with my Stingray, so I traded it and kept the J.