Other Guitars

who’s using Music Man basses ?

1

For some reason I have gotten interested in the Music Man single pickup bass... sure seem to be a lot of variants. I guess Ernie Ball got them when Music Man went down in the 80s some time.

All are active electronics? This is one case where I heard the newer ones are better than older ones, that have crispy/fried 40 year old activec electronics and newer ones havec a more modern design and components.

I guess there was a lower priced Asian version... probably had to be that.

2

I have a good friend named Molly Pauken who’s a Music Man endorser. Her basses are scary good and she sounds like gold on them.

3

I have been playing a Music Man Sabre 4 string bass since 1979. The Sabre was not well received and was discontinued. Then, Ernie Ball bought the company and the Sabre was reissued and then discontinued again. The Sabre was the 2 pickup version of the Sting Ray. The Sting Ray is also known as the toilet seat bass due to the oval pick guard (look at a picture). Old Sting Rays command a higher price than the Sabre model, despite the Sabre (IMO) being more versatile tonally and far more scarce. As far as I know, all Sting Rays and Sabres have active electronics onboard.

Before buying the Sabre, I was playing a 1973 Rick 4001. When the Rick wasn't cutting it for the music we were doing, I switched to the Music Man and have been playing it since. It is fairly reliced, but all the wear is mine. It started as a natural finish but now looks as though it has been dipped in honey. It will probably go in the box with me at the end.

4

1983 or so.......

A lot fewer battle scars on both the bass and me.

5

Our bass player has been playing a 5-string Music Man for about 15-20 years now. It sounds great.

7

Well I would be into a metallic finish Stingray w/ maple neck. When did Ernie Ball take them over. I am doubting there is a 'pre CBS' kinda vibe bout the pre Ernie Ball ones.

Didn't some have 3 knobs and some had 4...what's the deal w/ that?

9

Leo Fender stopped producing instruments for the Music Man company late in 1979 and started G&L in the early 80s. Ernie Ball bought Music Man in 1984. There IS a 'pre-EB' vibe about the instruments, but far less so than with Fender stuff.

There is also a bit of the 'less filling / tastes great' controversy regarding the Sting Ray and Sabre basses.

A few years ago, I sent my pre-EB Sabre to Ernie Ball Music Man for some mild fretwork and a tuneup and was told that the folks in the shop loved the neck, which would indicate that there is some difference in the instruments produced by the various owners. I check Music Man basses out every year at NAMM (not plugged in) and haven't yet played one I like as much as my 39 year old one.

10

I do like them, even considered one when I was looking for a new bass. Tried about five different (new) ones, both single and twin pickups, and they all needed work, sharp fret ends, very high action, so got something that was gonna cost me AU$3000+, l bailed and bought a Jazz.

That being said, they do feel well balanced and sound great, so if I found a good one, or a reasonable older one, I’d definitely buy it.

11

I know two bass players (one a relative, the other a very good pal) who have played pre-EB Musicman basses for decades and say they are far nicer to play than more recent ones. The bass player in my current band says he prefers his Precision over the Musicman but he had only played new ones. When he tried my relative's old MM bass he said: "Ah, now I see what they mean!"

12

I got one of the new 'Sterling SUB Ray 4' basses as a low-cost 'new toy' to go with the 75-repro Jazz, and think it's great.

I wasn't that bothered about the matt-finish neck, but don't mind it in practice, and they went for a Jazz-style neck, rather than a wider Precision-type one (which I think the original MMs had), which suits me just fine. Fretwork, fit and finish are all excellent for the price. The body is basswood, and it's a light bass.

What's not to like about this: http://www.eesmusic.co.uk/c...

13

I have been playing a Music Man Sabre 4 string bass since 1979. The Sabre was not well received and was discontinued. Then, Ernie Ball bought the company and the Sabre was reissued and then discontinued again. The Sabre was the 2 pickup version of the Sting Ray. The Sting Ray is also known as the toilet seat bass due to the oval pick guard (look at a picture). Old Sting Rays command a higher price than the Sabre model, despite the Sabre (IMO) being more versatile tonally and far more scarce. As far as I know, all Sting Rays and Sabres have active electronics onboard.

Before buying the Sabre, I was playing a 1973 Rick 4001. When the Rick wasn't cutting it for the music we were doing, I switched to the Music Man and have been playing it since. It is fairly reliced, but all the wear is mine. It started as a natural finish but now looks as though it has been dipped in honey. It will probably go in the box with me at the end.

– beatbyrd

No, there actually ARE Toilet Seat Basses:

14

Like any guitar, there are collectors about, and an early one (1976 is the first year of production) will have a certain level of interest and there will always be folks who want one like Bernard Edwards or John Deacon had.

I don't know that the original electrics have any particular reputation for being fragile. Some were potted, some not. There is a variety of modern pre-amps to drop in, in any case.

Originals and some of the reissues have three knobs, as they have a two-band active EQ (volume, bass, treble), the four-knob models have a mid EQ as well. Cut and boost, not just cut, as a passive guitar tone knob is.

15

An old mate of mine gave me the strap that came with his, if I remember correctly it was either the first or second batch imported into the UK, it's about 3" wide with the MM logo embossed into it. It is a great bit of kit.

16

I bought a MusicMan Sabre 2 guitar (lead) in Nov 1979 Our base player was so impressed with it he bought a MusicMan base guitar the following week He still says it was the best Base he ever played. This is us playing a working mens club in Leeds UK new years eve 1979

17

what is it with MM Base players dressing in yellow satin shirts and waistcoat (vest?) beat byrd 4

us same venua new years eve 1979

18

Wait a minute.....Gretsch Tenny Players do the same!!! same venue new years eve 1979

19

excuse my spelling mistake all you BASS men!!!!!

20

The 70s just were what they were when it came to mens' fashion...

21

Wait a minute.....Gretsch Tenny Players do the same!!! same venue new years eve 1979

– davedee

This is the 1976 Steve Martin white suit coat over a white stretch gabardine jumpsuit, over a poofy-sleeved shirt with flying nun collars. I guess it was a Rickenbacker bass look.


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