Well, I was going to buy my dream bass and spend several thousand dollars to do it. However, my new little wife said, “No, spend enough to get a really good bass.” Her reasoning is that more money will not make me any better and that I should really put more effort into getting better. So, with that said, I have been looking at a budget of about $1,000 ± $200…In that range several Fenders (Mustang, Player series, Jag bass etc…) as well as an Areodyne will work. Ray34 will definitely work. Ibanez makes millions in this range. Dean has some really cool offerings as well as LTD. I like classic rock in my old age and that is probably what will take up 90% of my learning. There is a used G&L on TB that fits. I actually like the neck on my Vintage VJ74 Re-issue. The Ibanez neck has not grown on me yet. And my LTD B-50 does not get enough playing time for me to form a judgement on the neck. I will definitely be putting flats on whatever I get, either EB Cobalt Flats or TI Jazz Flats. What are your choices and why? Considering what I have told you so far.
Oh, and check out the specs on this one. Fishman Fluence pickups and Wilkinson hardware. Michael Angelo Batio plays their guitars so maybe this should be checked out
I refer you to my original answer Eddie I’d go onto Reverb. Use the search function to put in your price range 800-1200 and go from there.
Whittle it down to a short list of ones you like and then repost the question with a list for the hive mind to give their opinion.
Sounds like you have some very capable contenders in your list. A Ray 34 is a great choice, if you dig the tone and vibe. The only hitch I see in your possible candidates is that they’re kind of all over the map. Take more than a little time to consider what music you like to play and which tone/feel fits that music and your hands. That said, nothing beats holding an instrument to get a good sense of how it fits you, overall. If that’s not an option, you can always order whichever bass(es) you want to try out, and return them within the trial period. You might have to pay return shipping, but that’s no big whoop if you strike gold while mining at home. I’ve gone that route and kept 3 out of the 4 I ordered. Great basses all. Good luck!
I thoroughly investigated Reverb as an option when I was shopping. However, I ran into three big no-nos for me: the prices weren’t the best, I would have to pay for shipping (most often/not always), and sales tax is charged (at least for me, in Texas).
Ultimately, I chose to order from places that offered better prices, free shipping, and no sales tax. YMMV.
I really, really like the tone of a Ray…but don’t really want to spend the $2,500 + to get a new one. I think there is an Sterling series Ray that uses American parts and set up but the bass itself is built in Indonesia and the quality is through the roof for the price.
I meant use Reverb as a tool to sort a list for Bassbuzzers to chime in on. He doesn’t have to buy from Reverb. However if one of the basses he liked is a Fodera. Reverb will tell you pretty quickly that’s a no.
SBMM basses are great, for the price and for any price. There are several blindfold shootouts online where pro players are very hard-pressed to tell the difference between an EBMM and a similar-build SBMM. In an Andertons video I saw, the only way a player could tell which was which was by the feel of the back of the neck: the EBMM was more satin-y. That said, a little love can easily make an SBMM feel just as satin-y. That aside, the take-away was that the playability and the tone of each brand was virtually impossible to discern. Again, mileage invariably varies, but, speaking for myself, I love my SBMM. Plays and sounds like a monster.
Check talkbass.com classifieds. No taxes. Prices generally better.
As far as what to buy….no one can tell you but you. Play as many as you can. You have a lot of VERRRRRY different options listed and you can’t pick one blindly from that list.
There’s a reason why so many people buy and sell basses.
Differences between a Ray4, Ray24, or a Ray34? I tried to read through T-Dubs responses when I did a search but could not really get the gist of what the differences were. BTW, I like my Jazz neck (thicker) and the Ibanez neck feels a little cramped (thinner)…so if there is a Ray that has the Jazz type neck, that would probably be where I felt most at home.
I saw a $1050 Ray of some sort at GC w/ trans black finish on a burl top, looked great.
Of course, my beloved Schecter makes some great basses in this price range, too, and a C-4/5 GT screams rock and roll to me (it’s like a muscle car with a racing stripe). Bear in mind that it has a P-style neck pickup and a more modern-voiced soapbar bridge, however.
I have a newfound love for Sire instruments. Like Schecter, they really seem to punch above their weight.
I mean, that could also be interpreted to buy the bass you want
Essentially, the Ray 4 is an entry-level SBMM. It is a good bass as is, but it makes a great mod platform for better components. The Ray 24 is definitely a step up from a Ray 4, but it generally delivers less than one might want for the price. The Ray 34 is the shit! It compares very favorably with an EBMM Stingray for not much more bread than a Ray 24.
Check out this very thorough and thoughtful review of the SBMM Ray 34 by LowEndLobster for all the sweet deets:
Man, I hear you on that! My Sire U5 is a KILLER short scale, bar none. It feels like a dream and is a hotrod to play. Its Alder body and Maple neck are top notch, as are the finish and attention to detail and workmanship throughout the build. All simply off the charts. I did mod mine with Hipshot USA UltraLite tuners and a high-mass Albridge bridge, but that’s just because I like to mod and make an instrument my own.
My other Sire is a sublime M5 blonde 4-string. It has a Swamp Ash body, Maple neck, and Ebony fingerboard. Crazy-level woods and quality at the price point. Its Hipshot-esque high-mass bridge, really nice tuners, and metal hardware round out the package to deliver a ton for not a lot of money. And the tones! Holy crap, the versatility of the humbuckers and the 3-band EQ, plus passive, provide a stupid amount of tonal possibilities. I love this thing.
I can personally attest that Sire is really knocking it out of the park, at least on these two models.
Since you aren’t quite sure what you are looking for yet, it may be useful to get something you are excited by that is also popular and easy to resell for close to what you pay for it. It’s possible your preferences may shift over time.
You’re really setting yourself up for disappointment if you don’t try these in person to find out if you even like them or not. Those are all very different basses.
You’ll also go much, much farther buying used. At least then you can recoup some money (maybe even profit if you’re smart) if you don’t like it.
There’s a lot of choices.
Check them out and see if anything piques your interest and come ask. I think these offer the best value for quality and versatility in your price range.
I’ll vouch for the Ray34 in the dollars for value category. Picked up some that were twice as much and didn’t give me more wow. The only thing I’d caveat is that if weight is an issue, these lack certain svelte characteristics some folks prefer. In the money you’re talking about, light is possible.
Also, the red and carbon Ray in my sig is a gutted and full modded SUB Ray4 with will sit with the Ray34 all day long for 400 bucks less but time and effort required.
I know how to solve your problem. Put a down payment for a Dingwall. it will show $750. then you can you can pay the $3k later! you can thank me anytime!
There’s something about how they finish the 34 line that is just outstanding. Great value.