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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


For those that don’t follow, this is a big revision year for the Ray:
New 18v preamp
New pickups
Lighter tuners and bridge
Body contours
Lighter body woods - no more 11 lb Ray, haven’t even heard of a 10 pounder yet. Single pickup models as low as 7 lbs.
All roasted maple necks (different fretboards available)
*EDITED TO ADD* 22 frets, up one, and all have stainless steel frets.

Have err had a 40th anniversary Old Smoothie Stingray that wasn’t getting used, fabulous build and neck but HEAVY 10.5-11, and not diverse enough for most of what I have been doing. Traded today for an ‘18 in Aqua Sparkle w ebony board and all black hardware and guard. With the heavier board and paint job, 9.47 lbs, I can work with that easily.

Sonically, the new preamp doesn’t have as much grind, maybe due to the higher headroom at 18v, but is much better balanced. There are 5 usable tones on the switch, they all sound good but I’ll use 2-3 most of the time. Bridge sound is all Stingray. Inner coils and neck solo are also very very fat and good.

Thought the strap was a good match, but having second thoughts. What say you?
 

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Wow, really nice one. Love the color, and the 18V preamp is a great idea.

I have an old (mid 90's) steel grey single pickup, I love it. Its around 10.5 LBS as well, this looks like a great upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice one, congrats!

I'm diggin the strap, a full black one may do if concerned. :)
Thanks, Jock. Yeah I go back and forth on it. I think it goes well without being totally ‘try hard’, as it is mostly black. The stitches are light blue not white.

Been playing it tonight, just in front of the tv no amp, but I love the neck - profile is like a little wider Jazz bass, decent roundness but still the shoulders fall away quickly so easy to grab, and fassst feeling, effortless moving up and down. Probably same fretboard width as my G&L, but it’s chunkier including a short flat shoulder where it’s bound, the Ray is much nicer in the hand.
 

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I am for this bass.
 
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Sharp!
Always wanted to try a MM.
Came close to making a trade for an orange Bongo a few years back.
 

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Very nice finish. I am not in the market but knew about the design changes, all good things in my opinion. I also like the 2 HB idea, even though I'd rarely stray from the bridge pickup myself.

FWIW, no one is looking at the strap with that bass sparkling in the lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did not know this, but they are also all stainless steel frets with the revision (and 22 frets = +1 from prior, that I did know). I don't think it really matters to me that much, but it's still a positive in terms of long term wear no doubt.
 

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wow!! WOW! WoW!!!!
This bass is AWESOME! I really like the sparkle finish!

Dare to make a comparison with your L-2500?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
wow!! WOW! WoW!!!!
This bass is AWESOME! I really like the sparkle finish!

Dare to make a comparison with your L-2500?
It's actually an L-2000. I tried out the Ray 5, but I'm just not ready to make the jump to a 5er right now, and haven't had the need in any band situation. I'm very comfortable in drop D, haven't needed a low B to this point.

As I wrote on talkbass, this bass has the best neck I have ever felt, bar none. It is fast fast fast, the fretwork is perfect, and the shape is ideal for me. The G&L has a slightly fuller back, with shoulders that have a short flat spot before it slopes away. Where it meets the fretboard, the binding makes for a fairly firm not quite sharp but there's a hard corner there. The fretboard widths are very close (1 5/8-1 11/16"), but the shoulders on the Ray fall away right away, while still having fullness at the back where it's in your palm. Big points to the Ray over the G&L for both comfort and speed, though the fit and finish and fretwork is every bit as good on the G&L.

Tones wise, I don't have much plugged in time with the Ray yet. I would say the Ray has a usable solo bridge pup (duh, it's a Stingray) whereas the G&L for me does not. The neck position, I will say is a saw off, both are excellent, a bit more bite on the Ray, maybe a touch fatter on the G&L but not much. Mid position(s the Ray has 3, 1 I really really like at position 4, closest to neck), advantage Ray all the way, and there's nothing NOTHING wrong with the G&L mid. EQ, probably advantage G&L with the 3 position preamp (OK 2 plus OFF for the semantics), but 3 band is advantage Ray, and the sound of the pre, slight advantage Ray as I like a touch of native grind it brings.....less than prior Rays, clearly with the revamp, but it's still there if more subtle.

I know when I'm in a honeymoon, and that is certainly the case with this new bass. It is yes pricey, but absolutely I would put it up against any custom shop bass for fit and finish and overall quality. I say the same for my L2K, for those that remember the thread I got it about this time last year as a custom order. My L2K is 8 lbs vs the Ray 9.5, advantage G&L but 9.5 is very very OK with me, it doesn't feel heavy on strap, balances well, the reaches are good.

And, oh, that neck. Notes just JUMP off that ebony, crispest clearest E F F# G I have ever heard, when playing just acoustically in front of the TV.

All that said, the band just half fell apart, so no live use any time in the immediate future to see how it hangs in a mix. Will fire up a big rig in the garage tonight and tweak all my pedals for this bass, and report back.
 

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It's actually an L-2000. I tried out the Ray 5, but I'm just not ready to make the jump to a 5er right now, and haven't had the need in any band situation. I'm very comfortable in drop D, haven't needed a low B to this point.

As I wrote on talkbass, this bass has the best neck I have ever felt, bar none. It is fast fast fast, the fretwork is perfect, and the shape is ideal for me. The G&L has a slightly fuller back, with shoulders that have a short flat spot before it slopes away. Where it meets the fretboard, the binding makes for a fairly firm not quite sharp but there's a hard corner there. The fretboard widths are very close (1 5/8-1 11/16"), but the shoulders on the Ray fall away right away, while still having fullness at the back where it's in your palm. Big points to the Ray over the G&L for both comfort and speed, though the fit and finish and fretwork is every bit as good on the G&L.

Tones wise, I don't have much plugged in time with the Ray yet. I would say the Ray has a usable solo bridge pup (duh, it's a Stingray) whereas the G&L for me does not. The neck position, I will say is a saw off, both are excellent, a bit more bite on the Ray, maybe a touch fatter on the G&L but not much. Mid position(s the Ray has 3, 1 I really really like at position 4, closest to neck), advantage Ray all the way, and there's nothing NOTHING wrong with the G&L mid. EQ, probably advantage G&L with the 3 position preamp (OK 2 plus OFF for the semantics), but 3 band is advantage Ray, and the sound of the pre, slight advantage Ray as I like a touch of native grind it brings.....less than prior Rays, clearly with the revamp, but it's still there if more subtle.

I know when I'm in a honeymoon, and that is certainly the case with this new bass. It is yes pricey, but absolutely I would put it up against any custom shop bass for fit and finish and overall quality. I say the same for my L2K, for those that remember the thread I got it about this time last year as a custom order. My L2K is 8 lbs vs the Ray 9.5, advantage G&L but 9.5 is very very OK with me, it doesn't feel heavy on strap, balances well, the reaches are good.

And, oh, that neck. Notes just JUMP off that ebony, crispest clearest E F F# G I have ever heard, when playing just acoustically in front of the TV.

All that said, the band just half fell apart, so no live use any time in the immediate future to see how it hangs in a mix. Will fire up a big rig in the garage tonight and tweak all my pedals for this bass, and report back.
Thanks a lot for that detailed review!!!
All the stingray I tried had a faster neck like you describe.
So more grind on the Ray, I should try another Ray to test that now that I am more used to play bass! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just tested in the garage at volume, thru a GK MB Fusion and a Subway 2x10. Yeah, this bass is great, all 5 switch positions sound great, 2 take some minor EQ from flat to get them where I like. They really did tone down the pre, it’s a bright sound but it takes a very small turn down of treble to mellow it, and the starting point is NOT overpowering bright, a common complaint of Rays. The grind is maybe 30%-40% as much as the old pre, which I kinda miss but can live without. Sounds very good with my drive pedals when I want more.

If you’re in the market, you should really try one out for half an hour. Hopefully it’s set up well in store, I did have to turn the truss rod to flatten mine when I got home with it, but nothing more. The screws were all tight, intonation good.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting over on talkbass, some guy is using an HH for a jazz combo gig, with flats. This is the first Stingray I can imagine being used more commonly in modern jazz, as a sort of mid level above like a Fender, but below a full on custom build. With the fast neck, the toned down pre. the variety of tones between the pickups and the switching and the 3 band EQ....I mean, I'm sure it's been done, but I don't imagine Rays are very common in jazz. Bet we see more, not that I am a follower of the jazz scene at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Seriously, the revisions make them really tempting!
Heh, my friend, I think if you try one out, the odds are VERY good it will come home with you. How about this, your G&L is a 5, right? Don’t you maybe need as good or better a 4 around, just because...and I’d bet you have trade bait to take with you to the store ;)
 

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Hahaha, yes I have fiver but I need it in my band. I was thinking about a good 4 strings for recording and my punk stuff... Oh well!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh, I wasn’t saying trade the 5. I was saying you needed I mean might want to have a really nice 5 AND a really nice 4 (like, oh, a Ray?). Don’t remember what else you might have for gear that you would consider trading, but I can always find *something* around here :D
 

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Oh, I wasn’t saying trade the 5. I was saying you needed I mean might want to have a really nice 5 AND a really nice 4 (like, oh, a Ray?). Don’t remember what else you might have for gear that you would consider trading, but I can always find *something* around here :D
I know, I have some amps that are hiding from me since the last couple of weeks. They are not used enough...
 
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