Ray34 review by Ernie Ball / Music Man

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (20 votes)
Ernie Ball / Music Man: Ray34
2

Price paid: C$ 860

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 10
It's a relatively versatile bass with its 3 band EQ. I play jazz and for my church's praise team, but it's also good for funk. It's good for both fingerstyle picking and slap/popping.

Its pre-amp is really quiet. Only a slight humming noise when not touching the strings. The bass could sound very bright and clean, but also very dark and chunky. Compared to most Fender basses this has a much better versatility.

Overall Impression — 10
I am pretty noob at bass so I have a lot of time ahead of me, but I trust in this bass to carry me on forward. Most basses are not as versatile so for this, I could play a variety of music. I have been with a guitar for a while now, but bass has only been like half an year. For its price it is a great bass. If it was stolen, I couldn't afford another but I would definitely buy either this or the ray 35. What I love about this bass is that after playing on an Epiphone EB-0, it was like playing heaven, but that aside I like its low action and the versatility. There are yet to be any flaws found. I was also thinking of buying an Ibanez SR705, but Ibanez just wasn't my type of bass.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar feels solid. It's kind of heavy but it has a proper balance so it doesn't hurt, but feels very hard. The strap buttons are solid and even old straps are hanging on quite nicely. The tuners stay in tune and the neck stays straight. I would definitely use it on a gig without backup (if I could afford a backup...) and the finish seems like it goes all the way through. I guess it's just an illusion, but the color is consistent and I don't think it would wear off anytime soon.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Might be from factory or from the store's set-up but the set up was awesome. It has very low action and harmonics ring cleanly and have great sustain and the intonation is great. The pickup is very well configured. The neck is set in stone and the bridge holds the sustain well. No loose controls and the EQ knobs feel real solid. Had some oxidization on some of the pickguard screws but that's it. Nothing that affects the sound.

Features — 9
The bass was made in 2010 and the way that the Sterling guitars are made is that American parts (pickups, body, neck, etc.) is shipped to Indonesia to be put together. When it is imported back, it is shipped to a factory in California where they take another inspection.

Made of swamp ash, and neck is maple with rosewood fretboard. It has 20 frets and one Music Man designed pickup with 3-band EQ. Its bridge is a MusicMan designed bridge. The body is shaped like a Stingray and it is silverburst in finish. It has active electronics. It also has an easily accessible truss rod (right beneath the neck)Came with a gig bag, a bunch of picks, and its allen keys and truss rod keys.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Linkerman
    sewoo55 wrote: hmm is it just me or do every musicman basses look bad?
    Personal preference. I think they look awesome, and i have a few friends who also love that design.
    sewoo55
    hmm is it just me or do every musicman basses look bad? besides the looks.... sounds like its got some mean tone.
    doive
    sewoo55 wrote:hmm is it just me or do every musicman basses look bad?
    That sunburst one would look amazing if it wasn't for the pcikguard...
    shwilly
    sewoo55 wrote: hmm is it just me or do every musicman basses look bad? besides the looks.... sounds like its got some mean tone.
    Naw, it's not just you, but I know plenty of people who love these things (including me, except I'm not a big fan of the Bongo). I prefer 'em with a white pickguard because they accentuate those bigass black humbuckers This one looks especially exquisite (tho I'm not sure whether it matches the reviewed bass) but looks aside, I think we all agree that "proper" Music Mans are really fine instruments. Whether you dig the sound is a completely different story...
    BillyAnderson
    The bass in the picture has 21 frets. Is it a different version in the picture than in the review or is it just a mistake that it says 20 frets (2nd paragraph)?
    Charley2715
    BillyAnderson wrote: The bass in the picture has 21 frets. Is it a different version in the picture than in the review or is it just a mistake that it says 20 frets (2nd paragraph)?
    As far as i know its a just a mistake, all I've seen have 21.