Ray34 review by Ernie Ball / Music Man

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (20 votes)
Ernie Ball / Music Man: Ray34
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Sound — 9
I play mostly rock styles but also some funk and slap. If you use a plectrum you can get real growly rock tones which is perfect for my playing of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age and that kinda thing. If you prefer finger style playing it is also great. You can get warm tones and growly tones when finger playing and sounds really good with distortion, for bands like Muse. If you want to slap then, again, this bass is great. You can get those perfect slap tones and warm finger tones for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and it's great for sounding like Flea. I've only got a Marshall MB30 amp, but between the amp and the bass I've been able to achieve every sound I've tried to make. The tonal variety is great for a relatively cheap bass, but if you really want to sound good in one specific genre of music you might want to get a bass that specializes in that but this bass is perfectly capable of giving you a good sound for whatever you play.

Overall Impression — 10
I honestly was only interested in buying this bass because Alex James uses a proper MusicMan Stingray in the Blur video for "Song 2" and I thought he was cool, so in that sense I was extremely nooby. Luckily I bought a bass that has catered for every style I've tried to play and it has done so perfectly. I've now been playing for 9 months or so and this bass has been perfect every step of the way, enabling me to play rock styles like Foo Fighters and the funk styles of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If it got stolen I would probably cry myself to sleep for a few years, but I would buy another one because it's got perfect sound and it looks awesome. I honestly don't hate anything about it. It's a great quality bass and at around half the price of a proper MusicMan Stringray it's an absolute steal because it is only slightly less perfect than the real thing. If you're new to bass, this is a great bass to start with. If you're a bass veteran looking for something that will provide you with a great tonal variety then buy it now. You won't regret it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have only just become part of a band so I've only played 1 gig so far but I'm guessing it would hold up fine in a live situation. The hardware is great, should last for a very long time, the strap buttons are completely solid and I'm confident in them. Would I use it without a backup? Yes, mainly because it's the only bass I own but even if I did have another I would be confident enough to use this without a backup. I've tried very hard to look after the finish and so far successfully. It did get knocked once but there is no trace of it. No scratches, still looks amazing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I played it in the shop I had never played a bass before, so being a bit of a noob I was just looking for a bass that looked good and seemed reasonable enough for me to learn how to play. Over my 9 months of owning the bass, I've never had to re-adjust anything. It's just been absolutely perfect. The finish is great, the action is great and I've had no problems with anything. It holds tuning really well so I rarely have to even do that.

Features — 10
Made in Indonesia (not sure what year), 21 frets, 34" scale, swamp ash body with rosewood fretboard, MusicMan designed bridge, active electronics, bass mid treble and volume controls, 1 MusicMan designed humbucking pickup, heavy duty tuners, luxury gig bag. It really has everything I've needed, it holds tune amazingly considering I play it regularly and I'm still playing with the strings I bought it with 9 months later. And of course it looks amazing.

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