Ray34 Review

manufacturer: Ernie Ball / Music Man date: 12/06/2010 category: Bass Guitars
Ernie Ball / Music Man: Ray34
The Sterling RAY34 Bass Guitar features a select solid swamp ash body for percussive lows, subtle mids, and expansive highs.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (4) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
Ray34 Reviewed by: nojeremy, on december 06, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 860

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Ray34 Reviewed by: manicmuso, on april 26, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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