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Thread: How or why did you start playing EBMM basses?

  1. #1

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    How or why did you start playing EBMM basses?

    I just posted in another thread how I came across the first MM bass that I played and I'm curious how you came across MusicMan or why you decided to play them?

    Here's my story:


    When I first started playing bass I bought a Peavey because I could afford it. The shop that I dealt with was a Fender dealer and an American Standard was marketed as the best to me. Also, Fender was all over the place in music videos that I was watching on tv as a teen, so that's what I considered to be the best bass made. That dream eventually came true too...

    I had two US Fender Jazz V's. They were my first "nice" basses that I had really owned. I always showed them off and felt a sense of pride while playing them. I remember going over to a friends house so he could help me set them up. I was VERY proud of these basses. US Fenders, what more could you want, right? My friend had done some touring in Nashville in his earlier days and he didn't seem super impressed with my basses. I asked him what he played and he told me a Stingray. I had NEVER seen one before except in music videos. I knew Pheonix from Linkin Park played one. I asked if I could take a look at it or play it. He brought out a Honeyburst SR5 and let me play around on it. That bass just felt "solid". My Fenders just didn't feel that way. Also, when we plugged it up and I A/B'd the B string the MM had a B that was unreal compared to my Fenders. I never knew that a B string could sound that clear and defined and sound even with the rest of the strings.

    I bought a SR5 shortly after that. Actually two of them. I sold one because of weight and the other I foolishly sold because I bought into the "trick pony" mindset. Ever since selling those basses though, I have yet to find a bass that is as well made or as "solid" as the EBMM's that I had.

    I regret selling my Ray's but I've got a Bongo coming in so that makes me feel better.

    What's your EBMM story?

  2. #2

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    Roger from Less Than Jake played a EBMM, it's my favorite band & I went along for the ride MANY years ago


  3. #3

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    A lot of my favorite artists use them, but that actually had no influence on me. For the longest time I was a die-hard Spector fan. Played 'em, loved 'em, couldn't get enough of them. Had a couple of 5s and a 6er, all USA models. During this time, at one point, I had a Bongo 5 HH/p even. I couldn't deal with it for some reason or another (too awesome for my feeble mind at the time), so I sold it.
    Fast forward 2-3 years.
    I was in GC one day just tooling around. I can't even remember why I was there... it's not usually a place I go. Regardless, I picked up a Classic 5 and started thumping away. I heard from this bass what I've been hearing in my head and pursuing with my Spectors for a long time. I bought it on the spot.
    Returned it a few weeks later. The neck and I disagreed. I was distraught! Didn't really know what to do. Then, I found out about the Sterling model. Quickly found a used one and bought it. Heaven! Decided that I wanted a 2nd one, but in HH just to see what that was all about. I was on cloud 9.
    Then, after a spell, I got another Bongo.

    The rest, they say, is history.
    EBMM Sterling 5 HH in Firemist Orange
    EBMM Bongo 6 HS in Sterling Silver
    EBMM Bongo 5 HSp in Red Sparkle, unlined fretless

    www.HeavyMetalOpera.com -> not your typical metal band!

  4. #4

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    I will add to my story: There were NO GC's and no music store carried EBMM.

  5. #5

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    I've played SR5's almost exclusively since January 1993, and I currently own 3 (2 fretted, 1 fretless). Back in the late 80's-early 90's, it appeared that the bass world was headed toward the 5-string as the standard. The SR5 was the only 5 that I played that I liked the neck, and it was do-able financially.

    And I would strongly disagree with anyone who says that they're a 1-trick pony, as I've played them in just about every situation possible.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by madbassplaya View Post
    I just posted in another thread how I came across the first MM bass that I played and I'm curious how you came across MusicMan or why you decided to play them?

    Here's my story:


    When I first started playing bass I bought a Peavey because I could afford it. The shop that I dealt with was a Fender dealer and an American Standard was marketed as the best to me. Also, Fender was all over the place in music videos that I was watching on tv as a teen, so that's what I considered to be the best bass made. That dream eventually came true too...

    I had two US Fender Jazz V's. They were my first "nice" basses that I had really owned. I always showed them off and felt a sense of pride while playing them. I remember going over to a friends house so he could help me set them up. I was VERY proud of these basses. US Fenders, what more could you want, right? My friend had done some touring in Nashville in his earlier days and he didn't seem super impressed with my basses. I asked him what he played and he told me a Stingray. I had NEVER seen one before except in music videos. I knew Pheonix from Linkin Park played one. I asked if I could take a look at it or play it. He brought out a Honeyburst SR5 and let me play around on it. That bass just felt "solid". My Fenders just didn't feel that way. Also, when we plugged it up and I A/B'd the B string the MM had a B that was unreal compared to my Fenders. I never knew that a B string could sound that clear and defined and sound even with the rest of the strings.

    I bought a SR5 shortly after that. Actually two of them. I sold one because of weight and the other I foolishly sold because I bought into the "trick pony" mindset. Ever since selling those basses though, I have yet to find a bass that is as well made or as "solid" as the EBMM's that I had.

    I regret selling my Ray's but I've got a Bongo coming in so that makes me feel better.

    What's your EBMM story?
    I wasn't aware there was another Bass Company.

  7. #7

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    I played and still do play Ibanez Soundgear basses. I started playing them in 93' but when we started attending the church we went to out here in Sterling, Colorado, the senior pastor was also playing bass at the time on the worship team. He has a SUB and when I played it, I really liked the tone. I had only played 1 Music Man before and it was a Stingray back in the early 90's. Even though it was new, it had really dead strings and was super heavy compared to other basses I had played so I was kind of turned off. About a year ago, I wanted to add an additional sound to my playing. Something that was completely different from my Soundgear basses. I kept going back to our Pastors SUB bass and was really starting to like the tone out of it so I joined here to educate myself on the different Music Man basses. I was really liking the Sterlings so I did a trade for one on here and loved it. I then added my Stingray Classic and love the tones out of it too but then after being here a while, I was curious about those Bongo basses. At first I hated the looks and I remember BP telling me to give it time. Sure enough, they grew on me. The only new MM bass that I had bought was my Stingray Classic that BP had made for me but then he had donated 100% of the funds to our Relay for Life team. My family appreciated what he did but it didn't feel right that BP had shown the kindness to my family that he did but had never even made a dime off of us. I then sold a few of my high end guitars and bought my Bongo 4HH DDII. As soon as I bought this bass I fell in love. Right as I was getting ready to pay it off from Bass Central, EBMM released the ordering for the BFR Roasted necks. I almost canceled the layaway on the DDII to buy one of those because I loved the necks but after talking to Beaver, we worked out a deal to where I could get both. Originally I was going to order a 4HH Roasted neck Bongo but then kept going back to BP's advice on loving the 4H configuration. I decided to go with that to see how the two basses compared. I love both but the BFR Roasted neck Bongo 4H is my favorite! As a result of everything, my Ibanez basses hardly get used now and my Music Man basses are my main ones and I don't ever foresee that changing.

  8. #8

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    Found a picture of the first Ray 5 I bought:




    This was a great bass and I regret getting rid of it but I also REALLY regret getting rid of a black one with matching headstock and a pearloid pg and white pickup cover.

  9. #9

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    It's all Jack's fault.

    As soon as the Bongo came out, he went on and on and on about how awesome it was; so I had to try one. I ordered a Blue Pearl 4HH from Musician's Friend, and Jack was right. Boy, I loves me some Music Man instruments.
    -Ben

  10. #10

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    For me, there were two primary influences - one cliche' nowadays, the other unheard of, but equally if not more influential for me. The big name, Flea. I was 21 when BSSM came out, and had actually switched from guitar to bass right around that time, specifically because I'd discovered how percussive you could be with it, in addition to the harmonic and melodic ground you can cover. He just owned it. I loved how he approached bass as a feature instrument (I hadn't yet encountered Jaco, so I didn't realize how much Flea and other modern "up-front" bassists owe to Jaco in that regard, just in terms of the role of the instrument), and I just loved what he was doing. BSSM just blew me away in its creativity, and then I started checking out the older stuff, and discovered the likes of the primally funky line in "Johnny kick a hole in the sky", and was hooked. I started emulating that stuff, and just found that no other bass had that aggressive ... "sting".

    The relative unknown who came along right around the same time and blew my mind in different directions was/is a guy named Andrew Lovell ... bassist in an Atlanta band called Mindseye. Andy played (and still plays, as far as I know) an early Sabre. In his hands, the aggressive tone was often plied in a much more surreal and atmospheric style, as compared to Flea, though he did play a good bit of slap in their earlier days, and VERY well. Just a VERY unique player, who could conjure unnamed moods in their music that were just incredible. One thing he did that I loved, and that I still rip off from time to time, was to deliberately introduce and use a little fret buzz, for additional edginess. When it's controlled, it can be very cool.

    Well, that's mine. My beer brats are done.
    Last edited by RobertB; 07-03-2011 at 09:43 PM.

  11. #11

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    I started with a P/J copy by a german manufacturer that was known for their accordions back in '89. I tried to work as much as possible besides school and the band and then in winter '91/92 had the cash together for something real. Back then I did not really cared about those 7er basses because I wanted to be a little different.

    The decision was between a Warw*ck Streamer or Thumb or the Stingray. I went with the Ray because I really preferred it's looks over the furniture character of the other ones and because it was on many of my favourite recordings. I ordered the black Ray I still own today.

    I played that Ray exclusively until 2005. Then I suffered GAS and bought some other stuff, just to get right back to EBMM with the early announcement of the 25th and the Big Al. Initially I thought I needed a 25th, but I happened to even like the Big Al more from the information we got here while they were developed and I knew I had to get one.

    While waiting for the BIG Al to be finally built I stumbled across the Stingray 5 bfr rosewood neck for sale from a forumite and grabbed it. That is by far one of the best instruments I ever laid my hands on.

    The Big Al arrived here shorty after that and I was back in the addiction. The rest it pretty much documented here...
    https://www.facebook.com/Canyoucancan
    bassic profile

    1991 SR4 H black/rw since 1992
    2009 Big Al SSS Olive Gold / Gold swirl
    2009 SR5 HH bfr tobacco burst / all rw neck
    2008 Bongo 5 HH egyptian smoke / phyton
    2006 Bongo 4 HP medallion gold / abalone (SmallEQ Bongo)
    2010 Big Al 5 H bfr roasted neck

  12. #12

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    The first bass I had and gigged with was a Fender Precision lyte, nice bass did the job very well.

    A RATM mega fan and bass playing friend of mine was always going on about Musiman Stingrays and how much "punch" they had, so I got my first, a black hh 3eq that I had a mirror scrathplate and a d-tuner fitted, loved it, gigged and recorded with it, sold it (stupid!).

    Then I found a 100th namm bass, Graphite necked I was amazed by it, blown away by the sound and the feel, so on my way to collect the bass with cash in hand the guys sells it out from under me!

    So its to my 2eq Red Ray and the lovely people at Status Graphite and my main bass was created, added a mirror plate, but currently play it san plate, it is such a lovely red I want to show people all the colour!

    The thing I find is every now and then I favour other basses for a while, its like I am always challenging my Ray and every time I get a better sound (I think) I try it with the Ray and its even better. If I had to have just one bass it would be that hands down and never would I be sad. Tim Commerford's playing and sound on the first Rage album was text book 101 for me and my Ray and I have never looked back since.

    Stingray Bass, the finest production instrument in the world

  13. #13

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    I spotted Music Man basses a long time ago like a first class professional musical instruments (especially for live gigging), but couldn't afford one before., 'cause in last 15 years my marriage and family investments (house, interior, kids, cars...etc) was priority!
    Before I get married I owned a few quality pro basses, but Music Mans were always my real dream!

    Finally, in 2009. I bought my first EBMM and recently in 2011. second one!

    My family is taken care of now, so I seriously planning to get one more EBMM single H 5 with piezo, ...just have a feeling that missing one like that in my collection!

  14. #14

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    Like alot of folks I have played a long time and owned alot of basses.I had always heard about the Stingray and 15 yeras ago I bought the Trans Red 5 you see here.I dont know what else to say except THANK YOU LEO,ERNIE,and STERLING!!I will never be the same.Oh yea then I got on here for my daily reading and a couple of guys named Jack and Adouglas got me stirred up about a bass called a Bongo.I played one for 5 minutes at church on Sunday ordered one from Bass Central on Monday.I am probably done buying (do not need nothing else....well maybe a nice Buttercreme SR or Bongo)I wll raise my cold beer today in honor of Leo,Ernie and especially Sterling....ok Jack and Andy too.and to the brotherhood.Happy 4th!!
    Lava Pearl Bongo 5HH
    Candy Apple Bongo 4H all Rosewood neck
    Honeyburst Sterling 4H
    White Sterling 5 HH

  15. #15

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    Back in my youth, when I first started playing bass I saw Stevie Wonder's band on tele doing Superstition (when it first came out) and the bass player had a natural/maple/black pg P bass - I also saw a similar bass used on Jim Capaldi's Love Hurts - as a reformed rocker who now liked soul and Motown, this became my lusted after bass and the local music store had an identical one in their window for 252 - I never did save quickly enough to get that bass and by the time I had the cash for a 'decent' bass, all the funk players and others were playing Stingrays - and I loved Bernard Edwards' playing and sound - so I chose between a used natural (with a bit of belt buckle rash) in a wicked aluminium flight case and a brand new sunburst - I bought the sunburst because it looked fantastic and sounded unbelievable. I will never forget the first time I played that bass in a gig (probably the day after I bought it) and particularly popping the strings - 1st song - Movin On, Brass Construction - I played in a touring soul/disco covers band at the time. The whole band were amazed at the bass sound on that gig.

    That bass sealed it - A Musicman player for life! Too bad I sold it though - BTW my experience has been that the modern EBMM basses are even better than the original ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by tunaman4u2 View Post
    Roger from Less Than Jake played a EBMM, it's my favorite band & I went along for the ride MANY years ago

    Is that a Heinz Sterling
    2018 SR5HHS Cruz Teal - roasted/ebony
    2018 SR4HHS Aqua sparkle - roasted/ebony
    2016 SR4H 40th Anni Old Smoothie - Chocolate burst - maple
    2014 Neptune Blue Classic Sabre - roasted/maple, mahogany body
    2010 SR4 classic coral red/birdseye/maple with Flatwounds
    2008 Bongo 5HHp lava pearl/RW
    2007 SR4HH Blue Dawn LE/RW
    2003 SR5H Natural/maple
    2003 SR4H Natural/RW
    2003 US Sub 5H White/RW
    1993 SR4 Fretless Sunburst - birdseye maple/Pau Ferro
    1993 SR4 blueburst - flamed maple/maple

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