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Thread: Which musicman has the thickest warmest tone?

  1. #1

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    Which musicman has the thickest warmest tone?

    I've got a 93 2eq ray and a bongo stealth 5HH and am looking for another four string which will offer something different to the stingray tone. I've noticed that the bongo sounds darker and warmer when played acoustically when compared to my ray. How do the reflex and the big al compare? I'm after something with a thick rich tone, not too bright. Most interested to hear from anyone who has either. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    All are very different beasts. You can hear the EBMM dna in them all but each one brings a different pallet to the table. Even in the same model line different pickup configs will off different results. My suggestion is the Bongo HH or Reflex HH just because they will offer you different sonic pallets that tend to be darker than the HSS or HS models... beyond that it is a true question of taste. Not I great answer but since everyone's tastes are different it is a loaded question.
    - Ritch
    Bongo 4H - Limited Fritz the Kat Lime Green - Kermit
    Bongo 4H - Dargie Delight
    Bongo 4HH - Sky Blue
    Sterling 4H - Trans Purple


    GK and MarkBass stuff

  3. #3

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    My experience is that the Big Al is the one MM that most fits your description. Will cop a great p-bass tone if that's what you are after, but don't misunderstand me, it's much more versatile than any p-bass. It will do brite with the treble and high mids in that 4-band eq, but it will do serious round pillowy, but not boomy, thick bottomy goodness if you want it to.

    Listen to some Craig Young playing on that latest Lady A album to see it that's the tone you are after. Much done with his big al.
    Last edited by Holdsg; 03-25-2012 at 05:41 PM.



  4. #4

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    mine!

  5. #5

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    sub bass ..big fat badd a$$ bass ..I want to buy a stingray but cant justify the price for the same bass but prettier.I thought I wanted a sterling...NOPE..
    2006 active Sub bass white
    Ampeg SVT 410 hlf
    Ampeg svp pro
    Qsc rmx 1450
    GearHead rack light

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the input, keen to hear from Big Al owners and their thoughts on tone comparison compared to a 'ray. I've heard that mahogany bodies tend to give a warm tone, is that the case from your experience with the BA?

    I just picked up a new Stringray 4HH in vintage sunburst for a good price on ebay. It is absolutely stunning, but I'm slowly coming to accept that its not going to offer me anything wildly different to my existing 'ray (while the bongo and ray are a night and day difference) so I think things are heading towards moving it on and picking up a Big Al or something else thats truly different.

  7. #7

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    Big Al or Reflex will give you a ton of different tonal options and both can get very warm. The Classic Ray's and Sterlings also have a really fat warm tone to me as well.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    sub bass ..big fat badd a$$ bass ..I want to buy a stingray but cant justify the price for the same bass but prettier.I thought I wanted a sterling...NOPE..
    I agree, every sub I have owned has a fatt tone, gotta love the 2 band!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mingsta View Post
    Thanks for the input, keen to hear from Big Al owners and their thoughts on tone comparison compared to a 'ray. I've heard that mahogany bodies tend to give a warm tone, is that the case from your experience with the BA?

    I just picked up a new Stringray 4HH in vintage sunburst for a good price on ebay. It is absolutely stunning, but I'm slowly coming to accept that its not going to offer me anything wildly different to my existing 'ray (while the bongo and ray are a night and day difference) so I think things are heading towards moving it on and picking up a Big Al or something else thats truly different.
    Mine are 2 totally different beasts. The single H Ray has that great Ray sound, and honestly I use it for most of the stuff I play because I love the tone and simplicity of it, but the Big Al 5HHH can do it all. I've been banging on mine for a while now and still find new tones. You can go warm or downright mad aggressive depending on PU & EQ config.
    2014 Sterling 5H Black w/ Maple - F28653
    2001 Sterling 4H Blue Dawn w/ Maple - F04289
    2015 Stingray 4H SLO Special Black Cherry w/ Rosewood - E96203
    2011 Classic Stingray 5H Lake Tahoe Blue


  10. #10

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    And of course, going active vs. passive opens things up even more.
    2014 Sterling 5H Black w/ Maple - F28653
    2001 Sterling 4H Blue Dawn w/ Maple - F04289
    2015 Stingray 4H SLO Special Black Cherry w/ Rosewood - E96203
    2011 Classic Stingray 5H Lake Tahoe Blue


  11. #11

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    Far be it for me to discourage anyone from buying another bass, but have you thought about trying flatwounds strings? A Bongo neck pickup and flats is the way that I achieve warm tone.

    I have owned a 25th Anniversary 5HH and a Big Al 5SSS. Both of them went away because I prefer the Bongo to both and I can get any tone I want with the pickups and preamp.

    Between my amp (Streamliner 600) and my Bongos, I can achieve major warm old school tone.
    slightly out of date pic
    http://www.ernieball.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic1436_1.gif

    l to r:

    Franken-Bongo 5 HHp (The Billy Bass), refinished fretted cigar leaf satin finish neck, daphne blue, mint pickguard, EB Cobalts.

    Dargie Delight Bongo 5 SHp, fretted, Dargie, b/w/b pickgaurd, Dargie. Ernie Ball straplocks. Flats.

    Franken-Bongo 5 SHp (Moby, the White Whale), refinished vintage gloss unlined fretless neck, white, tort pickguard, EB Cobalts.

  12. #12

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    I am partial to the warmth of a Bongo H with the "small eq". But Bassmonkee's comment about flats is spot on too.
    Buncha Rays and Bongos

  13. #13

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    I would agree that the Big Al has such a wide range of tones, including dark and warm, that you should check it out. With the three pickups (I'm talking the SSS model, not the single H), active/passive and the 4-band EQ, there are countless options available.

    I had an HH Bongo for a short period of time and also liked it. If it wasn't for the weight, I'd still have it.

    SR5 H, SR4 H (x2)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bassmonkeee View Post
    Far be it for me to discourage anyone from buying another bass, but have you thought about trying flatwounds strings?
    A definite plus 1 from me!

    Strangely my Ray HH has thick warm tone but is my lightest bass, and it's strung with raucous rounds (non EBMM ones - sacrilage I know - but they were daughters Christmas prezzie - to be replaced by standard slinkies at some point as these work best on this bass! It sounds woody and thick though)
    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

  15. #15

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    Bongo with flats...now that's a thought..hmmm

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