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Thread: Caprice vs. Cutlass (also, Stingray 30th Anniversary Question)

  1. #1
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    Post Caprice vs. Cutlass (also, Stingray 30th Anniversary Question)

    I'm currently the middle of exploring options for an EBMM basses. I've 'narrowed' it down to a Caprice, Cutlass, Bongo 5, or SR5 30th. Basically, it's a total tossup and I have no idea what to do. Anyway...

    From what I gather, they share a common pickup, one that's meant to emulate a P bass, while the Caprice has an pickup near the bridge to emulate a J bass. Based on the spec sheet, the only other noticeable difference is the Cutlass with a slightly larger body.

    So my question is: what is the advantage or selling point of the Cutlass in terms of sound? It seems like the Caprice should be able to duplicate the tone simply by dialing down the neck pickup.

    Sorry if the answer is obvious - I feel like I'm overlooking something here. Any help would be appreciated though.


    As an aside, I'm also interested in the 30th Anniversary SR5. Initially I was sold on the looks, but I've read a handful of posts saying it's more mellow and rounded in tone with the new electronics. I was hoping someone might be able to confirm this or post a link to a sound sample reflecting this. I once owned a Stingray 4 Classic, but I ultimately returned it because every tonal combination seemed to have too much bite for my liking as an only bass.

  2. #2
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    Passive Bass Comparison: Cutlass vs. Caprice – Ernie Ball Music Man
    "The Cutlass features an old school split-coil humbucking design, for a big round vintage bass tone, fat bottom end and juicy mids.

    The Caprice bass features a tighter bottom end with a throaty midrange and cutting top end. The split-coil humbucking neck pickup is uniquely designed for the Caprice and is complemented by an inline humbucking bridge pickup. This allows players to blend two distinct pickup voicings for additional tones."

    To my ear, the neck pickup on the Caprice has a more mellow tone. That's one of the reasons I bought it :-)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregP View Post
    Passive Bass Comparison: Cutlass vs. Caprice – Ernie Ball Music Man
    "The Cutlass features an old school split-coil humbucking design, for a big round vintage bass tone, fat bottom end and juicy mids.

    The Caprice bass features a tighter bottom end with a throaty midrange and cutting top end. The split-coil humbucking neck pickup is uniquely designed for the Caprice and is complemented by an inline humbucking bridge pickup. This allows players to blend two distinct pickup voicings for additional tones."

    To my ear, the neck pickup on the Caprice has a more mellow tone. That's one of the reasons I bought it :-)
    Ah, totally missed this page somehow! So it looks like the pickups are different. Damn.

    Guess I might have to get both! And then one of each in Diamond Blue so I can put maple fretboards on them!

  4. #4
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    That is my only criticism of the passive line. The fact that fretboard material is linked to body color. Respectfully, when your spending $1700 I think you should have the choice of fretboard material. I hope this option becomes available in the future. :-)

  5. #5
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    I've got the Diamond Blue Cutlass and have played 2 Caprices. The neck is pretty different - way more jazzy on the Caprice. The pickups are also pretty different sounding and obv the Caprice has more tonal options, but it doesn't do the same P thing the Cutlass does (even soloed), so you if really want that warm/fat thing AND the Caprice's snarl, you'd need to get both I guess. I prefer the Cutlass body, neck, and the ridiculous vintage funk tones you can pull out of it rolling off the tone a bit. They are very different basses, but the Cutlass is worth it if it's specifically what you like - Caprice has the edge on overall versatility for sure.

    I LOVE the Cutlass with tapewounds. I intend to get either a 2nd one and string it with rounds OR maybe get a Caprice with a rosewood board. I'm down to 2 basses right now, so it might even mean trading my StingRay out to do it. Something to be said for having an all passive MM quiver lol.

    If I got a new Coral Red Cutlass, I could do a neck-swap. Diamond Blue/RW would look SLICK.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_eigensheep View Post
    As an aside, I'm also interested in the 30th Anniversary SR5. Initially I was sold on the looks, but I've read a handful of posts saying it's more mellow and rounded in tone with the new electronics. I was hoping someone might be able to confirm this or post a link to a sound sample reflecting this. I once owned a Stingray 4 Classic, but I ultimately returned it because every tonal combination seemed to have too much bite for my liking as an only bass.
    I have a 30th Anniversary SR5. It took all of about 20 minutes for it to become my favorite bass that I own. Let me just say that this bass is anything but mellow. Its versatility reminds me more of a Bongo than a standard SR5. I have 2 other regular SR5's with the single H configuration as well. The 30th Anniversary model, when compared to them, has a louder volume output thus why it reminds me a lot like a Bongo. The tone is also slightly different. It's hard to describe how but I like it and prefer it over a standard SR5. If you decide to get a 30th Anniversary SR5, I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/JRalston/7d65a184-4304-464d-9f3a-c83a9712dbe8_zps69d1fb3d.jpg
    Stingray Classic 4H D.O.B. 07/09/10 Breast Cancer Awareness Bass Shell Pink
    Bongo 4H D.O.B. 12/28/10 Black Sugar BFR Roasted Neck
    Bongo 4H D.O.B. 03/26/14 Candy Apple Red All Rosewood Neck
    Stingray 5H D.O.B. 06/25/13 Black
    30th Anniversary Stingray 5H D.O.B. 02/28/17 Transparent Buttercream

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDawg View Post
    I have a 30th Anniversary SR5. It took all of about 20 minutes for it to become my favorite bass that I own. Let me just say that this bass is anything but mellow. Its versatility reminds me more of a Bongo than a standard SR5. I have 2 other regular SR5's with the single H configuration as well. The 30th Anniversary model, when compared to them, has a louder volume output thus why it reminds me a lot like a Bongo. The tone is also slightly different. It's hard to describe how but I like it and prefer it over a standard SR5. If you decide to get a 30th Anniversary SR5, I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
    Oops. Rereading my post, it made it sound like mellow was a bad thing. I was actually hoping the SR5 30th had lost a little bit of it's edge compared to the classic. Happen to have (or know of any) sound bytes other than what's on youtube?

  8. #8
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    Aside from the other differences between passive basses in this thread, the Caprice features an offset style body and the Cutlass is a more traditional shape. I really can't say why I went with a Cutlass but I really love mine.

    Now, having said that, I think the 30th SR5 is THE bass to have. In regards to the tonal differences between a standard SR5/similarity to the Bongo, Sterling has said in interviews that once the Bongo came out he realized when the layman bass player goes in to a store to try a bass out, they have a tendency to dime all the knobs out, which doesn't make for a good sound, which can turn prospective customers away from our products.

    So, mellowing out the EQ boost that our preamp was voiced for was the natural way to go. You can still get a good amount of boost to whichever frequencies, but it doesn't redline quite as much.
    St. Vincent "Prince Vince" trans purple gold hardware stealth pg roasted bound neck
    Albert Lee MM90 piezo "Silver Surfer"
    Classic Morse
    Luke BFR Koa
    Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow natural flame piezo
    Silhouette Special
    Stealth Bongo H
    White Cutlass Bass roasted neck

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinopah View Post
    I've got the Diamond Blue Cutlass and have played 2 Caprices. The neck is pretty different - way more jazzy on the Caprice. The pickups are also pretty different sounding and obv the Caprice has more tonal options, but it doesn't do the same P thing the Cutlass does (even soloed), so you if really want that warm/fat thing AND the Caprice's snarl, you'd need to get both I guess. I prefer the Cutlass body, neck, and the ridiculous vintage funk tones you can pull out of it rolling off the tone a bit. They are very different basses, but the Cutlass is worth it if it's specifically what you like - Caprice has the edge on overall versatility for sure.

    I LOVE the Cutlass with tapewounds. I intend to get either a 2nd one and string it with rounds OR maybe get a Caprice with a rosewood board. I'm down to 2 basses right now, so it might even mean trading my StingRay out to do it. Something to be said for having an all passive MM quiver lol.

    If I got a new Coral Red Cutlass, I could do a neck-swap. Diamond Blue/RW would look SLICK.
    You've touched on my dilemma precisely. I love the fat tone of the Cutlass, perhaps more than any one sound I've heard from the Caprice. But the Caprice sounds like the more versatile of the two instruments. Definitely leaning towards getting both eventually.

    Also funny you want the Rosewood neck for your Blue Cutlass. I'm DYING for a Coral Red/Maple combo!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyBall View Post
    Aside from the other differences between passive basses in this thread, the Caprice features an offset style body and the Cutlass is a more traditional shape. I really can't say why I went with a Cutlass but I really love mine.

    Now, having said that, I think the 30th SR5 is THE bass to have. In regards to the tonal differences between a standard SR5/similarity to the Bongo, Sterling has said in interviews that once the Bongo came out he realized when the layman bass player goes in to a store to try a bass out, they have a tendency to dime all the knobs out, which doesn't make for a good sound, which can turn prospective customers away from our products.

    So, mellowing out the EQ boost that our preamp was voiced for was the natural way to go. You can still get a good amount of boost to whichever frequencies, but it doesn't redline quite as much.
    Both passives are amazing. This sound clip (can't remember who posted it in these forums) has absolutely SOLD me on both soncially. Just scheming to get Coral Red/ Maple necks somehow now. Haha.

    Cutlast - Caprice by Ernie Ball | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    And the 30th anniversary Stingray has to be one of the most beautiful basses I've ever seen, and I'm typically not one for white/off-white instruments. Going to have to empty out the pockets this year.

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