New Blue OLP Blues Bass

This outdoor light shows close to the true color of my new (to me) OLP 4-string fat humbucker bass.

I can only play primitive I-IV-V 12-bar blues so I love a blue bass, my 2nd blue bass and my 2nd OLP (Officially Licensed Products) bass.

It’s an official clone, mostly in its shape, to the pricy Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray line of bass guitars.

It does look very Stingray-like, with the same licensed headstock shape, similar body, pick guard, big thick humbucking pickup and controls. Tuners 3-on-top, one-on-bottom.

Ray looking controls and location of pickup, odd Ray style bridge, same ovoid or vulvoid pick guard and ‘vertical smile’ control plate.

And it sounds a bit similar, using the same style single humbucking pickup, albeit a passive one.

I like a painted to match headstock in a striking color, as here.

But it’s a normal passive bass, unlike all the expensive real Ernie Ball instruments. It requires no battery but also does not allow treble boost like on a Ray.

It’s strung with a still newish set of DR “HIGH-BEAM” Stainless Steel, 45 65 85 105 roundwounds, high end galore and zingy finger scrapes for me on the corrugated strings.

Twangy and bright, they let me hear all my bad fingering and weak muting skills on full display.

Deal included these spare strings still new in the box. My 1st use of DR strings. I guess I like them well enough to not replace them despite my struggles.

A giant change from my P-bass’s smooth and silent TI Jazz flats I’m used to fooling myself with. Valuable training.

I love the less defined thumping humbucker tone. I run reverb, flange, high gain for growl, it distorts beautifully.

Neck is straight and smooth enough for a cheap bass while frets, board and machine heads are good.

I did the usual screw tightening and intonating chores all new used basses require, no problems found.

Neck pocket gap was better than my 2014 MIJ P-bass but the neck is not so smooth.

It is humbling to hear all the bad muting rumbles and the zing finger scrapes that bright newish roundwound strings let me hear myself play.

Valuable finger and muting training though, and tones that flatwound strings can’t get.

It felt heavy, the old German fish scale reads between 9.5 and 10 lbs (4.4kg ). I play lots sitting down and the wide heavy leather Levi strap does spread the weight.

These old but nice Chinese CNC cut instruments can sometimes still be seen online or in music or pawnshops for $200 and up if you can still find them.

OLP did not run very long and EB Music Man never allowed any other licensed clones of Stingrays. So I’m lucky John gave me the Craigslist $150 cash price. Thanks, John!

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