Two EBMMs, did I hear them correctly?
In the last two days I've demoed a Sterling and a Stingray and I was surprised at what I perceived as how different they sounded. The sessions were not back to back and were at different GC locations but were through the same combos, a TC BG250 and G-K MB210. I was actually demoing the amps and picked up the Sterling on a whim, then repeated the whim but with the Ray at the second location the next day.
I guess in my mind a Musicman would always sound like a Musicman, but the ceramic in the Sterling vs the alnico in the Stingray seemed to make more of a difference than I was expecting. Are there also differences in the preamps besides the switch on the Sterling? Or was the difference exaggerated somehow from one day to the next in the different locations.
I ask also because I've never really cared for Stingray basses, but the Sterling I played is a bass I would buy, which surprised me.
Edit: both were single pickup versions, maple neck.
Yea that sounds about right. Sterlings and stingrays are pretty different, but both have that great growl.
Two different preamps, different pickups - yeah, they do sound different enough to be obvious.
I find the mids on the Sterling to be pretty up-front, which can be a good thing indeed.
Plus - that neck. Sexy, sexy necks on those babies.
I've researched this issue for myself only quite recently. So the differences between the Stingray and the Sterling are still very fresh in my mind. :hmm:
In addition to the difference in the preamp voicings, and the different pickup materials (alnico vs. ceramic), the pickups in each of these two models are wired differently from one another - the Stingray pickups wired in parallel; the Sterling pickups wired in series.
Anyone with actual experience in how these two configurations sound will immediately recognize that each instrument naturally excels in discrete and distinct musical applications. The clean, punchy tone of the Stingray is really ideal for any kind of funk or pop (think of Paul Denman's tone in the Sade band), whereas the somewhat thicker, more compressed, more aggressive growl of the Sterling is really perfect for rock - especially modern rock.
That's my take on it, at any rate... :hmm:
Mysticmichael is dead on. The Best way to describe the sterling is thicker and more modern sounding.
Let me throw in my 2 cents. I purchased a 5 string stingray and 5 string sterling at the same time from musicians friend because I was in the same boat. Not sure what the difference was. What better way to try a bass. On you own equipment and 30 days to do it. However it didn't take more than 30 minutes to realize the Sterling was the sound I was looking for. Sounds very different than the Ray. In my opinion, much hotter, very punchy in the mids and really cuts through the mix. And I love the feel of the neck. im only 5'10, so the smaller profile body and neck just work better for me.
Don't get me wrong, I really like the Stingray, but its just not my sound.
I now own 3 Sterlings. 2-5 Strings and a 4 with a hip shot d-tuner. All have 1 pickup and rosewood fretboard. I recently purchased a used Wal MKIII (similar body and neck profile) so I'll probably be putting at least one of the Sterlings up in the classifieds very soon.
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