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Fretless Stingray owners -Your opinions, please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doctor J, Mar 24, 2014.


  1. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Grease
    I have the opportunity to pick up a two-band fretless Stingray, mid-90's, I'm just wondering what peoples opinions of them are? My fretless experience is largely limited to Jazz types, though I do like the sound and feel of the classic single humbucker fretted Stingray. How well does it translate to the fretless setup?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tom5string

    tom5string

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg/Bremen
    Mornin,

    I'm not an owner - but what you desrcibe is the essence of the classical Pino Palladino sound:



    I doubt that a 90's Stingray is that far from an 80s one ...
    Cheers,

    Tom
     
  3. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    Not an owner but I tried one some time ago and it absolutely killed!
     
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Grease
    Thanks Tom. It's probably fair to say the difference between Pino and I would be greater than that of 80's and 90's Stingrays :)
     
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  6. drTSTingray

    drTSTingray

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    I have a 93 3 band fretless. It's a great fretless and gets the Pino sound exactly. A 2 band will be even closer. If it's an early 90s bass you may find it will have a highly figured maple neck and also the on board mutes (I've found these useful for rockabilly).

    Best of luck with the bass. I've never regretted buying mine although it took a while to learn to play it properly in tune!!
     
  7. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    West Grove Pa (via the Northside of the 'Burg!)
    I have what I believe is a '98 SR5 fretless without the piezo's and with the 3 band EQ.
    It is a great bass.
    Very full and rich sounding.
    When I play it, which is not all that much, I don't play a lot of notes
    But it works for my needs
    Good Luck!
     
  8. obsidion12

    obsidion12

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Saw this thread, and had to comment.

    I have a brand new fretless stingray I bought mid last year and it is THE fretless for me. I had actually decided at the time that I'd be buying no more basses and just started moving away from fretless because what I had owned so far just wasn't working for me.

    I came across the 'Ray hanging up in my local store and sat down with it for a good 30 minutes.... aaaand then avoided the store for four weeks.

    It was still there when I eventually went back for strings, sat down with it briefly again and shelled out the money there and then. They were physically taken aback because I had only recently purchased a MIA P from them... but this bass was so right for me I didn't want to let it go.

    I have never had the opportunity to play a two band 'Ray so I couldn't comment on its sound specifically, but the modern 3 band, single pickup one I have does everything from growl to woody warmth. This bass came right to the front line and has played almost every gig since I bought it. I play it with nickel rounds as that's the sound I like - my fretless upbringing was via Jeff Ament...
     
  9. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Mine's an '88 two-band. Love it. Great neck and great tone.
    Buy it; you won't regret having a fretless Ray!
     
  10. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Pino would approve!
     
  11. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Grease
    Well then, that seems pretty unanimous :D

    Thanks guys.
     
  12. Figjam

    Figjam

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I had an early 90s 2 band. It was good, but I kind of wish it was a three band. Overall, it was a fun bass. I didnt end up keeping it. I mostly like fretless basses to have an ebony or ebonal fingerboard, and that one was pau ferro.
     
  13. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    This is only my experience and my ears, but I prefer where the treble control sits on a two-band. On a three-band it's a bit too sizzly for me.

    With either preamp, they're great basses.

    Mine has the pau ferro board (and my '87 Sabre is rosewood). I tend to prefer ebony FL boards, too, but I don't have any complaints about these.
     
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Disclosures:
    I love the night life, I got to boogie....
    I owned a fairly recent 2 band and it was a great bass. FB was pau ferro, I believe.

    I really prefer ebony, ebonol or a coated board though as I play a fretless like a fretted (I.e. It sounds like a fretted).

    Depends on the tone you are looking for. A fretless Stingray to me is epitomized in Paul Young's Every Time You go Away. If you like Pino's overall tone, you will very likely love a fretless Stingray.

    A fretless Stingray is about as far as you can get from a Pedulla Buzz tonewise IMO as an example.
     
  15. ampeg2

    ampeg2

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    western pennsylvania
    A nice slo fretless would be my choice..
     
  16. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    If you're interested, Marta Altesa does a nice YT cover of the Paul Young song with a fretless Ray.
     
  17. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO.
    ??? Closer than exactly??? I'm spending too much time here. :rollno:
     
  18. drTSTingray

    drTSTingray

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    Well the sound is comparable - the playing not............... I was playing the fretless this morning and just acoustically it sounds great. If you haven't tried a fretless Stingray then you should do so - amongst the best fretless available.
     

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