Stingray vs. Sterling

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rush Fan, Jan 2, 2008.


  1. Rush Fan

    Rush Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California USA
    I just played an EBMM Sterling and just loved it. I was told though that the Stingray is more like a P bass but in reading the dimension on both bases, it appeared to me they were quite similar in weight and nut spacing. Basically what I'm looking for is one of them to sound much different than my Fender Geddy Lee Jazz bass. If I get either EBMM models, it'll be a four string with a maple neck. What do you guys have to add to this?


    Rush Fan
  2. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    I think by being more P like, is that the Stingray has a bit of a thicker (deeper) neck.

    Best thing to do is try both, and see which you prefer, and dont worry, neither will sound much like your Geddy Lee :)

    You might want to checkout the HH and HS models :)
  3. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2006
    Location:
    NY, Just Like I Pictured It.
    Both of them sound nothing like a Geddy Lee.

    The Sterling has a smaller body than the StingRay and the neck is a bit thinner. Not Fender Jazz thinner, but thinner than a StingRay's. The StingRay has a neck that's "chunkier."
  4. snaverb

    snaverb Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    Play both, and buy the one you like best.

    I love both Stingrays and Sterlings, both are FANTASTIC basses.


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  5. Figjam

    Figjam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Do a search, been done to death, BUT the important differences that you will notice right away when playing them both are


    sterling neck is thinner, more similiar to the geddy.
    sterling body is smaller
    sterling has 22 frets, stingray 21
    sterling has the series/singlecoil/parallel coil switch


    sterling is therefore more versatile, as far as who can get more tones. However, that does not mean that either bass will or wont work for a certain setting, the music man tone is incredible flexible.

    Both will sound much different from the geddy lee. The sterling will have a bit more mids whereas the stingray tends to be a bit more scooped sounding.
  6. Rush Fan

    Rush Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California USA
    Thanks guys. It sounds like I can't go wrong with either of them. I just want to make sure that I'll get the classic MM sound. I liked the Sterling as far as playablity more than the StingRay but I've always dug that StingRay tone. Now comes the procuring of the funds for purchase. :bassist::cool:

    Rush Fan
  7. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto ON
    The neck on the Sterling is stellar, however, You'll get more beef in your tone with a StingRay. Neck mass is the number one contributer to beefiness...and the body is bigger, more beef. You'll be using more of the bass and less of the preamp. my opinion.
  8. joesguitar1129

    joesguitar1129 Supporting Member

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    Dec 8, 2007
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    Watervliet, MI
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    You cant go wrong with either... if you like the jazz neck go with the Sterling for sure. I just bought a Sterling HS and love it. It was a hard choice over the Stingray HH, but I love a jazz neck and that was the deciding factor for me
  9. GianGian

    GianGian

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Hijacking the topic, but does anyone know the history of the sterling? I wonder way they made a "stingray based" model instead of doing a different design. Also, I don't understand why they just didn't named it just "stingray special", "stingray custom" or something like that.
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

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    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well here you go Gian, we'll let Stering himself tell you the story behind the Sterling Bass.

  11. John Deacon

    John Deacon

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thats odd, my Sterling doesn't have that switch, it just has the pickup switch.
  12. Huios

    Huios

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    If you have a single coil Sterling, the switch is a 3-way that switches between series, parallel, and split coil on the humbucker. If yours is a HH or HS it has a 5 way that selects individual humbuckers, both humbuckers, and selections of tapped coils from both pickups (inside and outside pairs)
  13. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    Apr 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    I would say the stingray has a wider flatter neck (from the back, not the radius) while the Sterling is rounder and much narrower at the nut. The Sterling is a lot like some eras of Jazz that I have played in that way, but not like the current ones (orthe geddy) at all. Also the tone of the Sterling is a bit more mid forward than the ray. But then most EBMM basses are a lot more mid forward in general than any P bass and even with the treble and mid cranked they dont get that upper mid chirp that a Jazz can do.
    It is kind of funny how every Leo Fender company has a P type bass and a J type.
  14. syciprider

    syciprider

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    +1.
    Now that I have a Big AL (Sterling spec neck), to compare necks, I noticed that the Stingray's maybe wider but it is noticeable flatter front to back. I prefer it over the Sterling profile because it plays faster for me.
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

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    Nov 18, 2002
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    Seattle / Tacoma
    zombie thread from 2008! :smug:
  16. syciprider

    syciprider

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    May 27, 2005
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    Inland Empire
    I think that's because someone used the search and simply resurrected an old thread vice making a new one. Isn't that how the Search Nazis want things to work?
  17. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    Apr 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    yeah thats forums for you, damn'd if you do, damn'd if you don't. What's worse is being a forum admin! I have done that professionally and it is a thankless task.

    But more to the point of my alleged thread resuscitation, I am just all giggly about my new Sterling. The neck is little gummy/dirty on the back so I did a quick search for the care and maintenance of the gun oil/wax neck finish on the Sterling. (My Ray has the older polished poly coat neck finish). This thread was one that came up some how.
  18. Thingus995

    Thingus995

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Can anyone explain to me the S.L.O. Special?? I know that its a Sterling neck on a Stingray body, but I didn't previously realize that the Sterling has an extra fret... Is the Sterling neck adjusted for the Stingray body on the S.L.O. Special or is the Stingray body modified??? I ask, because I read in the MTD forum that a simple neck swap from a 21 to a 24 fret neck doesn't work (in the MTD realm) is it the same here as well??? Or the other entirely plausible explanation, What am I missing? Not trying to derail, it seems kinda relevant...
  19. Thingus995

    Thingus995

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    May 30, 2008
    No takers huh?
  20. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    Apr 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    It seems that the difference could be made up with a generous adjustment of the bridge. Or they could just make the neck a bit shorter. I am gonna have to go look on the basscentral site and check that out.

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