Any difference in new Stingrays?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanInMissJones, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. DanInMissJones


    Jun 15, 2004
    Hello everyone.......this is my first post.....thats it.

    Just wondering.....I'm looking to buy a brand new Musicman Stingray next week, but I just heard a rumour that the new ones dont get made as well as the slightly older the new ones are less quality compared to a couple of years ago. This sounds a bit strange to me...but they said that the factory where they're made has gone downhill in the last few years. Just wondering if anyone here as heard of anything like that.

    Also.....I'm from London England, does anyone know of a good place to buy a second hand Stingray?.....cause y'know, I'm not very happy with forking out £1000 for a new one really....its quite alot y'know.....although if I have to, I will.

    Anyway....thanks alot, and I look forward from hearing from anyone.

  2. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Whoever told you that is not your friend.

    Ernie Ball/MusicMan bass= consistant quality.
  3. DanInMissJones


    Jun 15, 2004
    Yeah, I thought it didnt sound quite right, everything else I've heard about stingrays have been positive. Oh well, I guess some prople just talk rubbish.....cant help that.

    Cheers man
  4. I've also been looking pretty heavily into the stingrays over the past few months and although I can't speak first hand (I haven't bought mine yet ;) ) one the things I've heard repeated most from salesman and players alike is that Ernie Ball's quality is among the most consistent in the industry.
  5. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    ive heard many people say that the workmanship in the new ones is even better than the older 77-78's. thats hopefully what youd expect out of a company that has been putting out the same bass for over 20 years. I can understand the arguement that the old ones sound different, but sound is totally opinion based, and i like having my mid control :). The only thing i wish mine had was a string through body bridge, but besides that i couldnt be happier with my stingray.
  6. DanInMissJones


    Jun 15, 2004
    Yeah, Ive been playin a OLP copy for about 18's quite good really for the price I paid (£200), but obviously playin a Stingray is a totally different matter. I've been trying them out for a while and they feel very special...cant wait to have one to call my own y'know.

    Thanks for replying have put my mind at rest.
  7. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Your friend may be referring to MINOR differences in EB production over the years. For example, my early 90's Stingrays all came with metal battery covers and threaded metal inserts to screw into. Several people prefer this design to the plastic 'flip out' battery doors. To me, the metal insert is sturdy and I have broken a few of the plastic doors in my day, yet other more careful players prefer the ease of the flip out door. To each his own one isn't better than the other.

    My '92 Ray has a trans gloss finish on the back of the neck, while my '94 Ray had the gun-oil (satin) finish on the back of the neck. You could actually count this as an improvement in the new Stingrays over the older ones.

    Another difference is the omission of the string mutes on the newer Stingrays. The string mute is a throw back to Leo Fender's early days when players were looking for a muted upright-like tone. Most Stingray players are not after this tone, and the design added mass and parts that can get lost, so they dropped it. I have used the mutes a few times, but not enough to merit this as a problem or lack in quality.

    The bottom line is the quality is consistent and EB/Music Man is known for their quality (even in the affordable SUB series)--just check the "Favorite mass produced 4 string" thread as the Stingray and Sterling were mentioned more than any other model. EB has simply continued to tweak the design over the years.
  8. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Didn't they change the look of their pick-guards on the five string Stingrays?
  9. vometia

    vometia Formerly cbh

    Nov 1, 2003
    I have two Stingrays: one made in about 2002ish and the other which is just out of the factory. The quality of both of them is absolutely first rate, I really can't fault them at all. I know that's just a sample of two basses, but it fits in with the prevailing opinion that EB's quality is consistently very good.

    If you don't want to spend over a grand on a Ray you could always get yourself a SUB for six hundred notes or so: I don't really see them as a "second rate" 'Ray at all and there's something about that textured finish. Dunno about the industrial grade pickguard but you could always replace it. I saw the first one in the wild on the penultimate episode of Jools Holland as played by Polly Harvey's bass player. Looked and sounded pretty cool.

  10. sdguyman


    Jan 31, 2003
    San Diego
    I have owned two stringray's in the past. One from the late 80's and the other a 2003 model. Both were natural in maple fretboard. The only difference in the two that I can remember was no string mutes on the new model, the plastic (Easier access) battery compartment and the newer model didn't have as nice of a maple neck as the old one. The old one had a bunch of birdseye all over it were as the new one didn't. Both are gone now since I have given up playing 4 string.
  11. widefat


    May 2, 2004
    Count me another voice singing the praises of MM.
    I just bought a new Stingray, and I am very impressed with the quality and tone. One of the best fret dressings I have ever seen on a bass at that price point.
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I believe the first two production years of the SR5 also used a slightly different preamp than the later models. The newer version has clearer highs, though some (including me) really dig the character of the older preamp.
  13. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002
    Imo, the 'Rays are still high quality instruments.

    The mutes were discontinued due to fingers being cut on the support springs.

    The plastic battery holder can be tricky due to 9 volt battery size varying, slightly, between manufactures. Ernie Ball specifies Duracell.
  14. I own a brand spanking new Stingray 4, and I can't find anything wrong with it. I have played stingrays as old as 1977, and everything in between, and construction wise they are flawless instruments regardless of age.

    I say buy it.
  15. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    It's bull.

    I've played Stingrays from all periods, and if anything, the newer instruments are better quality (or at least more consistent in quality) than the early instruments.

    The Bass Gallery in Camden apparently has a good selection, with a used Stingray advertised for £800

    You could check out the Bass Centre/House of Guitars
  16. I agree with whats been said here, I've had several MM basses, Sterlings and 'rays and they all were A1, looking at another Sterling soon!
    Try the Bass ctr, they usualy have some on, also Evilbay, I think there are a fewe on there now, I think there's a five string with piezos in burnt apple for 1K, thats a lot of bass!

  17. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    Rays IMHO are one of the best basses. Now I am not going to lie to you. I prefer the Pre-EBMM but the newer Rays with the gun oil neck do play very very well. The sound like everyone said is subjective. I also agree that EBMM is very consistant. Most of the newer Rays I played have been easily comparible in tone and build quality. Now the action has been set quite differently between them but that is easily fixed. You made a great decision buying any Ray in my opinion.
  18. Go to the House of Guitars (previously the Bass Centre) near Liverpool Street Station - it's in the yellow pages

    There are a few smaller outfits around but the blokes there are very friendly and responsive.

    You should also try the Guitar, Amp & Keyboard centre in Brighton.

    I'm going to by a nice new fender from them I think
  19. DanInMissJones


    Jun 15, 2004
    Yeah......I'm going down to check out Bass Center and the Bass Gallery this weekend, try out the Stingrays......hopefully pick one. Cant wait really...looking forward to picking up 'the one'. I'm gonner spend the whole day playing basses...does it get any better that that?!

    Thanks alot for your advice guys!.....I'll let u know how the search for the perfect Stingray goes!