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Can someone school me on Stingrays?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Larry Mal, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Hi all, I'm thinking about picking up a Stingray since I've wanted one for years and now might be the time. But there are differences between the models and I'm not sure if some are more desirable than others for whatever reasons.

    I'd really like to get a Stingray Classic model, and the reasons for that are I'm very wild about the 7.25" radius, I like the idea of the string through and while I'm not sure how much I'd like the mutes, it would be fun to have them on there.

    I'm not sure how much I'm fixed on that radius, though. I have owned a G&L 1000 for over a decade which does have the round radius, and I like it a lot on there. I have a Jazz bass with the 9.5" radius and it's fine, plus I play a lot of Gibson guitars these days and love them, so flatter radii aren't killing me or anything.

    I found a used Stingray that does have mutes, but it seems to be a top loader, which I didn't know the model had done at any point. It seems to be a heavier bridge all around, which is why I come to be asking on this nice forum today. Are some bridges better than others? Or are the smaller, lighter bridges on the later models just as good, or different? I do get pretty particular about my bridges, and it seems there aren't a lot of options about switching out the later, smaller bridges with Stingrays. And I'm not sure how much I should care about the guitar being string through.

    It would sure save me a lot of money if none of this matters all that much, and I could just buy any old used Stingray out there and get good results.

    Anyway, thanks all- I do know I want a four string model with only the single humbucker, and probably the rosewood fingerboard, but I'm not fixed on that necessarily. Thanks again!
  2. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
  3. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thank you! I had seen that article, and it's very interesting. And it did make me pretty suspicious of what it calls the "downsized bridge". I'm wondering how that plays out in reality, though. Is it really a much worse bridge?
  4. rolleharris


    Nov 10, 2002
    Falun Sweden
    I really dont think that you can hear any diffrence between the bridges in a live setting
  5. +1
  6. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    That website is great! thank you!
  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    My recommendation is the 30th anniversary. I played one at GC years ago, and it was one of the best instruments I ever played. They're going up in value pretty quickly, and other than the mutes, they have everything you want. I'm pretty sure that it has the smaller radius as well.
  8. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thanks Scott! I didn't know that about the 30th anniversary models. I'll look for one.
  9. The bridge sizes don't make a significant difference IMO - they are both fitted the same way and have those two large bolts which locate deep into the body, which is said to contribute to the sound (Sterling Ball). Indeed the standard SR5 has the shorter bridge - I have one of those which has monster sustain, resonance and sound.

    The mutes make a great difference if engaged against the strings - making the bass much more thumpy sounding.

    IMO the strings through body version (pre EB up to 1980 and Classic series basses; plus one or two special editions incl 30th Anniversary) has a little more sustain than a regular Stingray or the top load bridge with mutes (post 80 pre EB and EB SR4 up to about 1995) - that is not to say the non string through has insufficient sustain - quite the opposite. But the strings through version with roundwounds will sustain a little longer (if you want a note to last that long)

    Agree with you Scott in Dallas on the 30th Anni - I would love one - however I suspect the mahogany body which these have (and also the PDN 2012 models) also affects the sound. I believe these have the regular radius neck (albeit stained to match the body colour and varnished birds eye maple) - only the Classics have the 7.25 in.

    Nice choice if you go for the Classic, Larry Mal - I've had one since 2010 and it gets more use than any of my basses. Did a recording session with it recently (some tracks using mutes, some not) and it just sounded great.
  10. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    I have a CL 4 with roasted maple neck. White/tort is beautiful, well made and a joy to play. I do, however, think I prefer the 3 band EQ on my SR5 to the 2 band on the CL. Easier to get it to cut through the mix better.
  11. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think the preamp will have a bigger effect upon your tone than the bridge will.
    The originals and the Classic series have the 2-band EQ, while the newer ones have a 3-band EQ. Few players will agree about which sounds better, but most will agree that they do sound different.

    I tend to prefer the older rays and classics - I like the 2-band, the string-through, the bigger bridge (just aesthetics to me) and the way the necks feel. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the modern variants.

    Tony Levin, who has played Stingrays since before the EB buyout, has stated that he feels that most of the changes to the Stingray have been improvements and he likes the current incarnation just fine. He might know a thing or two about Stingrays.... :)

    Your best bet is to play a few of each and see which grabs you.
  12. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    I think the Classic is the way to go. That means I have to gear up for a fight on ebay, though. They're rare and when I find one I can afford they are probably going to be contested. But I might as well get what I think I want all at once.

    Alternately, I could buy a used standard model and see how I get on with it... might be fine, I might really like the electronics and the playability of it. If not, I can sell it on, it's not like these are unpopular basses or anything. I'll be using this bass pretty much only in the studio, I write a lot of music on the bass, and I'm kind of looking for inspiration more than anything else. Just something that feels good in my hands and makes me want to pick it up all the time.

    Like I say, I don't really know what the radius of the neck means on a bass since I won't be chording on it, but I really do like that old G&L bass, more so than my Jazz bass, so maybe I should approximate it here. Besides, I've only heard wonderful things about the Classics.

    Thanks for the help, all... I really appreciate it. Great forum and resource here!
  13. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Yes, that's correct. I did a search, and it indeed is listed as having an 11" radius.
  14. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I own a Classic 5 and it is my most favoritist bass I have ever owned. The neck is the most comfortable thing in the world and I think the radius has a lot to do with it. Same goes for the 4 bangers.

    The only bass I really would want to "upgrade" to is one with a roasted neck. If/when I get one of those I will truly be set for life.

  15. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I've played a classic in the store and they are pure magic to play. It has a 7 1/2" radius I believe, the same as your G&L bass. The frets are smaller too. I want one so bad...:bawl:
  16. dsamudio


    Oct 22, 2007
    Fort Worth Texas
  17. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    Wow...looking at everyone comments I can't tell if you guys are bassists or a bunch of bass technical engineers that all graduated from MIT!!
  18. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    I feel the same way sometimes I lurked for awhile here and realized I don't know nearly as much about basses and bass guitar sounds as I thought I did. :meh:
  19. Big John66

    Big John66

    Feb 12, 2008
    I was saving up to get a Classic 2-band but a deal came up on a HS 3-band that I could not pass up. After using it at a couple of gigs, I have to say it's one of the best sounding and playing basses I've ever owned. At this point, the Classic fever I had is completely gone. I don't think you can go wrong either way, really.
  20. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    The newer standard Stingrays are also available with the 2 band preamp. The differences between the two band and three band are subtle.