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Difference between a SUB and a Stingray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by purplegecko97, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Does anybody know the real difference between a SUB and a Stingray? I've been gunning for a Stringray for the past few months but after looking at the literature they seem to be the exact same hardware and the exact same electronics. In fact, the guy at the store told me (not sure how accurate this is) that the wood is actually from the same stock that is used for the transparent stingrays...just the sections with ugly blemishes or other cosmetic defects that wouldn't look good transparent. Maybe this is a reason the SUBs have that thick matte finish?

    Anyway, I've played a few and really can't tell too much of a difference...there seem to be some tonal characteristics but not really consistent between the lines..just from guitar to guitar.

    Does anyone know what the difference is between these two basses? Why in the hell is this bass so cheap?

    Also, has anybody out there played a Bongo? As far as I can tell no one in the Pittsburgh area seems to stock them.

  2. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I don't know ALL the specifics, but one of the differences is, the finish. The finish on a SUB is ALOT cheaper to apply, than a quality sheen that's on a SR...

    Also, there's dozens of threads regarding Bongo's... Check out the search feature...
  3. Th9nker


    Mar 18, 2002
    First off, they are only about $400 cheaper...

    Also they don't come with a case...

    That, combined with lower cosmetic quality wood and the cheaper finish more than accounts for the price difference...

    I don't think that some people realize how long it takes to apply a quality finsh...
  4. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I believe that SUB's have basswood bodies, while transparent finish StingRay's are ash and solid finishes are alder (skewing heavily toward the ash side)
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    SUB has passive electronics and a diamond plate pickguard :p
  6. Jeremy_X


    Jan 29, 2002
    SUB bodies are poplar.
  7. Th9nker


    Mar 18, 2002

    I believe they make an active version don't they?
  8. For anyone who's interested I email ErnieBall about this same question (slow day at work ;)

    Here's an excerpt from there response...

    A lot more detail goes into the finish of a StingRay than a SUB. The necks are dipped in a true oil with a gun stock oil and wax hand rubbed finish. This gives the neck a well broke in feel to it, unlike the SUB which has a painted neck. The body on a StingRay is typically hand selected ash, not poplar like the SUB. The SUB body is painted with a textured finish which doesn't require wet sanding and buffing and eliminates quite a bit of the labor involved with it's manufacture, this allows Music Man to pass the savings on to the players.
  9. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    I haven't been able to find any Bongo's in pittsburgh either. If you do, let me know too. I've been wanting to play one.
  10. It has been said righ tin their literature, iirc, that some Stingrays have poplar bodies as well. Maybe a high grade of poplar, but still...
  11. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Nothing wrong with poplar, gives a slightly different tone than the ash bodies (ash is slightly brighter), similar to alder. Most Stingrays are ash, some are alder. Some pre-EB bodies were basswood.

    The drawback to poplar is that it doesn't look that good with a translucent finish.

    Other differences (along with those already mentioned) are...

    The electronics in the SUB are different from that of the Stingray (even the two band version), the SUB has lower output and is not as punchy. By and large they are quite similar in feel, although the neck of the SUB has the feel of a finished neck.

    Fittings on the SUB are less expensive, eg. the SUB bridge is unstamped, the battery compartment on the active SUB is cheaper, etc.

    The SUB is a great bass regardless of the differences.
  12. Kaboom, found a bongo at HolloWood Music in McKee's rocks

    Haven't made it up there to try it yet but they apparenlty keep one in stock at a time.

    Also, found something cool on the ernie ball site. If you go to the dealer locator and pull the local dealers in your area, you can click on the name of the dealer and it'll give you their exact inventory. Found out a few others who have them this way as well. (I'd called about 6 shops before I actually figured this out).

    Good luck!
  13. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    Thanks! I haven't been there in a while, I went there with a friend to pick up his guitar a while ago. They have everythign there though. I think i trip to the burgh is in order....
  14. If the SUB bodies are not buffed, I wonder, can one remove the hardware and do the buffing themselves?
  15. Th9nker


    Mar 18, 2002

    Hmmm... I don't know... That textered finish is kinda like rhino-kote truck bedliner...

    It might be kinda hard to get off... also, you might not like what you find under there...

    I'm actually thinking about getting one of these for a "banger" to use when I don't want to let the Thunderbird out of the house....