Differences between Sterling StingRay5 and Ray35?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Persona87, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. Persona87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I'm thinking about getting a Sterling Ray, but there are a bunch of different models and EBMM's naming system doesn't make it easy to find out more details about them. I was hoping someone could clarify the difference between the Sterling StingRay5 and the Ray35. I guess the Ray35 replaced the StingRay5? Was it just a name change, or did anything actually change between the models? Is one more desirable than the other? Thanks!

    EDIT: I just noticed that the Ray35 actually just says StingRay5 on the headstock. I guess they're the same thing?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  2. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    Hey Persona,
    Technically there is no StingRay named model in the current SBMM lineup. In their 5-string bass line, you have the Ray5, Ray25CA, and finally the Ray35. But you are correct, they do say “StingRay” on their headstocks regardless of the model (current models at least).

    The Ray5 can also be called the SUB Ray5; and the Ray35 is the top-of-the-line for SBMM. They are all incredible instruments in their own right.

    EDIT: I stand corrected. The SBMM basses are named StingRays! My apologies.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
    SgtHulka likes this.
  3. 4StringsEnough


    Mar 9, 2008
    The Ray35 sounds like a Stingray. The Ray5 sounds a bit like a Stingray.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  4. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    Haha yeah, honestly just put a better bridge on the Ray4 and you’re good to go. A pickup + electronics upgrade is just secondary.
  5. SgtHulka

    SgtHulka Inactive

    Mar 29, 2019
    I've had both a Ray34 and a US MusicMan and there is no comparison. At first I was in the camp that the Ray34 would be good enough and I would be saving a bunch of money on my car insurance. So I got the Ray34. It was OK.

    Then, after I got a US MM, (and foolishly sold), I would never go back. The feel, the neck, the sound, and it set up WAY better than the Ray34. These Ray 34 prices at $899 for the HH are outlandish IMO and I'd go for a used US MM all the way before I'd get a Ray34. Buy once, cry once. It's worth the extra.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  6. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    I have not spend enough time with the EBMM Stingray 5, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sterling Ray35 in the middle "series with filter" selection. It sounds "Fenderish" with some of the typical Stingray "clank" and aggression tuned out. The top end seems sweeter and extended, and the tone is more scooped in the midrange. It's my favorite sound on this instrument. It's a baseline sound that works for everything, when I use the three-band EQ, from pop, to rock to funk to country. The typical Stingray sound has a place, but I play a Sterling Ray35 in the middle position for about 70% or more of any gig. If I were to compare it to an actual Fender sound, it would sound closest, in my opinion to an Active Jazz bass with pickups in the middle position but with more overall output, more solid low end, particular the low B string area, and throaty low mids. This lifetime "Fender guy" loves this sound and the tight responsiveness of this low B string. A great bass and setting for people who want some Fender vibe in their Stingraying.
    Yahboy likes this.