Differences between SUB series Ray4 and SB4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gip111, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. gip111


    Nov 13, 2012
    I'm not sure if this has been already posted...
    While killing some time at GC today I tried both the SUB SB4 AND SUB Ray4, $279 and $299.
    First thing I noticed was the weight, the SB4 was noticeable lighter in weight which I really liked but it seemed to be a bit lighter in sound as well, where the Ray4 was slightly louder and punchier which I don't get since everything I read about them claim to have the same electronics. The GC staff seemed clueless about this.
    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  2. Wondering this same thing!
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    As far as I know the only difference is the body shape and overall size and the location of the jack.

    The electronics, all though apparently the same, may be wired differently in each. I don't know.

    I'd be very surprised if any GC employee anywhere in the country knew the difference.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
    el_Bajo_Verde and orangejulius3 like this.
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Also could be the pickup height was different on the Ray 4 and SB4 . That would definitely affect the volume. Of course you can always adjust it.
    orangejulius3 likes this.
  5. orangejulius3

    orangejulius3 Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    La Habra CA
    Gorn Captain pretty much nailed it.

    Slimmer body, top horn is different, slimmer nut at the neck, light weight overall, different pick guard, no plate for knobs.

    I have the bigger brother of the SB4.
    I have a EBMM Sterling 4H.
    The difference between these:
    SB4 is a lot lighter
    SB4 does not have the 3 way switch
    SB4 bridge is bigger
  6. Bob-I


    Sep 12, 2014
    $20...what do I win? ;)

    I really like th playability of these basses, both of them, but I'm concerned that I won't be able to get that deep Pbass type tone from a single bridge humbucker. They alway seems kinda thin especially in the upper registers.

  7. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    A proper setup and good strings will get you great tone all over the fretboard. The stock strings are crap.

    But if you're after a pbass tone from the Ray, it ain't gonna happen. Two different beasts.
  8. gip111


    Nov 13, 2012
    I did try more than one of each, there were actually two Ray4's and two SB4's, in both cases the tone was consistently different Both Ray4's were slightly louder with more defined lows and highs where the SB4's concentrated more on the mids.
  9. Bob-I


    Sep 12, 2014
    Funny, I can't find the SB4 on the Sterling site, yet I too saw them at GC. :banghead:
  10. Picked up a Ray4 used on CL for $200! Man, what a deal! plays great! Sounds pretty good too, my first MM type bass so still experimenting with the electronics....
  11. Alfisti

    Alfisti Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2016
    New member here.

    I know this is an old thread - but interestingly, I held both the Ray4 and the SB4 in my hands today at the same time, and the smaller, more compact SB4 was definitely SIGNIFICANTLY heavier. Which is odd, because that's the opposite of what was commented above.

    The Ray4 had a rosewood fingerboard, and the SB4 had a maple fingerboard. You wouldn't think that would make a noticeable difference, though. I even had one of the guys in the store compare and he agreed - the SB4 felt heavier.

    Why would this be?!?
  12. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I believe the wood used for the body, which is a tropical hardwood called Jabon, can vary significantly in weight.