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Good year of MM Stingrays?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrbaloo, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002

    I just found an ad of an used 1994 MM Stingray with 2 band EQ, maple fretboard, etc.
    Are there particular years/models of MM Stingrays I would avoid or is the 1994 model as good as all late 'rays?

  2. With any EB stingray you are gonna see consistent quality. In fact, they are one of the only basses many people, including myself, would buy without trying them first. The only time one saw a real drop in quality was 79-82 or so when it wasn't owned by EB and the quality dropped. But even these lower quality basses are highly sought after.
  3. That's funny. It always seemed to me that people though the pre-EB Stingrays were the best. Go fig.

    But it's true that I rarely, if ever, see anybody claiming that they got a bad Ray.
  4. 77' and 78' were good years for stingrays but expect to pay more for one of those than a brand new one made today. like previously stated stingrays are pretty consistant in quality so they are a safe bet. I'm sure the 94 would be a good bass if it is in good shape. I like MM's with a 3 band eq, the mid is a nice thing to have.
  5. yeah, I always thought pre-ernies were supposed to be of BETTER quality than the EB's, although the EB's aren't bad at all.
  6. EBs are of better quality. The old preamp was rebuilt something like 10 or 11 times by Leo because it kept failing in one way or another. The only reason people might like the old SRs is because they have a slightly different sound some find preferable, although honestly from the ones I have heard the difference isn't worth the price. And as I stated, the quality in the Musicman basses dropped steadily, reaching a low in and around 79-when EB bought the out (82?) that really tarnished their rep. Sterling Ball runs a tight ship at the MM factory and his expectations of quality really mean that the basses EB makes are of a much higher quality and more consistently well built. I have heard of one poorly built EB in my life, that from my instructor. But none that I have ever played, even with poor setup, have been anything but high quality.
  7. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002
    Ok. Thanks! All of your replies makes me feel more comfortable with the idea of buying an used MM Stingray.

  8. My bass teacher claims he got a bad MM, at least compared to some others he played. However, he likes it and I tried it, no problem. It's still a great bass. I guess they make good basses and the occasional great bass.
  9. I definitely agree with this statement. I've played about 20-25 'Rays and Sterlings, and they all had the same solid, well assembled feel to them, and they all had that very consistant Music Man tone. The necks were also very consistant, IMHO.

    You can't go wrong with an EB product.

  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I love my Ernie's, can't get the neck to shift if I try with the 6-bolt neck. Very solid and definately a bass for the road!
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    From an investment standpoint, at least, I've read that the Rays made while Leo was alive, with the through-body bridge, are the most desireable.

    I haven't played a Ball Ray.
  12. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002
    Ok. So all Stingrays doesn't have the strings-through-body-bridge? I have borrowed one Pre-EB MM Ray and have had it at home all the summer (not for sale though :bawl: ). That particular bass has got this string-through-body-feature...
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member


    If you've ever read "The Great Basses" by John Slog, it says,

    - "...the early models had a strings that passed through the body - a feature found on P basses made between 1951 and 1957. (The string-through body design was abandoned when the Ernie Ball company took over Music Man production in the early 80's)."
  14. The sustain difference between the through body and non is insignicicant. It never made a huge difference on the SR.
  15. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    My 79 is a fabulouse bass, I had a 96 and it was sweet but my 79 Rock's. It's got one of the nicest necks I ever played and HUGE tone to boot.
  16. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Yeah, I dont think there was ever a bad year for EB's at all.
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The difference is not sustain.

    The difference is what distinguishes a "Leo designed" instrument, its inherent collectibility and the quality associated with the designer overseeing the production of the instrument he designed.
  18. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    It's most likely going to be even better. I have a '91 and a '96 EB Stingray and I love them both. My '91 has MUCH more birdseye in the maple neck than my '96 so it's a little better looking but they both play outstanding.

    I'm actually getting another Ray next week.

    I played a brand new Ray in a music store the other day and while it played very nice, I wasn't as impressed with the feel of the neck as I am with the two I currently own. Seems to me that the neck just wasn't made from high quality maple like mine are.

    The Ray you've been borrowing is a highly sought after instrument and I'm very surprised that someone has loaned it to you. The reason being... those are the early Rays and people rarely part with them. The string-thru body style is believed to enhance sustain but the difference is most likely minimal. There's an early Ray like the one you're borrowing in traditional sunburst on Ebay now and the finish is pretty worn due to years of use but I'll bet it ends up selling for at least a grand. They typically do.
  19. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002
    My friend that borrowed me his SR doesn't play much bass (but he plays very well, though). I think this bass has been (more or less) unused for about 15 years. I'm very glad to have the opportunity to really play a SR before I buy one for myself. This has helped me alot to decide what bass to buy next.


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