1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Got my new Sterling! (short review)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jsonnenblick, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. Hi. I got my new (OK, used -- but mint!) MM Sterling yesterday. It's a 2000 model with the gorgeous orange-sunburst finish (sorry, no jpeg) and a rosewood board.

    Anyway, I spent an hour or so with it last night, and decided it's basically a cross between a Fender American J and a Stingray 5, which I'd figured it would hopefully be. I own a J and a 5-string G&L "Stingray", the L-1505 model. The Sterling is more commanding than the J, but much less in-your-face than the G&L.

    To get a real-close-to-J sound, I rolled off some bass and boosted the treble. To get a fairly-close Stingray thing going, I boosted both bass and treble, the bass about 1/2 way up from the detent, and the treble dimed. It's still more mannerly and contained than the super-gonzo G&L, but it definitely gets you into the "Ray" ballpark.

    So I'm in happy-happy-land. AND I LOVE THE UBER-COMFY J-style neck.

    One slight complaint: moving the mids either way from the center detent is basically useless, IMO. Cutting mids causes a drastic volume drop very quickly, and boosting mids sounds extremely artificial very quickly. Anyone else notice this?

    Happy thumpin',
  2. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    congrats on your new bass!! Hopefully the Sterling will give you more "happy happyness" in your "happy happy land" :D
  3. Congrats Jason!

    I got to play on a MM Stingray last weekend and liked the look,feel,and sound of it...but the neck was a wee bit too "chunky" for me.I have always wondered how the MM Sterling would feel....

    Gonna keep hunting till I find on to expeariment on.
  4. Congratulations Jsonnen. You know we treat new arrivals here as though they were newborn babies.
    That was a pretty good and descriptive review you gave too.

    As far as that midrange falloff goes, I have an active Ibanez that doesn't respond like that, but,
    I recently bought an Epi Jack Casady, which has a
    passive pickup that does the same thing at the amp.

    If I turn the midrange all the way down on my amp, the Casady produces a woody, mellow almost acoustic type sound, but, there's a noticeable drop
    in volume. As I add back midrange, the tone changes to more of a conventional electric bass, and the volume increases the equivalent of two numbers on the volume control.(like going from 3 to 5) I know it's got a special low impedence humbucker in it, but it's the most responsive passive
    bass I've ever heard. Getting back to the Ibanez, if
    I put the midrange on the bass up past 3 or so, the
    sound does tend to get artificial as you've said. I
    guess that's the one drawback of active electronics. I know my Ibanez has a boost/cut type
    circuit, maybe your's is different.

    Just my pair o'pennies.

    Enjoy it !

    Mike J.
  5. The Sterling has the same neck as the Stingray. I've found it to be pretty comfortable, but the fretwork was TERRIBLE. It was like playing a saw. Other than the frets, it was a great bass.
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I spent some time earlier today playing a Sterling. Nice neck (beautiful birdseye maple), and... nice neck... and it had a nice neck, too.

    Sorry, but that was all the positive things I could say about it. For the price you are forced to pay here (~$1800) it's simply not worth it.

    IMHO, YMMV, TEHO, etc etc...

    (One addition, though: I played 6 basses and liked none, so the Sterling wasn't the only one...)
  7. (Insert loud buzzing sound here)

    WRONG!! But, thanks for playing. :)

    The Sterling neck is NOT like the StingRay neck. It's much narrower at the nut, with a Fender Jazz profile (1 1/2" at nut), as opposed to the wider Fender Precision feel of the 4 string 'Ray (1 5/8" at nut).

    Further, I've played dozens of EB basses (I work at Bass Central, according to EB, we're the #1 retailer of their basses, world-wide), never noticed poor fretwork on any of them, and I'm MIGHTY picky about that stuff (happens when you're playing stuff from Fodera, Lakland, Roscoe, F Bass, Spector, Alembic, MTD, etc all the time :D). They're not for me, but if you dig that tone, they're wonderful basses.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Ahhh, so they put you on the payroll, eh?

    Between that and your gig, you really are employed nowadays, aren't you?!?;)

    At least the wife can't accuse you of not working!

    Is Beaver a down to earth guy? He sounds kinda rude over the phone.
  9. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I bought my Geddy Lee Jazz from Beaver a little over a year ago. He was great to deal with, very nice and personable.
  10. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Beaver's a great guy. I also work there now, sort of. He's not rude; and if he comes off that way, he doesn't mean too. He's just REALLY busy. Its really a 3 man operation there, and with 200+'s emails a day plus upwards of 300 calls a day is alot of strain. Keep in mind this is everyday, and this is not dealing with customers, which oddly enough are streaming in now, so they have to run the phones, do email and be with customers, and its all quite hard, and it gets quite hectic, let me assure you.

    So in conclusion of all this rambling, Beaver is a great guy :)

    Oh, and to be semi on topic, I too like the Sterlings and Stingrays, but the 1 pickup bothers me, I need two pickups. I own a flea bass, which I'm sort of sorry I spent money on when I could've got a Sterling for cheaper, but I've discovered Wals, Roscoes and Zons *drool* :)

    So, yea, Sterlings are great.
  11. halfnote


    Feb 1, 2001
    I love my sterling. I may buy more basses but I'll always keep this one.
  12. Yeah, everything DRC/Neal said is dead on. Beaver is a real down-to-earth guy, and if he has the time, he'll talk your ear off. Trust me he's made me late for dinner more times than I can count on my fingers and toes over the years! :D
  13. I've played a lot of MM's, and I've never played one with bad fretwork (or even a bad setup for that matter.. though that is a credit to the store's I've been in).. my MM doesn't have bad fretwork either.. of course it has no frets. :)
  14. Actually, we can't take any credit for the setup on our MM's at Bass Central, we take them out of the case and hang them on the wall (unless it's one we sell without ever taking out of the case). They are setup like that from the factory. :)

Share This Page