'Martin' Stinger SBL-10 Bass: Any opinions? Anyone know what the body is made of?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doctor Hugocat, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. A singer I work with just gave me an old bass that he's had in his apartment for at least 10 years. It's a Stinger P/J in black with rosewood fretboard. It needs a tuner, a saddle screw and a jack plate.

    I know these aren't highly though of, so since it doesn't seem like I'll be destroying a great bass I thought I'd use it to do some fun mods. I'd really like to strip the body and have it natural, but before I wade in, can anyone tell me what the body's made of and what it's likely to look like stripped?:confused:

    I'll be putting in a set of inexpensive but decent (hopefully) pickups, changing the electronics etc. The idea is to have something decent for a low price to take around smaller gigs.

    Any help appreciated! Thanks. :bassist:
  2. I recently sold my Stinger SBL-10 after 20 plus years. I liked mine. Nice maple neck. These were imported by Martin (yes that Martin). Made in Korea in the late 1980's. Very hot pups, super beefy bridge. My action was set a tad high but I am an aggressive finger style player. Heavy. I am guessing that mine was ash but I do not know as it was painted. Mine is on sale at guitar center for $224 right now. I bought it new in 1989 and doubt I paid much more than that for it.

    Bottom line is that it is a decent bass and comparable to decent MIK basses from that period. Heavier than a Dean and IMO better built than Fender MIK's. My only complaint was that I did not like the color of mine (butter cream) but that has nothing to do with the quality of the bass. It is an adequate workhorse and a good deal for the $200.00 range of used basses.
  3. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    I worked on the Strat guitar version. It was an extremely heavy guitar, made of plywood.
  4. Thanks Psychbunny!

    I'm stripping it because I'm not keen on the black color....though I think I'll keep the black headstock, it looks cool.

    If the body doesn't look good 'natural' I can always paint it again!:D

    The general fit and quality of the bass seems good: the necks and frets are VERY nicely made and finished.
  5. Cool, thanks......maybe I'll strip and re-paint it then.....
  6. G&LL2000


    Jan 18, 2015
    SK Canada
    I just found one, I think exactly like the one you had Psychbunny, maple neck, cream color and all. Not sure of the exact year...might find that when split neck and body. Hard to find much info on them as far as body wood is concerned, actually none at all. I am also refinishing it and all, same as DH. Ash would be a good guess...I am very curious as well. When stripped, should be able to match up some grains.
  7. I just saw this thread by chance, it's been a while since I last updated it. I stripped my Stinger and it's plywood. I'm repainting it (did it yesterday as a matter of fact) but if you're stripping it for a natural finish, you may want to think again. You'll see it's plywood if you look inside the rear cover. Maybe yours isn't: they may have changed specs during production.

    I love the neck on mine, and the bridge is nicely made as well: I can't comment on the sound as it wasn't in playing condition when I got it. The pots were very flimsy though as was the PUP switch. Keep us updated! :bassist:
  8. G&LL2000


    Jan 18, 2015
    SK Canada
    Well I found this bass and thought it would be cool to buy for nostalgic reasons due to the fact I never new Martin made basses. I checked it out online and seen they only built this type of bass for a couple years, like Psych had stated.

    I have never redone or built a bass before so this will be a learning experience. I cant tell if it is plywood under the cover because it is painted in there. My thoughts are a little 50/50 on spending a boat load of money and time refinishing and putting all new electronics and hardware on a plywood bass. But reading other threads of guys that have played plywood basses, they arent supposed to sound bad. I would be painting it so you would never know it was plywood....so what the hell, it will be fun and I like doing this kind of stuff.

    I do gotta agree the neck is FANTASTIC!!! The bridge is kinda flimsy to me but I am also used to the G&L beefy bridge. And yes PUP switch is wore out and the pots suck. So with all this in mind, it will be a very upgraded, custom color, Martin SBL-10 Stinger bass.

    I will post a few pics along the way.:thumbsup:
  9. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    Wow, someone else actually has one of these. I have a black one as well, maple neck, rosewood board. Mine doesn't have a matching headstock. This was my first bass. Bought it used in college from someone selling off things for rent. I think it is a great little bass. The neck on mine feels more like a jazz neck. I think it is great playing bass. I was really interested in 5'ers at the time so I bought another bass. I still pull the old Stinger out every now and then, but it hasn't seen a gig in 10 years or more. I can't dog it too much as it was my first bass and I'm still playing many years later.
  10. G&LL2000


    Jan 18, 2015
    SK Canada
    lol...yup this is gonna be interesting...
  11. G&LL2000


    Jan 18, 2015
    SK Canada
    Well after emailing and getting a reply from Martin Guitars, according to their records, the body is made of laminated mahogany. Well I thought what the heck...lets do this. So I stripped it and sure enough it is laminated mahogany with a maple top and back. It is all sanded smooth as a baby's bum and ready for the first coat of sanding sealer. If it weren't for a couple of deeper dings in the mahogany, I think I would keep it natural...I think it actually looks good. Well here it is. e255be3e-e3ec-43c6-b2c7-e7dffd1dde5f.
  12. nicalicious


    Mar 2, 2014
    Just saw this thread. I bought a P-J version on eBay a few years back as backup for my '70 P-bass. Cream body, rosewood neck. The PUPs are hot, pots in good shape. I'd say the overall quality is good. In would have no issue playing it on a gig.