Music Man duel. Stingray Vs. Sterling.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peatroosio, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Peatroosio


    Apr 24, 2000
    I've been looking in to buying a musicman later this fall. I was pretty intent on getting the stingray, but recently the sterling has caught my eye. I have actually never played either of he instuments (and I don't plan to buy until I've tried both) the onlydifferee that I can tell is that the sterlinghas a differentbody design, is a tad lighter, and has the switchable humbucker w/ phantom coil (like the SR5), and yet the Stingray is more popular. They appear to be in approximately the same price range. If you've played both, pleas tell me (and eveybody else that's looking at an MM) whic you prefer, and why. Responding wit your advice is really cool. REALLY.
  2. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    um i have a stingray and went through pretty much the same situation as you a few years ago. What it came down to me was the neck. What was told to me by the dealer was the neck on stingrays is more simliar to a p-bass and a sterling neck is more like a jazz neck. I like big fat necks, so i got the stingray. I like the body shape of the stingray a little more and all i play is rock, hard rock, and harder rock. The pickup just cuts through so well, not that the sterling didnt. Your a winner on both, it just came down to the neck shape for me
  3. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I bought a '95 Stingray off of TB a few months ago and just got a Sterling last week. I'm in a band that gigs quite a bit and uses two different tunings, so I will use them both. Been very pleased with the 'Ray, fat tone, its even all over the fretboard, no dead spots. It cuts through clearly, great neck, easy to play. I haven't had the chance to play both in the same night but I will this weekend, so I'll post again with a review.

    What hyperlitem said: You won't be disappointed with either, IMO.
  4. Basho

    Basho Guest

    For me it's Sterling. I like my basses small and sexy.:D However, either way I would get one with a piezo bridge. I prefer the versatility of the Sterling as well.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The P-Bass / Jazz comparison is pretty much spot on.

    Just to confuse you a little, Music Man have released SUB which is cheaper than both the Stingray and the Sterling and comes in both Active and Passive models. I'm busting to try the active one.

    I'm also busting to try some of the pick-up variations on MM Bongo. I'm not crash hot on the shape, but the stock MM pickup is a beauty, so am very curious to see how it a bass sounds with 2 of them.
  6. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Stingray-Bigger neck, fatter sound
    Sterling-Thinner neck, more Jazz bass sound
    Has 3-way switch, as on 5-string.
    More tone.
  7. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i like the sterling myself...
    and ill be getting one soon

  8. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I've owned both and, with the exception of the Ster having a toggle switch, IMO, they sounded exactly the same for the most part. BOth gutsy, ballsy with a lot of wallop. No other way to describe MM but wallop. I think it really boils down to the larger neck and body profile and string spacing preferences. Either one is a great bass.
  9. Peatroosio


    Apr 24, 2000
    Whichever I decide to get, there's still the question of the piezo pickups. What kind of tone do they make? and is there really that much extra tonal flexibility with them? Also, Does one of the pickup configurations on the sterling have the same tone as the humbucker on a Stingray?
  10. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    They're an optional extra. I decided against them. They give you more bite and sizzle in the top end, helping you cut through. I thought the bass was bright enough without them. If anyone has bridge piezo's on their bass, fill us in.......

    Apparently it's so similar, there's often arguement as wether the Stingray 5 is really a 5 string Sterling.
  11. Y'know, I wonder how a fretless, passive S.U.B. would sound...:D
  12. i vote for my STERLING...the perfect neck size!!!:bassist:
  13. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    5 string stingrays are really 5 string sterlings...;)

  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yes. But with a stingray neck and body.
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Nope. The SR5 has the thinner Sterling neck and a Stingray body
  16. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Not My Stingray 5. There's nothing thin about the neck at all.

    I start work soon for the Australian Distributor of MM. I'll find out once and for all soon.
  17. the sterling is actually a 4 string version of the stingray 5 :)

    the ray 5 came first..

    so let it be written, so let it be done.

  18. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Well to my hands it's alot thinner than any of the Fender jazz 5ers and especially the Roscoe Beck 5. Man that thing is like a skateboard with strings on it.
  19. maybe petebass is talking about girth.. from front to back as opposed to string spacing type thickness..
  20. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I've had a Sterling for years, and if I had it to do over again, I would go with the Ray. Although the slim Sterling neck is seductive, even with my small hands, its really too thin...promotes hand fatigue. I can play my Modulus Q5 for hours with less fatigue (its neck is just a tad wider than the Ray 5). As for electronics, although the Sterling has the versatility, its still only a slight variation on the MM sound. The Ray I think has a deeper sound. The pickups are different.

    It has been my observation that the MM sound we all hear and love from the pros is coming from a Ray and not a Sterling (yes, I know there are exceptions).

    Forget the piezo. I had one. Brittle highs and uncontrollable lows. Band always freaked when I dialed it in during gigs because it would boom too much. Cool toy, but not very usable. It also drained the battery quickly.