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! :)

Music Man Sterling SB14BK vs. Sterling Ray34 Classic Active RW

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by anarchipur, Jul 24, 2012.


  1. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
    I see these two models in the internet shop:

    - Music Man Sterling SB14BK
    - Music Man Sterling Ray34 Classic Active RW

    In the local music shops I only found the Ray34. The DB14BK is cheaper in price and has 3 EQs while Ray 34 has only 2 EQs but is 10% more expensive

    Is there any difference in sound & quality of material between these two?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Never heard of the SB14BK, is that the new SUB model? If so it was supposed to come with the 2 band not 3. Are you in the UK? These bases won't be available until MID September here in the US.
     
  3. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
  4. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    That's the standard Sterling by MusicMan SB14 - the BK just refers to the colour black.

    It's a different bass to the Ray. It's like the MM Sterling compared to the Stingray (confusing names, having one model called Sterling then another brand called Sterling!).

    The SB14 has a slimmer neck, more Jazz-like than Precision-like, and series/parallel/single-coil switching. I've tried a couple out and really liked them.
     
  5. The SB14"BK" is just a black SB14. The SB14 has a smaller body, I think. It also has that three-way switch with a phantom coil under the main double coil humbucker. Other than that, not sure. I think the Ray 34CA has better build quality or something? Dunno. :/
     
  6. Or it could be that. :)
     
  7. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    You were right as well - except maybe the build quality thing, which I wouldn't expect from two basses in the same series from the same manufacturer. Cheaper wood on the SB14, possibly.
     
  8. OmJon

    OmJon

    Apr 5, 2011
    I lived in Indonesia, where those basses are built. The main difference between the bass are the SB14 is a sterling, while a RAY34 is a Stingray. SB14 is made from Basswood, Ray34 made from Ashwood. Ray34 when first produced using 3-band EQ, but now it seems they introduced "Classic" Ray34 which is using 2-band EQ. Sorry for my poor English.
     
  9. True. Looking at tge website, the SB14 really resembles a Sterling, especially with the smaller looking body and lack of metal control plate.
     
  10. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thank you everyone!
    I think like the Ray34 better. Its only disadvantage is that it has just 2 EQs but anyway equing can be better done on the amp. Am I right?
     
  11. Bobster

    Bobster

    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    These two are just two different models of bass, it's the same as with EBMM Stingrays and Sterlings.

    They have different features, but neither one is "better" than the other.

    They do have different sounds, the SB14 is more agressive than the Ray34, and has the 3-position switch giving it series, parallel and single coil (with phantom coil) switching.

    The SB-14 is a little easier for some folks to manage, with a thinner neck at the nut and smaller body.

    The biggest other difference between the two is body wood. The Ray34 is ash and the SB-14 is basswood. These give different tones.

    The EBMM Sterling is ash, but the EBMM Bongo is basswood and they have great tone, so I don't think that should be considered a bad thing.

    It really depends on which sort of sound you want. The Ray34 is more old-school and the SB-14 is more agressive. This is true for the Stingray and Sterling as well.

    Hope that helps to clarify it.

    Best of luck with the choice,

    Bob
     
  12. parsons

    parsons

    Feb 22, 2008
    Maryland
    And wood makes no difference anyway so buy whatever feels and sounds like what you're looking for...
     
  13. But on the SBMM site it says both have 38mm nuts. Confusion abounds...
     
  14. Bobster

    Bobster

    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Poopoutyouridea,

    There are two models of Ray34, the regular Ray34 and the Ray34CA (classic).

    The classic has a narrower nut and two-band, instead of three-band eq. A regular Ray34, like a regular Stingray (not classic) has a wider nut.

    There are actually four models of SBMM bass, Ray34, Ray35, Ray34CA, SB-14. This is very similar to EBMM who only adds a Sterling CA and SR5 CA (two-band eq) to the mix.

    Bob
     
  15. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thank you Bob, in my band we play grunge/metal guitar, bass, drums & vocals - so there is a lot of room for the bass solos & melodies; I use a pick and am looking for a sound that is similar to Tool in some songs and to System of a down in other.

    Do you guys think the sterling sound is near to that what I described or are there better alternatives for the price?
     
  16. Bobster

    Bobster

    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Well, I think the SB14 will get a little closer, but either will give a good rock tone.

    Check out this video by Ed Friedland comparing the two instruments:



    Best of luck with the choice!

    Bob
     
  17. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thank you!
     
  18. phillybass101

    phillybass101

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I saw both demoed on youtube and I like the sb14 better. Love being able to run the MM pickup in series/single coil/parallel
     
  19. anarchipur

    anarchipur

    Aug 4, 2010
    I listened to teh demo; to me the SB14 has a much more "clicky" & high-frequency sound. Ray34 sounds more classic but also more stable & harmonic, bassy, still having this "click" in the sound. I also like to adapt the sound more in the amp than on the guitar and like to have not too many switsches and knobs ;)
    So, I probably will go for the Ray34...
     
  20. Bobster

    Bobster

    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Anarchipur,

    two final points, with either, you won't hear the "clicky" so much in a band mix, and with either bass start off with the tone controls detented in the center position. From there, most folks bump the bass up a little and the mids and treble down a little. Also, the Ray34CA will sound a bit different than the standard Ray34.

    Best of luck,

    Bob
     

Share This Page