Music Man SUB 4 VS Sterling BY MM SUB Ray 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BamaBird, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Im --- "looking" ----- I have played a NEW SUB4 mint green beastie at Guitar center--- and I played a slightly older Music Man SUB and --- well

    what gives-----?? (Obviously outside of country of origin and the nicer bridge/tuners) the "feels" and the tones --- for the 300.00 new vs 800.00 used price points......were IMHO not 500.00 worthy ---

    Any experience out there on these two together ?

    good candied yam recipes?

    Should I just order the new minty Sterling? and upgrade the "SUB" par (sorry had to) bits in future?
    OR should I save my pennies and get a Music Man SUB down the road?

    ANy input appreciated
  2. sears

    sears Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    Wow, the USA SUB is $800 used?
    MCF likes this.
  3. yes............(im not saying WHERE till I learn if this is a GOOD thing or not) ;)
    Tommy V likes this.
  4. KEEP in mind I own (very nice) USA Peaveys -- from the 70's and 80's that cost --- VERY LITTLE coin -- -HALF of that HIGH 800.00 figure (to me anyway) they are my pricing radar is off-- is 800 GOOD for a USA MM ?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  5. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Yikes...that's expensive for a US Musicman SUB- I see them for $600 or less where I live.
    I own a passive US Musicman SUB, a Sterling Ray34 (in my user pic) and have owned four Sterling SUB 4s (no longer). I also own an inexpensive US made Peavey Fury that I agree with you, is excellent so I know where you're coming from.
    Well, keeping your experience with US Peavey basses in mind then no question, the quality of the US Musicman SUB is better - you can literally feel (rounded fretboard) and hear it (again, I have the passive, but I have tried the active version). If you prefer a thinner neck, you can either go with a Sterling Ray24 (or the older Ray34CA) or some of the Ray34 models have thinner necks. Important to note-the "new" Sterling Ray24 which replaces the Ray34CA or classic now uses a Sterling designed ceramic pickups rather than one based on the Musicman's Alnico so the price of one is a little cheaper than it used to be, the pickups on the Sterling Ray4 SUB series are also Sterling designed ceramic ones so neither of these Sterling models are going to sound as "authentic" as the US Rays as the Sterling Ray34 (closer in design to the MM, with the Alnicos). That being said, really they're all good basses in their own ways, the Sterling SUB is a terrific bass for the price and a good option if you want to save a little more money. if you can, I would recommend paying that little bit more for a Sterling Ray34 (or if you can find a Ray34CA) and you'd have the best possible Ray that's not branded Musicman. To be honest, I'd be perfectly happy with the Sterling Ray34 if I didn't already own a MM SUB. You do notice a difference between the Ray34 and Ray4 SUB Series, there's less of a price difference and imo, a more realistic justification for paying a little bit more.

    The US Musicman SUB IS every bit a Musicman Stingray Classic as it has the 2 band EQ. The finish is where the company cut corners to meet the lower price range of these, but it is a true Musicman Ray.
    For reference, the cheapest Ray I own or have owned is the US made Musicman SUB, I bought it for $160. :)

    If I had to compare them to the Fender hierarchy, roughly it would go like this.

    US Fender = US Musicman Ray - or with cheaper finish US Musicman SUB
    Squier CV =Sterling Ray34 or the now discontinued Ray34CA.
    Squier VM =Sterling Ray24
    Squier Affinity=Sterling Ray4 SUB Series

    3 of the 4 Sterling SUBs I used to own.

    US Musicman SUB - passive (with after-market pickguard) and a Sterling Ray34.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    yodedude2, Hank Scorpio and BamaBird like this.
  6. DUDE---- that is EXACTLY the information I was looking for ---thank you ---
    I have a T-40 Peavey (which is very MM like in shape) and has a "mimic like" tonal ability to sound like other basses "somewhat" -- not exact--and Peavey Dyna Unity Neck trough (way better than the $ spent for THAT one!) basic P/J set up-- so the MM is a flavor of a different vein ----sorta
    the G3 Gibson is a tone unto itself and the Active Dean Demonator is well--- just off the chain--
    I have many -- but no MM--- TBTH the MM series ET ALL never caught my eye till I saw this at GC last weekend.
    spent over an hour noodling around on it through EVERY amp under 60 watts I could find at the GC ( I was there to test amps---) I now have NO INTEREST in another amp -- but am in LOVE with the MM SUB ...........ugh
    Tommy V and klaymaster like this.
  7. Can you just see the above guitar --- with a HAWAIIAN SHIRT themed pick guard????-- no -- before you ask-- Im "not" right
    Tommy V, n1as and Maxdusty like this.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    No way I'm paying $800 for a US MM SUB. You can find real Stingrays for that much.
    TerenceE, Saetia, murmur70 and 7 others like this.
  9. _One//Man//Mutiny_

    _One//Man//Mutiny_ Gold Supporting Member

    I liked my USA sub, I paid $500 for it which is a fair price realistically, the new subs are sweet for the money and I think that price difference is fair between the two. That being said the HH subs they just came out with absolutely blow the doors off of a usa sub. I liked playing the one in the store so much that I'm honestly probably going to swap out my USA Sterling for one of those, it was that good and the necks are more similar to a Sterling on the newer subs, like a jazz bass profile, while the older USA subs have a p bass shape as stingrays do. $800 is way too high, at that price point I would get the HH I mentioned.
    Maxdusty likes this.
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I would recommend or make sure you're getting the most recent Sterling Ray 4 SUB Series instead of the first version of the SUB basses with the big "SUB" on the headstock. There was a hot preamp issue faced by some that was corrected with the latest version and a few other minor improvements. You can get it in the same finish and for the same price. Here's the new version (note the difference in the headstock-it just says Sterling Stingray with "Sub series" in small text under the brand name)

  11. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    oh man, don't do this....don't give me GAS. lol
    BamaBird likes this.
  12. _One//Man//Mutiny_

    _One//Man//Mutiny_ Gold Supporting Member

    I'm doing it!
  13. The Sterlings Im looking at are BRAND new yes--liek the one pictured above
    Maxdusty likes this.
  14. Tommy V likes this.
  15. Sam Ash---ZZounds and AMazon have the "sterling" version GC has the SUB version-- HA subversion BUWAHAHAHAH
    Oleran likes this.
  16. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Okay, my take on the $300 unit:

    I loved it when I first got it but the stock pup was Le Dogge Peaux and I had to replace it immediately. Next, the preamp went bad, but was replaced for free by Sterling.

    I dug it and was a fan for a while, but it started feeling cheap to me...almost like the body was a cheap, tone-killing plywood. It felt this way with new strings and old. Still love the Stingray tone, but eventually sold it after I found a single H MTD locally.

    It was okay for it's price point, but if you can afford better quality then you should go that route.
    Pet Sounds and BamaBird like this.
  17. WOULD the 500-700.00 USA unit be "better quality?" and worth the wait then?
  18. Jscriv


    Feb 3, 2017
    Tonawanda NY
    600 is more of an avg price. Hell, I got a sterling us SUB in teal for 600
  19. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I would say for some, the Sterling Ray4 SUB series is good enough to satisfy that Ray-style bass in their arsenal. It's a good bass for the money and really nothing wrong with staying with it. However, if you find yourself really liking that sound and maybe want to consider something closer to that true Ray sound and feel, there's always the option to try the Sterling Ray34, the US Musicman SUBs and then the US Musicman Rays. The key word is "try" - let your hands and ears decide where on this Stingray train you want to go. The Ray isn't for everyone.

    I would highly recommend buying something used if you can though - try it and see if it's something you like and want to keep, move up or go with another bass altogether. If you buy used, you can always resell it later without losing any money, just make sure you buy it at the going rate. The US SUB you mentioned seems a little on the high side.
    I love Stingray basses, but perhaps not enough to invest more of my money into it so what I have now, the US SUB and the Sterling Ray34 are good enough for me and for the time being, happy with them. I'm starting to get into G&L basses so at this point, would rather get a US G&L than I would getting another Ray at this time.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  20. USA SUB, no question.
    But keep looking, $800 is a little steep. The bass is worth it, but you will find those for a lot less.