musicman owners share your knowledge

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassike, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. bassike


    Apr 24, 2008
    can anyone explain the difference between the sterling, stingray and bongo please
    the sterling and stingray look similar to me.
  2. a9zz7.gif
    LowEndLobster and RyanOh like this.
  3. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    I can understand that they both have 4 strings machine heads , knobs pickups a body & a neck :bag:
  4. bassike


    Apr 24, 2008
    ok the shape it is different no need to give me that look hehehe

    I'm just getting a strong itch to get one so I wanna knwo the diference
  5. bassike


    Apr 24, 2008
    I can understand that they both have 4 strings machine heads , knobs pickups a body & a neck

    that sounds like my wife's answer
  6. Iroquoi


    Sep 18, 2008
    stingray - ash body chrome hardware and mm pickuop in the sweet spot
    sterling - same as sting ray but with thinner neck and body and no "boomer" hardware
    bongo - basswood body, different shape and mm pickupo in a different position
    all they have options for pickups: h,hh,hs
  7. They do?


  8. the bongo has an 18 volt active system, a 4 band preamp. it also has a painted neck.
    and then theres the obvious looks, and pickup choices. the bongo has neodynium pickup magnets and the sterling has ceramic magnets.
  9. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida

    Are you by any chance related to Stevie Wonder?
  10. +1,000,000!
  11. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I guess looking at specs for each on the Ernie Ball website is a lot harder than asking a question here.

  12. Via Wiki:

    The Bongo bass guitar was introduced on March 21, 2003 at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA by Music Man, a division of Ernie Ball. Ernie Ball president Sterling Ball designed the guitar in conjunction with the Music Man Research and Development department and BMW's Designworks team. It boasts an 18-volt 4-band preamp (except on the single-pickup model, which has a 3-band preamp; single-pickup models with piezo bridges have a 4-band preamp) designed by Dudley Gimpel with help from Cliff Hugo and other Music Man artists. It also sports a sleek, carved basswood body with high-gloss polyester finish and a satin-finish painted 34" scale maple neck with rosewood fingerboard (pau ferro on lined or unlined fretless) featuring 24 high profile wide frets and crescent moon-shaped position inlays. These basses are generally known for their dual humbucking pickup configuration, as they are the first twin humbucker-equipped models released by Music Man since the introduction of their Sabre and Cutlass bass guitars in the late 1970s.

    The Bongo is available as 4, 5 and 6-string (since January 22nd, 2008) versions, fretted and fretless lined or unlined, with neodymium H (single humbucker), HS (bridge humbucker/neck single-coil) and HH (dual humbuckers) pickup configurations. A bridge with piezoelectric pickups is available on all models except left-handed and six-string versions. On all multiple-pickup models there is a blend control rather than the selection switch found on other Music Man basses (piezo models have an additional blend control for the piezo bridge).

    The pickup placement on the H model is in the "sweet spot" that is characteristic of Music Man basses. The placement on the multiple-pickup models, however, differs from all of the company's other basses. Both the bridge and neck pickups are set closer to the bridge, probably in part because of space constraints due to the Bongo's 24-fret neck.

    The combination of a relatively lightweight, resonant basswood body, neodymium pickups and 18-volt preamp give the Bongo a distinctive tonal character that is markedly different from other Music Man basses, which have none of these features.

    The Music Man Sterling is a model of bass guitar designed by the Music Man company. It was named after Sterling Ball, son of Ernie Ball, the founder of the parent company.

    This bass weighs 9 pounds, sporting a solid body made from selected hardwoods and finished in high-gloss polyester. The bridge is the traditional Music Man chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles and an optional piezo feature for acoustic upright-like tones. The standard pickguard colour is either black or white. The Sterling uses a long, 34"-scale length with a maple neck featuring rosewood or maple fingerboard (pau ferro for the fretless variant). Like the other Music Man basses, the Sterling comes with Schaller tuners. The truss rod is adjustable and the neck is bolt-on type with an asymmetrical 5-bolt neck plate. The electronics are magnetically shielded and there's a 3-way switch for coil selection as well as a 3-band active EQ with separate tone controls for treble, middle and bass.

    The Sterling differs from the famous Music Man StingRay 4-string bass in that it is lighter, smaller, has a different preamp, uses the "phantom coil" pickup technology and features a thinner neck with 22 frets than 21 actually found on the StingRay. It won 'Most Innovative Bass of 1993" in Musician Magazine. Dave LaRue (of the Steve Morse Band, The Dixie Dregs, and Bruce Hornsby) is a known user, as is Ty Boyd of the Canadian rock band the Blazing Violets. Another notable user is Johnny Christ of Avenged Sevenfold.

    The Sterling was created as a 4-string version of the highly popular StingRay 5, which also uses ceramic magnet pickups and a different preamp than the StingRay's alnico magnet pickups. New pickup configurations and 5-way pickup switching debuted in 2005. Music Man has introduced a 5-string version using the same body and pickguard styling as the original 4-string since January 22nd, 2008.


    Designed by Fender, Walker and Sterling Ball (Sterling was a beta tester for the instrument), the StingRay bass appeared in 1976 and, though physically similar to a Fender Precision Bass, was a highly innovative instrument. It employed a "soapbar" humbucking pickup and an active pre-amp powered by a 9-volt battery. The early versions had 2 band EQ (i.e., bass and treble controls), and the range was later augmented by the addition of a 3 band EQ (bass, mid and treble) model, and then piezo pickups located in the bridge became an option with the 3 band model. The StingRay's 3 band equalization system was highly innovative; making it possible to boost midrange frequencies as well as low and high, something which had not been possible on basses without active preamps. Along with its electronic advancements, the StingRay had physical attributes that set it apart from other Fender-inspired designs, such as a heavy satin finish on the back of the neck to allow players' hands to slide effortlessly up and down during play, a symmetrical egg-shaped pickguard and separate chromed "boomerang" control plate, and its distinctive "3+1" headstock (on which three tuning machines are situated on the top and one on the bottom) made it an instantly recognizable and distinguishable instrument.

    Early models have through-body stringing at the bridge, which is fitted with adjustable string mutes. Later models omit both features, except for the 30th Anniversary model of 2006, which uses the string-through-body design and features a solid mahogany body finished in a luxurious Crimson Red Transparent finish.

    Later advancements on the StingRay included a 5-string version (the StingRay 5), which has a 3-way toggle switch that allows the player to split the humbucking pickup's coils, and a unique truss-rod neck adjustment system that incorporated a Teflon washer which made it highly resistant to rust and corrosion and made adjusting the neck of a StingRay relatively easy.

    In the early 2000s a budget version of the StingRay known as the SUB was produced, featuring a textured body finish and diamond plate pickguard. This model was discontinued in 2007 due to rising production costs.

    In 2005, two-pickup versions of the StingRay (known as "HH" and "HS") were introduced, following the success of the Bongo Bass, one of Ernie Ball's latest bass designs. This dual-pickup version includes a 5-way switch, allowing the user to select different combinations of pickup coils and thus greatly increasing the diversity of available tones. The dual pickup configuration was also adopted on the StingRay 5 and the Sterling that same year.

    In recent years, Music Man has allowed OLP to produce budget versions of the StingRay 4, Stingray 5, StingRay 4 HH, and StingRay 5 HH. More marketing emphasis has been placed on these guitars since the phasing out of the S.U.B.

    StingRays are generally known for the punch of their sound, making it very suitable for rock/funk applications and excellent for slapping, and for being of extremely high build quality. The 6-bolt neckplate is an example of this. The neck is also quite wide, especially compared to that of Fender Jazz Bass-type models, as well as having the above mentioned truss-rod adjustment mechanism which means that players do not have to remove the neck to adjust the truss-rod. Some users have also noticed an audiable difference in volume between the lower three strings (E, A, D) and the highest G string, with the G string suffering from a lack of volume. This problem has not been observed in five string StingRays.
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Don't people do research on their own anymore?
  14. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Play them for yourself?
  15. bassike


    Apr 24, 2008
    Thank you for the info

    I’ll do some more research

    When I posted this I made a mistake I meant sterling and stingray

    I just wanted to know a bit more about the differences between this basses
  16. bassike


    Apr 24, 2008
    I was not looking for wise answers

    I've seen other people aking for the stupidest things and I always tried to help

    instead of being sarcastic
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well between the StingRay and Sterling in a nutshell:

    Both are ash body and while they look similar from far away, the Sterling actually has a smaller body and a skinnier neck. The StingRay has alnico magnet pickups and is available with either the 2 band or 3 band eq. The Sterling has ceramic magnet pickups with a coil switching you can run as parallel/single coil/or series, and only comes with the 3 band eq.

    Basically what it boils down to, is go to a store and try them all out. That's the only way you'll know what's right for you.
  18. hyoshim


    May 5, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I'm with you on this. As I was reading some of the replies I couldn't help but feeling kind of low, and sad, and frustrated all at the same time.
  19. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Ill agree, the TB community has really began to enter the grumpy old man phase.:scowl:

    Everyone asks their fair share of ignorant questions, even myself. If you dont want to answer, then dont answer. No one is forcing you to reply.

    The post by bassplayer22 ends the thread. It gives you everything you need, except for hands on trials.

    EDIT: Hyoshim beat me to it. IF two TB'ers are accusing one a post thats not theirs, it must be true.
  20. Thames153


    Mar 31, 2008
    I play a stingray HH and have yet disappoint myself or an audience
    i too have noticed the difference in volume between the g and the ead strings
    but i have heard that you can adjust the pickup height to fix the problem
    i love this bass and if you decide on it you will too

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