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Musicman Sabre Experts: Need help identifying year of this Sabre

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Saint, Aug 25, 2018.


  1. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Trying to figure out what year this Sabre is. Looks to me like early 1980s, but it is different from both the MusicMan and Ernie Ball versions I’ve seen or the 1979 I once owned. I’m thinking it might be one from the year Ernie Ball purchased?
    As you can see from the pictures, the logo on the headstock is MusicMan, not Ernie Ball. But the features are definitely 1980s or later, including the bridge, the controls and the fully covered pickups. It only has 2 band EQ, not 3 like some. The input is in front, not on the side. It has a 5-position switch, and I’m not sure what each does.
    Any help identifying the year and features would be greatly appreciated.
    s-l1600. s-l1600-2. s-l1600-3. s-l1600-4.
     
    armybass likes this.
  2. FenderOli

    FenderOli

    Jun 6, 2014
    Germany
    Mid 80s, early Ernie Ball, check the dates at body and neck.
    5way switch, hidden pole-pieces, string-tree position, dot at 21st fret, finish and plexi pickguard - an real early 2nd Generation EB for sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    armybass likes this.
  3. FenderOli

    FenderOli

    Jun 6, 2014
    Germany
    V2 (1986)

    1 Neck pickup, both coils
    2 Both pickups, both coils
    3 Bridge pickup, both coils (Stingray)
    4 One coil of neck pickup + both coils of bridge pickup
    5 One coil of neck pickup only

    check here:
    Musicman Sabre Club
     
  4. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks @FenderOli. I agree that it is an Ernie Ball design, but the headstock does NOT have Ernie Ball on it.
    Any thoughts on that?
     
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The earliest used up decals didnt say Ernie Ball.
    The StingRay decal was the same way for about the first year and half.

    Going by those details id say its about an 87-ish.
     
    Saint likes this.
  6. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    As with anything else, you can remove the neck to check for a date. And the pots would have date codes as well.
     
  7. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks @Caca de Kick. I thought about taking off the neck, but it’s really screwed on nicely now and not sure I want to upset that particular apple cart.
     
    armybass and P. Aaron like this.
  8. FenderOli

    FenderOli

    Jun 6, 2014
    Germany
    Yes, the same logo on early ones.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  9. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    Australia
    IMO late 1984 to 1985. String retainer on A&D strings with the original Pre-EB Sabre logo on the headstock: MUSICMAN followed with "TM".

    Next generation logo in 1985 is MUSICMAN followed by an encircled "R". Next again, and still in 1985, is "Ernie Ball" appearing on top of MUSICMAN.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    Saint likes this.
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Very cool bass. Congrats on your score there.
     
  11. ProgressiveDoom

    ProgressiveDoom

    Mar 31, 2017
    Canada
    OH NO!, whats happening to those bridge saddles?, is the bridge alignment out?. Cool looking bass though.
     
  12. liverbird

    liverbird

    Mar 22, 2003
    You'd probably have to check for body and neck dates to be sure. The pot codes are only of limited use as it's not uncommon for them to be from different years, especially when older parts were being used up. For example, I have a 1989 StingRay with pots dated 1979, 1983 and 1988.

    Do run the serial number by EBMM Customer Service but it could well be too early for the database.
     
  13. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks everyone. This is a very different animal than the 1979 Sabre I sold 15 years ago to help finance my homemade/Warmoth/Moses take on the Cutlass. While I think the tonal options are a bit more limited than the 1979, the tones that are there all sound more useable than what I was getting from the 1979. Haven't tried recording with it yet, and to me, that's where the rubber will meet the road.
     

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