Musicman Sabre?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Irie01, May 6, 2002.

  1. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    I am interested in getting a Musicman Sabre. I was wondering if anyone can help me find out where to find one? I would appreciate it a lot.
  2. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    Ebay will be your best bet. I used to own one, nice little basses.

  3. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    If you're near a Borders Books or Barnes & Noble or a similar bookstore, go in and browse through an issue of Vintage Guitar . You should find a few in there.


  4. Sorry if i am making myself sound stupid but airnt sabres 6 string guitars..not basses?

    If i am wrong and ideas what that is?:confused: :confused:
  5. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Nope, Sabres are brothers to the Stingray and the Sterling. The Sabre was a pretty much a two pup version of a 'Ray. The stopped production of the Sabre some time ago. I believe the six string in question is MMs Silhouette model.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The Sabre was a two pickup 4-string bass made by MusicMan. Production was discontinued in the early 90's for some inexplicable reason: I think it's a fantastic bass. It doesn't quite nail the Stingray tone perfectly, but with a 2nd pickup and active EQ it produces a very nice variety of MusicMan tones, equal in quality to the Stingray IMO but just a bit different. I still own one and if it had 5 strings it might be my #1 bass.

    Below is the only picture I have right now of mine (gonna take better ones soon); it's an EB Sabre from '89 or so. The neck is beautifully figured: sort of quilty with birdseyes. The original chrome bridge (with mutes, identical to the Stingray) was replaced with a Ken Smith. I also removed the satin black pickguard because IMO the bass looks much better without it... a lot like a P-bass in fact.
  7. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    That bridge you put on there is a bit of an eyesore...Why did you change it?
  8. A long time ago, Music Man made a bass called the Sabre. And it was a lot like its brother, the Stingray, only with two pickups. For some reason few people bought Sabres, even though they looked neat and sounded alright - or so I've been told - so they dissapeared from the assembly line. But now, many, many years after the mysterious disappearance of the Sabre, rumours are about that Ernie Ball will start making Sterlings with two pickups in them. Some people see that as the return of the Sabre. Will it be a hit this time?
    You'll never know.
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I wanted one for a long, long time. Everytime I played one, I'd bring my L-2000 (it's granddaughter, I guess) to compare it to. The Sabre's I played had the same layout as the L-2000 so I was very fimiliar with the bass.

    I think I tried about 6-7 different ones. None of them had "it". The output was VERY LOW. It almost sounded passive. If the store had any other MusicMan's (Vintage 70's & newer Rays), I'd compare them as well & I concluded (IMO & IME) that the Sabre was discontinuded for a reason.

    I'd recomend a G&L L-2000.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    It's a Ken Smith; I love his bridges for the quick-release feature.

    I knew the black Smith bridge wouldn't match the chrome hardware, but it was the only one in stock locally, and at the time I installed it the Sabre was already well into the "beater" stage (the dings and dents don't display well in that photo) so I was well past the point of caring about appearance. Even so, I think the bass has great mojo. :)

    I still have the original bridge in my box'o'parts. Maybe I'll slap it back on seeing as how I don't play my fours often enough to change strings on 'em frequently.
  11. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Agreed. I once considered a Sabre. Since I've been a StingRay owner, I was very disappointed by the tone. I double your opinion on its "almost passive" sounding. IMVHO, and for what I could hear, StingRay's are far better than Sabre's.

    All the best,
  12. TheLarch

    TheLarch Supporting Member

    I have to also agree with Nino-Brown and jaylanB with respect to their comments on the Sabre and second Nino-Brown's recommendation to go for a G&L L2000 over the Sabre.

    I was all set, cash in hand, to purchase 1 of the 2 Sabres that were at my favourite local vintage guitar store, 30th Street Guitars in NYC. It was only a matter of deciding which would be the one.

    Then I decided to a/b them with the used G&L L2000's that 30th Street had in stock. After much, much A/B'ing (and torturing of the very gracious and patient staff) I opted to go with a 1982 G&L L2000e which had much better feel, tone and output. The G&L was also significantly less expensive.

    From an aesthetic standpoint, the Sabres are more handsome than my old-skool G&L; however, they were vastly inferior in terms of tone and output and tone is THE BOTTOM LINE!

    You should definitely take the time to road-test the G&L L2000. You are likely to end up with a better-sounding bass for less of a dent in your wallet.
  13. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Yeah, I haven't been knocked out by the 2 Sabres I've played. The pre-EB one I tried had a selection of several unusably woolly sounds with very little definition and none of the full-bodied bite of my '92 StingRay. Maybe something was wrong with the pickups or electronics but this was not reflected in the $800 price. Plus, this ash-bodied freak was one of the absolute heaviest basses I've ever tried.

    The other one I played was an EB for $950 that sounded clearer but did not even begin to approach the quality of tone of the Sterlings and SR 4/5's hanging next to it in the store. The L-2000's I've tried definitely smoke the Saber. That said, I believe the Dead Milkmen's bassist used a Saber on "Big Lizard in My Back Yard" and got a lot of great tones from it.
  14. Carrillo


    Mar 29, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I wander why Musicman always name their models starting with the letter S?

    Stingrat (hehe)
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Cutlass starts with a C.;)
  16. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    But what if I switched the pickups with GL's and still had that musicman look. than I get the better sound and the better look.what do you think, I am thinking about doing it.
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    You could always customize a MusicMan style pickguard & put it on an L-2000. :D
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I never noticed the difference in output between my Cutlass and my Sabre, most likely because my basses went first into an Alembic F2B tube preamp which has more than enough gain for any instrument.

    Tone is subjective. The Sabre doesn't do the Stingray sound as well as the Stingray, but it does some things better: reggae for example.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    This store usaully has at least three in stock Chicago Music Exchange at 773-477-0830