Musicman Sabre

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dmaki, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    I saw a Sabre from the late 80s at a store today and I checked it out. Played real nice, buzzed a little around the 9th fret, but other than that I thought it was pretty sweet. I've been looking for one for a while. Now, when I played it through the amp, there were dramatic volume differences between some of the 5 switch settings. Should that be expected or might there be some faulty electronics?


    PS. I don't know if it makes a difference, but it had the covered pickups, not the ones with pole pieces
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I own a late '80s Sabre, it's the coolest four-string bass I've ever owned (well, it doesn't have the vintage cool of the '64 Precision I used to own, but the Sabre was my #1 bass until I switched to fivers).

    Anyway: yep, the difference in volume between the settings is normal. The middle setting (#3) is bridge pup solo in humbucker mode, the two outside settings (#1 and #5) are neck pup solo (one in single coil mode, the other in bucker mode) and the #2 and #4 settings are bridge pup in bucker mode mixed with the neck pup in either single-coil or bucker mode.

    The Stingray 5 would also have differences in volume between the settings, but I believe the louder series setting is attenuated to match the quieter parallel and single-coil settings.
  3. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
  4. Here's a question for both Fuzzbass and bdgotoh:

    I've been playing a Stingray 5 for a few years now, but I've never gotten a handle on some of the more historical aspects of the "StingRay sound." In the original and existing four string models, where there is no coil selector switch, is the pickup operating in series or parallel mode? I tend to play my 5 in series mode (switch up, toward the tuners) when fingerstyle, and switch to parallel (switch down) for slappin'. I'm curious if the series mode is actually all that popular, but then I'm interested in the answer to the four-string question.

    I heard a guy in a music store trying out an amp with his own Sabre, and that thing really spoke! I wonder why Ernie Ball decided to make just the StingRay and its descendants? Also, any of you ever play a Cutlass (with the graphite neck)? That might be interesting...
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The MM Stingray 4 pickup is wired in parallel. I think all three settings on the Ray 5 sound awesome... if it wasn't for the narrow string spacing I would own one.

    IMO the Sabre was discontinued because EB sells plenty of Stingrays, and they get better return for their investment on the Rays than from the more expensive Sabre.

    Funny you mention: my other four-banger is a Cutlass; I bought it new in '83 or '84. That too is an excellent bass, my #1 until I got my Sabre.