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Musicman Stingray lowdowns

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    I sincerely love the Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass. I own only a chinese copy of this legendary bass, but i'd love to add a REAL one to my played collection.

    I would love to know your bad comments on this bass. I mean things you dislike of the Stingray. I have some friends who play them and here is what i collect:

    -the maple neck on the Stingray is not really stable maybe due to the lack of finish on the back of neck

    -solid colours made of cheaper woods

    -does not stay in tune very well

    -preamp compoents are cheap

    do you agree?

    do you have more?
  2. Jodaka


    Jun 28, 2001
    Riverview, FL
    i don't think i'd agree w/any of the comments...

    i've only had my stingray for about 1-1/2 years, but i have had no problems with the maple neck being unstable.

    mine is a trans color, so i don't know about being made of "cheaper" woods (although i might go with less expensive). if this is a concern, go w/a trans color.

    as for staying in tune, i don't have a problem with mine going out of tune. when i'm playing, i check the tuning between sets, and it's usually dead-on, or at least close. when i was deployed earlier this year for 4 months, i got home and it was right there - pick up & play, ymmv.

    i don't mind the preamp, and wouldn't consider those "cheap" either. i also wouldn't consider the stingray to have the best preamp on the market. i love mine stock, perhaps you'd rather switch the preamp out, if you decide to buy a stingray. again, ymmv...

  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I don't have any experience with the 4-string 'Ray, but I had a StingRay 5-string for a couple of years.

    Yup, the neck on my SR5 needed adjustment almost every week. The neck does have a wax finish, though.

    Mine was transparent (honeyburst). The body was a beautiful piece of swamp ash.

    Yup, I had that problem. Probably due to #1.

    Nope. The preamp works great. Almighty tone, but light on growl. I would've kept that bass anyway if it had the tone I was looking for.

    Hope this helps.
  4. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    These comments you've collected are ALL nonsense.

    False- I have a '91, '92, and '96 and all necks are completely stable. The '91 has a laquer finish, someone professionally stripped the finish from the '92, and my '96 has the satin finish that you find on modern Rays. One time I went to play a gig and usually play the 96 b/c the satin finish makes it easier to slide down the neck but the strings were laying real close to the fretboard b/c of strange weather conditions. Luckily I had my '91 with me and I played it b/c the weather didn't affect the neck since it's finished. This is the ONLY prob I've ever had with any Stingray neck.

    False- the "trans" colors are made w/ Ash as are some of the solid colors. I'm pretty sure that my gloss black Ray is Ash even though it's a solid color (b/c of tone and weight). Some solid colors are Poplar. EB claims to use selected hardwoods but it is usually Ash or Poplar. I've yet to pick up a Ray that didn't have excellent sustain b/c of GOOD wood.

    Lastly, the preamps always sound great and they stay in tune better than ANY bass I've ever played.

    Hope this helps clear the air about some falsehoods on Stingrays
  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I've never owned a Ray but I have owned/currently own several Sterlings. I've never had any issues with any of the necks. They stay in tune very well. I've never had the smallest problem with any of the preamps. I don't know what the "cheap" woods thing is about. There are a few alder bodies said to be in existence (which is fine) but MM uses high quality ash for nearly every body they make. Most I've owned have been solid colors just by coincidence, not a result of poor cosmetics.

    Although I have liked some MM's better than others, they are the only manufacturer I have bought several basses from without ever having been disappointed in one. Everyone makes a lemon now and then (just ask Fender):bag: but if MM has anything, it's some of the best quality control around.

    Try one out... though it make be difficult in your location.
  6. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    What Mister Flywheel says. The quality control on the EBMM basses is unbelievable. Buy one and expect greatness.
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I've owned several Stingray 5's, and haven't had a single problem with neck stability.

    I've owned transparent finishes made of ash, and solid finishes made of poplar. I actually prefer the tone of the poplar on the SR5's, more growly, though the ash is brighter IMO. These are all quality basses, and I think the criticisms you heard are way, way off base.
  8. I had a Ernie Ball Stingray 4-String and the build quality was great but the only way that I could stop buzzing on the neck was to have a lot of relief with high action. I did not like the sound (the midrange control was useless). And it was a boat anchor (about 11 or 12lbs.)Needless to say I do not own it anymore and I had to wait 3 months just to get it. I would only consider buying a vintage one(pre-ernie ball) now but they are a little over priced.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Most Stingrays weigh around 9 pounds...?

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    1.not true at all.outside of the so called custom basses,the SR has one of the most stable necks.a nicely constructed neck overall.very easy acess to the truss rod for neck adjustments and it's neck stability is one of the features that attraced me to the MM.and all three of my MM's have Maple Necks and Fingerboards.

    2.Not at all.some solid colors work best with certain woods MM uses for their bodies(Alder and Ash)

    3.I own three MM SR's two pre EB'S a 77 and 78(before they were aquired from fender and became Ernie Ball MM)and one EB SR 5 that Iv'e been playing since June of 92 the year I bought it new,and I have had no tuning problems with any of them.when tuning them they are very firm and precise.

    4.the Pre amps are some of the best and again better that some of the pre amps you may find in some more exspensive Basses

    The MM Bass is surely not for everyone but in some serious situations(live and Studio)they have come thru for me.the MM SR 5 in all honesty is one of my favorite Basses I refer to it as my utilitie Bass
  11. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I was told by Ernie Ball that 90% of their basses are made of ash, even solid color ones. I emailed them and asked that question and that was the answer I was given... that being said; my Stingray is an incredibly high quality instrument. The fretwork is great, the finish is excellent, neck joint is tight, etc. I can't find anything wrong with the workmanship on this bass. The only complaint I have is the g-string is a bit weaker than the other strings, but it's not so bad that i'll ever get rid of it.:bassist:
  12. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    I love my trans/natural/ash 4 string 'Ray... the neck is stable and it stays in tune very well. I get it setup once in the spring and once in the fall.

    As per woods, transparents are ash, and MOST solid finishes are Alder... I don't know why so many people mention Poplar... sure they used Poplar but most were Alder... --- Hence the new S.U.B. bass (they started this new line to make use of all the leftover Poplar bodies lying around cause not many orders came thru for a Stingray out of Poplar).. good way to make use of those bodies. Read their F.A.Q. or call Ernie Ball.

    Preamp, could be more versitile IMO. You need to like the 'Ray sound in order to like the preamp.. I wish it were more versitile, but am reluctant to swap it out cause I don't wanna sacrifice the 'Ray tone for more versatility.
  13. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    snip::I would love to know your bad comments on this bass. I mean things you dislike of the Stingray. I have some friends who play them and here is what i collect:

    -the maple neck on the Stingray is not really stable maybe due to the lack of finish on the back of neck

    -solid colours made of cheaper woods

    -does not stay in tune very well

    -preamp compoents are cheap::end snip::

    My response:

    1.Neck not really stable:i haven't found that to be true and i abuse it. I play bass for my school's marching band and some nights it was 95 and some nights it was 40 degrees. The neck held up and was plenty stable.

    2. As have been said above 90%+ of the MMs are Ash, my bass is cherry sunburst [translucent] and it has a nicely grained peice of ash for the boydy.

    3. Once again a comment relating to marching band; it stays in tune very well. There's been times where i've taken it from my nice warm band room at school, outside on a trailer for an hour to a place where it's chily and the tune is off maybe 5 cents from where it was when i tuned before i left.

    4. I have no clue about the actual quality of the preamp components. I think it is more than powerful enough for the bass. It is more of a set and forget thing to me in that i use the same settings for 75% of all the playing i do.

    I'm definately pro-Ray5. I may only be 17, but i've been a member here for 3+ years and have played the Ray5 well into a worn/dirty fingerboard status. True Story: a few months ago at a marching band competition some guys came up to me and asked me how old my bass was. I told them i've had it since March and they were blown away due to the amount of wear on the fingerboard. I play this bass a bunch and it takes everything i give it and asks for more.

    That's all
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I don't think this refers to cheap/inexpensive wood. Personally, I would like to see a more detailed list of woods on their website, though.

    I've owned a few of each model & I have one Sterling on the way.

    Personally, I feel that MusicMan basses are one of the best production made masses on the market. I like G&L a little better. The MM basses I've owned/played always felt & played GREAT!!!! I love the Satin finish on the neck. But the sound always left me searching for more.

    Now, I EQ my amp alot differently than I used to & I believe that this will help me like the Sterling that I'm getting a little morethat I used to. We'll see. :)
  15. I own a Stingray for 2 months now. I never experienced problems with the maple neck (mine is still Bird's eye maple, which is really beatifull). I have no complaints about the pre-amp.
    I stays in tune very well, unless you expose it to sudden changes of temerature (which is the case with every bass, but a bit more with this one)I might have to do with the fact that my bass is tuned down half a step, sometims a whole step, and sometimes normal tuning
  16. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    Thank a lot guys for all youe precious comments. Please keep in mind that i am not here to say that Stingray basses suck.

    i think that Stingray is a GREAT bass.

    just would like to know some bad esperience with this workhorse machine.

    back on the topic of unstable neck comments, i found this at the ERNIE BALL FAQ webpage:

    Q: How do I maintain the neck on my new Music Man bass?

    A: To clean the neck, use a small dose of high-grade lemon oil. If the neck is very dirty, give us a call or email us at customerservice@ernieball.com.

    Since the neck is unfinished, it is more susceptible to humidity changes. A very infrequent dose of gunstock oil will help to keep the neck maintained; we recommend Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil, but any good quality gunstock oil will work. Clean neck first. Use a small amount of Tru-oil, leave it on for 5 minutes, then wipe it off with a paper towel. Then apply Birchwood-Casey Tru-Wax. Be sure to douse the paper towel with water before disposing of it! Read the wax and oil manufacturer's instructions regarding disposal of these used paper towels.

    thay say that the neck is unfinished and so mure susceptible to humidity changes.

    do you usually use this gunstock oil on your stingray?

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    The neck on my SR5 has a very nice high gloss finish and some of the most beautifull birdseye maple I have ever seen(on the fingerboard as well)but I did notice around 93 or 94 the necks started having a satin finish on most of them.
  18. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    I'm pretty sure mine is "satin finish"... it isn't glossy, but it seems like there is something on it... unfinished, but satin-ee!! lol.

    I would agree that these necks move more than most, especially those with a maple fingerboard, but they are worth it, IMO.

    I have yet to use the gunstock oil on my neck, but one of these days I will build up the courage to do it.

    I remember reading over at the dude pit music man forums, about someone who did this to a few stingrays with great results.
  19. I live in a climate where extreme temperature, humidity and pressure changes are the norm. I own a Stingray 5 with the satin finish on the neck, and I can honestly say that it is in no way unstable. I've adjusted the truss rod twice in two years and I would consider myself very picky about my neck setup. It's certainly more stable than my Jazz....
    I don't think it's enough of an issue to worry about.
  20. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    I agree with SMASH about the mids... If I can't hear myself while jamming, I will give a bit of a mid-boost, and it helps in that sence, it gives me more cut-thu tone that I need, but to do that while playing by yourself, it doesnt seem to change the tone.. it does, but it doesnt... hard to describe.
    I had the opportunity to play a 2-band EQ model not long ago and I was way more impressed with the tone of it.. much more growly. I will still keep my 'Ray forever tho.
  21. Primary

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