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Musicman Stingray or Sterling?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brianeal1, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. brianeal1


    Apr 5, 2006
    Does anyone have any good advice/experience w/ these basses? I want to get one but what is the major advantages/disadvatages? Like does the pup switch on the sterling make a huge difference, and playability, mainly going to be used for dropd tuning hard rock. Thanks
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Stingray:precision Bass::Sterling:Jazz

    Sterlings have thinner necks and more pickup options, except with the new dual pickup instruments.

    For me, hard rock has been GREAT with a Stingray, though I haven't experienced it much with a Sterling.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Things to consider :

    Size: The Stingray body and neck is larger. If you have smaller hands, it would be wise to go with the Sterling.

    Sound: The Sterling will be more versatile. For me, personally, it makes a huge difference. I use the series setting, which is not available on a Stingray, therefore the tone i like would not be possible on a stingray.
  4. There are those who believe that the true Stingray sound cannot be achieved by a Sterling regardless of the switch setting. Include me in that group - that's why I went with the Stingray.

    They're both great basses, and neither of them really have any disadvantages per se. Best thing would be to line them up side by side and have at it!
  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    play one or a few of each. me... i prefer sterlings for their smaller body size and narrower necks and i am 6'3 with large hands. i have never been able to distinguish a significant audible difference between the two except when the sterling is switched into a different mode. concerning quality, they are of equal caliber. neither is better. it all boils down to feature and design preferences.
  6. There you have it.

    I've owned a Sterling for the past 7 or so years and play everything from jazz standards, to hardcore punk-rock with it. The Sterling simply has the versatility and comfort many owners equate to that of the Fender Precision v. Jazz bass.

    While I happen to believe that it cannot capture that vintage Stingray attack (if you want a Ray, buy a Ray!), the sounds it make to my ears are wonderful. In my opinion the Sterling is the best mass-produced instrument money can buy.
  7. +1
    its really what everyones been saying about the size and more sound options. I for one though am i Straight up percision bass kinda guy so i tend to like the stingrays more. I've only briefly played a sterling and thought it was nice and had great tone, but i didnt like the thin neck on.

    I would go with a stingray but there isnt anything wrong with the sterlings.
  8. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Own both, love both. Considering selling the Stingray, but you'll have to pry my Sterling out of my cold dead hands. :)
  9. brianeal1


    Apr 5, 2006
    Thanks for all the info, Ive played the ray but nobody has a sterling round here so i was going to have to order one without playing it, that was my dillema! Peace
  10. Tis true that the Sterling is a bit more 'polite'...in parallel mode that is. Series mode is as aggressive as you want really. I've never A/B'd a Ray and a Sterling, but from what I remember about the Rays ive played, there was a bit more treble in the flat EQ setting. And as the Sterling has an excellent preamp...

    Dunno if it matches the StingRay sound exactly (it probably doesn't), but it's good enough for me. also, the versatility! It's essentially 3 pickups in the same place on the bass. And all 3 coil configurations make very nice sounds.

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