NBD - Music Man Stingray 5 HH Special - Burnt Amber

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MGCollis, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. MGCollis


    Mar 24, 2007
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    I pulled the trigger and bought the last one in Long & McQuade's warehouse earlier this week and brought it home last night.

    Thanks to all the TB folks that answered my questions in my GAS post. It made it easier asking the right questions, looking out for the issues with the bass design and getting what I wanted.

    The lower weight and better string spacing on the G string were one of the reasons I revisited the MM Stingrays, and I'm glad I did. I loved the tone on the older Stingray's, but I really didn't like the weight and G string problem. When they updated "Special" design in 2018 they addressed those issues.

    The easiest decision was the colour. The toughest was 4 or 5 string and single or double humbucker. I ended up going all in. I probably don't need the neck pickup, but when I played one in the store, I really liked the addition it added to the sounds available. I don't do much slap, and probably won't on this bass.

    I fired up the amp last night (much to the wife's annoyance) and it sounds monstrous through my GK NEO 15 cab and I'm really digging the second position on the five position selector. I'm getting used to the spacing and the B string, but I have a Brice 6 string that has a similar string spacing. The Brice hasn't been played in a while so I'm a little out of practice with the wider neck and spacing.

    Things I like (so far):
    1) The tuning keys feel wonderful. OMG! I saw this comment in a YouTube review and thought the guy was exaggerating. Nope. The redesigned, lighter tuners just feel right, luxurious even.
    2) The fit and finish is about the best, straight from the factory I've seen thus far. I really love the body colour.
    3) Nice case and fit. It holds the bass firmly and it doesn't move around. The case candy and bag for tools and stuff is a very nice touch. Only time will tell whether the plastic forms on the outside will be prone to getting damaged like so many other cases of similar construction.
    4) The tones I can get out of this just make me smile and I know it will only get better the more time I spend with it.
    5) I am liking the balance of the bass. No neck dive. Time will tell, but I may not have to add an extra strap button six inches up from the original like I have on a lot of my other basses. So far, it's sitting really well.
    6) I love the truss rod adjustment wheel. I really hate having to either remove a neck or have to pull a cover plate to make a quick truss rod adjustment. I even went so far as to mod my Geddy Lee Jazz with a cutout on the body so I could make adjustments without having to pull the neck.
    7) The weight. This thing is lighter than my Jazz and maybe even the Rick 4003. I haven't got a scale to put it on, but I'm pretty sure that it's around 8 lbs. One of the turnoffs of the old Stingrays was the weight. This bass will be replacing my 6 string, and the main reason is how heavy the 6 is.
    8) The preamp/active electronics. The difference I found for most active basses I've played were that they were LOUDER. Yeah, you got some adjustment on tone, but mostly it was just louder. I pulled the stock Fender preamp on my Precision Lyte and went passive with prewired four pot controls from 920D. The Stingray preamp is not louder by default and the tonal variations with the three band EQ are useable and sound great. I am very impressed with the new preamp.

    Things I dislike (so far):
    1) The roasted maple neck is really inflexible. It just doesn't want to move with truss rod adjustments. I had a hell of a time getting the relief the way I wanted it (it was a little high out of the box). I had to resort to using a lot of elbow grease applied to the head stock and body to help move it in conjunction with tightening the truss rod.
    2) The colour of the roasted maple neck. I'm sure it will grow on me, but it's not figured and just looks a little dirty rather than sexy. Compared to my maple necked Fenders it almost looks like it's a very fine grained mahogany in colour.
    3) The very rounded fret ends. While it's much better than the pre 2018 Stingray's, the G string is still very close to the edge of the frets and if I'm not careful, I'll pull the string off the fretboard. The rounded ends feel great on the hands, but not having them rounded off as much would help keep that string on the fretboard where it should be. I'm also sure as I spend time with it, I'll get a better feel for it as well.

    Things to change:
    1) Get a better strap. The one I have is just a cheap, single layer, leather strap. It was the cheapest that Long & McQuades had when it was was bought for another bass 15 years ago. This bass deserves a decent padded strap.
    2) Order a pick guard from Aperious Pick Guards. My Rick and Jazz have them and a third will make it a set. I'll live with the bass for a bit and probably order one from Alper in the Spring as a birthday present for myself.

    Now all I need is this CORONA thing to end so I can get back to rehearsals with my buddies, making recordings and doing gigs again.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
    Bozzy, Tieiririyi, petch and 2 others like this.
  2. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    Gorgeous! Congrats.
    Bozzy likes this.