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NBD Sterling Sting Ray 5 SUB Series

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mobass55, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. mobass55

    mobass55 Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Nixa Missouri
    Could not find one in the stores around me this color, just black at GC. The only thing I did to it was put on a set of EB Cobalt Flats, do a setup, (it played well out of the box, I just like a lower action) and changed the black knobs out to chrome. This bass plays fantastic! The nut width,45mm feels the same as my 58RI P bass. I didn't think I would like the satin finish, but it just reminds me of a well played bass. It weighs 10lbs even on my scale. This is my 1st active bass, so I have to learn how to control it. Sounds a little distorted thru my PF-20t and 112 unless I turn the amp down. I have had a lot of basses and as far as build quality, this one to me, is right up there with any MIM Fender, a real step up from a Squire Affinity 5 that I had a few years ago and sold it because the neck was too wide for me. Think I'll keep this one awhile. 1. 2. 4.
  2. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Nice bass. Congrats and enjoy!!
  3. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Cool, Congrats!
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'd call that piece handsome! the ax looks great --- glad it plays well for you. congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
  5. Mark Yurick

    Mark Yurick

    Mar 6, 2019
    I just bought that exact bass from my local Sam Ash on Sunday. Never had a stingray before, so it's fun and different. I like the looks, but the truss rod adjuster is genius. I'm not that handy, but even I can work with it. Congrats.
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Oh wow, that headstock logo is way less obnoxious than the one on mine.

    These are cheap basses that play and sound far better than the price tag merits. I have owned some very expensive basses that I didn't enjoy nearly as much.

    If this is your first active bass, though, I'll give you a word of warning: the Ray5 has a very mediocre preamp. I find that it sounds pretty artificial if it is not completely flat. If you like it, cool - I think it is completely usable and have never considered "upgrades" to mine. But if you don't like it, don't let it turn you off to active basses in general. Also, lower the pickup a little; on mine, that made the overly hot signal a lot more manageable.
    murphy and Aqualung60 like this.
  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    The new headstock logo looks just like the other Sterling Rays now, in fact I was on the GC used website and there was a Stingray for sale and I couldn't tell if it was a Ray4 or a Ray24 as the picture was a little unclear. Only the price and only when I zoom in could I make out what looks like a third line of text under the "Sterling by Musicman" (which would say "SUB series"). Of course some people may scrub off that third line making it even harder to tell . Here's that store listing: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Sterling-by-Music-Man/Stingray-Electric-Bass-Guitar.gc

    I've yet to try one of the new Ray5s but from my understanding, they "re-voiced" the preamp on these new ones so it might sound better now than before, not sure but I'll have to try one out to see for myself. I had one of the older 5 stringers before too so I know what you mean. I know they addressed the "hot" signal issue with this version so it shouldn't be a problem with the newer ones.

    Congrats OP, very nice bass and welcome to the Ray world. :)
    wvbass and jd56hawk like this.
  8. mobass55

    mobass55 Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Nixa Missouri
    Thanks guys!!
  9. LkS


    Oct 30, 2013
    EU, Slovakia
    I like the fact that it's a 2-band EQ.
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Yes, new preamp. Not one of the older Sterlings with the large SUB on the headstock or the questionable preamp.
    Maxdusty likes this.
  11. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Very nice!
  12. B Dax

    B Dax

    Sep 8, 2018
    Congrats on your new bass. I was looking for a 5 string recently and tried one out. I did like the way they improved the roll on of the preamp and the way it sounded. It’s not such an abrupt “on” like my Sub Ray 4 from a couple of years ago.

    I do wish Sterling had kept the grooves in the bridge plate on the outside saddles, like on the Ray 4, to keep the saddles from moving. There was a bit more sideways movement of the saddles than I cared for, but the bass sounded & looked very good.
  13. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    No, the picture is of the model that wasn't a special at GC (where I got mine totally unexpectedly, had to buy it, still says SUB) the black isn't available (except at GC) where they and others now have all the other colors of the renamed, not SUB but is the SUB online, made in Indonesia, cheaper to make bridge and too loud preamp.

    I put mine through a Keeley 4knob comp with input attenuation, that seems to make it useable with drive effects, otherwise it's too hot. Too hot is better than the opposite. The neck shape of this bass is perfect because the depth makes up for the lack of width but it has sufficient mass. My other 5s are 35" so this feels like a medium scale. The mid-range punch is something else and where you pluck controls a wide range of tones.

    A month later I bought a Ray 5 Classic in butterscotch, it aint contoured like the $300 model, but it sounds very similar, same neck scale but maybe a better neck wood. The SUB has more low end and is slightly heavier than the Ray5Classic which I believe is mahogany body.

    The online version has some darker neck woods available, some kind of Asian redwood but GC is advertising them as rosewood, which I think will turn out to be a mistake for which there will be no penalty. I stayed with the maple which is fine, but if there was a redburst with actual rosewood I'd buy it!
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    wvbass likes this.
  14. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    I would like to have that one, nice.
  15. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist, Nordstrand Audio Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    Sweet bass -- congrats! I'm in agreement with wvbass on the stock preamp; the "hot" issue has been resolved but some may find it too sterile. If that's the case it can be easily upgraded with just about anything out there. I have an older SUB 4 (Indonesian, but with a US Ernie Ball unlined fretless neck) that had the "hot" preamp and I went with a Nordstrand, and also replaced the stock pickup with a Nordstrand a little later on. It sounds like a high-dollar axe now and gets a lot of compliments.

  16. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist, Nordstrand Audio Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    This looks to me like the SUB Ray4 bc of the bridge. It has the cheaper-looking, non-Sterling-logo, non-anchor design. If that's the case I don't know why they're trying to sell it used for $299.
  17. Very nice! I had the same problem with that color and had to order mine on line also, great Basses, enjoy! 20181012_101717.
    mobass55 likes this.
  18. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    congrats! I hear those a really good basses.
  19. mobass55

    mobass55 Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Nixa Missouri
    So guys, explain the preamp, is middle (notch) flat or like a passive p bass? I take it that the treble and bass knobs are kinda like volume for the EQ.
  20. klaymaster


    Jun 10, 2016
    I've found with these, you need to change pickup or preamp to avoid the too high output.

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