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New StingRay Classic 5 and story to go with it......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rodney Shuffler, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. I'm gonna be a little long winded here, but maybe it'll help someone else down the road.

    I ordered this bass as a "Scratch& Dent" from AMS, I understand how that works and expected some cosmetic flaw, they are advertised to be in 100% functional condition with possible cosmetic flaws. My (first) bass arrived and the neck had shrunk severely, the gaps on each side of the neck were as bad as some 70's Fenders I've seen, a business card would easily go on both sides and the fret ends were all sticking out, you'd expect that with this kind of shrinkage, but they were totally unfinished..horrible. I called and sent it back, and they had one more...I've wanted a MM StingRay5 for over 20 years, the Classic version of this put it over the top for me.....I had to at least try it, they were paying for the shipping.

    The 2nd bass arrived and it was much better, but the nut was not good at all, G-string would pop off the edge of the fretboard. I've been around a few years at this and looked at neck alignment and other usual suspects etc... The nut was just cut bad, no two ways about it. I contacted my luthier and he said 70 bucks for a new bone nut and set-up. I called EBMM to see if they would warranty it. They wanted me to send it back to them.....they would pay parts ( probably another crap plastic nut), labor and return shipping. I explained that the shipping alone would be what the repair would be here (I live about 30 miles North of Houston, Texas) and my guy would turn it over-night. They explained that they don't pay anyone outside of their facility due to QC concerns, and I said "Sir, I don't mean to sound like a horse's ass, but your QC in your facility is why I'm on the phone with you now." They offered to send a nut to me. I found that less than satisfactory and decided to have my guy do it.

    As an aside to all this, I'd like to note that I own Gibson, Collings, Merrill, Martin, Huss & Dalton, Fender etc... more high-end acoustics than anything; Jim Hewett has worked on most of my stuff at one time or another...he's a builder and has guitars in some high-end acoustic shops......he knows what he's doing and I ain't new to this stuff either. I'm not usually one to buy new instruments much, I prefer used....not many of these basses floating around used though.

    When it was all said and done, Jim Hewett replaced the nut with a new bone nut and made me a nice Tortoise shell guard for my bass, I dropped it after work yesterday and picked it up mid-day today. I was surprised EBMM wasn't more willing to help with my problem. I've had the bass a week now and I think it's safe to say they are great basses, but over-priced for what you get. This StingRay is two basses in one for me..my first and my last.........I don't buy stuff from people/companies that won't go the extra distance to make things right.

    Here's before and after pics of the nut, the slots are even and spaced correctly now and the sides of the grooves don't cover the string, they support it properly and this single repair opened this bass up, sounds and plays soooo much better now, string response is even with good sustain......

    Before: [​IMG]

    After: [​IMG]

    Tortoise: [​IMG]
  2. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yea. The nut is pretty much "where the rubber meets ther road", if it's cut poorly it can be a deal breaker. Thankfully it's a fairly easy problem to correct. For somebody with a set of nut files and some basic ability this bass would've been a great deal. Even though you've spent a little extra $$ it sounds like you're happy, which makes a great deal for you I would think.
  3. I still came out good on it, 325 less than a new one with the nut. set-up and pickguard included. It's a great bass, not out of the box.....but with very little else done to it.
    This is the first time I've ever dealt with a mass builder instrument company that had no warranty network, it's something worth knowing for potential MM buyers.

    I should buy files probably, they're good to have around with so many instruments.....something always needs maintaining....I'm just not that interested in working on them anymore. There are people much better at it than me and I'd rather pay them to do it.

    I think this particular nut would have been problematic anyway, Jim told me it just crumbled to pieces coming out. I'm a fan of bone saddles and nuts........sure made a world of difference on this bass. I'm sure the fitment was in large part responsible, but I think the material is also very important.