*New to community* need help with SUB 4 fake, or difference spotting.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Adam Huff, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    Hi guys, so I've recently just started playing. I've came to the conclusion that I've decided to go with a sterling sub 4 to begin on. As I've been looking into them for a week now, I've noticed 2 or 3 different things about the headstock PRINT, and a few other tiny details. I'm aware of the general pricing of a new and used sub 4s and they are all right in the ballpark on zzound. I just need help on this possible fake, or as to why there are differences. (Some say Made in China, others Indonesia) some have MADE IN ORANGE CA stickers- including ones I've seen in guitar center, others don't. Some have a sterling logo on headstock, some have stingray. I see the zzound ads on this community, so I'm assuming they are reliable. But even on there, the two different headstock logos are present.

    Attached Files:

  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I can't imagine why anyone would make a fake bass that sells for $300 new or $200 and less used.
    Other than that, Sterling recently changed this model...new headstock logo/name and supposedly better electronics.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Caca de Kick, nateh415, MCF and 9 others like this.
  3. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    Cool man, thanks. I just don't want to get screwed out of 330$. So I'd assume the "SUB 4" would be the newer version from sterling, and "sting Ray" would be an older model...
  4. Wohlf


    Dec 14, 2015
    Music City
    Exactly the opposite. SUB 4 is the older version.
    Maxdusty, Aqualung60 and TjMetalhead like this.
  5. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You’re welcome.
  7. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    Thanks guys!!!
  8. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    The new one is called Sterling by Music Man SUB series Ray4. Phew... they really know how to make confusing names over at MM.

    I got one and sadly it's one of the worst basses I've ever owned. I recently sold my real Stingray to finance another bass. The Stingray sound isn't ideal for most of the stuff I do so it just wasn't being used enough to justify keeping it. Great quality instrument though!

    But then these new series SBMM Rays showed up and I thought it would be nice so have something cheap and Stingray'ish around the studio. So I got the Ray4. BIG MISTAKE! First of all it doesn't really sound like a Stingray, it's considerably mellower. Secondly it sounds like absoluty rubbish even on it's own terms. It's just a boomy low end and clanky highs with very little in between. Except for a muddy mess of a midrange. It just gets completely lost in the mix. In a dense mix it sounds like someone is doing the dishes in the background, clank, clank. Horrible instrument. The tone controls didn't do much good either. Turning them up: more clank/boom. Turning them down: the horribly dull and muddy midrange is exposed for what it really is. The fretwork was poor too, with random buzzing around the neck when set for anything resembling normal action.

    On the positive side it was dead quiet, no noise whatsoever. The finish was very nice too, if you're into satin neck+body. The hardware was decent too, except for one tuner that had a kinda "grinding" feel to it. But the sound... Absolutely horrible. There are FAR better basses available in this price range. Anything Squire, from Affinity and upwards, is MILES better than this!

    I was actually thinking about posting a thread asking for advice on upgrading the pickups/electronics. I have a feeling that's where the biggest problem is. But then I remembered that I just wanted a CHEAP Ray'ish bass... and the neck on this thing just isn't worth the upgrade. I'll probably just sell it. But it just doesn't seem fair to push this piece of junk onto someone else... Oh well, it's not the first poor bass I've purchased. At least it was cheap.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    DeliriumTremens likes this.
  9. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    This is basically correct, but I'll nitpick just because OP doesn't appear to know the subtle differences, which can be important.

    The pic in the "new" headstock is actually not a SUB, but one of the Sterling Ray34s. The new SUBs look just like that but in tiny writing underneath the "Sterling By Musicman" is "Sub series". To add to the confusion, I believe they're now called the Ray4.

    Sterling By Musicman is a budget-friendly version of the Musicman basses. If I'm not mistaken, they're all made in Indonesia. There are two lines of basses here; the Sterling Ray34 or the SUB series. The Ray 34s are a bit higher quality with a better preamp and 3-band eq (SUBs have 2-band eq). Earlier model SUBs were known to have an issue with the preamp being extremely hot and causing problems with clipping, I believe the new Ray4 SUBs have addressed this.

    I have one of the early model SUBs and it is a fantastic bass, absolutely out-of-sight for the money I paid. Highly recommend.
    RobTheRiot, jd56hawk and Adam Huff like this.
  10. sigterm

    sigterm ;) ;) ;), love y'all

    Feb 5, 2003
    Atlanta G of A
    Also to note, these are the most confusing naming conventions in all of bassdom. Especially frustrating for EBMM sterling owners.
    nateh415, Jscriv and Adam Huff like this.
  11. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    I'm seeing this now lol
    sigterm likes this.
  12. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    So the red one is what used to be the SUB4...a name they retired?
  13. sigterm

    sigterm ;) ;) ;), love y'all

    Feb 5, 2003
    Atlanta G of A
  14. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    Sux because me being a lefty, looks like the only made the black on black :(
  15. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
  16. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I wouldn't say worst, but I definitely wouldn't buy one. I played one at an open jam and it was really disappointing. Did not feel or sound anything like a proper EBMM Stingray. It felt really cheap. I will say this: that was the only SBMM I've ever played, so it could be a dud, but if I were looking for a budget instrument, I'd probably gravitate towards a used Squire CV Jazz or an Ibanez SR over a SBMM.

    Actually, Ibanez has some seriously great playing budget basses. There are some reasonably priced SRs on the used market. I've even got two GSRs (which are the cheapest of the cheap Ibanezes) that stay in my gig rotation right along side an EBMM Ray, a couple Fenders, and some other moderately priced, name brand instruments.
  17. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar...

    Nov 23, 2010
    It's definitely confusing to a newcomer or anyone who hasn't specifically followed the product line and the name changes over the years. G&L did it right. Same model names, but the Tribute series is the more affordable line.

    Also, Zzounds is a good retailer. I've purchased a few things from there over the years, including a few demo models which were shipped well packaged and exactly as described.
    Adam Huff likes this.
  18. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    They also introduced the Classic Ray24CA this year, which has a 2 band EQ and runs about $500.
    nateh415 likes this.
  19. Welcome to TB. As a new bassist, what made you decide on this model? Depending on your location, you may be better off going to your local shop and trying out every used bass you can. If you have already done this and the MM is your choice, consider buying used. $330 will get you a decent bass these days. Yamaha and Ibanez come to mind as viable alternatives. Your first instrument is one that could shape your playing style, as well as hinder or promote your musical progress. Not a decision to be taken lightly. Many of us here picked up the bass back in the '60's or '70's when entry level instruments were often little more than firewood with frets. Today's entry level instruments rival the semi pro gear from back then. Enjoy TB and all it has to offer. Hope this helps.
    wildman2 and foolforthecity like this.
  20. Adam Huff

    Adam Huff

    Jul 26, 2018
    What models would you guys suggest around the 300-350 price range?

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