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Skyline 44-02 vs Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark_70, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Sorry if these types of threads are abundant here..

    I'm close to pulling the trigger on a third bass. Will be the first new one I'm buying in about 20 years.

    I have a Warwick Streamer stage II with Bartolini's. Also have a self-made fretless bass with EMG jazz pu's and ebony fingerboard & walnut body. None of those are going anywhere..

    I am considering adding either a MM Stingray or a Lakland Skyline 44-02.

    Here's the thing; if this new bass was my ONLY bass it would've been a no-brainer to me: I'd get the Lakland for the versatility of it. Both of them are great basses to me, but every time I pick up a Stingray I just love the aggressive punch/attack (not sure if I'm describing this well - but you get the point) and I can't find another bass with anything remotely close to that great sound.
    The Warwick has great growl and lovely "modern" sounds embedded in it, so I just don't really NEED the versatility of the 44-02.
    Having said that; the Lakland plays wonderful and sounds fantastic - although it misses the Stingray punch :bassist:

    Perhaps I answered my own question here, but considering I play jazz/funk in the privacy of my own home but play in a classic rock band, which one to get ?? Appreciate any thoughts..!

  2. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    MM all the way, for me. Though, personally, I'd opt for a Sterling over a Stingray. It's basically the same sound, but more punch. Same preamp, but ceramic magnet pickups instead of alnico. And, the Sterling will have coil switching options, which Stingray 4s generally don't (unless it's an HS or HH). And the Sterlings are often lighter than the Stingrays.

    A Sterling H in Parallel mode will give you the Stingray sound, just a bit more aggressive sounding because of the ceramic magnets. Awesome (the best, to me) slap tone!

    A Sterling H in Series mode (which the Stingray doesn't have) will give you an awesome midrangey, buzzsaw-in-the-face sound that I love best (of all basses I've had/tried) for fingerstyle playing.

    A Sterling H in Single Coil mode (which the Stingray also doesn't have) will give you just the bridge side coil for a tone that is pretty similar to a Jazz with the bridge pickup soloed. I almost never use mine that way, but I can see where others would.
  3. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    I've never played a Lakland 44-02 but I know this; if I could get a Stingray to add to the two other basses you described, I'd feel pretty happy.
    I would love a Stingray and yes, nothing sounds quite like them.
  4. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    And all of the above is why I'm gassing for a Sterling H. If you want the versatility go for the 44-02. I own a 55-02 and love it. But if you want that MM sound go for that. Both are great basses. In the end its all about what you want.
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
  6. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Hmm - you have me thinking there.. If it was going to be the Stingray, I would look for a SLO special version; due to the neck dimensions. I guess the difference between a Stingray SLO and Sterling is even smaller than a "normal" Stingray and a Sterling. I played a Sterling the other day at a local GC and liked that neck a lot better than the Stingray neck. So either Sterling or Stingray SLO version..
    I could be mistaken (never played them one after the other), but the sound from a Sterling in parallel mode and a Stingray must be pretty similar - aside the subtle difference you described?!

    Thanks & regards
  7. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Yes, the Sterling in Parallel is VERY similar to the Stingray. The only difference is ceramic magnets versus alnico, which is a pretty small thing when you factor in all the other things that go into the overall tone (like strings, preamp, pickup placement, etc.). In fact, if you compare the Sterling H to a Stingray 5 H from pre-2008, it is EXACTLY the same sound, as the Stingray 5 had the same ceramic magnets as the Sterling up until 2008. In 2008, they started making the Sterling 5 and they changed the Stingray 5 to alnico magnets at the same time. No point in making 2 basses with the exact same electronics.

    The SLO is often described as a Stingray with a Sterling neck. That's not 100% accurate, but the SLO neck is the same width as the Sterling and definitely a lot closer to it overall than the regular Stingray neck. One thing to note is that the Stingray neck is 21 frets and the Sterling is 22.

    Also to note: the Sterling H is the only bass they make that has true Parallel mode, true Single Coil mode, and true Series mode. The HS and HH have 5 modes each, versus 3, but they both give up at least one of the modes that the H has.

    You can read up on the details of the switch modes by going to music-man.com and clicking on each model of bass and then clicking on the link for Wiring. It doesn't actually give you wiring diagrams. It just gives you PDF files that are drawings of each type of bass, showing what each switch position does.
  8. I'd seriously be looking at a Stingray SLO HH or HS. I know I love mine, and if you're after versatility then the two pickups can definitely give you that.
  9. Up the dose

    Up the dose

    Mar 10, 2013
    A made in USA Ernie Ball vs. a made in China Lakland?
    EB basses sound great for funk too. Your choice is clear.
  10. agreed!
  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Laklands aren't made in China. The Skylines are made in Indonesia--used to be made in Korea, but Cort moved their operations. And the Skylines get setups/inspections and their US-made electronics (except for the -01 models) installed in Chicago.

    I also wouldn't draw conclusions about quality based only on country of manufacture.
  12. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Two things here. First, the country of manufacture directly says very little about the quality of an instrument these days. Second, the 44-02 is not made in China.

    Between the two basses, I would go with a single H Stingray. I owned a 44-02 and while it was excellent, I did not care for the electronics package. Currently I own a Stingray and a 4-94. I give the edge to the 4-94 because I prefer the neck profile and I installed an Aguilar OBP-3 and Nordstrand pickups. This Stingray was great without modification - even with a chunky neck.
  13. I realise you have your mind set on the MM or Laky but have you considered a G&L L2000? Plenty of punch and the most versatile bass that you can get.
  14. I'd also recommend looking into a Stingray HH or HS. I have an HH, and you can get the classic Stingray tone and many others, including something akin to a Precision Bass sound from the neck PU.
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    You are probably posting using a piece of Chinese made electronics. If they Chinese were contracted to make Laklands, ,they would do a great job. For what it is worth, final Skyline assembly and set up is in Chicago.
  16. Ive experienced the opposite (HS) where the additional pickup was worthless. Having options is nice but if they dont function well..then why bother.

    Laklands are "fatter" and "fenderish" to me whereas EB's tends to be more aggressive. If I had to pick Id go with Lakland as I found every EB Ive owned pretty one dimensional. (Standard, HS, Classic)

    Oh...buy used..you may find you can buy one of each for a few coins more then one "new". Sell the one that doesnt fit you.
  17. Have they figured the electronics out yet..every one Ive owned has been noisy (both were Tributes FWIW)
  18. I own a 44-02 and would trade it for a Sterling in a heartbeat. Takes too much effort to get a good sound out of it. Doesn't have that nice chunky growl or the MM either.
  19. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Yes; I have played a couple of G&L's.
    They sounded great, other than they were somewhat noisy. Some hum, strange small electronics eggs being fried.
    Perhaps I was just a bit unlucky.

  20. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Well - that's a powerfull endorsement for the Sterling, coming from a Lakland owner :D