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Sterling basses (not EBMM)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by parksung, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. parksung


    Sep 2, 2007
    I rented an EBMM Sterling and really liked it, but being a beginner I don't think spending over $1000 on a bass is legit right now, so I'm looking at cheaper options such as the Sterlings.

    The SB14 is basswood. Is basswood cheap and I should stay away? I'm renting a Squier Classic Vibe P-bass and it feels all around cheap but at least lighter than the EBMM (it's a maple neck/fretboard & basswood body).

    I can't tell the difference between the Ray 34 & Ray 35 besides the pickguard (both are offered in either 4 or 5 strings, I'd get the 4). Am I missing something?

    Would a S.U.B. Sterling be a better option?
  2. The Ray 34 is the 4 string, the Ray 35 is the 5 string. Nothing wrong with basswood, it's actually a very nice tonewood. The only disadvantage to it is that it can be a little bit softer than something like alder. Which makes it easier to scratch and dent.
  3. agplate


    Jan 12, 2005
    The new Sterling line is EBMM's 'entry level' line built in Korea, generally to the company's specs and under their supervision. It's not meant to be a 'new OLP'. There's alot of buzz about the line and some trash talk about the name- hopefully this thread will remain on topic though!

    1. Basswood is a fine material and is what is used on EBMM's high quality Bongo bass.

    2. The Ray34 is a four string; the Ray35 is a five string bass. The electronics are 'designed' by EBMM, but not the same as the USA models. I have heard that they spent alot of time refining the preamps to give an authentic Stingray tone- and the few who have played the new bass say it's nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. I haven't seen one yet myself.

    3. The Squire Classic Vibe series has a nice general tone and build (I just tried one today), but at $250 or so is likely a much different animal than the SR14 or SR34, which is likely to be around $650. The Squire will likely have minimal resale value, whereas the Sterlings may be a lasting value.

    I personally am very interested in trying out the new Sterling by Musicman line. I'm not a rep, btw, but I do play EBMM basses among others.
  4. All of the basswood basses I have owned I got rid of as they sounded lifeless. Some people like it but I think if it was really good you would see it on more high end basses which you don't.

    A notable exception is the Bongo but the tone of that bass lies alot in the electronics IMO.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think basswood is fine for the bongo because of how powerful those electronics are. Im not too sure how I feel about it for these new ones, but I wont say anything conclusive until I try them out.
  6. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Just FYI, a certain Well Known Bassist and Bass Writer (some might say "bass whisperer") whom I cannot name but whose initials are "Ed Friedland" got one of these (the SB14 in red) and is now refusing to send it back.
  7. I still don't know a ton about the Sterling line. Was it confirmed where they are made? Do they have US electronics? Do they final setup in the US or do they go straight to the stores?
  8. HeathBar73


    Nov 18, 2008

    Thanx for posting this thread--- I was about to ask the same question about the SB14's you can pre-order on either Music 123 or Musicians Friend... the SB14 4 string Sterling runs pre-ordered at $599 @ either place, but they officially don't come out 'til 4/10... Personally, I am also a noob player myself (Dec. of last year), so I don't think I have earned the right (or have the budget) of having the "real thing" yet... I currently play a Sound Gear Ibanez Mikro (3/4 scale) b/c of my stubby little arms and fingers, but a girl can dream, can't she?

    Good luck, and happy hunting,
    HeathBar73 (a.k.a. Heather)
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Will he be posting a video review of it?
  10. I just perused the website; the pickups and pre are not US made. This seems to be similar to the Lakland/G&L import model and I'm willing to bet they are produced by Iort in the Indonesian factory. Consider my opinion internet rumor an innuendo.

  11. agplate


    Jan 12, 2005
    If I recall correctly, I think they're made by the Park company in Korea. Pat Park posts regularly on the EBMM forum. You can likely confirm there.
  12. Spiritfield

    Spiritfield Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2004

    Actually, G&L's import line (the Tribute series) uses the same US pickups that their US made basses do.
  13. True, but the pre isn't and that was kinda what I was getting at. Poor wording on my part.

  14. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man

    No, really, I'm sure he will.
  15. I'm bumping because I'm curious about the Sterling and need to by a new bass soon.
  16. agplate


    Jan 12, 2005
    Correction- They're made in Indonesia; he was right!

    Check out the fresh thread on EBMM forums- Nice pics of a new Sterling by MM 5 string in Honeyburst. Silence all doubters! Beautiful bass!
  17. gabriel192


    Mar 23, 2009
    I need a new fiver fast, and it's down to the G&L L2500 and the Ray35. What would you guys recommend?
  18. The Ray35 has not hit stores yet, so there might be 1 or 2 people on this board who were at NAMM and able to play the Ray35 and have played the Tribute. Even if that person exists, his/her experience with the Sterling line will not be long or ideal, considering the situation.

    If you need it THAT fast, you can only buy one. If by "fast" you mean about 2 weeks, I think the Sterling line hits stores next week. That'll give you enough time with both to make a decent decision.


    EDIT: I should mention that I have no reason to believe these basses will be anything but competitive with the Tribute line.

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