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Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray4 and Ray5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyanJD, Apr 7, 2012.


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  1. SBMM

    SBMM

    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM

    That is something that we are aware of and our factory has improved the packaging/boxing.

    As far as the knob, they are pretty easy to pull up and away from the pickguard so it doesn't rub.
     
  2. How long before there's a club for this model? I'm in, as of today, with a new walnut stain Ray.
     
  3. Tupac

    Tupac

    May 5, 2011
    Holy cow. Tried a Walnut Ray today and Sterling one. A little unimpressed with the Sterling, it neck dove quite a bit. But that Ray was just KILLER. Played better than the American Fenders I thought.
     
  4. silentmike

    silentmike

    May 20, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    I recently started a new job and it's a very short walk to two guitar shops. Today I went into one of them and spotted the SUB Ray 5. Now, I'm usually a short scale four stringer (I've been playing shorties pretty much exclusively for nearly 4 years) and I've only played a 5 string once for about 10 mins before, so please bear this in mind.

    The SUB was amazing! The definition on that B was awesome and the neck was superb. There were no bad fret ends, and what was apparently the factory set-up was the best I've ever played. But perhaps best of all (for me at least) was the neck shape. It didn't really feel like much of an extra stretch to reach all over the neck. The fit and finish all over was also very good. I'm very impressed.

    It's made me very confused! I thought I'd never want a five string, now I'm not so sure... For the price, I think this is a lot of bass. I think I would have to try it with a strap if I did buy one though. How's the balance on these?
     
  5. Thanks. The finally did get a Ray4 in when I went back this weekend. Of the two, I preferred the Ray4 somewhat. I believe you about the neck specs, but for some reason the Ray4 seemed to have a slimmer (front to back) neck than the SB4. (Maybe it was the setup, maybe psychosomatic with the rosewood vs. maple fretboards)

    The other thing that surprised me is that the SB4s had the EQ pots reversed of what I'd expected (I think I tried both they had)... They went vol, low, high instead of vol, high, low like the other basses I played. Is that intentional? I played a (used) USA Sterling and its pots went from high to low, so I don't think it was to mimic the USA Sterlings (unless the used one had been modded!).

    All in all, I liked them both a lot. I'd want to go back with a strap before I decide. I sort of prefer the look of the black/maple version (and wish they had a Ray4 in stock like that), but of the three I played it was the WS Ray4 that I came closest to taking home.

    I've got a couple questions for those in the know:

    - I assume (but am not certain) that the gloss finish is sturdier than the satin one?

    - Is the SB4 any smaller than the Ray4? It was hard to tell, but it looked to me like the bodies were almost the same between the Ray and SB models, but just the pickguard and jack placement were different. Both seemed bigger than the USA Sterling I tried along with them.

    I played both through a MarkBass 2x10 combo (LM2?) and had a good time playing them.
     
  6. Gimme4

    Gimme4

    Feb 27, 2011
    I have the sb4 (the smaller sterling body) & it neck dives a bit, which is something I have a very low tolerance for. The ray4 I tried balanced great. I'm thinking of swapping out, even though it would mean gaining some weight&losing a fret. How's the 5 balance?
     
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    The Sterling should have a smaller body. I bought the Black/Maple Neck Ray4. The only downside I find is that the pre is uber hot! I can't max my volume like I do on all my basses. That thing clips my amps very easily! If there's a way to adjust it, please let me know. In any case, I'm planning to put in a full EMG system (EMG MM pup and BTS+EMG volume pot) and maybe some Hipshot tuners. Stock tuners don't turn smoothly enough for my taste. Nice upgrades and still come out cheaper the SBMM Ray4 model.
     
  8. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove

    Jun 28, 2010
    Detroit
    Well, I tried out a Ray 4 in walnut stain, and a black and maple SB4 today. They were nice instruments, and they looked and played well. The quality of the maple for the necks and the rosewood for the board seemed really good...I'll even venture to say that aspect was better than the Squier VM basses.

    However, I played them, and they just didn't do anything for me. I didn't care for the electronics, and while the neck played nicely, the wood felt a little dry and it just didn't sit that nicely in my hand. The fit and finish were good...the bridge was cheap, and the tuners were okay, though that's to be expected.

    Final impression: nice instruments, nice quality. People are really going to like them. They're definitely a good platform for mods, and I'm sure a lot of people will choose to modify them. However, they didn't feel like expensive or high grade instruments, which is fine, because they're not.
     
  9. JackoBass

    JackoBass

    May 13, 2010
    My ray5 dives like crazy which is fine for my mostly seated studio use.
     
  10. EighthNotes

    EighthNotes

    Feb 12, 2007
    Can you speak to any big difference in sound to the Ray 4? Some have been saying its wired in series, giving it more of a midrange bump. Is it any less "sizzly" or "snappy" than the Ray?
     
  11. Gimme4

    Gimme4

    Feb 27, 2011
    The ray4 (stingray type body) is wired parallel. The sb4 (smaller sterling type body) is series,+ 22 frets instead of 21. My sb4 does indeed have a pronounced midrange bump, which I think gives it a "thicker" tone without the eq.
     
  12. EighthNotes

    EighthNotes

    Feb 12, 2007
    I went to gc to try one but they were sold out and weren't getting any on this week's truck :(
     
  13. SBMM

    SBMM

    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM
    Where are you located at? I can direct you to one of our Independent Mom and Pop stores that have them in stock
     
  14. EighthNotes

    EighthNotes

    Feb 12, 2007
    Cool! Pittsburgh area. My closest GC is in Monroeville, PA. There's another shop I like called Piano's n Stuff about an hour away, I just haven't made it there yet n they probably have one or two.
     
  15. LowNotes1

    LowNotes1

    Jun 8, 2008
    I'd be interested in knowing where the new S.U.B.S. are available in the Jacksonville FL area, if at all. The local Guitar Center said recently that they didn't have them and didn't know when they would.
     
  16. SBMM

    SBMM

    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM
    Very Cool! Pianos N' Stuff is one of our Premier Dealers. Ask for Mike A when you go in and tell him I sent you. Very good guys and they really support our whole line.
     
  17. SBMM

    SBMM

    Oct 2, 2012
    Orange, CA
    Former V.P., SBMM
    Here are a few dealers in FL.

    Bass Central - Fern Park - 407-740-5619
    Carlton Music Center - Winter Haven - 863-294-4216
    Quality Guitars - Spring Hill - 352-200-4851
    Guitar Exchange - Coral Springs - 954-227-9111
    Belloise Brothers - Clearwater - 727-709-1272
    Total Music Source - Cape Coral - 239-458-2451

    I hope that these are driving distance for you!
     
  18. LowNotes1

    LowNotes1

    Jun 8, 2008
    These are a bit of a hike but thanks for the info anyway, appreciate it! They'll make it here eventually I guess.
     
  19. tomersg

    tomersg

    Aug 6, 2007
    Israel
    an export to Israel is expected?
     
  20. yeraym

    yeraym

    Sep 30, 2012
    Madrid
    The dealer in Spain doesn't have it yet and it appears that the rest of Europe is out of stock. Any chance to find one in europe? I prefer to avoid UK prices
     

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