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Sterling marketing!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hambone70, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Hambone70

    Hambone70 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    So... Music Man makes the StingRay and Sterling basses, among others. So what exactly is a Sterling StingRay? I gather that it's a budget StingRay. So why market it under the name Sterling when Music Man already makes a Sterling bass? If they do a Sterling, will it be a Sterling Sterling?

    Confusing, at least to a simpleton like me...
    TrustRod likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah it seems kinda silly. It's been discussed. But they deserve multiple digital lashings for such ridiculousness. :D
  3. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006

    I think the Sterling line is actually a licensed product, not made by EB. I suspect Sterling Ball made them call the line "Sterling" for the same reason George Forman named all of this kids "George."
  4. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    It was a decision made by Guitar Center to the chagrin, and also profit, of Sterling Ball. It is confusing and the waters are only getting murkier with the new Stingray Special and renaming of some of the Sterling by Musicman lineup.
    jd56hawk and Hydro like this.
  5. Hydro


    Dec 3, 2018
    Honestly I find it hella confusing. Also I just refer to all Ray 34s and stuff (I have a day 34) as stingrays because that’s basically what they are but not as expensive. I never figured out why they’d give an individual bass the same name as one of their brands of other basses :eyebrow:. They also make a lot of basses that are basically stingrays and then they aren’t called stingrays.
    MattZilla likes this.
  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    It’s not that confusing. Just check the headstock and the price tag.
    drTSTingray, jd56hawk and Edmang like this.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    They definitely could've come up with a better name.
    Regardless, the Ray 34 is anything but a budget bass.
    SteveCS likes this.
  8. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    In the history of the universe, no worse naming convention has ever been created or discovered.
    TrustRod and LBS-bass like this.
  9. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I have my Sterling H4 up for sale and I can assure you this has diminished its resale value. That's a shame because it's a beautiful instrument and the nicest neck of any bass I own. But people see "Sterling" now and don't bother to read any further because they think it's overpriced.
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  10. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    It's all a load of Balls. :smug:
  11. This subject was done to death about 10 yrs ago IIRC. The potential confusion with the US Sterling and US Subs is usually covered by sellers making clear their basses are the US version called a Musicman - the MM Sterling always was more of a niche bass than the Stingray anyway.

    Oh really - not the Precision or Jazz - Squier by Fender; MIJ; MIM; a bewildering and oft changing naming and array of V arious levels of US production built; CS team built; CS master built - ranging in price differential by...... up to x 20? Artist series?

    Or Warwick/Rockbass by Warwick etc etc? Many manufacturers do this.

    Back in the 60s or 70s you bought a Precision or Stingray and generally the only choice was colour - maybe fretboard material - come on guys things have moved on from 45-50 yrs ago!!
  12. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Well, I think just the opposite: that EBMM bought from Kohler a small commercial facility called Sterling which happened to have room for a few refurb'd CNC routers, a few work benches, and a kinda generous paintbooth and invited a few of their California guys who were going through divorces to head overseas for a change of scenery, a little pay cut, and a huge cost of living cut. That is why SbMM instruments are so close to the same as EBMMs- they are the same. This is what I think. And now my thought is published on The Internet, so it must be true.
  13. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Let's just say Fender's stupidity doesn't negate Musicman's. :D
    TrustRod and petrus61 like this.
  14. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    It's definitely confusing, and in my opinion, they screwed up when it came to naming. There was no reason to use "Sterling by Music Man" a full decade after they had already been making a model called the Sterling.

    That would check out if it weren't for multiple threads over the years on here about people scoring Sterling by Music Man's from GC at the price of SUB's.
    TrustRod likes this.
  15. wizard65


    Sep 1, 2014
    Yep, it’s truly bizarre.
    It’s almost as if they put Homer Simpson in charge of nomenclature.
    TrustRod and king_biscuit like this.
  16. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    I found it to be annoying when I was searching for Music Man Sterling Basses on eBay or wherever and got hit with a bunch of Sterling By Music Man basses...which were not the basses I was looking for.
    TrustRod likes this.
  17. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    Agree it is a poor naming convention. However, once you figure it out, it is not a big deal. Is what it is
  18. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    But Fender doesn't call thier imported P-basses "Jazz by fender". That's essentially what MM is doing.
    TrustRod, wizard65 and king_biscuit like this.

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