Sterling Q & A

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blipndub, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Got some PM about a Music Man Sterling I bought a while ago and we thought some other folks might be interested in the discussion.

    Originally Posted by bino
    How have you been. I was wondering if you could give me some impressions about the Sterling. I remember you bought that blue one and had been wanting one for some time. BTW, do you still have it? I've just been thinking of getting a Stingray and thought I should consider the Sterling as well. I know they have slimmer, jazz-style necks but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Is it true that they are a bit tamer than a stingray? There not too much like a jazz are they? I find I dig the sound of SR5's more than the 4's but didn't know if the pickup/preamp had something to do with that.

    Originally Posted by blipndub
    Heya Jason,

    I still have the 93' Sterling and it has become my main bass. I really dig the way it sounds for all kinds of music, my rock band, and a little jazz duo/trio. I've had great luck slapping and playing really hard as well as quiet-like with my thumb for jazz (which was a technique I hadn't really even tried until the Sterling)

    The Sterling is a fairly mighty little guitar and you do have to tame it a bit or it will get away from you, meaning the mids can just grind really heavily if you're not careful. On my GK 1001 I have all eq flat and just a little contour rounding which highlights the complexity of the Sterling sound. I'm an active eq convert and I never thought I would be. This thing sounds great and you have SO much control over the sound. I've stripped out all pedals and all that other crap so I can just let the good tones flow through my rig. I use a lot of volume control because it is so sensitive.

    I like the coil selection switch, which I don't think the SR offer- the versatility is excellent - think Tony Levin to country in a flip. It is not like a jazz bass, it doesn't sound like one, nor play like one. I like jazz basses and have several, and although they each have their own "thing" that thing ain't what the MM has. I will keep Jazzes around of course for the sound that they can only make - a more traditional tone, or the Jaco-y bridge pickup sound. The neck is similar to a jazz neck, which i like, i have smaller hands, the weight is awsome, perfect, probably about 7 pounds. Having one bridge position pickup is the big diff between the MM and a jazz I think, the fullness of the sound is consistent unlike a jazz where you''re rolling of the neck to tighten up the sound, back and forth. There's none of that business, very efficient.

    The only thing I would change is a passive/active mode. Somestimes the active elects are so hot it's hard to record, but besides that I'm loving it.

    I wish I could provide more comparisons to the SR (as in I wish i had a fiver! )
    but I chose the Sterling because of the neck profile, the coil selector switch and the overall size of the guitar and, holy smokes she's just a knockout - so sexy. I'm totally in love.

    Hope this helps you, let me know what you do. I would like to know if the SR5 sounds similar or what the deal is with those.

    Do you mind if I post this Q&A on the forum? There always seems to be interest in the whole SR Sterling thing.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have a sterling as well and i think anything about it is a good idea. More people need to know its a good thing, perhaps a beter thing than a stingray ;)
  3. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, listen to Figjam...he has an ultra sexy Sterling... ;)

    But mine ain't too shabby either. The Sterling has growl for days and its comfortability for me is beyond what I've felt from all other basses that I've tried. Even my Bongo which I'm loving right now too. The Bongo feels great, but it just doesn't have that silky, effortless quality my Sterling has.

    Both are going to have a place for me. The Bongo has all out crushing lows and massive sound. SUPER nice 4 band preamp too! It always amazes me how much control and variety of sound I can get out of it, plus the blend control of the two humbuckers is just mind blowing. When I want to destroy and maim, the Bongo is the one to call.

    The Sterling has the rock thing down to a science. Yes, it can do lots of things with the pickup switch and its own very cool preamp. But when I want ultra growl, super fast and tight playing, or some serious pick action, the Sterling reigns supreme for me. The Sterl and the Bongo can get into each others territory close enough, but the Sterling has an unmatchable growly character, and the Bongo's low end is unmatchable.

    I'm betting the SR has this organic punch and thump that fills in the gap that these two get close enough to but can't match. My next bass endeavor is to get an awesome SR and I will have the Trio of Terror. All black, of course!