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Sterling/SR5... how similar are their tones?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ralphdaddy, Feb 22, 2005.


  1. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    The title says it all... I'm considering selling my brother my Sterling, even though it's my favorite bass, because it's a 4 and I stick to 5's and it can sometimes kind of confuse me so I fear taking it on a gig and making mistakes. So... how similar do these two sound? If they sound identical then it's a no brainer but if they don't then it's pointless, I won't sell my Sterling unless the SR5 is a virtual clone. Thanks for any help guys... it's like breaking my heart to even think of selling my baby, it's my favorite after all, but if it's to my brother I think I'll live. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    They have the same electronics so really they should sound basicaly exactly the same. The SR5 that i played sounded just like my sterling.
     
  3. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I know they SHOULD... but I've never played one that sounded as good as my Sterling. Plus I've never found one with a maple board either, always the rosewood and I don't like rosewood on these basses. Oh well, hopefully someone else can tell us for sure.
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Granted they will sound slightly different, due to what strings are on it..body mass...
     
  5. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Well aware, I use my classic Fat Beams on my Sterling... but I've never picked up a Sterling that sounded better than my own. But they always sound close, that's why I love EBMM their basses are just so good and so consistent. I'm just hoping it'll be like finding your best girl has a twin sister who also wants to do things to you which her father doesn't want her doing...
     
  6. I have owned two StingRay 5s, and 3 Sterlings, and from my experience the sound is very similar. If you like Sterlings I would see no reason that you wouldnt like a StingRay 5. I prefer the Sterling over the StingRay, and my main bass is a StingRay 5.
     
  7. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    That's my only worry is that I'll sell the Sterling... order the Stingray and not be as content as I was when I had my Sterling. I need to get myself one for a trial, not gonna happen. Good times... good times.
     
  8. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004
    I thought sterlings have triple coil pickups?
    Am I remembering wrong?
     
  9. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    As do SR5s
     
  10. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    The SR5 is closer to a Sterling than a Stingray, it has a 3 band pre, triple coil pup with coil selector and tight string spacing relative to a Stingray. And yet, they seem not to sound exactly alike, kinda like a Jazz bass and a Jazz V.
     
  11. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    You can achieve Sterling sound with a Stingray5 (ok, maybe if we put them through some oscilloscope there are some differences) but the electronics are the same. You will like the neck as it is thin, as in the Sterling and not like the one on the Stingrays (way thicker). God bless Ernie Ball and their biggest invention ever, the SR5!!!!

    ANDRUCA
     
  12. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Also I read that the Stingray 5 is the Sterling's electronics and neck style + the body of (or inspired in) the Silhouette baritone guitar.

    ANDRUCA
     
  13. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Definitely go for an unfinished birdeye maple neck & fingerboard. Much brighter, punchier and playable!

    ANDRUCA
     
  14. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    +1.
     
  15. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours

    As a dealer for Music Man AND a bass player, I have to tell you that I find quite a few differences in the basses--including sound. However, the real point here as I see it is in your very first post::."I'm considering selling my brother my Sterling, even though it's my favorite bass". Selling a favorite bass is never a good idea--even to your brother. You're much better off ADDING another bass to you MM collection--even if that collection is TWO. :D The sounds are different; the feel against your body is different; the necks are, certainly, different........and you'll be a Whole Lot Better off if you hang on to things that you really care about. Just MHO.
     
  16. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Yes... it's this last post that really hits home what's been bugging me the most. That I simply don't want to sell my brother my Sterling. I suppose I can just wait a while longer and buy a Stingray5 later when the time is right.... This is going to cause a fight :scowl:
     
  17. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004


    I guess I missed that somehow. Makes the SR5 even more appealing.
    Except for that damn pickguard!
     
  18. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours

    Ralph.......glad to hear that you're reconsidering. I think that keeping it really makes the most sense and will relieve the stress that you're feeling.

    RE: The pickguard. You have to admit, you can tell a Music Man bass from a mile away. Why? That pickguard. They also offer so many choices in colors that you can't help but find at least a couple that you like. :D
     
  19. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Yeah Rich, I'm thinking it over again and giving the old girl one last shot tomorrow night at practice to make my decision. If it's comfy and I play basically mistake free I'll keep it... if I make a bunch of mistakes and get the feel of a 4 while actually playing I may let her go.... I hate selling gear but why hold onto something I can't really play and probably won't gig with? That's my logic at least. So we'll see what happens... if she goes to my brother I at least reserved the right to buy it back at my discretion whenever I choose hahaha. Thanks for the words of advice, they help.
     
  20. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    The SR5's pickguard is gorgeous!!!! The body shape and contour are also WAY sexier than that of a Stingray or Sterling!

    ANDRUCA