Sterling SUB Ray4 vs Stingray Short scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dralionux, Jul 31, 2022.

  1. dralionux

    dralionux

    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    I have $600, should I:

    1. buy a Sterling Stingray short scale
    2. buy a Sterling SUB Ray4 and replace the pickup & preamp
    (I switch frequently between a SX short scale and other 34" scale basses, and I'm familiar with upgrading the electronics)

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    1.
     
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  3. dralionux

    dralionux

    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Can you tell me why
    Thank you
     
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think the Short Scale sounds better and it plays great too. I say go to Guitar Center and pick through their selection and take the best one. I like active basses, but I love that the Short Scale Stingray works great as a passive instrument.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  5. dralionux

    dralionux

    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
  6. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    I found the short scale ray lacking the 34 scale ray vibe. She sound rounder and smoother.
     
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  7. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I've had one for a long time and it performs exactly like I want.
     
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  8. Lowendchamp

    Lowendchamp

    Jun 27, 2021
    Shelton WA
    I have owned both and still own the short scale. I say short scale because I required no upgrades to keep me happy with it. My Ray 4 HH had issue after issue and still never sounded or felt good to me. I think there is just a special mojo about those Sterling Stingray short scales. I have also never felt like the short scale was of cheap make or material in my hands. Don't get me wrong, the EBMM is of much better make and materials, but it does sound very very close.
     
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  9. I had the opposite experience to the venerable Dr.

    To me, the SUB Ray4 sounded better (stock) than the shorty. Sounded deeper and more like an EBMM. The shorty sounded somewhat "odd" to me. It was better with the volume knob in one of the positions, but up/down I cannot remember.

    I also think the Ray 5s sound better than the 4s.

    As it's very subjective, you gotta try em yourself.
     
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  10. skycruiser

    skycruiser Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    There are different SUB Ray 4 preamps. The older ones are not well tuned to the pickups and can be overdriven and distort, and not in a good way.
     
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  11. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Yeah, I think I got one of those. I purchased it new. It was manufactured in 2018 when the issue with the preamp was supposed to have been sorted out but it had a nasty distortion when digging in hard unless I lowered the pickup to the point where it sounded thin and anemic. I wasn't impressed with the tone of pickup/preamp anyway so I replaced them with a Nordstrand alnico pickup + their "vintage" MM preamp. I think that may have cost more than I paid for the bass, lol.

    My Ray4 also needed a fret levelling/crowning to be playable without fret buzz and one of the intonation screws had stripped threads from the factory (and that's the moment I found out that intonation screws aren't considered "replacement parts" and aren't available from any musical instrument dealers or luthiers suppliers I know of...).

    Bascially, I wasn't very impressed with my Ray4 but others seem to have had far better luck than me.

    Even with the upgrades I soon realized why I sold my real Stingray years ago. It's just not my kind of tone. Still, it's nice to have one available in the studio.

    Btw, are Stingrays a LOT more popular in the US than in Europe? On US-dominated forums like Talkbass they seem to be very popular but I hardly ever see anyone use a Stingray over here in Europe? Or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places....?
     
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  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Stingrays are extremely expensive in Europe. They are usually over $3,500 new.
     
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  13. bigdaddybass12

    bigdaddybass12

    Feb 26, 2021
    2.. You will want to mod the short scale eventually. Go ahead and get the ray4 and get your 'modding fix' over with... Plus if you are a decent sized guy, a short scale will not look right.....
     
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  14. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    creamyj.bandcamp.com
    I'm intrigued by the passive three position switch and SS-ness of the Stingray Short scale.
     
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