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Sterlings Over Time?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blipndub, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. I'm ever closer to buying a used Sterling -wanted one for years. Wondering if they've changed much since 93 when introduced. Are there any trouble years or are they pretty consistant? What about buying them online are there differences in neck radius etc that i should be aware of?
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Nope. All are good.

    Birdseye necks were more common on the earlier ones, some reckon that made them less stable... others disagree.
  3. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Only difference is the string mutes on the pre 95 Sterlings.
  4. I didn't know this, I assume foam mutes that can be removed and not Fender-esque metal mute plates?

    I didn't know birdseye had a rep for bad stability, i'll have to look into this.
  5. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    They are foam, but you can just rotate the screw to lower them to so aren't touching the strings. I found this very handy. I wish they still made them like that.

  6. Aragorn35016

    Aragorn35016 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Arab, Al.
    Some of the earlier sterlings like mine which is a 94 had a transition bridge in which they removed the mutes and put four hex bolts in there place. Im in the process of getting a mute kit and I have to agree that I wish they still came with them. I had a 2002 sterling as well and other than the bridge change the only other differences is that the battery compartment is now a fliptop compartment instead of just a metal cover held by 2 screws as well as the neck plate where the neck bolts to the body is not recessed into the body as it is on the older models.
  7. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I have three Sterlings: 1997, 2001, 2004.

    The 1997 still has the recessed neckplate. Later models have the neckplate on top of the finish, just like every other bass.

    The 1997 and 2004 are rosewood boards and they have the same neck contour. The 2001 is a maple board and for some reason...I have no idea why...the neck contour is just a tad bit chunkier.

    As pointed out above, all years are good years. In fact, my personal belief is that they actually start to sound BETTER as time goes by. EB uses good materials and they age with style.
  8. Thanks for these details. The one I'm looking at is a 93 and has the mutes -they seem pretty hard to find and that's a feature I think I would like. So they only made them withmutes for a year or two it sounds like.
  9. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
  10. yeah that the one I'm watching, kinda was hoping for carbon blue but the white is nice.
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My '97 is excellent.
  12. nice one fig, i like the Godin a lot too. my freeway 5 just took a suicide dive off the wall and smashed up the back...

    So I just went to the Tacoma GC for lunch and played a new Stingray and a new Sterling, both in very pretty sorta sparkly orange. Also played a fiver Bongo (wow).

    Frankly I was not all that impressed with the quality of the non-Bongos. I've played Sterlings that almost made me cry they were so smooth. And this was nice but not THAT nice. The Sting Ray actually felt crappy! The knobs were crooked and felt cheap and loose, the action was super low and clanky it was awaful

    The Sterling sounded great I like the coil switch, it felt good too, but still didn't have the aire of quality that the Bongo did. Why? The prices aren't that different?

    I'm going to have faith that earlier Sterlings are of better quality than the brand news ones, just assuming that market pressure has forced EB/MM to degrade QC a bit.

    And btw what's up with those SUBs? I mean that textured finish and aluminum guard... :eyebrow:
  13. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    In theory, birdseye is less stable. For a maple neck you should have the straightest grain possible. The more figured a wood is, the more chance it will move and it is also less dense than non-figured maple.

    I have a Lakland with a highly figured maple board but it is a separate board on top of a quarter sawn maple neck.
  14. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    This is not true birdseye and regular maple are just as stable.
  15. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    I have a 94 and a 96 of which I am the original owner of both. Both are holding up great, no issues!
  16. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    There's your answer. People of all ages coming in, slapping the hell out of them attempting to be Flea, and them slamming back on the wall or in their stands while Guitar Center does nothing to correct bad setups then or in the future... which they have, because no one will purchase a beaten up bass just as you pointed out. The only reason the Bongo is in good shape is because it hasn't had as many tours of duty. ;) Blame GC, not EB.

    It's a much easier, quicker finish to apply that passes the saving onto the customer. If I were a EB/MM player, I'd have no problem using a SUB as a sub onstage as opposed to my main bass.
  17. Yeah good point about the GC and the abuse those poor babies get there was some wanker on a warwick as I was there (he prolly thot i was too!)

    Thanks for everyone's input i think i'm going to move on a carbon blue 93 i was referred to by a fellow tber.
  18. I have a 1999 model and am Ultra happy with it... works great for every situation... But I fell in love with a Bongo... :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

    Try them both and see which one is best for you..
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i'm one of those crazy guys who swears the sterlings sounded better in the early to mid 90's. maybe i'm nuts.
  20. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    birdseye is a disease, it does in fact make it less stable. If the difference is noticable thats In your opinion but it def is less stable.