Stingray advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sanchorb, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. sanchorb

    sanchorb Inactive

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hi all!! After many many years of procrastination, I´ve decided to come with some serious cash and get a Musicman Stingray. I am not a pro musician, but my regrets have been buried (LOL), don´t ask me how but they did, and you only live once. I would like to ask you experts a couple of questions, one for knowledge and another one being a really intrascendent one:

    1) What is the difference between a Stingray and a Sterling? Is a Sterling smaller? I noticed that they are more expensive than a Stingray, so I would like to know why is that, if they are smaller, I would suppose that the monster Stingray would be the most expensive one.

    2) The shallow question: What color? This drives me nuts, I see all the models and all seem beautiful to me.:rollno: I have a thing for maple fretboards, since I have never had a bass with such wood on it, but even with that constraint the choices are too much for me. I feel like a kid being pushed by the mom to decide what ice cream flavor one wants, while being in front of the chilled boxes at the ice cream parlor. I would love to see some of your Stingray colors, if it is possible, since colors on websites tend to be somewhat different from real life. Thank you all in advance, cheers mates.
  2. Sten


    Nov 18, 2001
    Sterling sounds a bit brighter. As they are both quite bright sounding, I do not think you would be missing that if you got a Stingray.

    If I could choose any color I'd like, i'd get it translucent red, black pickguard and maple fretboard.

    Here's a not very good picture of mine (translucent green, pearloid pickguard, maple fretboard), but at least it is in natural light:
  3. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    The Sterling has a smaller body than the Stingray (1 inch narrower, 1 inch shorter, same thickness)

    The Sterling has a smaller headstock than the Stingray (1.125 inches shorter)

    The Sterling has a thinner neck than the Stingray (.125" narrower at the nut, same radus at the last fret)

    The Sterling has 22 frets, while the Stingray has 21

    The Sterling has a 5-bolt neck with sculpted neck joint, while the Stingray has a 6-bolt neck

    The Sterling is only available in a 3-band preamp, the Stingray has either a 2-band or 3-band preamp option

    The Sterling has Ceramic magnet pickups with a phantom coil, the Stingray has AlNiCo magnet pickups without a phantom coil

    The Sterling H comes with a series/parallel/single coil with phantom coil switch, the Stingray H comes wired only in parallel

    The Sterling has an aluminum-lined control cavity (rear route), the Stingray has a chrome plated brass control cover

    The Sterling averages a little lighter than the Stingray (about 5 ounces)

    Other than that, they're pretty much identical. The Sterling is more expensive, most likely because of the extra work to trim the neck pocket for easier upper-fret access, rear-route the control cavity instead of swimming pool the top, have an extra fret on a thinner neck attached to a smaller body (and have it balance), wire in the pickup switch, and the cost of the pickup with phantom coil.

    As for colors, I'm partial to black body, maple board, but that's because my SR5 is that color. Really, you can't go wrong color-wise. They all look great. :D
  4. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
  5. Sten


    Nov 18, 2001
    Also I didn't see, if you are going for 4- or 5-string? The comparison above is completely true only for SR4, the fiver has phantom coil option and a 3 way switch (series, parallel, single coil+phantom).
  6. dezspet


    Mar 21, 2007
    If you choose Stingray 4, it's important to be aware of the difference between the 2 and 3 eq options. The 2 eq version boosts bass and high only, while the 3 eq boosts and cuts all the 3 frequencies. I believe, the bass/high frequencies slightly different as well.
    I have a fretted 2 eq, transparent red, black pickguard, maple neck, it's beautifull, incredible for many genres (I play mainly funk with it), sits very well in the mix.
    I also have a 3 eq fretless, where I can take advantage of the mid eq.
    Excellent instruments.
    I would choose the Stingray over the Sterling, though the thicker neck seems to be a disadvantage, but the higher amount of wood in the neck gives a bigger sound IMO.
    I also prefer the 2 eq version over the 3 eq in case of fretted instrument. I used to have some 3 eq fretted Stingrays as well, but I find the 2 eq sound better, it's pretty subjective of course, but there is a difference in sound, so check it out at a store if you can!
    Don't be afraid of choosing a simple H version (without another neck pickup), IME you can use it in every kind of music, really, you will learn how to use your plucking hand to express various musical nuances on it.
    Generally speaking the Stingrays have a great "sound-landscape" to sit in any kind of mix very well, so you will not regret you decision.
  7. sanchorb

    sanchorb Inactive

    Sep 25, 2007
    Wow, thank you all, great advice and expertise. I am going for a 4 string since I am kind of conservative in this area, and I would love to have that classic look of a Musicman. Also I like wide, chunky masts, for me it is a case of "if you can play a chunk, then you can play anything"...not that I´m straining my wrists or anything, simply I feel comfortable with beefy instruments.

    But I don´t think the "color question" is going to be of much help, LOL, since all of you are damn right, eveything shown there looks great. I´ve entered a post related to the Stingray club, with a lot of pictures that leave me speechless. I saw this picture, which I like a lot, it is the orange one, red tortoise pickguard lying in its case:

    Anyway I live in Costa Rica, and is isn´t like there are a lot of stores that carry Stingrays for us to go and check them out, so many of the beautiful things I see on that forum aren´t readily available.

    Thank you for your replies, keem 'em coming, and hope this gets real sometime for me!! Cheers to all.:bassist:
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Totally agree with the above. After owning many Sterlings (MIA) and Rays, I've found the perfect bass in an old MM Sabre. Has all of the positives mentioned above of both the Sterling and Ray in one package!
  9. dansaghin1


    Sep 18, 2009
  10. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Transparent orange has been my favorite Stingray color for a long time. Also love Pacific Blueburst and Black Cherry burst.

    Check out they have a huge inventory of 'rays and I believe ship just about anywhere
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    +1 on Transparent Orange. I love that color with a white pearloid guard, white pickup, and maple neck!
  12. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    There are quite a few photos of Stingrays (bunch of fivers, but some four strings, too) here:

    The trans-orange color is discontinued. Too bad, it was one of my favorites, too!

    Good luck.

  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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