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Stingray Info

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassPlayerGush, Jun 2, 2004.


  1. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    I am extremely interested in purchasing a 4-string Stingray. The problem is...i have not played a huge variety of them...nor do i have the opportunity to. i know there are some serious stingray players on talk bass. most of my basses are all big passive basses...so i would like to get this for my funky type stuff.

    it seems that the pre-ernie ball stingrays are more saught after and usually much more expensive. why is this? is it really worth the extra cash to go pre-ernie? how do the piezo pickups sound or do you usally just stick to the standard humbucker? what are your opinions on the maple and redwood fretboards on the stingrays? any advice at all on my journey of seeking the perfect stingray? i will most likely be purchasing it on the internet...so i cant play it in person. thank you for your time!
     
  2. I was just ganna post asking pretty much the same thing... you beat me to it... oh well... mainly what's the major differance between maple and rosewood besides color?... rosewood is prettier...
     
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I'm no expert, but EB changed the bridge, the pre-EB bridges were strings-through body, the current bridge isn't. IMHO I don't think it really changed the tone of the SR. I prefer EB's trussrod adjustment wheel over the pre-EB's 'bullet' trussrod adjuster. I was told EB slightly changed the pickup's construction, but then again, I really like how both the pre-EB and EB basses sound. I can't hear any big difference between the two, but maybe I'm deaf :D !
    As for the maple vs. rosewood fingerboard comparison goes, I think the rosewood 'board sounds slightly warmer than the maple 'board. But there are many more in-the-know people on the forum that say there's no difference in tone between the two. You'll certainly have to make the call for yourself.

    I personally think you'll be very happy with the EB StingRay, but I hope you can find a way to play one before you buy.
    Or you go the mail order route, many of the online retailers will let you test-drive one. If you're not happy with it, you can pay for the return shipping and send it back for a refund.

    Best wishes, A.P.
     
  4. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    The pre-EB Rays had different electronics and that's the main reason many people prefer those over the EBs.
    Pre-EB Pros:
    - Electronics: the preamps were modified by Leo Fender several times over the years between 1976 (1st production year and 1978-79). These are the most coveted pre Ernies.
    Pre-EB Cons: They are usually much heavier than the EBs and IMO the construction is more inconsistent.

    If you are going to buy sigh unseen you better go with an EB. The QC at the EB factory is very high and their service is top notch.
    Tonewise the6y sound slightly different but both are StingRays with that trademark tone.

    if you want to listen to some soud samplers of a EB with piezo let me know and I'll e-mail you a file with several samplers.

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  5. twilightcall

    twilightcall

    May 27, 2004
    I think it is worth the extra $$$ for a Pre-EBMM. I got a Pre-EB Stingray and yes it is slightly heavier but IMO it has a warmer, more full bodied tone. (best terms I could find) This is my opinion but I have played a few EB Stingrays to compare to. PLus the Pre-EB is going up in value so if you bought one and played it a few years then wanted to sell it you might make some cash when it comes time to resell it. HTHs.
     
  6. Czar

    Czar

    May 6, 2003
    New Jersey
    All this guys are correct. Another slight difference is pre-eb had slab bodies, or the very early pre-EB production did at least. But again, the main difference is the pre-amp. EB didn't get the Leo pre-amp when they bought the rights to Musicman.

    I think both the the EB and pre-EB are great basses. I personally like the EB betters. The truss road wheel, the oiled/matte necks and the 3 band pre-amp.

    Best bet for you is to see if you can play them both. Another thing you may want to check out is the SUB. It's in the vein of the Pre-EB; slab body, 2 band preamp, great build quality.
     
  7. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    I really like the post pre-eb stingrays from the 80's and early 90's. I've never played one of those I didn't like. For some reason, they always play and sound better than the new ones to me.
     
  8. inoculation

    inoculation

    May 9, 2004
    I'd love to hear some clips of both bre-eb and eb rays
    I also am looking into getting a stingray
     
  9. SoyBase

    SoyBase

    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    Ahh, you're right in my ballpark here.

    I have a 91 4-string, a 79 and a 95 5-string.

    I, personally prefer any Stingray before, say 1992 due to the fact that you get the old school bridge, the finished birdseye neck (after years of playing and sweating, its got a nice gloss to it, (now this is all what I hear, and I could be wrong) an Alnico pickup and the metal battery cover. If you can try a 2-band and 3-band EQ then I'd suggest trying it. My 91 has the 3-band and the tone is flat out "stingray"...The 2-band is cool if you're not into turning knobs and the like. Either way you look at it, its a win-win.

    My 95 5er has the birdseye, but with the oil neck and the plastic battery cover. Since its a 5, It doesn't have the cool string muted bridge. I'm kind of comparing apples to oranges because the 5 is more of a Sterling than a Ray. You can always tell one of these apart from the rest by the line on the back of the neck right at the nut..It goes from oil to finished. I don't know if the 4's had the cool bridge, or the metal battery cover. I wouldn't turn down one of these basses either.

    Now my 79 Stingray. Granted you're going to pay more for a Pre-EB, you'll always get your money back, or make some if the bass is in good shape. I got lucky and found one that is a good 9/10 that I know I'll never lose money on if i ever (gasp) have to sell it. The 79 sounds different, but still Stingray to the bone. Its definitely beefier with crisper highs. It has a very modern kind of sound for a 79. The Alnico pickup and simple 2-band pre are a match made in heaven. As far as construction goes on the older models, I'm sure its hit or miss. I find no problems/issues with mine what so ever.

    Listen to Fugazi's first album (Waiting Room, Suggestion) and you'll hear the distinct tone of an older Ray (I know Joe Lally uses an older Pre-EB ray on this album and a newer one on some others (at least live I've seen him live with a 3-band Ray). The newer Rays sound a little more growly (Listen to Rage Against the Machines first album). This should give you an idea.

    The one nice thing about an EB Stingray is that they'll all pretty much sound alike. Pure tonal bliss :D

    I hope some of this info helps. I know I'm totally biased on these things, so take it as you will.

    I'll tell you one thing, though. I've played all sorts of basses and at the end of the day, I always go back to the Stingray :bassist:

    As always, if you can play it first, do so. It will tell you way more than anything on this board can!

    Thanks
    Tommy
     
  10. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    which era stingray has the matte or oil neck finish? which one is more prefered?

    i already have a beautiful pre-cbs p-bass...so i am basically getting this for some funky stuff, primarily flea's tone. therefore, i think i am leaning towards the EB. from what other people have been saying on here, the early 90's are the best EB rays. is this correct?

    does anybody have any opinions on the maple or rosewood fretboards on the stingray?

    am i correct in saying that the pre-ernie ball basses have more of a warm-wood type sound where as the ernie balls are more punchy and bright?

    thanks
     
  11. SoyBase

    SoyBase

    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    I believe they started the oil finish from 92 on (based on internet research).

    The early 90's thing is all personal opinion. I think they have a better feel, but thats just me.

    The maple FB will give you a little more "snappy" tone, but in reality no one else will be able to tell a difference.

    I would say the Pre-EB is warmer/beefier sounding than the EB, but it sure doesn't lack any clarity or punch. The EB is a tad "thinner" sounding with the pre set flat than with the Pre EB. I actually had to turn my bass boost off with the PRE-EB set flat if that tells you anything.
     
  12. Malcom

    Malcom

    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    So. . . Do they still make ANY Stingrays with two band eq's?
    I really don't like the three band eq on my ATK. I don't mind adding a little high or low end, but the mid knob screws with everything too much.
     
  13. What exactly is a piezo?
     
  14. Czar

    Czar

    May 6, 2003
    New Jersey
    Yep, you can still get the 2-band but it's not exactly the same as the pre-EBs. The 2 bands have more bass as there is no high pass filter on it. The 3-band has the filter that removes the low-lows to tighten the lows. it can be removed from the 3-band if you dare take the challenge to to did :eek:

    As for your ATK, it has an Ibanez pre-amp. I think you can make the comparison between the two,Musicman and Ibanez. There are plenty of aftermarket pre-amps if you want to replace it. Duncan makes one that is pretty similar to the MM. For a nice 2-band, I recommend the Aguilar OB-1. :bassist:
     
  15. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    a piezo pickup is simply a pickup built within a bridge.

    does anybody have any opinions on the piezo pickups on the pre-EB stingrays (if you use it at all)?
     
  16. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    No piezo pickup in the pre-EBs

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  17. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    What is a post pre-EB Stingray?
     
  18. inoculation

    inoculation

    May 9, 2004
    How wide is the neck on a stingray 4?
    in comparison to like a J Bass
     
  19. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    i would say that the neck seems a little bigger than a jazz...a little bit more like a precision.
     
  20. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    does the maple or rosewood fretboard have any distinctions from each other...or do they bassically sound the same?