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Stingray or Sterling

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Aug 25, 2000.

  1. Well in the near future i am going to be faced with the decision of whether to buy an Ernie ball Stingray or an Ernie ball Sterling. They both feature a humbucker pickup at the end of the bass. The Stingray is an average pickup and is 2EQ. The Sterling has a Phantom Coil and 3EQ. The phantom coil has three different modes. One is both coils in series mode, the other is just one coil, and the last is both coils in paralell mode. Which of the two do you think that i should purchase?
  2. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Hehe!! I was in the same EXACT position as you!! I was wondering if I should ge tthe Stingray or the Sterling. Both of them have their goods/bads.. but at the end. My new Bass I ordered was a Salas Custom 4. I heard that it kills the Musicmans and its a little bit cheaper also :) Im getting it soon!! yay


    PS: if u wanna find the thread on Musicmans, search for it :) Mine should be in it

    Good luck to ya
  3. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Ok i know next to nothing about Ernie Ball/MM basses so heres what i've heard from people The StringRay is bigger & that the sterling is smaller than the StingRay so i dunno if this will affect your choice or not.
  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    As a ErnieBall/MusicMan fan I will try to guide you in your purchase.

    There are two Stingrays and 1 Sterling.
    1 of the Stingrays is very rare and has a deeper cutaway and 3 Band EQ. This is the one that Flea used.

    You can get the Stingray with the stock 2 Band EQ or pay a little more and get 3 Band EQ.

    The sterling has less mass in the body, and is more lightweight, that means less mass to produce a better tone. It does have a triple position selector. (The same thing appears in the Ibanez ATK300, but worked a lot better than the sterling)

    What to choose?? I would go for the Stingray with 3 BandEQ, its one of the Phatest basses around made by EB/MM.
    Well.. What about something bassed upon those basses?
    Enter LAKLAND.

    There is a model in the Lakland line that is just like the Stingray but has Bartolinis and a J Pickup in the neck position... HOW DOES IT SOUND??? LIKE HEAVEN.
    I have played It and loved it.

    But I would really get a Stingray if I have to choose between a Sterling or Stingray.

  5. TonyS


    Dec 13, 1999
    Mr. Fortune,

    As an owner of a Stingray 5 and a Sterling, let me say that your on the right track. IMO the main difference in a Stingray (4) and a Sterling is in the Size of the instrument. A reasonable size comparison whould be;
    Stingray=Precison ... Sterling=Jazz, esp. the necks. FWIW the Sterling is my main axe.

    I've got medium sized hands at best, so the Sterling is a great match for me. Cuts through the mix nicely. The intonation and construction on the MM instruments that I've played are great.

    Best Wishes.
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If the two basses you describe are the only ones available, I'd probably go with the Sterling, just to get the three-band EQ and pickup switch. If you can get a three-band Stingray, I'd go with that. My Stingray is a 5-string, and came with the three-band EQ and pickup switch, and is an excellent bass in all respects except one. It weighs something like 127 pounds, and I'm an old fart. I can play it for a set or so, but four hours of that leaves me limp.

    As for Ifabara's comment, I agree about the Lakland. It's about twice the cost, but worth it in my opinion. It's lighter, better constructed, and much more versatile, tone-wise. Take a second mortgage out on your car, and get the Lakland.
  7. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Coool!! I must agree.. goto the Sterling!! I would do the same thing because I like the faster neck and I like the switch :)

  8. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    How come nobody ever mentions MusicMan Silhouette? I am not sure if that product is shipping, but it is on their website, and specs look quite good.
  9. j3b3r


    Aug 19, 2000
    Sterling....Sterling....Sterling....COOLL !!!
  10. Hey Ifabara, when you say i should get the stingray with the 3 band EQ, should i get the one with the Piezo pickup or not?
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Brooks, thats a baritone guitar...so they put it in basses. They have them occasionally at GC here. Best baritone ive played! Just a regular Music Man guitar with longer scale.
  12. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Piezo Pickup?? No.
    But if you can get the standard plus a Piezo pickup... GREAT!!!
    althought a Piezo pickup needs a special preamp that drives the Mega-ohm impedance that a piezo has.

    Anyway... Stingray/3Band EQ + Piezo = Versatility for the real world.

  13. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Can't improve upon this --unless you want to look at something other than a Music Man.
  14. rooster


    Jun 10, 2000
    upstate new york
    this is my first reply to a question.i have had both the sterling and now own a stingray anniversary model.i prefer my stingray but i quess what ever makes you happy is the one you should buy.but definitely try both before buying.
  15. The bottom line is this is a personal taste decision that only you can make, cuz we'll all give you different opinions on which we prefer, but I think we all can agree that MMs are quality instruments.

    As for MY opinion (which comes free,and is worth even less! :D ), I just got back from GC half an hour ago, and myself and another fellow were playing with every Stingray in the shop. There were some nice ones, definitely, and a lot of 'em did nothing for us. Then, I decided to try the one blue Sterling hanging on the wall, and it was AMAZING! A tremendous versatility of tone, lightweight, GREAT neck and board, nice finish and construction, plays great. When I left, the other guy was STILL playing it. I think it's love....

    At any rate, that Sterling was great, but $1,159.00 is up there. Probably doesn't include the case, either. Is it me, or should the price of a new bass include a hardcase or gig bag (at least) as a rule? Having to shell out 100-150 bucks on top of that thousand dollar bass chaffs my hide. Of course, you could always try to get them to throw it in: it worked on my Rick when I got it new last year :)
  16. Well let me change the question around a little. I've decided on the Stingray. Here's the question, i think i'm gonna go with a stingray 5. The question is, with Piezo or not. Not money wise, but sound wise, should i go for the 5 string Stingray with the Piezo or without.
  17. Tuomas


    Mar 14, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    Well i have a stingray 4 with the piezo. It's good. I mean, if you have money to spare, it ain't gonna do any damage since you can turn it off if you wan't to. I don't use the piezo that much. It gives nice high-end bite, but it's actually pretty hard to notice with a band. And the piezo does improve chordal and tapping sounds.. But it's really a tough call since I really wouldn't care if I wouldn't have the piezo. It's just a one sound more that ain't even as cool as the original stingray sound. So turn the 3 way switch to bridge position and you already have the coolest sound around.
  18. The piezo won't make as big of a versatility issue for you as HH or HS. 3 band gives you what it is, 3+ versions of the aggressive Ray sound. I love the extremes you get from the EQ.
  19. MCouary


    May 6, 2008
    What about Tone? a friend has a sterling and stingray, he A/B them once, i was there as a "witness" and i felt the stingray had more low end than the sterling! is it true? or am i going deaf?
  20. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I also feel like the stingray has more low end than the sterling, but it's been a while since I've played a sterling.

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