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Stingray popularity decline?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nomaj, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    I agree, but strength and rigidity are different qualities and not necessarily combined in any structure. Glass more rigid than most metals, but not as strong.
  2. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017

    I always thought it looked like an airline ashtray.

    But.... MUTES!
    Bassbeater likes this.
  3. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017

    That happened in the wake of the 1979 fallout with CLF (Leo seemed to be secretly focused on G&L, and somehow 2000 Stingray necks got manufactured with duff truss rods).

    All manufacturing moved out of CLF, the necks got outsourced to Jackson, and they stopped bothering to pour epoxy over the preamp - which was probably more of a "time = money" cost cutting measure, than a less paranoid environment for corporate espionage.

    Again, I'm guessing, that Music Man simply used up the existing stock of bridges, before going with the same "time = money" cost cutting formula : drilling the holes, and fitting the ferrules all adds up to extra time per instrument, and fewer instruments made (and of course the occasional screw up, where a bridge, or body, has been slightly misdrilled).

    It may also be the case, that after the CLF fallout, Music Man had to negotiate a new deal for bridge manufacture ; so add all those factors up, and a top loading bridge may have been the only feasible solution for the company, at the time.

    Of course, they may have simply decided that a top loading bridge was the best choice, either for technical reasons, or in terms of customer demand :

    I'm not sure about the U.S. but in the UK, throughout the 70's and 80's, and even in to the early 90's, string choices were pretty limited, and string through instruments could be a real pain, depending on the scale - you might find the silks the wrong side of the nut.

    There are always gripes (unfounded, or not) that flat wound strings are more prone to breaking, on a string through instrument - I couldn't really comment on that, as I rarely use flats.

    Personally I avoid string through like the plague - though that's probably totally unnecessary these days, and it's just become a personal preference (and one that I may have to get over, if I'm ever going to give in, and own a Mustang).

    It's the double whammy of a slab body, coupled with string through setup, that Pre-Ernie Ball, and EB Classic Stingrays are not for me.
  4. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Enjoy your glass bridge.
    MattZilla and Bassbeater like this.
  5. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    Same here - I think this is a case of someone "hearing and feeling" with their eyes, or just looking to nitpick...
    mouthmw and maplenecked like this.
  6. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    Ive always thought that it was more about the bridges effect on the strings vibration. Do the differences in weight, density, etc, cause alterations in the way the string vibrates? What combination of factors is "better" is subjective. We are straying somewhat OT now:)
    Bassbeater likes this.
  7. mannysilvers

    mannysilvers Commercial User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    As some others have mentioned, I think it's less of a StingRay thing in popular music (at least popular rock music right now) as it is a general affinity for passive, simple basses at the moment. You figure the four most classic basses for rock are the Precision, Jazz, 4001/4003, and StingRay - and of those four the StingRay I'd argue is the most different from the other three. The general trend in bass lately it seems is simpler is better, classic is better, and even though the StingRay is technically a very classic instrument it has always been a more "modern" sound. EBMM even reacted in a way to this trend by putting out the Cutlass and Caprice. I personally went from playing an EBMM Reflex as my main bass to a 4003 in large part because I was craving something a little more "old school" and simple.

    That said, I definitely have some GAS for one of the new Rays. That dropped copper color seems like it was literally made for me and I love the roasted maple necks...maybe one day.
    nomaj likes this.
  8. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I have a decent number of basses and considered downsizing. The three that make the final cut are my SR5 Special, my Caprice and my Alien Audio. If a Caprice 5 string ever happened, I’d add that to the herd but I realize that’s not even in the works.
    lowdownthump and MattZilla like this.
  9. wow. I see.
  10. THANKS for the insight!!
    Scott Ball likes this.
  11. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I can't agree with this. There are plenty of mainstream basses with on board pres, Fender's Deluxe line, then Sadowsky, and one off "boutiques". I think the weight and ergonomics of the Ray hurt it more than anything. The new Specials look to address this head on. I'd still like to see an offset waist, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
  12. I need one for my collection but the Ray's and Gibson Rippers look fat like pregnant guppies to me.
  13. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Weight I understand, but what’s wrong with the ergonomics? Unless you mean Classic slab bodies (had a slab USA SUB, wasn’t a big deal). Otherwise, they’re not far off from the P bass shape and are comfortable.
    mesaplayer83 and amper like this.
  14. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Yes/no. The Ray seems to have a bigger "butt". Maybe it's the controls on the banana plate. Either way, the controls always seemed just a little far away from my playing position. Not a deal breaker, by any means. But not ideal either.
    GonzoBfiddy likes this.
  15. mannysilvers

    mannysilvers Commercial User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    Maybe I'm off here, but I feel like lately with the majority of concerts I go to or even see online from rock bands the bassist is playing some pretty classic, passive bass. Usually a simple Fender P or J. While the Fender Deluxe line and boutiques with active electronics exist I don't think they are the norm, at least right now.
    nomaj likes this.
  16. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yup, different strokes and all. Lots of folks here loathe Jaco’s tone as well.

    I am not one of those folk.
    GonzoBfiddy likes this.
  17. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    The StingRay ergonomics and weight have always felt quite comfortable to me. To each her own, I suppose.

    I don't ever reach for controls while I'm playing, only between songs. And…well…I like big butts, and I cannot lie. When a girl walks in with a StingRay bass and a mid-scoop in your face, you get…

    well, I think you get the picture.
    metron, mouthmw, Rlbragg15 and 8 others like this.
  18. Tom Baker

    Tom Baker

    Feb 3, 2016
    Personally I like controls as far away from the playing position as possible. Then again my perfect bass/guitar would have no controls. None. Really. Full throughput all the time. I'd rather have a volume pedal sitting in front of an EQ pedal or just a volume pedal because most amp EQ is pretty decent these days. This is neither here nor there. Does it matter if an a particular instrument isn't as in vogue this year? If you have a bass you are happy with why is it important other people play the same model? I love Geddy Lee; always have but I have never owned a 70's Jazz, Rickenbacker, Wal or Steinberger XL2. I didn't buy my Stingray because of Freaky Styley either.

    Maybe the new Stingray will be more/less popular. It doesn't really matter all that much. It has a sound and some people will dig it and others won't. It has a look and some people will dig it, etc. The market ebbs and flows. Trends come and go. I wouldn't worry about it.
    mouthmw and Ikkir like this.
  19. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I've never once bought an instrument because of its popularity.
    Mantis Tobaggan and bovinehost like this.
  20. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Just a thought (if it’s already been put forward, sorry). Back in the late ‘70’s and ‘80’s and even on there was really no other option to generate that MM tone, and it set the bass world on its ear. With today’s almost unlimited pedal and amp choices, the Sting Ray’s no longer as tonally unique, though it’s still unique in other ways. That’s no reason to lose market share per se as they’re great instruments, but I think it’s perhaps a part of the story.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    Tom Baker and nomaj like this.

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