1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Stingray popularity decline?

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

  1. Tom Baker

    Tom Baker

    Feb 3, 2016
    OK, I swear I'm not being contrary but even with pedals there is a small number of basses with uniquely inimitable tones and the stingray is one of them.

    Here's my picks for those basses in no particular order.

    1. Stingray
    2. Warwick Thumb (go on and try to get that sound without one - I've been trying forever because my Thumb weighed 13.5 lbs and I couldn't take it anymore)
    3. Rickenbacker 400x ric-o-sound blah blah blah
    4. Ampeg Baby Bass

    There may be more but those are the one's that I think of.

    This of course is my completely opinionated opinion.
  2. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I actually agree, but i think “close enough” may be ok for lots of players. For instance, my G&L L1500 doesn’t “exactly” do the Sting Ray, but I would be the only one in the room who knows the difference. But back in 1980 there was no L1500, and active electronics were a new thing. The Sting Ray was a jaw-dropper then, and it rightfully gained a great following, especially among disillusioned Fender fans.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  3. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Yeah, I have to say the ergonomics are something I really like on both Ray and P, one of the reasons is the control plate location - when I play with a pick, there's no danger in me hitting the knobs. When I had a Jazz with concentric knobs, it was always too close, too crowded and I had to be careful not to hit the knobs. Ray and P - ultimate rock it out.

    The only thing that threw me off at the very beginning of owning one was getting used to the pickup location. That's it. That's the part that was a bit "foreign" to me coming from P and J basses and having my thumb rest on the neck pup mostly. Maybe that's what you mean too.
  4. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I just keep playing my SR5 every week--and enjoying it.
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  5. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Me either. I was an early Bongo fan, so I can actually prove this.
  6. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I have to say, and with all due respect, this doesn't make sense to me. I have never come close to accidentally hitting the volume control on a J bass. Are you doing Pete Townsend windmills?
    Part of what I strive for, in terms of technique and wear and tear on my body is economy of movement. So, my hand never gets that far from the strings. I'm not saying I am a master of this, and I certainly have some sloppy habits. But it is something I am aware of and try make something of a priority. (and mostly for wear and tear on my aging body)
    But like I said above, the Ray's ergonomic is neither a deal breaker nor ideal for me. I guess you could say I see it as a stone on the scale when it comes to tie breakers.
  7. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Yup it could happen if I really wail on it. Like I said, I only really noticed it with the concentric knobs which are a bit higher. When doing that kind of "punk rock" downstrokes. What can I say, when I play rock, I'm not the one to play it in the most gentle way. Knobs did get in the way for me, but I don't remember having the same issue with the regular VVT jazz basses.
  8. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    The thing that actually made me sit up and take notice of the StingRay was that my local GC got a used fretless in with flats, and when I demoed it, I was hooked by the sound. I'd been playing a Fender Jazz Plus V for years, but with frets and rounds.

    So, I bought one. But then I found a color I like better and bought that one. But then I found the same color with piezo, so I bought that one, and she's *magical* on the piezo pickups, even better than the magnetic.

    Now, I'm willing to bet my fretless with piezos sounds *completely* different to what most people think when they think StingRay, which is almost certainly frets and rounds, and I love that, too, but my StingRay is so comfortable to play, and so beautiful—I really think the Stingray body is the perfect shape, the best of all Leo's designs—the neck feels just right and the fingerboard is hard and smooth.

    My StingRay is rare among StingRays, and I love her for it.
    Groove Doctor and Groovegestapo like this.
  9. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    I do see less Stingrays gigging here, but my musical taste has changed which might be a driving force on why. I do believe there are some other reasons why, and chief among those is that it's much easier to get a high quality custom bass for the same price or even less now than ever before.

    The most popular complaint I've heard about Stingrays over the years is the weight, and needing a to go on a diet. Another, not as well-known is their basses can be prone to fret lifting. It's not uncommon around here for savy buyers to bring a feeler gauge and check; particularly for rosewood necks.

    But Ernie Ball appears to be listening as they've put their Stingrays on a diet and even advertise weight on their model specs. For a $2,000 plus bass, EBMM needs to continuing stepping up their game. They went too long not doing so, imo, while their competitors were restless.
  10. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I've never found my StingRay heavy, and heavier instruments sound better and have more sustain, anyway. My StingRay is still lighter than a Les Paul. The modern fetish for lightweight basses confuses me. EBMM's decision to move to lighter wood and a lower mass bridge is, all things being equal otherwise, detrimental to "tone".
  11. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    What's your ray's weight? Mine (4 string, single H) is 10 lbs.
  12. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    It’s definitrly not detrimental to tone. Not at all.
  13. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I agree weight, density, etc, effects tone.....whether it's "detrimental" or not is subjective IMO.
  14. maplenecked

    maplenecked Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2017

    Wonder what wood that table was made out of cause that dude made some killer tones on it
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Nonsense. A heavy bass MIGHT have a better tone and more sustain, but so might a light one. The most sustain I've had on any bass is a Warmoth Jazz that comes in at a hair over 8 lbs
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  16. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    Ive been favoring a Fender J or P for a few years now and my Stingray(1996-4string) usually sits at home. Its a 3 band, always had a thinner tone on the G, kind of heavy, and a tad to much sizzle/twang with most rounds. However, Ive had a set of Labella 760fl's on it for a week or so now...im really digging the tone again, especially as the strings break in. Totally getting that "Another One Bites The Dust" tone..:)
  17. Continuum

    Continuum Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    tim68 likes this.
  18. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Did you try pushing the pickup magnets up under G string to try fattening that string up?
    (Or push the others down to tame them)
  19. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    When I first got the bass, way back in 96, it had the missing G string issue bad. After trying everything, i replaced the pickup/preamp with SD basslines and that seemed to do the trick to at least even the volume out. However, the G string isnt nearly a full sounding as a J or P, I think thats just a characteristic of the sound though. I have an on/off again relationship with the Stingray, sometimes i really dig it, sometimes I dont.
  20. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Their popularity certainly hasn't declined with me; I never liked them.

Share This Page