STINGRAYS......Old Vs New

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChRiS bE, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. Right then..............I would like to know you thoughts to old stingrays (70's or ther abouts) to the modern day 1's.

    To me thay look exactlly the same (unlike j-basses for example ashtrays etc will only be found on old'ish j's)

    Do they sound different?

    (an good condition 72 jazz bass (standerd) will go for around £1200 here but the new ones are about £400)

    And anything else you can tell me

    (Unfortunatly i have not yet had the pleasure of playing a Stingray of any kind (YET!!)
    :mad: )


  2. of course all individual instruments have different characteristics. instruments that are 20+ years old have had longer to develop individual characteristics. the older wood is, the longer it has had to dry out and develop it's personality. plus, with Stingrays there are a few things in older ones that aren't the same for newer ones. through-body stringing is the one that sticks out in my mind. the only way to tell for sure if any of that is important to you is comparison play.
  3. drewie


    Jan 20, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    I was in Sound Control, Bristol on Saturday. They have three lovely StingRays just begging to be played so check 'em out. They also had a copy of a StingRay 5 in natural ash though it looked passive and had no pickup selector switch.

    With regards to the difference between old and new StingRays, they are generally slightly heavier and the neck profile and width is slightly greater. As to which is best I wouldn't like to say - it all comes down to personal preference. I prefer my basses to have an oil finish on the neck rather lacquer, so I prefer the newer ones for that reason alone.

    Try a new 2-band EQ against a pre-Ernie Ball in good condition, that should give you an idea of the difference between new and old.
  4. cool...i sometimes go into sound control (but only if i have to or my m8 naggs me) thanx for your thoughts and facts!!:)
  5. drewie


    Jan 20, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    U r welcome. Enjoy!:)
  6. Is it me or have the staff there got there got the heads soooo far up their $^&*$ (bums) that they coulden't tell a stingray if it hit them in the face.

    (a friend of mine owns the rare and colecatable (cant spell ;) ) guitar shop down the road (Electric Ladyland) he gets so many NICE guitars sold to him by crack heads that just walk in to sound control and walk out again with £1000's worth of guitar and sell it for about a tenner) (he gives them back off course!)

    Now if a guitar goes missing sound control ring him first! :p
  7. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    I've owned both pre-EB and Ernie Ball Stingrays, and there is definately a difference. There are people who prefer the earlier pre-EB models, and others (including myself) who prefer the EB models. What I found with the pre-EB models was that the necks felt slightly chunkier, and I didn't feel the eq had as much control, particularly if you're comparing a pre-EB to an EB with the 3 band eq. However, these same things can be the reasons why some people prefer the earlier models. Also, the pre-EB are strung through th body, while EB's are strung throught the bridge (althought I believe EB has recently released som thru-body Stingrays), which some people feel produces a better tone.

    Probably the best advice I can give you is to try as many Stingrays as possible, and decide which is best for you.

    Cheers, bassaussie.
  8. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I'm extremely happy with my EB Stingrays. Hope to play a '76 some day, but my late models are definitely keepers.
  9. I just bought a brand new Stingray 4 about 6 weeks ago, and when I play it, it sounds exactly like the bass player's Stingray on some of Sade's CDs, (Smooth Operator, Is it a crime?, et cetera) and these were from the mid 80s. So, from what I can tell, there's not that much of a difference in their sound, to me, but, I haven't played an old Stingray side by side with mine.

    Now, I have a couple of questions:

    1) There's a photo of a late 70s Stingray in a book I have* and the string tree is between the A and the D strings, on mine, and most others I've seen, it's between the D & G strings, like it is on most Fenders. How long were they produced like this?

    2) My bass has a 3 band EQ. I noticed that the older ones had 2 band; when did this change?

    Thanks for any replies.

    Mike J.

    * The Ultimate Guitar Book by Tony Bacon
  10. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    I can't answer you about the string tree, but I'm pretty sure that the 3 band eq was introduced as soon as EB started making the basses. It was never available on pre-EB basses.
  11. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    YOu can get new stingrays with 2-band eqs.. only on the 4-string ray however
  12. p0w3rman5ooo


    Aug 27, 2000
    Hey, I just got a a Stingray and the string mutes have left me lost, can anyone tell me how to use them?
  13. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I like the string thru body ones the best. those were killer.
  14. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002
    Michael Jewels,

    Pre EB StingRays were made from 1976 - 1984. It's these models that have the string guide on the D and G strings. They also have a larger bridge plate, string muting and a control plate with 3 controls (vol, and two tones). The lead jack was also on the control plate. Stringing through the body was discontinued in 1980. The body was a slab and not contoured. The neck plate had 3 bolts but changed to 4 bolt in 1980. There was provision for neck tilting via the neck plate which took away the need for shims. Truss rod adjustment was done at the headstock.

    I've never tried an Ernie Ball model.

    My stingRay is a 1979 model which I purchased new. I put it in storage in 1980 and took it out in 1997. In mint condition and plays beautifully. Has a natural body finish made of ash and a maple neck.

  15. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    You've got to hand it to someone who has the patience and determination to keep a fine bass in storage for 17 years!
  16. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002

    It wasn't patients or determination keeping the StingRay in storage....I'd merely forgotten about it most of the time. When I did give it a thought I was doing something else and never got around to taking it out. "Storage" is probably a bit misleading. I'd put it in an out-of-the-way cupboard at home.

    I left the band I was with at the time to start a pretty good job and to complete my studies. Even got a haircut.

    After I put the Bass away I didn't give it any serious thought till I was milling around a music store in 97. I picked up a Fender Frontline magazine and saw a picture of an American J Bass Deluxe. I used to have a few J Basses and was always sorry I'd sold them. After I ordered the deluxe I took out the StringRay thinking I should give it a once over
    and maybe sell it (when I bought it I liked it but didn't think it was as good my old J Basses).

    To my surprise the neck relief was good and only out of tune by a semi-tone or so. After a clean and a new set of strings....the sound, resonance and sustain was something to behold! As a bonus, it's in mint condition. I'd only used it for about 5 or 6 months before I put it away. So, the Bass is still staying at home but under different circumstances.

    Since then I've also purchased an American 62 reissue J Bass. All 3 are exceptionally good Basses.
    Sometimes I think one is better than the others, only to change my mind a few weeks latter and do a complete turn around.

    Cheers and plenty of Beers.
  17. pil101


    Jul 8, 2000
    smash, u said that a drop d tuner came on early EB models? cause the one i have has a hipshot and i wasnt sure if it came from the factory like that.

  18. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    It did. Up until '97-'98 I think.
  19. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002

    I stand corrected but I believe the mutes are used to to duplicate a Double Bass sound. The screws are adjusted to give the required amount of contact with the strings to produce the exact sound you want.