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The new Stingray 5HH Special, a MUST HAVE!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by baltodoc, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. baltodoc

    baltodoc Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2014
    After 4+ years of G.A.S., in a way it seems I may have come full circle. A little over 4 years ago I traded away my #1 of 8 years, a Stingray 5H. That began a never-ending search for my next permanent #1. After buying, selling and trading over 150 basses during that span, I have finally found my new permanent #1. Last week I made a sick deal for a one-month old Chopper Blue Stingray 5HH Special I bought it as used, but trust me when I tell you it was brand spanking new.
    Just for clarification I have bought and sold 5 other Stingray 5 HH's during the last 4 years. All amazing, but for some reason I still turned them over. Something for me was missing. Just as it was for the 5 Foderas I've owned, the 4 Ken Smiths and the list goes on. Beautiful top of the line basses, all of them.
    But when all is said and done I have now settled on this Stingray 5 HH Special in Chopper Blue that I paid a fraction of the price for all of the boutiques I've owned.
    OMG, what a difference they have made with this newly-designed Stingray 5 HH! It is at least 1 1/2 pounds lighter than any previous iteration. I've always love the Stingray sound, but this thing is ENTIRELY different, yet it holds the original Stingray "pop", if you will. But that bottom end is just breathtaking. I don't know if it's that they made it 18v or the re-voicing of the pickups and preamp, but they have hit a grand slam home run! I literally can't describe it for you. I'm very picky about getting "my tone". It's what suits me. I found it on this bass, but that's only one setting. With the 5-way switch your tone is in there somewhere.
    I have now sold all but 3 basses, and I'm even concerned with owning the other two because I don't think they'll ever get played. And I love both of them. BTW, each of them cost more than twice what I paid for the new Stingray.
    My bottom line is this...you should RUN to try out one of these basses.
    Even if you have buy new, street price is $2099. At that price, it's an absolute steal!
  2. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Lesson to be learned: never sell your number #1.
    You might want to put it in the Stingray Soecial topic.
    Quantized Harmonic and wmmj like this.
  3. HD007

    HD007 Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2018
    There is indeed a Stingray Special club thread generally brimming with enthusiasm for the updated model.
    They’re right on the money in so many ways. Glad one found its way to you
    wmmj and lowdownthump like this.
  4. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Let it be known that I am in complete agreement with the OP.
    HD007 likes this.
  5. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Strange... I've bought a 5H special and returned it the same day... Lower weight for sure, great quality, neck, etc. but mine definitely didn't have the punch and tightness of my 2002 SR5. Also, the 3 position pickup tap selector was kinda useless. Position 1 and 3 almost identical, and 2 was about 6-8 db quieter, while my 2002 has 3 distincts tones without level compensation requirements. I also prefered the EQ on my 2002, it just sounds better. The 18v. circuit is marketing; 9v has always been enough.

    The new lower weight tuning pegs are nice though... I prefer the older more solid bridge. The new one feels like MIM Fender stuff.

    To me, the Special definitely is a compromise, not the 'real' thing.
    selowitch, slamzilla, wmmj and 3 others like this.
  6. Chiliwailer


    May 18, 2013
    I couldn’t disagree with you more buddy, but I think that’s cool because we never complained about the old MM Rays, and they were, and will always be, great basses. So I’m not saying your wrong :)

    I prefer my Special to my old 2015 3 Band, but.... as far as the wood and resonance goes my 2015 happened to be better, but that’s more a ‘by chance’ thing rather than direct comparison between the two models. I sold the 2015 because I found the Special to be more in line with what I wished the 2015 always had, and by that I mean the tone, EQ, weight and comfort.

    The only thing I found issue with in your post was that you say they feel like MIM Fenders, ouch! :banghead: :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    HD007 and lowdownthump like this.
  7. Chiliwailer


    May 18, 2013
    I feel like your story mirrors mine... loads of buying and selling, which I can only imagine is because this bass was only just realised this year! Gutted it wasn’t around when I was in my 20’s. I’ve played MM’s for years too, I’m loving the progression, for my tastes.

    If I only had one bass, and my HH Special was it, I wouldn’t worry for one second. And when me and my Mrs move house, that may just be the cases as I may have to sell my Old Smoothie and awesome playing near mint 66 PBass at that point. Previously that’d given me a bad feeling, but if it happened now I’d enjoy being a one bass guy, it’s always been the dream.
    Mistahbenn, wmmj, HD007 and 2 others like this.
  8. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I was only refering to the new lightweight bridge here, not the overall quality of the instrument, which is quite nice and on par with what MM has always been (IMHO).

    Like you, I prefer light weight instruments for their greater comfort... but after almost 100 basses, I seriously begin to think it's a tone compromise most of the time.
    HD007 likes this.
  9. Chiliwailer


    May 18, 2013
    Ah, got you about the bridge!

    I’m with you, I’ve had some Lull basses which made me think the weight affected the tone. Though I’ve played some lightweight 50’s basses, and the odd CS, that sounded huge. So, on that one I give up!

    That said, my Ray sounds pretty solid.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    HD007 and davidchampoux like this.
  10. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Stingrays are no different from Jazz or Pbasses. They all come in different flavors. 50’s 60’s 70’s Pbasses all sound and feel different but they are all Pbasses. Same goes for 60’s and 70’s and later 2000’s active jazz basses.

    Some are going to prefer pre Ernie Ball 2 band Rays while others will like 90’s 3 band. Some even prefer the USA SUB models.

    I’ve always wanted a Ray but always preferred 2 band but couldn’t handle the necks , slab bodies, or the weight . Not until these new Specials came along. I happen to think the Special 5HH is one of the best basses ever made.
    It works for me. Sounds like your 9volt 3 band Ray works for you. That’s a win win situation. Saved yourself some money and didn’t end up with buyers remorse and sellers regret.
    Play what you like and like what you play. Truth is that I’ve never played a bad MusicMan bass. They all just didn’t happen to work for me.
    Basses are not one size fits all.
    Chiliwailer, HD007 and davidchampoux like this.
  11. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    Pics, pics, pics!:hyper:
    wmmj likes this.
  12. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Wow, 6-8 DB quieter? That's a pretty significant cut.
  13. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Pics or it didn’t happen
  14. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Strange how opinions vary so much between this and what the OP is saying! Not sure what to believe. Guess I have to find out myself...
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    Chiliwailer and lowdownthump like this.
  15. phillipkregg

    phillipkregg Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I love the new Stingray specials. I own one of the four string models with a single H and I believe all the improvements they've made have really bumped it up to boutique levels.

    Having said that though, I can never play music man five strings because the G & B strings always slip off the edge of the fingerboard. That doesn't happen with my Sadowsky, it doesn't happen with my Skjold, Fender 5s, or frankly any other bass. If music man ever decides to widen their fingerboards I'll give it a shot again, but in my opinion they do make the best production quality 4 strings in the U.S. right now.
  16. baltodoc

    baltodoc Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2014

  17. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    There’s zero compromise with these new Stingrays. Zero. I have the 4HH and it’s the finest instrument I’ve ever owned. It’s tonally limitless. Playability is superb. Fit and finish is flawless. It’s perfect really. And it does all that stuff perfectly balanced and 8 lbs.

    Attached Files:

    Les Fret and lowdownthump like this.
  18. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Well honestly, my Stingray 5HH 2007 that I bought as a first owner was such a lemon that I was crying when I sold it - finally. Those were tears of joy.

  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots

    HH stingrays are sweet … the low B is great …

    Try this when you get it …

    Favor the neck pickup and boost the mids and cut the treble … you get a great thump
    Chiliwailer and lowdownthump like this.

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