To Music Man, Or not to Music Man.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OrioN_2k, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Back open? Alright! :D

    A more precise question though, now that I know "to MM":

    To Sterling or To Stingray?

    I haven't quite been able to tell the difference in tone yet (haven't spent much time with either). All I know is that the Sterling's neck is a bit smaller and the Sterling has a three-way switch. Any other differences or insights? I'm sure there are. And yes, I've been to the MM/EB site but it's seriously hard to pinpoint the exact difference, let alone describe the sound, which is why actual player insight would be great...


  2. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I must respectfully disagree with those that say you can get a mellow sound on either a stingray or sterling.

    I sold my sterling, because even after putting flats on it, I was never able to get rid of the harsh, rock and roll active sound!

    I wanted to love this bass, because it was built like a tank, and very cool to look at (orange-burst finish) but I never could!

    Now, I play a MIM jazz bass with lindy fralins, and INHO, the sound smokes the musicman! Now, I can get both Mellow AND harsh rock tones, on the same instrument.

    I will say this: if you are a pick player, the stingray can be a great bass for you! Same if you are mostly a slapper. But for mellow fingerstyle, I have to say go with something else...

    A good bass that can somewhat get the musicman sound but might be a bit more useable for other styles would be the laklands, or the peavey cirrus, or even a Carvin.

    One last thought: I intitally bought my sterling because it sounded really good in the music store, was not until I had done a bit of recording and band playing with it, that I started to realize that is did not sound that great in the mix..

    With a p-bass, for example, it does not sound that exciting by itself, but when you hear how well it sits in the mix, you are a fender player forever!!
  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Weird how this thread reopened... I was just browsing StingRay 5's a couple hours ago and was tempted.
  4. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Cool! Thanks for your opinion...

    Which does bring me to yet another question:

    So how did your Sterling compare to the sound of say a regular P-bass or a regular Jazz? Can you describe the sound of each? Sorry to ask but when I try them at the music store, I just don't know if it's the amp, or I can't really focus on comparisons when I'm there. Too much stimulation at one time, I guess haha. And anyway, EVERYTHING sounds good at the store, doesn't it?

  5. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Well I'll go......

    I have owned a StingRay, and currently own a StingRay5. I HAVE TO SAY that if you couldn't get a "mellow" sound from either (even without flats) it wasn't the bass that was the problem....

    You can disagree until you're blue in the face, but the truth is IT CAN BE done. Not only have I done it, but so have many others. Not to mention all of the recordings done by "professional" bass players that have achieved this goal.
  6. i find musicmen very one-dimensional when played live. I would like to hear a music man with simple jazz bass single coils. I bet it would smoke.
  7. I got rid of my StingRay because it just wasn't right for me. But I would definitely recommend it to any serious player. It's a beautiful instrument that deserves respect.
  8. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    Reading Pa

    Bongo!!! :bassist: :bassist: :D
  9. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I must respectfully say that I can most respectfully get wonderfully fat and mellow sounds out of my Stingrays and other MM basses using nothing more than flats, my dumb fingers and a couple of Ampeg cabs.

    I am not making this up, nor was John Deacon.

    Kill me if I am mistaken.
  10. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    Just got a Sterling off the 'bay last week. Played it at church last Sunday, and have been messing with it all week. Observations so far:

    Old bass: MIM Fender Active Deluxe- GREAT bass for the $. Noiseless pups, 3 band eq, but heavy. REAL heavy. Good mix of "active" and "passive" sounds. Neck pup sounds really "woody", kinda p-ish, especially with a little bass boost form the eq. Bridge pup has what seems to be the "classic" upper mid zing to it. Solid Jazz tones with the flexibility of active EQ.

    New BAss: Sterling, 1996, Rosewood board, Midnight Blue Sparkle (SOOO pretty!!!). - First, its a LOT smaller and about 2 pounds lighter than my Jazz. It took some getting used to, especially since I like to rest my thumb on the front pup. I am going to say it is NOT as versatile as the Jazz. Even with the 3 way switch and 3 band EQ, it sounds like a MM. However, if you are into that sound, its awesome. Great playability with the narrower neck, and comfy for longish sets. For slap playing, its the tone. For fingerstyle, I had to get used to playing with
    A. My right hand floating or
    B. Resting my thumb on the end of the neck/Fretboard.
    The active EQ has a great deal of range, but once again, it is cutting or boosting that same basic (great) tone.

    I will definately keep both instruments. The Jazz for my mellower stuff, and the Sterling for the more aggressive. It just "punches" harder. Thats my $.02
    * for reference, this was through a SVT III Pro/410 HLF rig at home and a Fender 400 Pro 210 Combo (The newest one) at Church.
  11. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Musicman are great basses.
    The Sterling has a jazz bass feel, plays and sounds grear.
    Stingray, wider neck, big fat booty.
    Stingray -5 same sound as Sterling, narrow string spacing for me could not get use to it.
    If you like them get one.
  12. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Whether you like them or not this is the attitude to have. MM's quality is top notch!
  13. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.

    Remember that even two basses that were made in the same exact situation w/ the same parts, by the same peeps, on the same day, etc.,etc.,etc..... can sound totally different.

    I have played quite a few M.M.'s (4.'s, 5.'s and fretless) and have found that while sounding close, there were distinct differences.

    Personally I find the B on Laklands ( that includes skylines) to be "tighter" and more focused; as well as I did not find it comfortable to have to "float" my right hand if I wanted to play in a different position. As I needed a bass that is a tad more versatile than a M.M. I went with a Skyline 55-01; nevermind they are significantly cheaper. :cool:

    If I were going strictly four string, in a comparable price range, I would get a G&L L2000 again; IMO, "better" than any M.M. I have played.

    If a M.M. has what you want, go for it; they do have a sig. sound.

    If I were to get one now I would have to go for 1970.'s model. BTW, Sterlings are recreations of 70.'s models ;)
  14. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    uhhhhh..... Not!
  15. as mentioned earlier if u dont get one you'll regret it, i wasted time spending money on cheaper basses n eventually traded my way up, and im so glad i did, the stingray is a solid all ound beast of a bass. youll love em.
  16. Don't buy a StingRay . . . if you do, you'll soon want a Sterling, then a StingRay 5, then a Bongo, then you'll want one of the mentioned in a different color, a different neck, a piezo, a vintage model, one for Flats, one for Round SS, one for round nickels .. . and it goes on and on and on.

    It's a disease without any cure. Quit now and take singing lessons!

    Moondog :hyper:
  17. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    All of the 70.'s S.R.'s (about 8, pre E.B., btw) Ive played had a body that was way more similar in shape ( body and neck) and weight to a sterling than the current S.R.

    How many 70.'s S.R.'s have you played?

    :edit: Back on-topic..... :rolleyes:

    +1 Sterling.

    The Bongo would be a serious contender if I liked the body style.
  18. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Then you were not playing 70s Stingrays. I've played too many to remember and owned five or six, including the ones I had way back in the actual late 70s. Absolutely none of them bore any resemblance to a Sterling.

    Modern-era Stingrays are very similar to pre-EB Stingrays, except the earliest models had no contours and were only available with the two-band EQ. Some minor cosmetic changes have also taken place - logo, bridge markings, etc, but a Stingray is a Stingray.

    A Sterling is not. Sterlings are smaller, lighter, and the neck size and contour is much smaller.

  19. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    To Bongo! :bag:
  20. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    Thats what I was told by the owner.... and they did look like pics of the other 70.'s I have seen.....
    They were lighter, the the necks were different than modern SR.'s they did look like pics of the other 70.'s I have seen...

    No contours on the 70.'s = a body more like a sterling... :shrugs:

    I still say the sterling is a direct descendant of a 70.'s SR and bears more resemblance than a modern SR..... :shrugs: To each his own....