Used S.U.B. Sterling in GC. Buy it or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spaceman, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. So, I happened to go into my local Guitar Center last night. I've been thinking of maybe getting a Sterling and thought I'd see what they had. I was a little surprised to see a used S.U.B. Sterling (plus a few new ones). It seemed to be in OK condidtion - though for some reason the G string was set much lower than the other strings and was wildly out of tune. Price was about $480 or so.

    The thing I didn't like about it was that it looked rather boring! Just plain black with rosewood fingerboard. I'd prefer a maple fingerboard and maybe sunburst, black cherry burst, or burnt apple body.

    Used "real" Sterlings seem to be going for roughly about $700 - $850. Do you get much more by buying an actual Sterling compared to the S.U.B. or would I just be catering to my vanity by not getting the S.U.B. but getting a "prettier" bass.

    Right now I just have a (modified) Yamaha RBX 264 which I like apart from the width of the neck and roughness of the fret edges.

  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The biggest electronic difference between the SUB Sterling and a standard Sterling is the SUB's lack of a coil splitting switch. Just go back to that GC and carefully play the SUB and standard Sterling to see if you miss the switch very much. Also check that G string and make sure nothing is wrong with the bridge on that SUB.
  3. You should go back and test them. Others have probably mentioned it before as well, but I don't really like the neck on the SUB series. I'm used to playing Fenders, so the necks on the SUBs felt a lot "slower". But then again, theres people here that think the SUBs are a great bass for the money. Personally, if I really wanted a MusicMan sound, I'd just save up a little more and buy the standard series, but thats just me. Like I said, go back and A/B the two and see which one suits you best for you and your needs.
  4. The main savings EB/MM and therefore the consumer gets from the SUB lines are the lack of "pretty" (read: expensive) woods and time-consuming transparent and metallic finishes. In essence what you're saying is "I like a SUB except for the reasons it's a SUB". ;)

    All the other comments are good advice (checking the electronics, bridge, etc) but I think this would be a nice way to get most of the EB/MM sound, upgrading your bass considerably, while not breaking the bank over it.

    ...and the neck finish isn't a big deal, either. :D
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    I'm curious... why the bridge?
  6. I presume Dr. Cheese suggested that because the G string was a little peculiar (much lower height and way out of tune).
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Precisely, if the G string is too low, the bridge could be messed up. The nut could also be cut too deep also. I agree with the earlier poster, if the SUB finish is too plain and you don't like the neck, save up and get a Sterling or at least look for an ATK if cash is the overriding issue.
  8. Finally got a chance to go back to G.C. and look at that S.U.B. Sterling again. I was thinking about buying it, but I realized that it was a bit more "war damaged" than I remembered it to be (unless it was a different one, or they'd been playing baseball with it in the store...)

    Cosmetic condition wasn't all that bad really. But... the neck had a number of small dings. Not hugely noticeable but I sort of felt them when I was playing it because I knew they were there! The guy in the store said he'd check to see if they could be buffed out - is that really possible?

    They want $450 for it which seems reasonable, but I have doubts I can live with that neck now...
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    In this case id say YEs its worth getting a used real Sterling. its not just a difference similiar to an SUB stingray and a real one, its different. You dont get the signature Sterling electronics with the SUB, you just get a more ergonomically pleasing SUB stingray.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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