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Was I wrong to trade my Sterling?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lucas vigor, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I had bought a sterling, and as beautiful as it was ( orange sunburst) I never loved the tone. I guess I really hated the fact that I could not get that rolled-off passive treble cut you get with a fender bass, for example....the treble EQ was just not the same thing..I could not get that softer, pillowy old-school sound, no matter how i set the controls or phase switch. I paid 1400 dollars for this thing, and traded it for a new MIM ash jazz bass which I put lindy fralin pickups in, AND a used line 6 bass podxt......

    Most of my friends absolutely loved my sterling, and always requested it...however, I hated it, and to this day, don't really know why I bought it. I think my mistake was that I expected it to be a good fingerstyle bass, but in actuality (and my humble opinion) it is really only good for slapping...

    Anyone out there I was wrong to trade this thing?
  2. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    If you regret it, then you shouldn't have...........if you hated it and didn't play it, why would you still want it..........I only keep the basses I play.........besides sterling pickgards are ugly he he...........at least you didn't buy a bongo......
  3. $ 1400 is a bit high for the Sterling. around 1000-1200 is more apropriate.
  4. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i just made a bass trade myself , and i think what you are feeling is called "seller's remorse " ...

    you stated you weren't happy with the Sterling , so it sounds like you did the right thing . { the Fender may not be worth as much in resale value , but if that dosen't bother you , don't sweat it }... really , if it's what you like ...thats' what matters in the long run .

    enjoy your new bass !!!
  5. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I think you took a step backwards going froma top quality USA product to a Mexican made product.
  6. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Well, my MIM Jazz bass with the fralin PUPs absolutely blows the sterling away as far as tone is concerned, IMO...I am really happy with it....I guess I have a bit of regret just because the sterling looked so pretty...but, 450 for the ash jass bass, 170 for the fralins...it's still cheaper then the sterling..but man, I really love that fender tone!!

    I A/B'd it on a recording (one track for sterling, one for fender) and the jazz bass absolutely won in the tone dept..as far as looks and quality of build, the sterling was a tank..a gorgeous tank!! Hard as nails finish, very smooth neck, quality tuner and bridge...but far too raunchy and rough a tone..could not get a subtle, understated soft tone at all..very aggressive and hard-edged...

    The thing is, I can get a rough hard edged tone AND a soft smooth tone on the Jbass, but only one tone (with some variations) on the sterling...

    Anyway, what's done is done....I just guess I wanted to see how many people really like the sterling, because I had tried to sell it (not on EBAY) and got no takers, or at least, no reasonable offers.
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I feel your pain as far as the Sterling bass goes. I myself love music man basses but also have a problem mellowing out the instrument. no matter what I tried I could not get a soft sound out of it. As far as the MIM bass you have, I own a MIA standard jazz in ash, maple neck w/Fralins in it and it's the bomb! The pups that I took out were great but I just decided to experiment and I was very happy with the results! The bass had much more usable low end as well as a more defined high end with out being tinny or harsh (sp). Not that the MIA pup was harsh, the Fralins had a clearer and more usable range in both directions!
  8. I would have said that trading it for a MIA would be a fairer deal, but still, if you're happy with the MIM and don't mind the big price difference then more power to you. Jazzes are great basses.
  9. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I play Sterlings finger-style and have to say that I can get just about any tone I want from it. This is a subjective thing, but to trade a Sterling for a MIM jazz bass?

  10. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The Music Man basses lend theirselves to alot of different styles of music. I think they are as funky as all get out. I look at MM basses sorta like I look at Ricks, They have a sound all their own. I play R&B (soul) music and play alot of ballads, The MM bass doesn't go where a Jazz or a p-bass does. Maybe it's the active thing, but I got a bunch of active basses that do get that old school "mellow up against the wall sound" I also think it has to do with the pup placement being closer to the bridge than the neck.
  11. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Here was my problem with the active electronics (and, I have the same problem on my Carvin Lb6)

    With a passive tone control, rolling it off results in a sound were ALL the high-end is gone..completely..the sound is, how should I say it? Round! Soft! As though you have thrown a blanket over your amp...now, the active treble control on every active bass I have ever tried seems to be incapable of completly rolling of the treble...and that is what bother's me....with the sterling, for example...I could go from a normal tone to an extremely harsh and bright sounding tone..but with my passive p-bass, for example, I can go from a quiet, dark dub-style tone to a normal tone.....

    another way of expressing how I feel is to say that with the active treble, the sound is hard and sharp-edged..I can hear my callouses dragging across the string, if I want...with the passive tone rolled off, no way! I hear nothing!!!

    The active tones always sounded clangy and bright to me..too much so....

    and I have tried this on many different basses at guitar center, and each time..the treble controls are acting more like the sound the EQ on the amp makes.....

    The passive tone seems to change the ENTIRE character or the tone, and that's what I love about the Fender, and hated about the sterling....

    I would be interested in anyone else's opinion about this...

    Another way I could explain it is visually...in my mind, the tone on a passive bass can go from a circle (tone rolled off) or to a square (tone wide open)..

    Is this simply a matter of the passive tone is rolling off ALL the treble bands, whereas the active treble control only rolls of one treble band?
  12. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    If I were you I would have sold the Sterling my self on e-bay and bought an American jazz bass. But if I were me, which I am, I would have kept the Sterling.
  13. ApeIsHigh81


    Aug 24, 2004
    Yeah I used to be biased towards MIM's, then I played a friend's that had antiquity I's in it and it was really, really good sounding. The bridge and tuners, etc. still made it feel a little cheap but the way it sounded more than made up for it. I've heard through the grapevine that post-2000 made sterlings don't compare in quality & feel with the corrent made ones. I had the pleasure of playing my uncle's 97' and it just felt solid as a rock compared to the GC floor models. But come to think of it, don't all GC floor & shelf basses feel like crap? :scowl:
  14. victobass


    Nov 27, 2003
    My Sterling used to be my main bass until I picked up my used MIA P Bass. After that I was never satisfied with the Sterling tone. It was always too bright. I even tried Chromes on it and wasn't quite satisfied. Everyone in my band says the P Bass sounds the best. Now I did trade my Sterling in on a Stingray5 because I'm very impressed with the playability and quality of EBMM but for most of what I play I think the passive tone is best. I think I was always trying to convince myself that the Sterling was the ticket but I wasn't 100% sold on it.
  15. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    all of the EB basses sound the same IMHO :rollno: so I truly understand your dillema.Anyway Its no big loss.I don't think it will take you that long to forget about it.
    I don't regret getting rid of my SR5 for 1 second
  16. Rough trade; I wouldn't have. I dunno about the Sterling, but I was able to get mellow & round tones from my Warwick FNA, which had a MM-style pickups & electronics set-up.
  17. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
  18. I wouldn't feel too bad about it - the MM tone is either love or hate IMO. i bought a SR4 and sold it to get a passive bass within a couple months...just couldn't get it to NOT sound like a 'ray! Don't scratch off all passive basses though! ALOT of them can get a great soft sound. My Fury V kills the SR4 I had in tone and variety of tones IMO. The limited pickup and pickup placement of MMs certainly contribute to their one sided-ness.
  19. Don't fell bad... Even though I still have my Sterling I don't use it a lot these days... The Sterling was my main Bass until I had a custom Fabregues Bass and now the Sterling is collecting dust in the Stand...
  20. ...


    Aug 30, 2004
    AHHH BUZZ KILL!!!!! :eek: