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what to do with my sterling?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    so i have this 94 musicman sterling that i really like - much more than any new musicman and most 4 strings out there. but she's definitely been around the block. the neck was kinda twisted, but i didn't realize it. then i had it defretted, and they did a bad job. and then it twisted ALOT more, so i had a tech friend of mine level the fingerboard. that temporarily fixed it, but i still can't get the action as low as i want it. and the neck is really weak.

    here's the other thing - i'm planning on buying a 5 string fretless, so i want this bass to be my slap axe, so that means going fretted again.

    so i'm thinking - these are my options:

    1) leave it, sell as is, and buy a 4 string warwick or jazz bass.
    2) have it repaired and a new fretboard installed.
    3) buy a new neck from musicman (about 400 bucks)
    4) buy a moses graphite neck (about 400 bucks)
    5) poop on it

    i just want this bass to have low action and frets for as little money as possible. if that's possible just repairing it, that's what i'd prefer.


  2. You forgot #6) Give to me
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    if you trade your marcus sig j bass for it :-D

  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Jason, I don't know that it would be the least expensive option, but I would get a Moses neck for it.
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I have had a Sterling fretless for about 8 years (right around the time when they first came out) and haven't had any problems, so I was surprised to read your post. Nevertheless, there are a few elements to the decision that I thought you might want to consider.
    First, I assume that you would like to maintain the same general tone and performance of the bass since you like what you have-minus the neck problems. If that is the case, the only way to insure that the bass plays the same, sounds the same, and feels the same is by ordering a replacement neck from EB. This would be the least troublesome since you KNOW that the neck will fit perfectly and will feel/play exactly like the twisted one you have on there now.
    Another imporatant reason to do this is for resale value. An EB MM Sterling that is 100% what it porports to be will have a higher resale value than an 80% EB MM with an aftermarket neck...be it wood or graphite. Further, not having any experience with Moses myself, there is no guarantee that the neck will fit properly, and it is almost certain the the graphite neck will NOT give you the same sound and playability that your EB wood neck will, not to mention that EB's level of quality is proven-good finish, good fit, good action, fretjobs, etc.
    Finally, if you're really worried about the same problem happening again, you could always look for Warmoth and buy one of their EB replacement necks, although I'm not sure if they list one for a Sterling. Their necks have 2 steel rods in them alongside the trussrod canal, which would make it virtually impossible to swist or warp. However, I have a feeling that by the time you do the calcs to see how much it would cost to build, finish, and ship, you will probably be fairly close to $400. Good luck, and I hope things work out with your bass!
  6. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    hey man. I would suggest if you want the exact same tone, exact feel, you should get a replacement neck from EB.. thas is what I would do :). Peace

  7. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    well...i don't know if i'm really looking for an EXACT replacement in tone though. i'd really like it to sound...brighter? or at least, with more growl and sizzle to the notes. i was thinking that a graphite neck with a bart pickup would probably give me the sound i'm looking for...but maybe not?

    other thing is - i recently played a new 2000 sterling (albiet one that's been sitting at the store for a while), and didn't really like it at all. that satin finish that i love on the back of my sterlings neck seems absent, and the neck seems alot slower. also, there is an absence of birdseye wood as well. is this the case for ALL sterlings now?

  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I vote Moses neck. That way, if you want it fretless again, you still have the neck (albeit warped) to use. That, they sound killer!\

    Based on what you described, the Moses neck would help. The Bart pickup would NOT, IMO. Their MM pickups are really dry and bland, in my opinion. If you want the growl, get the Seymour Duncan MM pickups. They're killer!

  9. Hmm maybe I don't need a Sterling that bad...I noticed that the Stingray 5 sounds very similar to my MM Sig J-Bass, only with one more string and a few more hundred clams...
  10. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    If you want a brighter sound, get a maple neck.. You can get them with birdseye maple. Graphite will definately give you a different sound.. its not a bad sound but you may not want to spend that much $ for something you won't end up liking. try a few basses with Graphite necks. For me the graphite feels funny. I am used to my Ray 5 and its unfinished neck.. but hey.. if you like the graphite and you find it makes you happy, i would say jump all up on it :)

  11. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I would personally go graphite, but that is just my opinion. Might be spendy, but you would have a hell of a bass when done.;)
  12. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    If you like the birdseye maple, get the birdseye-colored diamondwood. It looks EXACTLY like birdseye maple.
  13. You beat me to it! :mad:
  14. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    the old bass has a rosewood board - the birdseye i'm referring to is the actual neck/headstock.

    and the moses necks have a satin finish on the back as well, not a glossy one.

    if the graphite neck was more expensive than the original neck, then i wouldn't have a problem deciding, but they're the same price.

    the maple fingerboard sounds like another idea though...

    but how much would it cost to just repair everything - put on a new board?

  15. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    If the neck is twisted, I don't see how a new fretboard is going to help. From your description of what you want, I would go for the Moses, and see how that sounds before replacing pickup.
  16. I'd go with the moses, I was going to get one on my Stingray. Great necks that won't ever give you any trouble!
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I agree about the Bart MM pickups, if you want brighter or growlier, or both, they are not the way to go. Too dark and polite. The Basslines MM pickup is much more aggressive sounding.

    Birdseye colored Diamondwood? ::drool:: Got an pics or links? That would be killer on my new bass!
  18. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    Damn you!!! I am trying to buy that neck also....
  19. Actually, I just came into possesion of a brand spankin new Fender American Standard Jazz Bass...

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