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Which Ernie Ball to buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrDuncan, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Look for a new bass yet again. Looking at and tried a MM Stingray 4. Also looking at the SUB, SUB Sterling and Sterling (won't even consider a Bongo). Since I can only try a Stingray 4 I'm hoping for some feedback on the others. Differences? Quality? Sound? Unique features? other relative info?
  2. Kruton


    Aug 20, 2005
    Ocean Springs, MS
    Why not the Bongo? I didn't like it at first, but it grew very fast on me.
  3. In all honesty, i'd say go either StingRay or Bongo. The SUBs are good for the price. Unless you like really small necks then i'd say the Sterling. Although I like having something to hold on to so i'm at home on my StingRay 5. Hope I helped some. :hyper:

  4. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    And the new dual pickup Stingrays and Sterlings will come with HH (dual humbucker) or HS (humbucker bridge, single coil neck), just to add to your list of choices.

    If you like a smaller body, more narrow neck and the pickup coil options a Sterling would fit the bill.

    If you like the Stingray neck, don't need the switch and just like a great solid bass that you always sounds great - go with a Stingray. Or get one of each...
  5. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    And the Bongo has its 4-band. :rolleyes:
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Stingrays are available with a 2 band or 3 band EQ, rosewood or maple fingerboard and have many more color options, body contours and have a rubbed oil finish on the neck.

    The SUB Stingrayss are available with passive controls or a 2 band preamp. They do not have body contours, have a robust finish and a painted neck to hide ugly wood. Not a bad bass, still manufactured in the USA and are good quality, but for the money I'd take a used Stingray any day.

    Sterlings are available with 3 band EQ's and a 3 position pickup selector for either series, single coil or parallel modes. This requires a 3 coil pickup only available in Sterlings. Once again, have all the options of the Stingray like the colors, have all body contours and are available in rosewood or maple.

    SUB Sterlings have 3 band EQ's and no pickup selector switch. All other options are the same as SUB Stingrays.

    My personal preference is an Ernie Ball Stingray. Very comfortable for me.
  7. I'm loving my Sterling - a very Jazz-ish neck and quite growly. The Sterling has a 3-way pick-up switch to run either Parallel, Series or single-coil. You can get a good variety of sounds out if it. The Sterling apparantly can emulate a Stingray with one of the switch settings but it escapes me right now which one. I honestly prefered the Sterling over the Stingray, but that's just my opinion.

    - Andrew
  8. Thinkin' I'll go for a Sterling. The appeal of a smaller neck makes me think of a Jazz which is my main axe (I use a Geddy and a Jazz Bass 24) so the transition should be an easy one.
  9. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    If you have the time, you might want to wait and try the new dual pick up Sterlings. Some pretty sick switching on those to give you wider tonal options.

    I respect you not considering a bongo. I think I do. Yes. Ok, I'm fine now. Really.

    But you miss the greatest production bass there is. True.
  10. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Well, although i think you are crazy for excluding a bongo from your options. I would get the sterling. I like the neck and body much better than the stingray. The quality is much better than the SUB and I think it just looks better than the stingray.
  11. To be honest, I would get a Bongo but there comes a point where sound has to take a backseat and looks does matter. I think they look horrific and I personally would be embarrassed to show up at a practice or gig with one. I play in a military band and something that looks like that doesn't appear normal when you're playing in a uniform.
  12. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    oh..well the military is a different situation. Normally I would say who cares what you look like but I see your point. The shape will grow on you though. In 4 months you'll have G.A.S. hehe
  13. I played a Stingray and a Sterling. Fell in love with the Sterling due to it's narrower Jazz like neck. I think the tone control is better on the Sterling than the Stingray. The SR-5 is similar to the Sterling but 5 string.
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I don't get why people don't think a Bongo looks "normal". Define normal.

    Nonplayers that see my Bongo comment on the color (it's the only Desert Gold bass I have), not the shape. They're oblivious to the contours.

    You're doing yourself a disservice by not at least considering a Bongo, IMO.
  15. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    By the way MrDuncan, I hear they are working on a sterling 5. I don'tknow if you were considering a SR-5, but the Sterling 5 should be out soon.
  16. Thanks for the info. I was in the market for a 4 string but another 5 string is also a consideration. I'll have to ask about that when I go visit the store again. Any idea when that will be on the market??
  17. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    We haven't even seen a prototype yet of the Sterling 5.

    Remember we saw the Bongos at NAMM in January of 2003 and they didn't start to ship until October or November of that year, so I would expect the same sort of timeframe with the Sterling 5.

    The new dual pickup SR4/SR5/Sterlings were introduced at summer NAMM and we won't see those shipping until January.

    I mean, hey, I'm looking forward to the Sterling 5, too, but if you're thinking about a bass pretty soon, I'd go ahead and make a decision without tossing the Sterling 5 into the mix.

    What's become of this place when I'm the voice of reason?

  18. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Dark Bongos look a lot more "normal" than the brightly colored ones. Mine, as you can tell from my avatar, is one of the latter...but here's a stealth black one....


    You may also notice that the Bongo looks more "normal" when it's being held and played.

    Seriously. Don't dismiss it until you pick one up and actually try it.
  19. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man

    Those photos seem vaguely familiar.....heh heh.

    That's not Stealth, though - that's my old standby, a Sapphire Black that now sports a tort guard.

    It's one of those non-negotiable basses. Bongos have come and gone around here, but that was the first and will probably be with me forever.

    Hi, Gard!

  20. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Hi, Jack.

    Could you supply a good photo of the black w/tort guard?