Would A Musicman Stingray Bass Headstock Get Bent Forward?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ZSN624, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. ZSN624


    Apr 15, 2018
    I am planning to buy a Stingray 4 Special or a used stingray 4.
    But I have a worry. I had bad experiences when I was using Fender and Sandberg basses. The long heads with 4 tuners in one row were pulled bent forward by the strings.
    That didn't cause any problems in use but is just annoying. In fact, I like my Lakland SK460, which is a cheap bass, but with a thick headstock and a thick head-neck joint, the headstock is dead parallel with the fingerboard.
    So I think If the Musicman Stingray 4's shorter headstock with a 3+1 tuner layout will get rid of this issue? Thanks~
  2. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I’ve never, ever seen that condition on any of the many 4- and 5-string Music Man basses I’ve owned and/or seen.

    Never saw this on any of the Fenders I’ve owned and/or seen, either.
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Agreed. The only bass I’ve ever seen this happen to was a 1980s Guild pilot with the terrible hockey stick headstock
    MCF, Thegrandwazoo, whero and 3 others like this.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No they dont.

    Also theyre a 3+1, and not as long as a Fender headstock.
  5. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    I had the exact opposite experience with my Fender style headstock. It bent backwards. Go figure. :)

    Stammie P-bass 5b.jpg Stambaugh 4 headstock a.JPG

    M. M.
  6. ZSN624


    Apr 15, 2018
  7. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Musicman headstocks do not do that. But then again, neither do Fenders, or any other bass I’ve owned or tried, from the cheapest to the most expensive.
  8. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    I've only seen one bass with a headstock pulled forward, and that was an ancient Soviet(?) thing that had been kept uncovered in an eastern European barn at tension for decades. The headstock bend was the least of its problems. But this the exception, not the rule.

    The headstock being parallel with the fretboard is normal. You should have no issues with either 4-in-line or 3+1.
    mikewalker and jd56hawk like this.
  9. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    My '84 Fender P Elite has a forward bent headstock. It's been that way since new, and it doesn't have any impact on playability or tone.
    TortoiseBass and 7dollarbologna like this.
  10. Craig T Vector

    Craig T Vector Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    Liberty Hill, TX
    I don't think it is your basses that are the concern here. You are doing something unnatural to them if this is something you are experiencing with your basses.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Pics or it didn’t happen.
  12. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    What strings are you using, bridge cables? I'd say the whole neck would bow like crazy before the headstock itself would bend forward. Never seen that happen on any of the Fenders I've come across, nor on any of the basses I've owned including Fenders and Stingrays.
  13. beatdatthang

    beatdatthang Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2011
    Okay, Everyone with a Fender style headstock look down directly at it from the top. Tell me what you see in relation to the plane of the fretboard...

    They always “look” slightly tilted forward if you look at the plane of the headstock face to that of the fingerboard- at least pretty much every Fender or non tilt-back headstock bass I’ve ever had does - including my MusicMan. It’s an optical illusion based on the string break angles over the nut and your eyes’ desire to draw a straight line from the fretboard to the tip of the headstock. They do look slightly tilted forward from that angle. I have zero doubt this is just an OCD thing by The OP.

    To me this is very similar to how some people can’t stand that the fretboard dot markers aren’t perfectly centered under the A string on a 5 string bass so they think there’s something “wrong with it”, or how so many people get so uptight about a minuscule gap on the neck to body joint so much so that they talk about returning a bass for a refund. These are just nitpicky things that bother some owners. This is no different.
    Beej, RBrownBass, whero and 10 others like this.
  14. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I love it when people complain about continually running into design flaws that nobody else has ever experienced.
  15. BigDrew


    Jun 1, 2016
    Please post a picture! I would love to see some examples! I’ve had a few Stingrays (and a bunch of Fenders) and have never seen this.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  16. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I’ve seen one Fender Jazz on which the headstock bent forward. It was a ‘72 model with a rosewood fingerboard and pearloid block inlays. It was a shame, because the bass was really nice, but the neck was no good. It appeared to be an anomaly (knot / grain issue) in the wood at the nut.

    I’ve seen dozens (probably hundreds) of Fenders of all ages (I saw a 51 or 52 Pbass with serial number in the 40s at Neosho, MO) and I’ve never seen another forward-bent headstock. I believe since I saw one, there are probably others, but I don’t think it’s a common thing.

    I’ve never seen or heard of the issue with any model of Musicman.
  17. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Only thing ive seen close to that was when I was in a band years ago, the drummer came off his set, and passed by the guitarists Les Paul sittin on the stand. Drummer brushed by it and BOOM! Face down and broken headstock! He got it "fixed", but it was never the same after the "incident that we don't speak of".

    Not sure if its considered a design flaw in that case. I have seen plenty of basses, mostly fender types (& some Ibbys) go face down w no issues, so I don't think its a fender flaw, an probably less so in a MM bass.

  18. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    This was my first thought too! The pointy/hockey stick headstocks can sometimes do it.
  19. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Just what brand of bass is that??

    It’s screaming “CHEEEEEEEP!!!”.....