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Your Thoughts on the Sterling Ray 35? (Indonesia-made)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thunderthumbs73, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Been off-list for a long, long time. Too much G.A.S. among other things made me go. And well, I'm back, momentarily, to expell (or inhale) some G.A.S.

    I've recently become aware of the Sterling Ray 35 which is a 34" scale (for clarification if the "35" gives you pause) Stingray 5-string, but it is made in Indonesia. I played this one back to back with a few Corona-made Stingray 5s, and it seems to be very nice for the money in sound, playability, fit/finish/etc... I do wish I could order it in some other colors, but I understand it to be available, currently in only three: Black, Natural, and one other, which I can't remember at this moment...

    What say you? Any issues which you've experienced with these?

    I'm having a hard time saying no.

    I picked up an OLP MM 4-string for super cheap a month ago which was my first of that style bass, and it KILLS, so here we are now looking at 'Rays again, and as a 5-string to boot- It's the first/only 5er I have every seriously considered (4ers and 6ers in my stable for the last 15 years)

    Thanks for any/all thoughts.
  2. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
  3. Bochafish


    Jul 26, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I've heard nothing but positive things about the ray35's so far. I have yet to play one though. I'm thinking about picking up one myself if I can't trade my stingray 4 for a stingray 5.

    Welcome back!
  4. agplate


    Jan 12, 2005
    My Ray34 is well built and finished, sounds like a Stingray and looks perfect. Miles and miles above an OLP and nearly as good as the real thing. Have Elixir strings on mine and it rumbles.
  5. Starwind


    Mar 26, 2005
    proud to be a Ray35 owner.

    Got it from Musicians' friend. The initial set-up wasn't that good. After send it to Atlanta Bass Gallery for a setup it's great now. Sound is excellent. Our PA loves it (compare to my old Tobias Toby Pro).
  6. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Thanks for the thoughts, folks. May pull the trigger today. I'll have to trade one or two to do the deal, and I already have the "what in the world am I doing selling these" kind of feeling, but maybe it just needs to happen. Thanks again.
  7. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    I sure wish they came with a maple fingerboard.....:ninja:
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    They do!! Both the ray34 and 35 are available with a maple board. Not the sterling SB
  9. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    Played the 35 and 34 the other day. 35 good, especially for the money, but not as good as my old and much missed '94 Ray5. Then again it's at least half the price (here in the UK at least) so you wouldn't expect it to be as good. Very solid 5 string that does the Ray thing very well. The 34 however was another story, I think it played and sounded better than my old 3 band Ray and I now want that one.
  10. bobalu

    bobalu Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I just bought the SB14 ("Sterling" 4) yesterday. I'm a Stingray player and own two. I've always wanted a Sterling to play around with but couldn't justify the cost for the little time I would actually play it. The SB14 sealed the deal for me. Very good quality, very close to the original model, and affordable price (compared to the EBMM).

    They had a gorgeous Sunburst EBMM Stingray 5 hanging next to a Sterling Ray35. Visually, the Ray35 looked rather plain in comparison (but not bad). I played them both for an hour or so. The Ray35 was very solid, well made, sounded great, but overall was not as refined as the MM for lack of a better description. However, the EBMM was $1900.00 Can. and the Ray35 was $750.00 Can. A very solid gig worthy working bass. I would not hesitate in the least to buy the Ray 35. After trying several models out, I find that the Sterling line is exactly as advertised, a mid priced, quality built alternative to the American EBMM line. While I'd love to own the EBMM SR5, a fiver isn't really at the top of my needs list, and it's just not in the cards for me money wise. But the Ray35 is. OLP is not even in the same legue as the "Sterling" series. (no dis on the OLP line, its just a very low budget line. The Sterling line is mid priced and the quality and sound reflects this).

    IMO, this is an affordable working musicians (ie: professional) bass, not a beginners wannabe bass. Just not as refined and polished as the Am. EBMM's.
  11. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    I put a black one on layaway, and I believe this was the right choice.
  12. +1 I concur. I had a chance to play a black w/rosewood board Ray35 tonight and it was a total pleasure. It plays, feels and sounds like an SR5 - damn near the same bass for almost a third of the price.

    The overall difference is in the details, the SR5s feel a little bit more refined and solid, but it's not a night and day difference. SR5s seem to be constantly increasing in cost up here so the price of the Ray35 is fantastic, you get a lot of bass for the money.

    I have owned 6 SR5s over the years and the Ray35 bass pretty much nails the SR5 tone, look and vibe. Man, these import basses keep getting better and better!:cool:


    The Cobra Kings

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