[quote name='darkandrew' timestamp='1471617467' post='3114526']
Sorry to be stupid but the minefield of different MM model names has me a little confused. Is this a basically a US made, smaller bodied (with a belly cut) and thinner necked Stingray?
In a nutshell.... yes
Slightly different sound if you're a purist (But deffo that MM sound).. + Ceramic magnets and series/parallel/single coil switching which are not available on a 4 string Stingray (They are on the Stingray 5 weirdly and even more confusingly..)
Hope that helps..?
Here's a quick rundown of the Musicman stable as i understand it*...
[b]Musicman[/b] basses: Off of the 70's and 80's, Leo Fender himself invented them.. Made in USA..expect to pay £2k ish for a vintage one (often referred to as Pre-EB around here, as in Pre- Ernie Ball) Main Models: Stingray and Sabre
[b]Ernie Ball Musicman[/b] basses: Made from the 80's until this very day in the old US of A. Ernie ball bought Leo out or something.. now owned and run by Sterling Ball (This is where a lot of the confusion comes from IMHO)
Loads of models: Stingray, Sterling, Bongo, Big Al, Reflex, Gamechanger, Classic series (Cool Re hash of the Pre-EB models including the Sabre + the Sterling, mix of old skool and newer features) Caprice and Cutlass (There were also 2 cool carbon fibre necked Cutlass models in the 80's in keeping with EBMM's mass confusion policy) loads of finish options, 4/5/6 string models, active mainly, some passive, Multiple pick-up options, some ltd edition, fretless, piezo..etc.. etc.. Prices for all these new are generally in the £1200-£2500 category
[b]US SUB:[/b] models from the 2000's USA made but to a set and limited spec. Had a kind of Utilitarian vibe. Matt textured finishes, no contouring etc.. Stingray 4 and 5 string models and a Sterling 4 string. They were cheaper than an EBMM new and are now discontinued. Highly regarded by many folks on here, They actually share many of the features from EBMM's current Classic range.
[b]Sterling by MusicMan: [/b]Fairly recent range of basses made in Indonesia for EBMM and QC'd in USA as a more budget/mid range option. Models: Stingray 4 (RAY34) and 5 strings (RAY35) and Sterling 4 strings(SB14) [now replaced by RAY34CA stingray but with the narrower neck profile and a more retro vibe] . More options than the above US SUBs and around half the price of the US made models. Again highly regarded in general..
[b]S.U.B by Sterling[/b]: Confused yet...? I am..
An entry level offering made by the same lovely people in Indonesia but with much cheaper hardware, basswood bodies etc... Ray4 and Ray5 models only. simples... £250 ish new, again pretty well thought after. Good bang for the buck in the beginner/starter/backup instrument kinda level..
* some of this may well not be quite right but you get the idea...