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darkandrew

Do I need a Stingray / Sterling?

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Recently I have been having GAS for a Stingray type bass. I already have a Spector Euro 5LX and a Warwick Custom Shop Streamer Stage 1 (4 string) but the only MM equipped bass I have is an old Aria Integra/IGB that hardly sees the light of day. The old Aria plays quite nicely actually, has a "Duncan Designed" MM in the usual MM position and a "Duncan Designed" J in the neck position. It has a three band active EQ, a solid ash body, maple bolt-on neck and rosewood fret board.

Now my question is quite simply this - do I need a Stingray/Sterling? My Spector is meaty and full bodied with two EMG "DC" pickups and the SS1 is more subtle with EMGs in a PJ configuration. I was thinking of going for a Sterling as both the Spector and SS1 are quite small bodied and this is what I am now used to but am wondering what the Sterling will offer me that my Spector, Warwick (and even Aria) won't?

Edited by darkandrew

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I have an EBMM Stingray which is of course fantastic.

I also have a Sterling Sub. It looks and feels great with that jazz neck. As it's much cheaper than the Ray it doesn't sound the same but is still good value.

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[quote name='mep' timestamp='1471806785' post='3116049']
I also have a Sterling Sub. It looks and feels great with that jazz neck. As it's much cheaper than the Ray it doesn't sound the same but is still good value.
[/quote]

I was thinking about a US made Music Man Sterling rather than a bass in the Indonesian made Sterling by Music Man range? EB's naming of the different models and ranges is really confusing!

Edited by darkandrew

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1471794886' post='3115921']
The answer to your question is of course, both :-)
[/quote]

This man often has the correct ideas, and this is no exception :P

A big difference between the Stingray and the Sterling, apart from the smaller body, is that the Sterling also has a thinner neck, more 'jazz-like'. That's a deal breaker for me, as I don't like those necks. Just something else to consider, apart from the sound.

I love the Stingray, for sound and feel. It's the bass I use 90% of the time, or more. It's a one-pickup bass, but hugely versatile.
The USA made SUB range, made between 2003 and 2006 is very interesting not only because of the 'marmite' finishes and the much lower price despite being essentially full blooded Stingrays, but because the early ones appeared to have the pickup wired in series as opposed to the usual parallel configuration. This makes them meatier and punchier than a standard Stingray, and complements the 2-band EQ on those basses really well. I have both a 2002 Stingray and a 2003 SUB (series), and they're both slightly different amazing beasts... just to add another factor to the pot ;)

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Both.

Stingray - Almost P Bass neck (not quite, to me), larger body, traditional alnico pickup.

Sterling - Almost J bass beck, smaller sleeker body, ceramic pickup...slightly more pokey and aggressive.

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471853004' post='3116276']


This man often has the correct ideas, and this is no exception :P

A big difference between the Stingray and the Sterling, apart from the smaller body, is that the Sterling also has a thinner neck, more 'jazz-like'. That's a deal breaker for me, as I don't like those necks. Just something else to consider, apart from the sound.

I love the Stingray, for sound and feel. It's the bass I use 90% of the time, or more. It's a one-pickup bass, but hugely versatile.
The USA made SUB range, made between 2003 and 2006 is very interesting not only because of the 'marmite' finishes and the much lower price despite being essentially full blooded Stingrays, but because the early ones appeared to have the pickup wired in series as opposed to the usual parallel configuration. This makes them meatier and punchier than a standard Stingray, and complements the 2-band EQ on those basses really well. I have both a 2002 Stingray and a 2003 SUB (series), and they're both slightly different amazing beasts... just to add another factor to the pot ;)
[/quote]

Thanks for your advice. I actually prefer thinner necks (not having gorilla hands!) and the thought of a Stingray type bass with a smaller body and thinner neck really appeals to me. How does the US made Sterling's sound compare to a full-fat US Stingray? My understanding is that in addition to the size differences, the Sterling also has a ceramic magnet with 3-way pickup switching (similar to the Stingray 5) and a different pre-amp.

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A nice comparison between the two: [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bMdGguCNbc"]https://www.youtube....h?v=9bMdGguCNbc[/url]

I bought a EBMM Sterling 4 for [i]that sound[/i] in a sleeker package and a J-like neck. While they do not sound exactly the same, make no mistake about it, the Sterling is a full bore MusicMan bass just like the StingRay. Awesome basses regardless of which one you decide on.
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:191117]

AFAIK the three band EQ in Sterling is the same as the three band StingRay EQ. Two band vs. three band is a hotly debated issue among its users, let's not go there... :)

Edited by Treb

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Yes they DO sound the same, which is good, same core tone.

The H Sterling gives you series/parallel and single coil switching. Once you go HH HS on either model then that changed.

I think the Sterling pre-amp is SLIGHTLY tweaked....from the Ray 3 band EQ....I think.

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To muddy the water even more, the reissued Sabre bass is awesome too. It's now discontinued but can still be found without too much trouble. Trouble however is that's much more expensive than either a Sterling or a Ray. Size-wise it sits between the Sterling and the Ray, same goes for the neck width. When I bought mine a new Sterling was 1640 euros, a Sabre weighed in at 2390 euros. A lot more money for another variation on the MM sound. Bought the Sterling instead, no regrets whatsoever. Did replace the black PG with a tort one however.

Totally forgot about the SLO Special. If you want that one you have to order it, these are almost as rare as hen's teeth.

Edited by Treb

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As a USA SUB owner, I'd deffo say go for one of those if you can live without the carves and nice woods of the Stingray. :)

As I'm not subtle I have treble & bass cranked on the EQ but there are many more tones in there.

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1471879747' post='3116640']
If you like cool colours...

See the purple Sterling in the For Sale section!
[/quote]


Yeah.. but sunburst has the better tone..... :ph34r:

No seriously i'm mega tempted by the purple one and i'm supposed to be selling basses!! :gas: :rolleyes: :facepalm:

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+1 on the USA SUB ,playing mine for 13 years now and not even a scratch on the finish-gig proof finish.Slab body like the classic.
Treble and bass are powerful so watch how much you cut and boost

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yep +1 on usa SUB. active etc.
It's an iconic sound.
nothing sounds like a stingray
buy one and stop dithering man

Edited by police squad

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I wouldn't be without a Stingray - fabulous in either 2 or 3 band EQ form for me, fretless, fretted maple or fretted rosewood take your pick.

The Sterling has ceramic pick up magnets - as well as the narrower neck, smaller body, you get a series/single coil/parallel capability with the H version - the parallel sound is close to a Stingray sound but can be more aggressive if desired - the slap sound is a monster. Series gives more mids, single coil gives a bridge single coil sound.

Great playability, great sound with generally top notch and robust build quality. The necks on EBMM basses are so playable, whether you have huge or small fingers.

There's no electronic hum in any mode with these basses (except pre 92 ish SR5).

The answer is definitely yes.

Edited by drTStingray

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[quote name='hiram.k.hackenbacker' timestamp='1471874443' post='3116575']


Or go Stingray with SLO (Sterling) neck :)
[/quote]

Stingray has one less fret? These SLOs are v rare.

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A SLO Special doesn't have a Sterling neck of course. A Sterling has a 22 fret neck, A Ray has 21 frets. These are not interchangeable. A SLO has a nut width just like Sterling. SLOs are rare, last year however Esse Music in Italy had two (HH models) in stock... I had some serious doubt buying one of these instead of my Sterling.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1471888259' post='3116746']
If you like the MM sound get one... but get full fat.
[/quote]

Which one is the full fat?

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471899785' post='3116869']


Which one is the full fat?
[/quote]

I guess that's the 'ray. The trouble is though, I just don't get along with chunky necks.

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Owning both a USA Sterling and Stingray, I find the neck shape thing a bit contradictory. The Stingray neck is pretty wide and the Jazz profile Sterling neck is quite attractive when you pick it up. 90 minutes into a gig however I find myself cramping up with the Jazz profile but the Stingray forces me to adopt a more ergonomic fingering. Harder to play but more forgiving on a long gig.

The Stingray PU, whether through positioning or technology, has a lot more growl than the Sterling and I much prefer the two band EQ. I've tried a 3 band stingray and couldn't quite get it to sound as sweet and it's another knob to confuse the poor knackered/pissed/stoned musician. The Sterling has more sounds than the Stingray but the 'ray has far more useable sounds, if that makes any sense.

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I've just stumbled across this clip of Tim Muddiman (Gary Numan / PWEI - here with Gary Numan) playing what looks like an EBMM Sterling - would you say that this tone is typical of what the Sterling sounds like?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5CwpDLFGHk

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