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Sterling 5H - Where are they all?

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I'm in the market for a 5 string and whilst out looking, tried a Sterling 4 in my local shop. I was amazed at how good this felt and sounded, even side by side with a Stingray!

Trouble is, can I find a 5H anywhere? Not a chance. I'm struggling to find any shop selling them at all. Are they discontinued or so deeply unpopular that they're not worth stocking?

Any views?

Steve

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Snap! I don't 'do' Musicman basses but I tried the Sterling as a random pick in a guitar shop (PMT in Newcastle) last week and was genuinely impressed.

They had the 5 hanging next to it, but I didn't try it (even though I usually play fivers) because the string spacing was too narrow for my taste.

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I specifically ordered in a Sterling 5 HS about 5 years ago, maybe less, and it's a lovely instrument.

Unfortunately due to normal price rises, then excessive price rises, then the £ issue, they are no doubt around £2000 for a standard 5H now.

They can definitely order you one at your spec.

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Ouch! is that why they're not so popular? Or are they not that good a bass?

Can you recommend somewhere good to order through?


Thanks

Steve

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Pro Music Tools in Germany has a few. Prices are on the high side. No affiliation, never bought something there.

[url="https://www.promusictools.com/bass/e-basses/music-man/sterling-5/"]https://www.promusic...man/sterling-5/[/url]

Sterling basses aren't as popular because every bassplayer automatically thinks Stingray when you mention Music Man. At least they still make the Sterling model, they must sell enough of them to keep it in production. But the Stingray outsells it by a huge margin. The Sabre Classic had a short-lived reintroduction but that one is gone (again) due to lack of sales. The Sterling, Sabre and Stingray are all fantastic basses. I always wanted "that MusicMan sound", I had never even touched let alone played a MusicMan bass. I bought the sleeker Sterling 4H online. It's everything I hoped for, a fantastic bass.

Edited by Treb

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Or you could go way cheaper:

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/musicman-sterling-sub-ray-5-string-bass-guitar-rosewood-trans-blue

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Even cheaper than that:

https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/Luxury-5-strings-bass-music-stingRay-electric-bass-guitar-with-9-V-Battery-active-pickups-EMS/32637649916.html?isOrigTitle=true

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1500982525' post='3341437']
Or you could go way cheaper:

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/musicman-sterling-sub-ray-5-string-bass-guitar-rosewood-trans-blue
[/quote]

That hasn't got the US Sterling dimensions or features though.

They do/did an SB14 so essentially a Sterling by Sterling version! Afaik they never made a five string version.

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There's no substitute for the real thing...

SB14 has been discontinued, lack of sales. No 5 string version of that one was ever made AFAIK.

Edited by Treb

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Not in any way related to the seller. I had my eyes on this on ebay (bass is from US) since it was put up.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Music-Man-Ball-Family-Reserve-BFR-Sterling-5-HH-Bass-Sequoia-Gold-Stingray-/152614105974?hash=item2388827376:g:JkoAAOSw1BlZXm~2

It might save you a couple of quid and a waiting time.

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[quote name='Treb' timestamp='1500984086' post='3341458']
There's no substitute for the real thing...

[/quote]

At least I'll get my washing done.

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Gosh looks like I'll definitely be holding onto all of mine. Pricing has gone crazy. I'd never be able to replace them without spending about 40% more.

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[quote name='Treb' timestamp='1500979566' post='3341413']
. I bought the sleeker Sterling 4H online. It's everything I hoped for, a fantastic bass.
[/quote]

I loved the Sabre too. it was actually just playing the 4 string Sterling that got me thinking about the 5er because it felt so good to play.

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1500993186' post='3341566']
Gosh looks like I'll definitely be holding onto all of mine. Pricing has gone crazy. I'd never be able to replace them without spending about 40% more.
[/quote]

I think you may own a large part of the UKs quota!

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[quote name='Treb' timestamp='1500984086' post='3341458']
There's no substitute for the real thing...

SB14 has been discontinued, lack of sales. No 5 string version of that one was ever made AFAIK.
[/quote]

There's one of these for sale on Facebook Bass Players Market UK: £400 :o can't see it sticking around for too long

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I don't do no stinkin' Facebook but 400 imperial credits of the realm doesn't sound bad even if you have take the condition of said item into account.

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1500993186' post='3341566']
Gosh looks like I'll definitely be holding onto all of mine. Pricing has gone crazy. I'd never be able to replace them without spending about 40% more.
[/quote]

In may of 2015 I paid €1640 for my Sterling, at the same shop a bog standard Stingray (if there ever was one) was going for €1590. No Sterlings at the shop now but the remaining Stingray's have gone up in price: €1800-1850.

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The SB14 is mine and was up here too. Just click the link in my sig.; the bass is in very nice condition.

Edited by ead

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1500992251' post='3341551']
At least I'll get my washing done.
[/quote]

Ahh, choices choices... Stink to high heaven or own a Stingray. :unsure:

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https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-instrument/musicman-sterling-usa-bass.-ebmm-american-made-in-translucent-red-hybrid-hard-case./1256401090

Nice 4 stringer on Gumtree. Lovely colour that!

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Simple answer - not as many around as Stingrays and those who have them don't sell them.

An alternative is a 92 to 08 SR5. Same electronics and neck as the ST5 - slightly bigger body and different pickguard. Lots of these around and it's possible to find 8.5 lbs ones - more usually 10 lbs.

These are awesome basses - I have an 03 SR5 in natural - a little heavy but an absolute tone monster - the most resonant body of any bass I've played.

Best of luck searching for an ST5 - you could always order a new one - if it was me I'd go for an HS - adding the single coil to the single pick up Sterling sound adds significant bottom end and warmth to the sound when desired, gives a single coil option and you still get the single humbucker Magic as well when wanted.

Edited by drTStingray

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[quote name='drTStingray' timestamp='1501060912' post='3342099']
An alternative is a 92 to 08 SR5. Same electronics and neck as the ST5 - slightly bigger body and different pickguard. Lots of these around and it's possible to find 8.5 lbs ones - more usually 10 lbs.
[/quote]

You are so right. The early Stingray 5's had ceramic pickups instead of alnico ones.

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I fruitlessly looked for one for years back when I was playing 5ers, I hope you have better luck.

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[quote name='Muppet' timestamp='1500993962' post='3341580']


I think you may own a large part of the UKs quota!
[/quote]

I've definitely got a few quirky spec Musicman instruments. However, in this climate I would not build up such a collection.

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