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Why are there so few Musicman Sterlings?

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I much prefer the look of the Sterling to the Stingray, especially the 5 string. The Stingray 5 body looks massive in the flesh. To my ears there’s not a lot between them and as has been mentioned the Stingray used ceramic pickups in the past. The 5 HH, having the pickup combinations wired in series tends to provide different (and possibly slightly less usable) tones to the Stingray 5 HH as its combinations are wired in parallel. The neck pickup is too close to the neck on both models though - makes the neck pickup sound too flabby and very little space between neck and pickup for popping.

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Beyond the lad from Busted already mentioned in this thread, the only other people I know of gigging a Sterling are Roger Lima from Less Than Jake and the guy from Capdown, who's now in The Getgone - clearly liked by ska bassists

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Just picked up a 2006 Sterling last week, and will be using it as my gigging bass..Sounds fantastic and plays beautifully with its lovely slim neck..Very happy😁

IMG_20200311_121750.jpg

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On 11/03/2020 at 13:54, wright/watt said:

Just picked up a 2006 Sterling last week, and will be using it as my gigging bass..Sounds fantastic and plays beautifully with its lovely slim neck..Very happy😁

IMG_20200311_121750.jpg

That’s well lovely! ❤️

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Sterlings are underrated basses IMO. They are of equal quality and constuction when compared to StingRay basses. The Sterling by MusicMan brand doesn't help, people can mistake these basses for an affordable Asian product. I bought mine for its slimmer neck profile and smaller and thus lighter body.  Does it really sound all that different from a StingRay? Dunno, never played a StingRay... Sterlings do have that unmistakeable MusicMan tone, no doubt about it. Alone in your bedroom one might hear differences. Playing live I think you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. Pics or it didn't happen, here's mine.

Sterling-4H.jpg

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49 minutes ago, Treb said:

Does it really sound all that different from a StingRay? Dunno, never played a StingRay...

I've had a USA Sterling and both 2 and 3 band EQ USA Stingrays along with a USA S.U.B  

The Sterling is very close to a 3 band Stingray with the 3 way switch set to the rear position. It fattens up in the front position. It's also inherently a bit more more aggressive sounding imho. It's nothing like a 2 band Stingray though which sounds warmer, fatter and deeper with a less aggressive mid......

I loved my Sterling (it was a beautiful honeyburst/maple one) for the sounds but i couldn't get on with the skinny neck hence ending up with Stingrays. 

Every one was brilliant though - i don't have a MM in the stable at the moment but i can see me getting something again in the future. A Sterling with a Stingray neck would be perfect for me (currently using a G+L L2000 so not far off it)

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On 05/03/2020 at 12:27, Graham said:

Beyond the lad from Busted already mentioned in this thread, the only other people I know of gigging a Sterling are Roger Lima from Less Than Jake and the guy from Capdown, who's now in The Getgone - clearly liked by ska bassists

I saw Less Than Jake maybe 6 years ago now at Leamington Assembly and he even commented on the Sterling. He smacked it about a bit and said "This thing is great, it never goes out of tune!". I remember it also sitting very well in the mix.

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On 02/03/2020 at 11:41, jrixn1 said:

There is the discontinued SB14. 

Interestingly (or not, YMMV) some weeks ago I was idly looking at websites for a couple of my local guitar shops and came a across what was described as a new SB14.  It still had the sticker on the pickguard and was being offered at a price that would be rude to refuse.  I've owned a couple in the distant past and have a soft spot for them.  Needless to say I relieved them of the burden of ownership :)

The best I could get out of them was "we've had it for a while".  Anyway it turned out to be immaculate, beautifully set up and a little under 9lbs to boot.  Not a fan of the pearlescent white scartchplate so that might get sprayed black if I get bored.

Gratuitous SB14 pic:

IMG_20200406_161330.thumb.jpg.57f9fa8ab1c5332716c439b64c0da0ea.jpg

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1 hour ago, ead said:

Interestingly (or not, YMMV) some weeks ago I was idly looking at websites for a couple of my local guitar shops and came a across what was described as a new SB14.  It still had the sticker on the pickguard and was being offered at a price that would be rude to refuse.  I've owned a couple in the distant past and have a soft spot for them.  Needless to say I relieved them of the burden of ownership :)

The best I could get out of them was "we've had it for a while".  Anyway it turned out to be immaculate, beautifully set up and a little under 9lbs to boot.  Not a fan of the pearlescent white scartchplate so that might get sprayed black if I get bored.

Gratuitous SB14 pic:

IMG_20200406_161330.thumb.jpg.57f9fa8ab1c5332716c439b64c0da0ea.jpg

That will look very nice with a black pick guard!

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19 minutes ago, Woodwind said:

That will look very nice with a black pick guard!

Found a couple of areosols, one of matt black and one of satin clear varnish so might well have a go at it.

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Pickguard still had the protective film on.  Curiouser and couriouser...

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This is the third Sterling that I've owned.  Several months ago I decided to sell it however once I took it out to check I quickly realised that it had to stay. I've always like the MM tone and the neck is just right for my small hands.  It's been very good company this past week. 

 

sterling01.thumb.jpg.92ee5c64c931b87fba9e18ef72cad83d.jpg

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3 hours ago, ead said:

Interestingly (or not, YMMV) some weeks ago I was idly looking at websites for a couple of my local guitar shops and came a across what was described as a new SB14.  It still had the sticker on the pickguard and was being offered at a price that would be rude to refuse.  I've owned a couple in the distant past and have a soft spot for them.  Needless to say I relieved them of the burden of ownership :)

The best I could get out of them was "we've had it for a while".  Anyway it turned out to be immaculate, beautifully set up and a little under 9lbs to boot.  Not a fan of the pearlescent white scartchplate so that might get sprayed black if I get bored.

Gratuitous SB14 pic:

IMG_20200406_161330.thumb.jpg.57f9fa8ab1c5332716c439b64c0da0ea.jpg

Very nice find! Going to keep an eye out for one of those in the near future. 

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Here we go, I feel that this is a whole lot better!

SB14.thumb.jpg.728a7553d8e92f9eedc20bc4a4d57ea4.jpg

I also completely forgot to mention this is not a thread hijack as I owned a Sterling HS for a while.  Definitely prefer the H only version though.

1317511528_MMHS04.thumb.jpg.a2935bc35c81d243970091dc80c0165c.jpg

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Really enjoy my sterling, plays great

if I were to replace it, it would be with one of the classic sterling’s, saw a light blue one yesterday, damn! 
 

probably wouldn’t replace it, would just get a classic, it’s that good! 

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Posted (edited)

I think the main reason there are fewer Sterlings is many people want the Stingray as it has the much longer history and is thus more iconic - rather like the Fender Jaguar compared with Precision or Jazz. 

@ead that SB14 looks great with the matt black pickguard - very early 90s (the first Sterlings had matt pick guards in 93/94 ish). 

Edited by drTStingray
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Not the best picture of the bass, but the sterling sounds great through this, small foot print, lightweight and a big sound 
the streamlined has since been replaced with a Genzler 

3E6994E5-19CC-4792-9871-01D9D887DC64.jpeg

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This is the classic sterling I mentioned in an earlier post, I think I would miss that 3 position switch! 

E944E471-32A1-4E4D-8BA8-5AB15EBD284D.jpeg

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Do these differ from a Stingray only by the extra fret and the smaller body?

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2 hours ago, sshorepunk said:

This is the classic sterling I mentioned in an earlier post, I think I would miss that 3 position switch! 

E944E471-32A1-4E4D-8BA8-5AB15EBD284D.jpeg

Like that mate!

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The colour is very similar to a stingray I had a few years back

It was an early one I bought, with mutes at the bridge, someone had tried a crap relic job on it, so it got stripped back and resprayed in nitro.

I used some nitro I had left from a VW bus I had sprayed many years ago, colour was niagra blue.

After seeing this I am very tempted to do it again with my current sterling

I fee a lockdown project coming on

 

I'll see if I can find a pic of the bass and the bus!

 

T

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3 hours ago, sshorepunk said:

This is the classic sterling I mentioned in an earlier post, I think I would miss that 3 position switch! 

E944E471-32A1-4E4D-8BA8-5AB15EBD284D.jpeg

Wow :o I did not know these existed.  Is it a slab or contoured body?

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