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gareth

Pre eb versus 1980’s EBMM Stingrays

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Want a heads up on a sleeper bass?

I reckon 1980’s Rays are one such bass

Like the one @Lozz196 recently acquired they have all the best features of the late pre eb rays - bullet truss, 4 bolt plate, non string thru body, bridge with muted and chrome battery cover - the only thing they don’t have is a EB free transfer on the headstock 

Yet the price difference can be £1000+ for what are really identical basses

I have had both and there’s no difference in weight, balance or sound 

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All things being equal, I suppose a Pre-EB Ray will hold it's value better, and as such, could be less costly to own at the end of the day.

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7 hours ago, gareth said:

Want a heads up on a sleeper bass?

I reckon 1980’s Rays are one such bass

Like the one @Lozz196 recently acquired they have all the best features of the late pre eb rays - bullet truss, 4 bolt plate, non string thru body, bridge with muted and chrome battery cover - the only thing they don’t have is a EB free transfer on the headstock 

Yet the price difference can be £1000+ for what are really identical basses

I have had both and there’s no difference in weight, balance or sound 

I agree with you - the EB basses are invariably lighter and often have beautifully figured necks (the figured necks right up to about the year 2000). They also improved consistency like pick up winding and other elements. But I guess it's the same with other basses (for example a 70s Precision is invariably more expensive to buy than one from the late 80s/90s despite the latter probably being lighter and maybe better constructed). 

There are a lot of variables with these EB basses, not least the colour of the bass - some of the cooler colours command a higher price (virtually unobtainium ones like peach, for instance - or vintage sunburst - which was a special order colour up to the mid 90s). 

There are other variables such as the case - I once chased a trans red 87 2 band Ray with fabulous figured maple neck and board - in a Musicman tear drop case - it went way above my notional max (the case alone being worth hundreds). 

In terms of value for money, a Stingray in 1993 was £725 or thereabouts - I would expect to pay significantly more for one of that age now. 

I think the age of the bass is quite a big factor as they seem to increase as they get older (as have the pre EB Stingrays). 

All this said, I do also love the pre EB basses, and as a previous owner, I would admit to having been tempted several times by the Gallery and Andy Baxter's offerings - only last week in fact!! 

Who knows what instruments would increase or decrease in value in years to come - you only have to read stories of used Wals going for a few hundred pounds back in the 90s, and I also recall how uncool (and relatively unsaleable) new Fenders were in the early 80s (unless you were a punk or ska player).  

But I think you're right, the mid/late 80s/90s EB Stingrays are very nice and potentially sleepers. 

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I think it can varies from bass 2 bass.

The older ones do hold their value, I have always got back what I paid and in one case a little extra, So possible investments or safe bets.

I have had 2 Pre EB's a 77 and 83. Both 2 band, both very slightly different in sound, the 77 had the epoxy preamp and sounded slightly less harsh in the highs to my ears than the 83.

I have also had a couple of EB's (2eq's) laye 80's and 90's models and they have all been very good as well. The build quality has always been spot on.

I'm just one of those people Stingrays just don't seem to work for no matter how hard I try.

 

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 In the late 1980's I had a four bolt early '80s Ray that was a featherweight, about 8 1/2 pounds.  

I remember comparing it to EB  Stingrays in shops during that era and, weight aside ( and I was far less preoccupied by weight back then), the EBMM  basses were better instruments. They sounded more focused to my ear, and they were much better made. Just a classier level of manufacturing all-round.

It's a shame that EBMM  stopped making them like that and went with the oil and wax finish on the neck , 3 band eq as standard and the mute-free bridge. There is no doubt that the EB  80's Stingrays were lovely basses and well worth seeking out. 

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1 hour ago, Misdee said:

 In the late 1980's I had a four bolt early '80s Ray that was a featherweight, about 8 1/2 pounds.  

I remember comparing it to EB  Stingrays in shops during that era and, weight aside ( and I was far less preoccupied by weight back then), the EBMM  basses were better instruments. They sounded more focused to my ear, and they were much better made. Just a classier level of manufacturing all-round.

It's a shame that EBMM  stopped making them like that and went with the oil and wax finish on the neck , 3 band eq as standard and the mute-free bridge. There is no doubt that the EB  80's Stingrays were lovely basses and well worth seeking out. 

Interesting what you say about your bass. I also had a pre EB and whilst it was v nice, I agree that the 80s EB basses are v nice and all the points about improved manufacture - I recall them in the shops in cool colours also like fire engine red.  However there's no doubt that the six bolt neck joint with wheel truss rod, and top mounted truss rod with the fretboard glued back on was an excellent engineering and functional improvement - from the early 90s. 

I also like the lacquered neck basses and the classic Stingrays (2010 on) also have this - MM basses with this seem to manage to avoid any form of stickiness. However the wax and oil finish, especially with a roasted maple neck, make for a sublime level of playability. 

In reality the 2 band Rays were actually available throughout the production of Stingrays right up to or almost the changeover to Stingray Specials. The fact is, from the 90s onwards many people bought the 3 band version instead and I well remember passing on a couple of used Stingrays (including a fretless) simply because they were 2 band, in the early 00s - the shop guy gave the impression few people wanted the 2 band at that time compared with the 3 band. 

Strange the way things change and fashions come and go - I still agree these late 80s basses are really good though. If anyone knows of a peach finish one for sale let me know 👍😍

Edited by drTStingray
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50 minutes ago, rodney72a said:

Great basses, too right!

1989 Sunburst, 1990 Vintage Sunburst

nohMfk9.jpg

 

 

Fabulous!! I guess the peach SR4 is neither two band nor 90s? 

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21 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

Fabulous!! I guess the peach SR4 is neither two band nor 90s? 

No, that one is a 3-band from 1988.

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Those sunburst basses have great figuring on the maple necks - one of the other advantages of Stingrays from this era. 

I thought you might post a pic of the peach Ray as it's so rare. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, drTStingray said:

Those sunburst basses have great figuring on the maple necks - one of the other advantages of Stingrays from this era. 

I thought you might post a pic of the peach Ray as it's so rare.

OK a bit of unobtainium, just for you... 😀

1988 Peach

ciMWLUg.jpg

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