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ProfJames

Musicman Stingray prices

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I bought my 79 fretless Stingray on a whim in 2013 and sold it for +40% last year. I guess that's a reflection of the market.

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I’ve been thinking about MMs for a while now. I bought one second hand in the early/mid 80s from a mate who had wanted one for years, bought one then couldn’t get on with it!

The bass was one of the very early Ernie Ball models. It had three knobs (would that be 2-band eq?), if I recall correctly, along with individual string mutes on the bridge. Black body with a rosewood board. It was lovely.

After I finished playing it was a choice between keeping one or other of the MM or a ‘73 Jazz, so the MM went - sold on commission by the now defunct Bass Centre.

There appears to be so much choice now that I wouldn’t know what would be a similar model to the one I had all those years ago. I recall once having a MM hired in and it had four knobs (I think) and I just couldn’t get it to work for me.

If I was after something of/like that early EB period with three knobs what do they go for these days - and when was the change to more knobs?! 

The neck was lovely - wider than a Jazz, less than a P, and shallower/flatter. Very comfortable to play - not sure if they’ve changed the dimensions/profiles since then?

I found it to a hugely versatile bass that could offer that classic ‘Ray sound (Shriekback were a big sound influence at the time) but also, with a small bit of tone tweaking on the bass itself, a lot more besides...

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Well I recently bought a 1987 2eq Stingray for a grand. I think I lucked out big time tho as have seen them up for more.

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4 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Well I recently bought a 1987 2eq Stingray for a grand. I think I lucked out big time tho as have seen them up for more.

For what a Stingray can do, and considering the price of other basses these days, I’d say that’s a really good buy! 

I can’t remember exactly how much my mate paid in circa ‘85 but I think they were around £500/£600 - happy to be corrected! They weren’t the easiest basses to come by, either... 

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3 hours ago, ProfJames said:

So guys..............is this video correct?  What do you play or what would you choose?

 

 

He's kinda right, but he makes it sound like the original was only good for funk whereas it was used by loads of guys in rock bands, etc. 

The Stingray is a very unique, aggressive sounding instrument. It doesn't have loads of different sounds, but what it does have works for most genres. If you want that typical MM sound then go for the single humbucker version. The HH seems to be trying to be more versatile, which is great if that is what you need. 

Edited by peteb
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23 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Nice '96 in Natural with mutes on Gumtree for £900

https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-instrument/musicman-stingray-bass-4/1387472076

 

I think that is a pretty fair price for the current market. I've just paid a fair bit less for an earlier model, but that's partly because it isn't mint and partly because I got it off a mate. I was talking to a guy online who was selling a 96 without the mutes for £1k, after reducing it from £1,200 and was wondering why people weren't biting his hand off! I've also seen people trying to sell them for a lot more unrealistic prices as well. 

You have to say that Loz getting an 87 two band (a more collectable model) for £1k is a very good deal. 

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I've got a red with RW board 3 EQ Stingray I had from new in 2002 (folks got it for my 21st) and they paid (a quite specific figure,  which is why I remember)  £949.00 and I thought that was a decent price back then.

It was my main bass for years and years and I'll never sell it.

I don't use it so much now, but it's perfect for so many settings - last time it had any real use was doing some music theatre and I always seem to take it to the studio 'just incase'.

 

 

Edited by bassintheface

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3 hours ago, peteb said:

He's kinda right, but he makes it sound like the original was only good for funk whereas it was used by loads of guys in rock bands, etc. 

The Stingray is a very unique, aggressive sounding instrument. It doesn't have loads of different sounds, but what it does have works for most genres. If you want that typical MM sound then go for the single humbucker version. The HH seems to be trying to be more versatile, which is great if that is what you need. 

Yup - Stingray can do anything apart from dinner jazz I think. Fine for fusion if that's your thing (Scofields Blue Matter for e.g.)

Being able to go from droning metallic bass a la Simon Gallup to tight punchy Bernard Edwards is a VERY wide range.

Having been around the houses for many years (too long to mention), I would happily argue a single pickup Stingray is the most versatile bass you can own. It's my only bass right now.

 

Edited by Cairobill
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1 hour ago, Cairobill said:

Yup - Stingray can do anything apart from dinner jazz I think. Fine for fusion if that's your thing (Scofields Blue Matter for e.g.)

Being able to go from droning metallic bass a la Simon Gallup to tight punchy Bernard Edwards is a VERY wide range.

Having been around the houses for many years (too long to mention), I would happily argue a single pickup Stingray is the most versatile bass you can own. It's my only bass right now.

 

Sorry to disagree - I used mine for dinner jazz ( and plenty more besides) for years!

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3 hours ago, casapete said:

Sorry to disagree - I used mine for dinner jazz ( and plenty more besides) for years!

Ha ha yes! I retract that statement ;)

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I also disagree here 

My Old smoothie Ray goes from Dubby,  mutey jazz machine , Grindy Drop D rock ,  up  to Screamy pop punk ,  with a stomp on  my  Tubescreamer   Really just a mid boost and volume lift)  and a spin of the treble pot  its up in bark town.

If i wanted to "fake it" upright  i have been  know to quickly drop the mutes on the E and A  then play up the dusty end  rather than the money zone.   
The Ray It has rapidly become my only gigged and rehearsed Bass ,  invading practice too aI was feeling lazy and grabbed my remaining jazz for last nights noodling and within  10 minutes i had conceded and gone to get the Ray ... its just " HOME"

There's some surprisingly versatility even the one pickup config , where you play , rolling back volume ( surprisingly how much this effects the bite of the bass like gain)   Bass and Treble Mutes   and right hand technique all play into it , it also helps that the smoothie is not string aligned like a standard ray they sit astride them.

Edited by synthaside
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17 minutes ago, ProfJames said:

OK guys............where does the Sterling fit in??  There is one for 1700 on the forum...........??!!

I have a friend who owned one. I remember he always had a real middy tone, which sounded naff on it's own, but sounded excellent once the band kicked in.

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1 hour ago, ProfJames said:

OK guys............where does the Sterling fit in??  There is one for 1700 on the forum...........??!!

I had one about 12 years or so ago (bought for £650 from eBay if I remember correctly). I never got on with it and moved it on quite quickly. 

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There are two levels of Sterling basses, IIRC - Sterling by Music Man and SUB By Sterling. The SUB basses are down towards the "Squier" end of the product range.

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1 minute ago, Naigewron said:

There are two levels of Sterling basses, IIRC - Sterling by Music Man and SUB By Sterling. The SUB basses are down towards the "Squier" end of the product range.

The one the Prof is referring to is the full-fat American version. There is also a 2006 Stingray in the For Sale section, going for a bit less than a grand. 

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Full fat American....love it!  In a hierarchical structure is it Full fat - then Sterling then Sub?  If I am correct then what are the differences please?

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34 minutes ago, ProfJames said:

Full fat American....love it!  In a hierarchical structure is it Full fat - then Sterling then Sub?  If I am correct then what are the differences please?

It gets confusing, but I believe it's like this:

Gold standard: Music Man Stingray

Top: Stirling RayXX (e.g. Ray34, etc)

Middle: Stirling 4 and Sterling 5

Bottom: Stirling Ray4 and Ray5 (the SUB series)

https://intl.sterlingbymusicman.com/collections/basses-1

Edited by Naigewron

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My normal take-out for gigs has mostly been 'old reliable', my '89 5H. Never let me down whatever genre I'm working in (Prog, Jazz, Country, Rock/pop, etc). Along with the 5 I will usually take my fretless 4H.
But for a while, I was taking my 5H plus my '98 Jazz (see pic) but have to say the Jazz only got minimal use as the Ray just did it all. (Not that there was anything at all wrong with the Jazz!).

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36 minutes ago, Naigewron said:

It gets confusing, but I believe it's like this:

Again, at 1,700 quid, he is most probably not talking about a Sterling by Music Man or similar, a set of cheapish brands, but about a historic model called Music Man Sterling (which I believe they brought back a few years ago too - haven't seen them though).
The brands were named after that model, and the model was probably named after Sterling Ball, son of Ernie.
This is what was meant above with "full-fat American", as this model was 100% San Luis Obispo, so to speak.

Edited by BassTractor
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2 minutes ago, ProfJames said:

Where is the Full Fat 4H MM then?

Edited. I was still on the Sterling line, but the full fat MM is the top of the line, of course.

But I've reached the edge of my Stingray knowledge here, so I'll bow out and let others correct me I think :) 

Edited by Naigewron
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3 minutes ago, ProfJames said:

Where is the Full Fat 4H MM then?

That's the American built, top of the range EB Musicman Sterling or EB Musicman Stingray (i.e. the ones that the pros use). 

Edited by peteb
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