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NBD: 1989 Music Man Stingray


Old Horse Murphy
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Well, I had one of these a while ago in Pillar Box Red with a beautiful maple neck. It was stunning and played superbly but weighed about 10 and a half pounds which was too much for me. I loved it though and the sound from the 2eq preamp was just so right. 

Anyway, this one came up a short while ago for a very good price and weighed in at just a shade over 9lbs but even from the photos I could tell it was absolutely filthy. I spoke to the buyer though and negotiated a good price for it and thought I'd take a chance. It arrived yesterday, scarily, by Hermes, so I wasn't entirely sure it would ever arrive. Anyway, it did and after renewing my tetanus shot, I went about taking it apart for a good inspection and a clean. 

It's all-original but the previous owner must have sweated like a horse (think Barry White wearing a Cagoule while doing star jumps in a sauna and you have the right idea). I replaced as many screws as I could as they were rusted through and gave the pickup a good clean with a toothbrush and a bit of WD40 as the pole pieces were black. 

The neck is good and the frets are fine, but the body has take a bit of a bash over the years but it looks like good honest gigging marks to me.

The back however looks like to was played by C3PO with his shirt off. Buckle rash? It looks more like woodworm. Nonetheless, it's going to be played, not displayed. 

I restrung it and then went about intonating  it and setting up the action. It was a nightmare: everything was okay apart from the A string which kept choking out around the 9th fret. I tried everything from adjusting the relief, saddles, adding a shim and even tapped the frets with my wife's crafting hammer but it was no good. It was only then that I noticed the brand new A string from Ernie Ball had dents all the way along it. I replaced it with another string and well, problem solved. 

After all that faff, it plays great and sounds really, really good. I'm very pleased with my afternoon's work.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Old Horse Murphy
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6 hours ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

Well, I had one of these a while ago in Pillar Box Red with a beautiful maple neck. It was stunning and played superbly but weighed about 10 and a half pounds which was too much for me. I loved it though and the sound from the 2eq preamp was just so right. 

Anyway, this one came up a short while ago for a very good price and weighed in at just a shade over 9lbs but even from the photos I could tell it was absolutely filthy. I spoke to the buyer though and negotiated a good price for it and thought I'd take a chance. It arrived yesterday, scarily, by Hermes, so I wasn't entirely sure it would ever arrive. Anyway, it did and after renewing my tetanus shot, I went about taking it apart for a good inspection and a clean. 

It's all-original but the previous owner must have sweated like a horse (think Barry White wearing a Cagoule while doing star jumps in a sauna and you have the right idea). I replaced as many screws as I could as they were rusted through and gave the pickup a good clean with a toothbrush and a bit of WD40 as the pole pieces were black. 

The neck is good and the frets are fine, but the body has take a bit of a bash over the years but it looks like good honest gigging marks to me.

The back however looks like to was played by C3PO with his shirt off. Buckle rash? It looks more like woodworm. Nonetheless, it's going to be played, not displayed. 

I restrung it and then went about intonating  it and setting up the action. It was a nightmare: everything was okay apart from the A string which kept choking out around the 9th fret. I tried everything from adjusting the relief, saddles, adding a shim and even tapped the frets with my wife's crafting hammer but it was no good. It was only then that I noticed the brand new A string from Ernie Ball had dents all the way along it. I replaced it with another string and well, problem solved. 

After all that faff, it plays great and sounds really, really good. I'm very pleased with my afternoon's work.

 

 

 

 

37A881D9-33A5-4BFC-825C-051C93890C55.jpeg

3E085596-3FB2-4BA8-8B13-386EFD37942A.jpeg

717E5A13-8DA9-4C0F-B16E-1586D42DBBAF.jpeg

D721AF5B-E355-43CE-948A-CA68C72F492B.jpeg

0ACA6A30-C028-4E77-BBA5-4F34ACEE0004.jpeg

8791AAAD-D9D5-4FE1-AB96-ADFB25ECE2D1.jpeg

522D6597-29FD-4089-AF50-BBE6488F61C9.jpeg

916AA797-20CA-4C50-92F4-0D4D019D2A41.jpeg

D116E139-CB4F-44D2-92BF-3115EFBC4C0F.jpeg

54C8CE80-169C-43AD-BF1A-866F26678189.jpeg

780C142A-55AB-4693-90FE-47C4ECEC78A2.jpeg

9629352D-65DE-4B9F-A585-1762F4F9DD31.jpeg

ABDF2257-D5A8-46D9-A192-BC94D09F2DA6.jpeg

01BA4391-7942-4CAA-A57E-B7BECA4CA24B.jpeg

Looks great - as with many EBMM basses from the late 80s/90s a nicely figured neck as well.

Btw I'm pretty sure your previous Stingray was fire engine red (I think the stamp is RED FE or something similar - a colour used when EB first bought Musicman and started to produce Stingray basses. 

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15 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

Looks great - as with many EBMM basses from the late 80s/90s a nicely figured neck as well.

Btw I'm pretty sure your previous Stingray was fire engine red (I think the stamp is RED FE or something similar - a colour used when EB first bought Musicman and started to produce Stingray basses. 

Indeed. Fire Engine Red (stamp REDFE) was a (short-lived) production colour in the late eighties. It's listed in the 1988 catalogue and also in the spring 1989 edition but by the summer 1989 edition it's gone. Pretty rare. (And beautiful!)

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When I took my pre EB to a music shop in Dudley to get then to look at, thinking I'd blown the pre amp up (in reality she who should be obeyed persuaded me to put a cheaper standard battery in rather than a Duracell so she could buy a pack of ciggies and it had failed extremely quickly - v embarrassing!!) the shop actually had a new red one in that colour. 

The first EB production Stingray was/is also in that colour. 

As you say, v nice colour. 

Have you got copies of those catalogues - if so extremely rare 👍

Edited by drTStingray
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My fire engine red from 1988. Originally had a white guard, and is actually 2 band again.  The 3rd tone control is a dummy as I drilled a hole for the jack through the bottom of the body.  It's been refretted with stainless steel frets about 20 years ago. I've owned this for about 27 years now,  will never sell it.  Would love one like the op's to go with it someday. 

20201206_135414.jpg

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20 hours ago, drTStingray said:

Looks great - as with many EBMM basses from the late 80s/90s a nicely figured neck as well.

Btw I'm pretty sure your previous Stingray was fire engine red (I think the stamp is RED FE or something similar - a colour used when EB first bought Musicman and started to produce Stingray basses. 

I never found out the name of the colour so you're probably spot on.

I always hoped it was called something like "smacked derrière red" or "whore red" or "50 year old senior executive after running for a train red"

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1 hour ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

I never found out the name of the colour so you're probably spot on.

I always hoped it was called something like "smacked derrière red" or "whore red" or "50 year old senior executive after running for a train red"

I think you once told us the stamp was REDFE. But as @rodney72a said, fire engine red was the production colour - resurrected in around 2005 for a limited edition. 

Anyway I think the colour may be a little too red for "smacked derrière" although @Happy Jack may be able to advise as he used to have a smacking derrière for his profile pic until quite recently 😂 But a little to unorange for what's become colloquially known "The DJT flesh tone" 😬

Edited by drTStingray
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