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Thursday, 06 July 2017 21:10

EBMM Stingray Bass Featured

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Beside the jazz or precision, the Musicman Stingray is probably the 3rd most popular electric bass out there.    Design by Leo Fender and Tom Walker and test  drive by Sterling Ball , the bass was introduced to the market in 1976 by Musicman, and later on the company  became Ernie Ball Musicman.

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No matter how well your J or P bass serves you, very often you’ll hear bass sound with that unique aggressive upper mid that’s just something missing from the P and J .  and after 15+ years of playing bass.   Eventho Stingray is not my favourite instrument; I just realized every few years I’ll need to have a Stingray to get something done .   After spend the past 6 years with fancy boutique instruments, the Stingray is just holding its place there which no one else do it better than EBMM .   It’s always fun to have a Stingray hanging around.

I’m lucky enough to get to play around a dozen of them ..  They are all great quality instruments and about 2-3 of them were superb.   are and here’s a few little things I’d like to share when picking one.

1. Pickup configuration.   H / HS /HH .

- Go with the single H, that’s the signature Stingray sound, out of the box.  Variations throughout the years made it more versatile.  But if you are going with a Stingray, just go with what it does the best.  Single H, no switch, no learning, no BS, great chunky tone out of the box.

2. Maple vs Rosewood fingerboard

- Maple has faster attack and slightly brighter, and has that unique snappy high tone.  Some people like it a lot but I don’t.    I personally prefer the rounder high, slower attack and sweeter sounding rosewood fingerboard.   *make sure you wash your hand often when playing a maple fingerboard.

3. Alder or Ash body

- It’s kind of hard to tell when they paint the bass in solid colour, but I believe there are more Ash body than Alder .    To me, I found the better sounding one are normally the heavier ones.  It’s not always true, but I found heavier Stingray normally sounded bigger.   The body has that resonate frequency that vibrates your heart(well, body), even in a low volume and sometimes unplug.  

4. Standard vs Classic vs Neckthrough

- I seriously think EBMM has perfected the design with the 3 Band boost/cut EQ in the 80s or 90s .    While many of the classic models are very finely made and sounded good by nature .  The standard Stingray has no problem archive the oldschool vintage sound at all, and does it better.   In general; if I gig regularly.  I will have more good sounding day with the standard Ray compare to the Classic.  

 

The neckthrough models are amazing, however the construction method has totally changed the responsiveness of the instrument, and it requires quiet a bit of time to get used to.   Unlike Sterling(Like a brother to Ray), the neckthroughs are more like a cousin.

These are my honest opinions about this legendary instrument.  Hopefully you can find your Ray soon!

Cheers!

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