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Thread: Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up on these.

    I have an sb14 and a ray4. Previously owned a ray34. Very wise choice for MM to offer these. My only complaint is you need to lower the pickup quite a bit because they're really high gain pickups.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    Just thought some comments/opinions (by me and anyone else who owns one of these basses) might help those contemplating getting one with their decision.

    Not all that long ago, I bought a Classic Stingray. Great bass. Sounded killer. Very classy. Beautiful. Everything about it was stellar... except my hands, unfortunately. I could certainly play it without any trouble, but I'm "blessed" with tiny hands and short fingers. I simply prefer the narrower and slimmer neck and I'm tired of “making do with a “normal person's bass.” So, I sucked it up, sold the Classic Stingray, and used the proceeds to special order my dream Stingray, which is a couple of months out (natural finish, maple neck, 2-band EQ, SLO neck... Perfection!!!).

    In the mean time, I bought a "cheapie" Sterling SUB Series Stingray. Truthfully, I wasn't expecting much. It's a cheap bass. Cheap basses suck... or at least they did when I was learning to play. Back then a cheap bass was pretty much automatically a dog -- unplayable, sounded like garbage, felt like garbage, and fell apart soon after you bought it. I know, cause I had a few back in the day (when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth).

    Boy... was I pleasantly surprised by this SUB Stingray. I would have given my eye teeth back when I was learning to play bass to have something as nice as this. Yes, obviously the hardware is not as high-end as the real Stingrays. But I must say that I LOVE this bass. I haven't been able to put it down since I got it. I've used it for everything I'm doing -- band gigs, recording, and whatever else.

    It sounds like a Stingray, but with some differences (and not even bad differences, just variations on a theme). To my ears, the bass control is very similar to the 2-band Stingray, but perhaps a bit "hotter," boosting and cutting more. It is quite sensitive. You can really get some huge boom out of it.

    On the other hand, the treble control is, to my ears, quite different. In fact, I would call it a "high-mid" control more than a straight-up treble boost/cut. In boost mode, it's a bit harsh to my ears, although I boost just a very small amount for slap. Other than that, I use it as a cut. And as a cut, it ABSOLUTELY shines, IMO. It almost acts as a passive tone control sound. I can crank the zing out easily and get an old-school Motown thump if I slightly boost the bass. So this “treble” control won't give you shimmering highs like a regular Stingray treble knob, but it does do something just as useful, I would argue, in a greater number of musical settings.

    In general, the preamp is very HOT! The signal is way hotter than I'm used to. I have to really pad the input on my amp to keep from overdriving the input stage and clipping/distorting. This SUB has a WAY hotter signal than my other active basses, including the Stingray I sold.

    As for the volume control. Well, what can I say? It's weird. For about 7/8ths of its travel it only marginally turns the volume down. Then at the very end of the travel, it's almost like an on-off switch! Now, I'm sure this is just due to the price point. You can't use top-of-the-line electronic components when selling the basses for so cheap. At first I just concluded that I would replace it with a better pot. But, as I used it more... I actually found that a "by-product" of it's weird character was actually useful. Through the first part of its travel, it actually acts like a subtle tone knob. It doesn't cut much volume and at the same time it rolls the high end off at the upper frequencies and sort of smooths things out a bit. I actually find that a useful addition for lots of things. So... the "cheapness" of the pot actually turned out to be quite useful. (my apologies if it was intentionally designed that way... but, I'm doubting it. )

    As for the feel of the neck... love at first touch. My small hands really dig it. Narrow, thin, and sleek. The finish is the slightest bit sticky at times, but nothing fine steel wool won't cure. It's a flat/satin finish, so no gloss finish is harmed by this process. I love the neck on it. Very fast and comfy.

    As I said, the hardware is not the most heavy-duty (nor should it be at this price point). But it's all perfectly serviceable and works the way it's supposed to. It's not junk like low-end hardware was 30 years ago. The pickup is fine. Honestly, I'd intended to change the preamp and pickup before I actually got it. But after playing it for awhile, no way am I going to touch it. It sounds great. Running through my amp, it has its own voice, but it sounds as good as anything else I have.

    Until I get my new SLO Stingray, this will be my main bass. And I have no reservations about using it as such. Hell, I may become so attached to it that it will stay my main bass.

    So, if you are a beginner, or a seasoned player who wants a "beater bass" (personally I think it's better than that!), don't hesitate in getting one of these. As I said earlier, I only wish they would have had "beginner basses" like this back when I was learning. I actually had a bass (my first) where the entire body cracked open (huge crack) over the course of a couple of days while trying to play it. That was excuse enough to throw it in the garbage because the action was so high and neck so warped, I could hardly fret a string. None of that here. The SUB is a class act "beginner's bass" that can certainly do gigs as well. And it's SO inexpensive. Amazing.

    Any other Sterling SUB Series Stingray owners like yours as much as I like mine?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    31
    Hi, my first post

    SBMM Ray5
    I needed a 5 string and this bass has really impressed me so far.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9
    When are the mint green sub basses coming to Europe?
    I d love to buy one!!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by anoukane View Post
    When are the mint green sub basses coming to Europe?
    I d love to buy one!!
    They are there now.
    Brian Martin
    Vice President
    Product Specialist
    Praxis Musical Instruments
    Home of Sterling By Music Man

    888-989-7266
    Brian@PraxisMusical.com

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by SBMM View Post
    They are there now.
    Awesome. Can't find a dealer yet though.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by anoukane View Post
    Awesome. Can't find a dealer yet though.
    Best bet is to look on our website, find your country, and contact the distributor that services your region. They can generally let you know exactly who has what. If you have an issue with finding it after that, email me directly and I'll intervene for you. brian@praxismusical.com
    Brian Martin
    Vice President
    Product Specialist
    Praxis Musical Instruments
    Home of Sterling By Music Man

    888-989-7266
    Brian@PraxisMusical.com

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1

    Link

    Is there a new link for this? This one goes to another message board that doesn't have the info for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by SBMM View Post
    Here's the new link for that thread with the full modification:

    Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray4 and Ray5 | Page 17 | TalkBass.com

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    716
    Just bought my daughter a Sterling Sub Ray4 for her birthday. She turned 12 and the bass that she started on at age 6 was getting a little too small for her. Oh my hell, this bass is so great for the price. So impressed with the quality. Could not recommend a better bass in this price range. There simply isn't a better bass in this price range. Kudos SBMM.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    U.K Shropshire.
    Posts
    1,401
    Im sold! , this is just what I'm looking for, (apart from a Bongo 4H but that's an on going search) I "neeeed" a back up bass to take to the larger gigs, and from what I have seen of them in local shops they fit the bill perfectly.
    Would I be happy playing the whole gig with one of theses if SunBlue had a hissy fit first song ? hell yeah !

    Stingray. 4H, Buttercreme 2005 L.E. ("Leighton") (05/05/05.)
    Stingray. 4H, Vintage Sunburst, ("SunBlue") (31/05/05)
    GENZ-BENZ. Amp's... M'Line 200 1x15 Combo... Shuttle 6.2, 410 & 115 cabs...
    ORANGE Terror 1000H.

    Newly recorded material using "SunBlue"
    https://soundcloud.com/official_elec...bum-by-electus

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    19
    Reviving an old thread, but I LOVE my SUB. I did put *a little* work into her, but it was well worth the expense.
    Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays-20151102_200352-jpg

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    belgium
    Posts
    1,111
    Quote Originally Posted by bogwart View Post
    Reviving an old thread, but I LOVE my SUB. I did put *a little* work into her, but it was well worth the expense.
    Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays-20151102_200352-jpg
    Great job! Looks cool.
    1977 stingray II guitar--walnut------------maple fb
    1994 stingray 4H---------natural------------rosewood fb
    1998 sterling 4H----------trans red---------birdseye maple/rw
    2006 Jp6---------------------mystic dream--birdseye maple/rw
    2010 Classic sr4----------coral red---------birdseye maple
    2011 Albert Lee HH-----candy red--------rosewood neck
    2013 Luke III HSS--------olive gold--------rosewood neck
    2014 stingray 4 HH-----neptune blue---flamed maple

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    U.K Shropshire.
    Posts
    1,401
    Quote Originally Posted by bogwart View Post
    Reviving an old thread, but I LOVE my SUB. I did put *a little* work into her, but it was well worth the expense.
    Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays-20151102_200352-jpg
    Nice job

    Stingray. 4H, Buttercreme 2005 L.E. ("Leighton") (05/05/05.)
    Stingray. 4H, Vintage Sunburst, ("SunBlue") (31/05/05)
    GENZ-BENZ. Amp's... M'Line 200 1x15 Combo... Shuttle 6.2, 410 & 115 cabs...
    ORANGE Terror 1000H.

    Newly recorded material using "SunBlue"
    https://soundcloud.com/official_elec...bum-by-electus

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Parsippany, NJ, United States
    Posts
    3,007
    Quote Originally Posted by SBMM View Post
    It's not a problem, it's just the way that it is designed.
    The modification I came up with just re-routs the preamp signal through the VR to give more control over the output and lessen the harshness that some people don't care for.
    I just picked up this beauty and I should have it later this week. Has the volume issue been fixed with the new shipments, or will I need to do that fix?
    Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays-sbmm-jpg
    John

    _________________________________
    Welcome to the affliction
    Bongo 5 PDN 2014 HH
    Genzler MG800 + Fearless F112
    Fender 500C + 210

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Parsippany, NJ, United States
    Posts
    3,007
    Quote Originally Posted by bogwart View Post
    Reviving an old thread, but I LOVE my SUB. I did put *a little* work into her, but it was well worth the expense.
    Thoughts on the Sterling SUB Series Stingrays-20151102_200352-jpg
    I don't see any additional controls for the Split PUP. How do you control the mix?
    John

    _________________________________
    Welcome to the affliction
    Bongo 5 PDN 2014 HH
    Genzler MG800 + Fearless F112
    Fender 500C + 210

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    19
    Thanks!

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