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Thread: Stingrey maple neck finish.

  1. #1

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    Stingrey maple neck finish.

    Just got a 2015 Stingrey, first time for me, Im all excited and with a lot of fears because it is a second hand. Theres is this "issue?" with the neck. Its seems that the neck and the headstock in the back do not have the same finish. The neck feels like natural wood, like a bare wood finish, different to the headstock that seems to have some varnish finish. Weird. The most weird part is that the line that divide both parts of it is very well traced and it matches with the line of the headstock bridge.

    Is that normal? or what I have in my hands is a bass that have been modified?

  2. #2

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    Totally normal. The headstock is varnished. The neck is hand-sanded and then lightly treated with oil and wax for a slinky bare wood feel. In the last few years some new model lines have come out with varnished necks: high gloss on the classic stingray basses, satin finish on the Cutlass and Caprice basses and Cutlass and Stingray guitars. But before those models came out almost all Music Man instruments had that oil and wax finish and it's one of the features Music Man instruments are renowned for.

    Congratulations on your new bass and welcome to the forum!
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  3. #3

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    Yep, totally normal.

    I LOVE the oil and wax finish on the back of Music Man basses. I have a '97 Stingray that I bought new, 20 years ago, and that finish is still just awesome to play on.

    I've owned basses with gloss finish on the neck and don't care for that for humid, outdoor gigs. I've had satin finishes that are nice at first, but polished and got glossy and slowed me down in the humidity, too. The oil and wax is so good, I don't think I'll ever buy another bass that doesn't have it.

    Many players prefer gloss or satin, I understand. But oil and wax is soooo nice. And it ages well.

    Good pick on the bass! Enjoy.
    1997 Stingray 4 - Trans Red, Rosewood
    2007 Stingray 4HS - Black, Maple
    2009 Sterling 4HS - Trans Gold, Maple
    2017 StingRay 4 HH SLO Special - Powder Blue, Maple

  4. #4

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    I personally prefer the necks with hard finish but will admit the oil finished necks do feel great...when they are in really good condition.

    My recently acquired SR5 has a neck that feels less smooth than I like. Correcting that is easy.

    I will carefully apply some of that blue painter's tape just over the hard finish line near the headstock. I will then lightly sand the back of the neck with 400>600>ultra fine grit sandpaper backed by an artgum eraser. Then I will apply an even coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil gunstock finish. I will rub in the Tru-Oil with my hands. I will give it a couple of days to completely dry and then will polish the back of the neck with 0000 steel wool. The result will be a very smooth finish that feels great and looks lovely.

    The oil finished necks are a little more work to maintain but they have a great advantage over necks with a hard finish. If the back of the neck should get dinged or dented, you can usually completely raise the dented area by applying a very damp washcloth over the dent and then ironing it with a hot steam iron (with the steam turned on). The steam will penetrate the wood and raise the dent. The grain in that area will also be raised so some sanding down to smooth it will be required.

    Good luck with your new Music Man bass.

  5. #5

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    my favorite 2 finishes are: 1) bare wood with oil/wax finish, similar to original stingray. advantage is it can be redone any time (as outlined above) 2) satin finish, similar to my new Caprice. just feels so good and does not get sticky when you sweat.



  6. #6

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    Pretty much all EBMM guitars have finished headstocks, whether it's gloss or satin. On rosewood necks they generally gloss clear the headstock. Maple headstocks are just satin poly. IT can be confusing when the discoloration starts.

    If the neck is rough, often it is because the tru-oil used can be flaking a bit. At that point it's usually best to clean the whole neck, use some 400 grit sandpaper on the rough spots, and then re apply tru oil and gun stock wax. They really do feel beautiful.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

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