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Thread: USA SUB series

  1. #1
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    USA SUB series

    Is there a decent resource online anywhere about the USA SUB series? I can't really find out much about them other than the fact that they're basically a StingRay Classic with a poplar body and weird paint job. I recently bought a used teal one to replace the StingRay that I had to sell to pay medical bills last year and I've been really surprised by how good of a bass it is and want to learn more about the series. It doesn't seem like they were around very long and given how cheap they are on the used market it doesn't seem like people realize what they are (maybe bc of brand confusion with the new Sterling SUB series?). The bottom line is I love this bass, maybe even more than the actual StingRay I had to sell, and would love to learn more about how they came about, how long they were made, and why they were discontinued, but haven't been able to find much. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The "SUB" series was a more budget-minded USA made series.. They have poplar bodies, a textured finish, a finished neck (not hand rubbed oil and wax) and all have the 2 band graphic EQ. Most I have seen are black and some type of textured pickguard.

    A lot of brands at that time were offering stripped down guitars with black matte finishes
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  3. #3
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    SUB 4 (four String) and SUB 5 (five string) were available from 2003-2006. Both used the Sting Ray 2EQ preamp but passive electronics was optional. The 5 string was shaped like the present Classic Series SR5 rather than the regular SR5.

    The Sterling SUB was available from 2004-2006. It used an earlier SR5 3EQ preamp. There was no option of passive electronics.

    Fretless was optional for all the SUB Basses.

    I believe S.U.B. may be Sterling Ball's initials (Big Poppa).

    P.S. All three SUB Basses had Alnico pickups. Options for the textured finishes were black, white, teal, red, blue, graphite and cinnamon. Pick guards were optional aluminium diamond plate or matte black.
    Last edited by Rod Trussbroken; 02-08-2018 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Correction

  4. #4
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    I have owned 17 of them, great instruments. My white passive sub 5 is a keeper. Plays like a dream!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Trussbroken View Post
    I believe S.U.B. may be Sterling Ball's initials (Big Poppa).
    True, his middle name is Ulysses.

    Okay, no, not really - SUB was "Sport Utility Bass".

    FWIW, I have a teal model SUB and it's one of the better Stingrays I've ever played - and for no good reason at all. It was off the rack at Guitar Center, I think, nothing special - but it's one of THOSE.

  6. #6
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    My pastor at the Calvary Chapel that I was on staff at had one. It played and sat in the mix incredibly well. It was actually because of that bass that I retired my 2 mid 90’s Ibanez Soundgear basses and got my first Music Man, a Sterling 4H. And now, I have a plethora with more to come.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    True, his middle name is Ulysses.

    Okay, no, not really - SUB was "Sport Utility Bass".

    FWIW, I have a teal model SUB and it's one of the better Stingrays I've ever played - and for no good reason at all. It was off the rack at Guitar Center, I think, nothing special - but it's one of THOSE.
    Ok. Thanks Jack

    BTW I got to try the 4 and 5 at "Open House". Great Basses
    Last edited by Rod Trussbroken; 02-08-2018 at 11:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Mine is the teal model too. I bought it to be a placeholder until I could afford to replace the StingRay I had to sell but it’s so good that at this point I have no plans to do that. I don’t know if it’s the 2-band preamp but I think it actually sounds better than my StingRay did.

  9. #9
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    I love my white SUB.......never gonna let it go
    2001 STERLING H/ black/black ice pg/rosewood board
    2003 SUB active white/black pg/rosewood board


    SterlingStudios

  10. #10
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    Posted this in another thread about refinishes. Check out my SUB... Seymore Duncan Stingray clone preamp/pickup (note 2 band eq not two band?)

    USA SUB series-img_e3102-jpgUSA SUB series-img_e3096-jpg
    Last edited by MaxKlein40; 02-09-2018 at 10:24 AM. Reason: reconfigure image
    EBMM Stingray 4 HH Stealth Pearl
    EBMM Bongo 5 HH Stealth Black
    SBMM SUB 4
    Oscar Schmidt Acoustic

    Ampeg B2RE
    GK NEO 4x10 and 1x15

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKlein40 View Post
    Posted this in another thread about refinishes. Check out my SUB... Seymore Duncan Stingray clone preamp/pickup (note 2 band eq not two band?)

    USA SUB series-img_e3102-jpgUSA SUB series-img_e3096-jpg
    Nice refinish! We are talking about the SUB that was made by Ernie Ball. Yours was made by SBMM

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by five7 View Post
    We are talking about the SUB that was made by Ernie Ball. Yours was made by SBMM
    Oops your right. Thought it was a general SUB discussion
    EBMM Stingray 4 HH Stealth Pearl
    EBMM Bongo 5 HH Stealth Black
    SBMM SUB 4
    Oscar Schmidt Acoustic

    Ampeg B2RE
    GK NEO 4x10 and 1x15

  13. #13
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    Central NJ
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    Mine's a keeper too...USA SUB series-11880451_10207422946876818_2100946202381237795_n-jpg
    SR H "Redwood" born 8/6/2008
    SR5 HS "Dargie Delight" born 2/28/2007
    SR5 Classic "Vintage White" born 5/17/2010
    SUB5 "Graphite" born 4/1/2005
    SR5 H LF "Black" born 4/1/2003
    SR H "Orange Firemist" born 1/28/2009
    SUB1 H "Graphite" born 1/27/2005
    GK Fusion 550 & Neo 212 II
    GK MB150E & MBX
    GK MB112 II & 112MBP

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