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Thread: MusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)

  1. #1
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    Dec 2015
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    MusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)

    Hey there,

    Life-long MusicMan fan from the Netherlands here, 19 years old now and it all started with my dad's 1976 MusicMan StingRayBass at around age 10. I started out as a bassist but soon also wanted to bend some higher pitched strings. :P

    Because of my dad's StingRayBass and my curious nature I soon found the StingRay guitars of the 70s that (from what I understand) were loathed by most guitarists. I always loved the look and when I found one I ended up loving their sound and feel as well. A few days ago I managed to pick up a second example of a StingRay guitar that's been severely butchered as you'll see in the pictures, but I didn't pay too much for it.

    So I thought I'd share my two StingRays here and tell their stories, hoping to get some feedback.

    MusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-04-03-51-36-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-04-03-51-56-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-04-03-52-13-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-04-22-53-29-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-04-23-36-44-jpg

    As you can see, someone removed the original logo on the one I just got and replaced it with something horrific. I'm looking to put an original logo on it again, so if anyone has any tips on where I can get a waterslide that would do this guitar justice, that'd be greatly appreciated!

    The story of the pickguard is as follows: It was originally black, then someone put another layer of something what I assume would've been some kind of fluid plastic on it to make it look white. The 3 plies on the side were also covered in this. Years later someone else spraypainted it black yet again, leaving the pickguard with a total of 5 layers of black and white. I decided to polish off the latter black layer and found the white plastic-y layer again. I used my pocketknife to scrape off the layer off of the sides of the pickguard to reveal the original 3 plies. As you'll see in the pictures, it's basically a 4ply now, black-white-black-white. I'm content with how it looks this way, and it'll be nice to have a blackguard and a whiteguard StingRay. It took me like 4 hours to get all the black off and shape it to my liking aesthetically.

    The guitar with the ugly logo has weird frets too, I think they're not original because they don't look anything like the ones in my other StingRay, which are original. The body has been painted red with a layer of grey underneath it at some point in its life. The dark wood as compared to the original one is because of this previous red layer of paint, since some of it is still left in the wood. The entire guitar was also coated in an awfully cheap coat of laqcuer. Other than that both sides of the neck have been sanded off approximately half a milimeter for some reason. The entire neck has been sanded horribly at some point in its life. It's still comfortable, but the headstock has been massacred along with the heel of the neck. Date stamps are gone on both neck and body because of the sanding/painting.

    The guitar that's still original is pretty much just that, except for the nut, which someone replaced for me with one he made by hand. Neck dates May 1977 and body dates either November 1976 or 1977. Serial number G00290x. The uglier one is serial number G00464x.

    Alright, that's it for now I guess. Thought this would be an interesting topic for this forum.

    Hope someone can tip me on a waterslide decal, all replies, questions and feedback is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Pics of the guitars didn't fit apparently, so here goes! A beauty and a beast:

    MusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-05-00-56-41-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-05-00-56-55-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-05-00-57-03-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-05-00-57-14-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-2015-12-05-00-58-43-jpg

  3. #3
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    Quite a pair there, young man - I'm digging the history they carry and appreciate "having a backup" to a guitar you love.

    Great pair of first posts there too - welcome aboard!

    Kevin
    Curator of The Morseum

    Top dollar paid for "First 50" Morses!

  4. #4
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    Those are cool looking... Have you seen the new Stingray guitar?
    Trans Gold Axis- Flame (DOB 12.13.1996)
    Trans Green Axis Sport (DOB 12.02.1997)
    Trans Green Axis- Quilt (DOB 03.14.2000)
    Black 2HB AL (DOB 12.01.2009)
    White HSS Silo Spec (DOB 3.16.2014)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the welcome, guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratty316 View Post
    Those are cool looking... Have you seen the new Stingray guitar?
    Right before you posted this I found out about them. I've been thinking about the possibility of a StingRay II/I guitar reissue over the past few years but had read somewhere EBMM itself weren't very fond of them in their original condition. And I gotta say, however cool an accurate reissue would've been, I don't think it would sell all that well. Personally I'm a fan of all the funky electronics, they're definitely useful in all fields and genres, because of the active circuitry. A lot of guitarists don't use the tone/volume pots on their guitars at all, but with an active guitar like this (vol, bass, treble) it takes some more fiddling around to get the sweetest tone for your amp.

    So basically the original StingRays aren't in any way bad sounding guitars, nor one-trick-ponies, they just take a good ear to dial in their great tone. I also read somewhere that the bass and treble pots are basically a-5, 0 and +5 type of circuit, meaning that when they're in the middle, they're balanced and that because many people usually start playing their guitar with all knobs on 10, this is the reason for their trebly/shrill-sounding reputation. I'm not sure how much is true of this, though.

    I like the new StingRay guitar and I understand all the design choices except for the headstock. It would've been nice to see the original 6-in-line headstock for this model, but other than that it looks like a killer axe and I can't wait to hear what it sounds like!

    Furthermore I hope EBMM will continue to experiment with the old StingRay I and II 'blueprints'. Perhaps a more faithful-to-original model in the classic series? (big headstock, hardtail stingray-style bridge, those typical musicman style pickups, an updated version of the old electronic circuitry, maple necks, alder bodies and the vintage colors 3tone sunburst, natural, black, etc.). Especially a 3-tone vintage style sunburst would be nice to see.

    But of course I understand I'm probably alone in dreaming about this and that it would probably not be a financially smart move (I think).

  6. #6
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    belgium
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    The original stingrays came with ash body's. Just so you know....
    I have one myself that i totally love! Great guitars with a deffinite vintage vibe to them. But on the other hand, my 2 recent ebmm guitars do sound sweeter and are nicer overall. So i cant wait to try a new stingray guitar altough i will never sell my original one!

    Welcome to the forum btw.
    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
    2013 Luke III HSS--------olive gold--------rosewood neck
    2014 stingray 4 HH-----neptune blue---flamed maple
    2014 Luke III HSS--------bodhi blue-------birdseye maple/rw

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanderhermans View Post
    The original stingrays came with ash body's. Just so you know....
    I have one myself that i totally love! Great guitars with a deffinite vintage vibe to them. But on the other hand, my 2 recent ebmm guitars do sound sweeter and are nicer overall. So i cant wait to try a new stingray guitar altough i will never sell my original one!

    Welcome to the forum btw.
    Thanks!

    Yes, ash, I stand corrrected! I always mix the two up.

    Nice to hear from another StingRay owner, is yours a natural as well or a black/sunburst?

    I wonder what the new StingRay is gonna cost, probably way out of my budget, but it'd be a nice addition.

    Someone should start a database on the serial numbers for these old StingRay guitars, kinda like how they did on the StingRay basses (Pre-EB) on that other site!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salmonella View Post

    Someone should start a database on the serial numbers for these old StingRay guitars, kinda like how they did on the StingRay basses (Pre-EB) on that other site!
    The comprehensive pre-1979 list is currently being assembled

    Post your full serials and I will post some info on them.

    I have often thought about making some alternate preamps for these guitars. That unit is primarily responsible for the overall tone shaping of these guitars.
    Last edited by BrockLee; 12-07-2015 at 06:02 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    The comprehensive pre-1979 list is currently being assembled

    Post your full serials and I will post some info on them.

    I have often thought about making some alternate preamps for these guitars. That unit is primarily responsible for the overall tone shaping of these guitars.
    That's very interesting! Are there any other places I can read more about this comprehensive pre-1979 list?

    Just checked, my full serials are G002902 and G004646. Bass is B002747 which I registered years ago on that bass serial database.

    About the preamp, there's a guy out there who scraped off all the black gunk and actually rebuilt the preamp from scratch. It's on some blog but I think I could dig it up for you if you haven't read about that yet. Should be a good help in creating another preamp along with the original schematics which I think are also floating around somewhere.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salmonella View Post
    That's very interesting! Are there any other places I can read more about this comprehensive pre-1979 list?

    Just checked, my full serials are G002902 and G004646. Bass is B002747 which I registered years ago on that bass serial database.
    You will only read about the list here. I am being low key about it until its done. There is a lot of information to tie together and I want to be thorough. Even after, I am unsure how loud I will be about it. I love helping people, but do not want to make this a part time job lol

    G002902-It was natural, Sting Ray II assembled on May 23, 1977. I have no repair notes for that one (still combing through those).

    G004646- Another natural, Sting Ray I assembled on November 7, 1977. Once again, no repair notes

    B002747- Listed as sunburst with white pickguard, assembled on January 28, 1977. Again, no repair notes.

    I am in the process of sorting through the repair logs, so any one of those could appear. Even then. my stuff ends at 1979, so it is possible things could have been done after my records.

    If all 3 of your instruments fit the log, and do not ever appear in the repairs logs, you got lucky with those 3. So many were sent back for service that the odds of getting one that NEVER went back are pretty low. To happen to get 3 is pretty amazing.

  11. #11
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    Mine is G04835. Its finished in walnut (nitro finish)
    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
    2013 Luke III HSS--------olive gold--------rosewood neck
    2014 stingray 4 HH-----neptune blue---flamed maple
    2014 Luke III HSS--------bodhi blue-------birdseye maple/rw

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanderhermans View Post
    Mine is G04835. Its finished in walnut (nitro finish)
    Yup, that is how it left. The entries state it was a SR II, walnut, assembled September 22, 1977.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    You will only read about the list here. I am being low key about it until its done. There is a lot of information to tie together and I want to be thorough. Even after, I am unsure how loud I will be about it. I love helping people, but do not want to make this a part time job lol

    G002902-It was natural, Sting Ray II assembled on May 23, 1977. I have no repair notes for that one (still combing through those).

    G004646- Another natural, Sting Ray I assembled on November 7, 1977. Once again, no repair notes

    B002747- Listed as sunburst with white pickguard, assembled on January 28, 1977. Again, no repair notes.

    I am in the process of sorting through the repair logs, so any one of those could appear. Even then. my stuff ends at 1979, so it is possible things could have been done after my records.

    If all 3 of your instruments fit the log, and do not ever appear in the repairs logs, you got lucky with those 3. So many were sent back for service that the odds of getting one that NEVER went back are pretty low. To happen to get 3 is pretty amazing.
    First of all, thanks a bunch for the information on my instruments!

    How'd you get a hand on all these records? I read somewhere they were all lost, I think even EBMM doesn't have them, so what you have is something quite unique! I'm not sure how you plan on sorting it all out, but if you ever feel like you can use a hand with anything from someone over the internet, I'd be glad to help you out.

    About G002902: It's the clean one in the pictures above, I got it a few months ago and it appears everything checks out with the records you shared. It's a great guitar but I can't really seem to eliminate fret buzz as well as on other guitars. Even had some seasoned guitar guys look at it and they can't really get it tip-top either, but I'm content with it mostly. Still have the original nut. I dug up what it says in the neck and body for you, maybe you can shed some light on what some of the stamps/writing mean(s):

    http://oi68.tinypic.com/50mpvt.jpg

    http://oi65.tinypic.com/28lxwl2.jpg

    So in both the neck and body it has a big encircled ''1'' stamp. I'm not sure what this means.

    I previously thought the neck was dated Nov 4 1977 because the last digit looks more like a 7 than 6, but if it was assembled on the date your records say it was, then it must be a 1976 neck! Considering the body is May 4 1977, that means there's exactly a whopping 6 months of difference between the body and neck, which seems like a lot to me for a guitar that's never had any repairs.

    As you'll see in the neck pocket picture, there's also some weird scribbling and an X. I'm not sure what it says but it looks like ''dPh'' to me. Any idea what that is? I haven't come across these letters on any other guitar.

    About G004646: I don't really know anything more about it than what I said in the first post. It's just been heavily butchered sadly. I'm gonna need a new decal so if anyone has any idea where I can get those, please do tell me!

    Other than that I think I'm gonna get the headstock sanded entirely, not just where the decal is. Gonna leave most of the back of the neck intact because there's still some of that iconic MusicMan finish on there. I think the frets have been replaced once, but I'm not sure since maybe StingRay 1s have different frets than StingRay 2s. Either way they're pretty worn out, it's still playable and not buzzy but anyone else would say it needs a new set, so I may just get those replaced while I'm at it as well.

    Good to know the body was a natural originally. I'm going to either restore it to that or get it to look like my StingRayBass which is sunburst. It's got a really nice burst that I'd love to have on that guitar as well.

    About B002747: Checks out as well, date on neck is: December 10 1976. Signed ''Andy''. Date on body is: 9-20-76, says ''CH5'' and ''C.J.P.'' or ''c.g.p'', I'm not sure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    You will only read about the list here. I am being low key about it until its done. There is a lot of information to tie together and I want to be thorough. Even after, I am unsure how loud I will be about it. I love helping people, but do not want to make this a part time job lol

    G002902-It was natural, Sting Ray II assembled on May 23, 1977. I have no repair notes for that one (still combing through those).

    G004646- Another natural, Sting Ray I assembled on November 7, 1977. Once again, no repair notes

    B002747- Listed as sunburst with white pickguard, assembled on January 28, 1977. Again, no repair notes.

    I am in the process of sorting through the repair logs, so any one of those could appear. Even then. my stuff ends at 1979, so it is possible things could have been done after my records.

    If all 3 of your instruments fit the log, and do not ever appear in the repairs logs, you got lucky with those 3. So many were sent back for service that the odds of getting one that NEVER went back are pretty low. To happen to get 3 is pretty amazing.
    Hi BrockLee,
    just wondering about your knowledge about the Sting Ray serial numbers and repair notes!
    I'm still an owner of a Sting Ray I with black finish, it has the serial number G004320
    To check the neck date I don't want to unscrew the neck because the screws very firmly sit, so I don't want to risk a damage on the Guitar. Can you please tell me the factory date of this Guitar? What means the "G"?

    Thank you
    Last edited by DrKev; 03-09-2016 at 10:05 AM.

  15. #15
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    Late 70's Music Man Stingray 2 Guitar IN LOVE but Help!

    hi. so glad i found this thread. i am the happy new owner of what i believe to be a 1977 sting ray 2. it all happened quite magically one day as i was actually shopping for an amp. I was about to test out an old fender hot rod deluxe and i asked the sales guy to surprise me with a guitar to try the amp with. that's when he put this beauty in my hands, and i've been in love ever since. i'd love any further info you might have about this guitar. the number on the plate at base of neck on back is:
    G002546

    MusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-img_5407-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-img_5409-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-img_5416-jpgMusicMan StingRay II & I guitars (Pre-EB)-img_5417-jpg

    Specifically, i very much would like to know how to adjust the truss rod and how it relates to the small allen wrench hole at bottom of the aforementioned serial number plate.
    thank you for any help!
    Last edited by dgrasshopper; 03-12-2016 at 10:42 AM.

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