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Thread: 1977 Music Man Stingray II. Do I belong here?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    1977 Music Man Stingray II. Do I belong here?

    Hello all.
    This is my first post.
    I got a 1977 Music Man Stingray II guitar yesterday.
    Iv'e seen a few posts here regarding this guitar.
    This is an Ernie Ball forum, is this the right place for me, having a pre Ernie Ball instrument?

    Regards obo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Welcome to the forum. Yes, this is the place.

    2018 coming soon...
    2015 Luke III - BFR - Blackburst
    2014 Luke - BFR - Koa
    2013 Albert Lee - BFR - Pinkburst with Sustainiac and Gravity Storm
    2013 Luke III - emerald green sparkle with an all rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2012 Axis - PDN - Honeyburst
    2011 Axis - BFR - Black Sugar Roasted
    2009 Axis - Pink Quilt (Oinky) with pink video game button kill switch
    2006 StingRay - 30th Anniversary fretless

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Danville, IL
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    1,762
    Well..

    I don’t know...

    Until you post a pic of the guitar, we’re not SURE you have a Music Man!

    Just kidding - welcome aboard, but post a pic when you can as there’s not many of those around to ogle.

    Kevin
    Curator of The Morseum

    Top dollar paid for "First 50" Morses!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Thanks guys.

    Yes, I have a picture of it.
    It looks brand new. No sign of use except for a little palm wear on the top screw on the bridge.
    It has a few random nicks, but thats all.
    The previous owner did'n know anything about it. He got it as a part of a bulk a couple of years ago and never touched it.
    I got it for $750 including hardcase and shipping. So I took a chance.
    The pots was very noisy when I got it, but they are just fine now.
    The problem is the neck. It has probably been stored with no, or very loose strings.
    There is almost no relief in the neck with fully loosened truss rod. It's not playable above the 12. fret.
    I have adjusted the neck angle with the little adjustment screw, it helped a bit.
    I will try to put a shim in the neck joint an see if I can sort it out.
    Anyway... this guitar sounds fantastic. You just have to fiddle around with the preamp.
    I think I can understand why the guitar failed.
    If I had picked it up in a guitar store with full bass and treble on the bridge pickup, for example, as on a regular guitar and didn't know anything about the preamp; I would have put it back. It just sounds too bright.
    It also have a bright switch. If that's on as well in the bridge position, it just sounds thin, like something is wrong with it.
    You have to work those knobs. This can easily become one of my favourite guitars.

    obo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1977 Music Man Stingray II. Do I belong here?-mm-stingray-ii-jpg  
    Last edited by obo; 09-29-2017 at 07:13 AM. Reason: Corrections

  5. #5
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    Nice; it's a shame it's not playable due to the neck issues.

    If it was a later one (from say 1980) then it could have been one of the ones with the shall we say "purposefully defective" necks that Leo & Company put out while trying to end their relationship with Music Man (very long story related in Forrest White's old book, George Fullerton's old book, and at least one blog post on here from "Big Poppa" Sterling Ball), but since it's a 1977 then you're probably correct that how the guitar was stored was the culprit.

    I've seen more posts about pre-EB MM instruments in the Bass forum - which makes sense considering the basses were far more popular than the guitars from that era. You also might find a bit of information on these over on the G&L forum, guitarsbyleo.com - probably not on the site itself but you should be able to connect with any G&L collectors who also collect the old Leo-era Music Mans. Those from the G&L world kind of consider the first G&L, the F-100, to be an evolution of the MM Sabre guitar.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2017
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    Thanks John C.

    I will look into it.

    obo

  7. #7
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    Well... I adjusted everything and realised that there was nothing more I could do.
    It wasn't playable above the 12th fret and the low E string sounded out of tune with strange overtones above the 8th fret.
    Beside that the guitar played fine. So I started adjusting it for use below the 8th fret.
    I also wanted to try different pickup heights to find the sweet spot.
    Suddenly the guitar sounded much better with longer sustain.
    I played up and down the neck and everything was fine.
    The only thing I had done was lowering the pickups.
    I returned them to the initial position and the problem was back.
    I lowered them again, this time so the ears where flush with the pickguard.
    Now the guitar plays perfectly.

    So... the pickups on this guitar are actually so powerful that they pull the strings down and make it
    partly unplayable if they are too close to the strings:)
    These wonderful pickups actually suck.

    Maybe I'll create a post about this and other things I've experienced
    while trying to make the guitar better. I have a fix for tightening the tuners.
    They kept slipping and they have no screw for tightening. All you need is a hammer:)

    I'm sure there must be couple of stingray I and II owners on the forum ...right?...

    obo
    Last edited by obo; 10-02-2017 at 05:15 PM. Reason: #)(/))&"

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you just need to swap the pickups and put in standard wiring and you'd have a good player!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhandluc View Post
    Sounds like you just need to swap the pickups and put in standard wiring and you'd have a good player!
    As long as the pickups are kept low, just above the pickguard, there's no problem.
    If you where thinking about me writing that the pickups suck;
    that was just a word play on that they pull/suck the strings. A bad joke:)

    I will keep it just as it is. It is an odd one, but it sounds really good.

    obo
    Last edited by obo; 10-03-2017 at 02:56 AM. Reason: "#$%&

  10. #10
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    Dec 2017
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    Hey there!

    I got one myself recently and it looks just like yours, only mine has been well played in the last 40 years apparently

    When we did some setting up with my guitar guy, we haev discovered a stamp on the neck joint saying OCT 1977. That makes it only a few years younger than me

    What stroke me however was the incredibly powerful output of the guitar - probably due to the on-board pre-amp, with the knobs on full it sounds almost unbearable. Just as you say in your comment.

    I wonder: did anyone ever "upgraded" this guitar with passive PUs? I mean - the sound of the guitar without being plugged in is just incredible, at least mine sounds very very good when "dry". Anyone ever switched from the active PUs to something passive? Singles even, perhaps?

    I know it sounds like heresy, but I would love to get the most out of the otherwise very promising guitar, sonically.

    I own also a 90s G&L ASAT Special, which has these Leo designed PUs that look something like a cross between a regular single PU and a P90: they are a bit more thicker than the regular singles but not as wide as the P90s. And they sound superb.

    Any tip on a possible PU replacement for a MM StingRay II, anyone? Pretty please?

  11. #11
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    Hi Peter.

    I see no reason to swap the pickups at all. Just keep them low; ears flush with the pickguard.
    (If you read that I wrote "These wonderful pickups actually suck" that was a bad joke. If our rise the pickups too close to the strings, they will suck/pull the strings down and make them sound dead).
    The pickups are incredible in my opinion. Just tweak the knobs, try different positions with the switch
    and of course turn down your amp.
    I usually keep the bass, middle and bass on the amp on 5 and do the rest with the preamp on the guitar. On mine they are very sensitive; just a little can make a huge difference. I like to roll off some treble and flick on the bright switch in position 4.
    Then you'll get a fat sound with a little sparkle on top. Also, you can turn down the volume on the guitar without altering the sound, thanks to the preamp.
    It take some getting used to. After a couple of days I couldn't put the guitar down. My Gibson, Fender, Ibanez and Gretsch
    just sounded silly compared to the MM
    If you play harder stuff, like hard rock or metal, you've got your weapon.
    Remember the pups are passive like a MM bass.
    Spend some time with it, learn how it works.
    But if it sounds unbearable, as you say, could it be a faulty preamp?

    O_
    Last edited by obo; 02-12-2018 at 01:37 PM. Reason: $%#&/""(

  12. #12
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    What exactly was the issue with the necks? The truss rod was straight, or something like that? Aren't they usually straight?
    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

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    What exactly was the issue with the necks? The truss rod was straight, or something like that? Aren't they usually straight?
    The neck was fine. The pickups was too close to the strings and pulled them down to the fretboard below the 12th fret.
    That gave the same symptoms as of a bad neck. Incredible powerful magnets on those pups. Keep them low.

    O_

  14. #14
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    Oh wow. That's like SUPER strat-itis.
    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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Oh wow. That's like SUPER strat-itis.
    Thats right ... or just SUPER-itis

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