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DrKev

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Jul 8, 2006
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Somewhere between Paris, Dublin, and Buffalo
For my 50th birthday (yesterday) I wanted something affordable to mark the occasion. The result was this lovely SBMM Short Ray. She plays SO beautifully, action, neck relief and nut were practically prefect out of the box. It is truly one of the best playing instruments I have ever had the pleasure to play. And she sounds wonderful! I am particularly loving the parallel and singe coil modes. Just awesome, awesome tones! Sadly, there are some fit and finish issues that need to be addressed. As I can take care of them myself I'm hoping the store I bought from can give me a partial refund. But that's not a regularly done thing in France. This is one of the last few in stock in France right now and if it has to go back it will be 12+ weeks for new stock. Fingers crossed.

Anyhoo, after 15 years on this forum, I'm glad to be a "real" member of the bass side.

IMG_4381 Medium.jpeg
 

Gio_Force_One

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Aug 25, 2010
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Rhode Island
That’s really nice looking what a great bday gift for yourself !! I hope you can get it all worked out and be able to keep it.
 

jlf599

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Sep 1, 2020
Messages
313
The SBMM short scale Stingrays have been tempting me. That's a sweet looking one!
 

Ted

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Sep 26, 2022
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St. Louis
Oh damn that's sweet. Black with that reddish tortoise is a great look. Congrats! I'm hoping one day I can get my first EBMM bass.
 

DrKev

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Jul 8, 2006
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Somewhere between Paris, Dublin, and Buffalo
Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of the red pickguard but that's not a big deal. And I've ordered a moonstone guard from Pickguard Planet. Epic-ness awaits! :cool:

So my problems with this gal. There are some small notches in the wood on the back of the neck behind the nut, like it was hit with a tool or table edge. The fret leveling is *superb* but they've had zero final sand and polish, at all. Fret ends not great either. The filler in the fret slot ends is sloppily applied and in places runs along the side of the fretboard, and is now under the satin varnish. The varnish itself feels dusty and rough in places. And there are four hazy areas on the body paint that look like somebody hit it with a swipe of steel wool. Like I said, I can take care of this to my satisfaction but I charge 60€ an hour to do this work for anyone else, they shouldn't get a freebie. And there are warranty issues if I do it.

But gosh darnit this bass plays so nice that I'm in love. I don't want to wait three or four moths for replacement that may not play as well as this. My little girl doesn't want it sent back either. :(
 
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Tollywood

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Mar 23, 2011
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Rhode Island
Happy Birthday! Happy NBD. I would love a short scale StingRay. Great choice.

I do, however, have a problem with the workmanship and quality control on your Sterling. Music Man is known for their attention to detail and flawless craftsmanship. You will never find a dud of a Music Man.

Music Man should reach out to Sterling and advise them to do better. The whole point of allowing Sterling to exist is to get the Music Man models into the hands of the entry level player, and for those players to like the Sterling enough to someday purchase a real Music Man. If the Sterlings are flawed then that will never happen, and it may even bring down the reputation of Music Man by association.
 

mynan

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Feb 25, 2007
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2,660
Location
Spring Lake, MI
Shows how long I was away...I had a Ray34 that I bought when they first came out for around $300 and was thrilled with how much it sounded like a real Ray. I didn't realize that the prices went up, so I was scratching my head wondering why anyone would complain about some fit/finish issues on a $300 bass, :oops:

Congrats on the new bass, BTW.
 

DrKev

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Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
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Location
Somewhere between Paris, Dublin, and Buffalo
New pickguard day! This is Moonstone, ordered from Pickguard Planet. Her name is now "Luna". :)

IMG_4534 2.jpg

Pickguard Planet do not do Sterling by Music Man pickguards but the guard for the US-made Music Man short scale StingRay will fit with some work on the neck pocket. First the sides of the pocket need widening, then the truss wheel cut out needed to be deeper, and finally a touch of work on the butt end of the pocket. Not all the screw holes are 100% perfect alignment but they are close enough for me.

I used 120 grit sandpaper and sanding blocks, and various screw driver shafts and round tools as rounded sanding blocks for the corners. Use double-sided tape to stick the sandpaper to the blocks, or masking tape on the blocks and a little super glue to stick the sand paper to the tape. For the corners choose a rounded tool that is the same radius or slightly smaller than the corner with the sandpaper on. Do not expect clean straight lines if you don't use some sort of flat sanding blocks. Go slowly and test fit often to know where to remove material. I did it at a leisurely pace with a pot of coffee, some cookies, and had a throughly enjoyable hour and a half and a pickguard that fits just about perfectly.
 
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