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MSilvers

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Jan 26, 2010
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Queens, NY
I was browsing through Bass Player Magazine's Flickr album and I came across this with the caption: "Prototype Stingray in Leo's Lab"

Screen shot 2012-01-24 at 1.20.18 PM.jpg
 

Golem

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Aug 30, 2005
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Split coil pup


Mmmnnn .... REVERSE split coil PU.

Thaz how I prefer my split coils, reversed, aka
"non-Fender config" [NFC]. Which acoarst leaves
me really puzzled, cuz that IS a Fender. I spoze
Leo just deployed the split coil cuz thaz what he
had around, and mebbe he figgered "I just CAN'T
have the treble side way close to the bridge cuz
it would be overly brite, non-bassy".

Yah, I do realize some modern basses are built
to include the very thing that I imagine Leo was
trying to avoid, but hey, that was now and this
is then, as they say .....


`
 

Rod Trussbroken

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Briz Vegas AUSTRALIA
More pics/info;

Sting%20Ray%20Prototypes.jpg
 

KevinM

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Feb 24, 2011
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SoCal
I was on GC ordering some Cobalts and ran across this.
Could it be the final design?

75 Ray.jpg

GC Vintage Guitars

Designed by Leo Fender, Tom Walker and Sterling Ball , the StingRay bass appeared in 1976 and, though physically similar to a Fender Precision Bass, was a highly innovative instrument. It employed a "soapbar" humbucking pickup and an active pre-amp powered by a 9-volt battery. The early versions had 2-band EQ (i.e., bass and treble controls), and the range was later augmented by the addition of a 3 band EQ (bass, mid and treble) model, and then piezo pickups located in the bridge became an option with the 3-band model.
 
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bovinehost

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Jan 16, 2003
Messages
18,160
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Dall-Ass, TX
You can tell the old guys by the fact that (a) they know where that bass is and (b) they have additional photos of it.

Cheers, Gavin!

BP might weigh in on this and he might not, but he was a beta tester for Leo with the Stingray when it was under development and Leo gave him one of the prototypes which is known as "Old Smokey" for its tone.

MusicManPhotoRepository: Old Smoothie: Built By Leo For Sterling Ball


You may notice some unique things about that bass.
 

drTStingray

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Aug 25, 2007
Messages
1,833
Location
Kent, United Kingdom
Wow - some really interesting pics here. Thanks for posting.

Those magnets look even bigger than on the production Ray. Presumably the change to the humbucker was a light bulb moment to improve the tone - otherwise the bass looks v similar to the pre-production and production ones. Anyone know where is prototype No 3?

I'm also guessing that at that time they were looking for a broader sound spectrum to match development of Alembics and the like - or was it partially because Leo couldn't hear treble too well? Would love to hear from BP on this but I guess he's a bit busy with NAMM and the follow up.
 
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