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When the Music Man StingRay burst onto the scene in 1976, it brought with it a midrange attack that shifted the bass-universe curve rather abruptly. It was the disco era, so it may have been a perfect storm of players, style of music, and engineers that helped the StingRay soar, but I’d like to think the bass spoke for itself. We started hearing it cut through the mix from the likes of Louis Johnson, Tony Levin, and Flea, among countless others who used the sweet sonic punch of this model to craft signature tones.
Forty years is a long time, however, and with the many advances in technology, electronics, and instrument building, perhaps the engineers at Ernie Ball decided this would be the year to change the formula. The changes will be welcome for some, not for others, and the purists might possibly be left crying on their Michael Jackson albums. Or will they? That’s why we’re here: to give a proper once or twice over to Ernie Ball’s re-imagined Music Man StingRay.
Before we go forward, we should always look back. The original StingRay, in all its glory, did have some issues. It was a heavy beast. It was sonically limited, and although the onboard active pre was a welcome breath for players, not having control over the mids did turn some away because of too much point in the tone.
So, what is a modern design team to do? When I opened the hardshell case, an audible “whoa” escaped my lips. My eyes didn’t know where to go first: the spectacular ’burst finish or the new roasted-maple neck. When I picked up the bass, my arms were greeted with a lighter instrument than I’m used to with my vintage models. It turns out the engineers managed to shave a full pound off the new incarnation of this bass, which weighs in at just a hair under 8 1/2 pounds.
Continue reading: http://bit.ly/2018EBMMStingRay