James... 12/27/2011

Music Man StingRay 5 : James...'s user review

« Great studio bass »

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Made in USA I believe.

Body Wood: Select hardwood
Body Finish: High gloss polyester
Bridge: Music Man chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles
Pickguard: White
Scale Length: 34 inches (86.4 cm)
Neck Radius: 11 inches (27.9 cm)
Headstock Size: Only 9 inches (22.9 cm) long
Frets: 22 - High profile, wide
Neck Width: 1-3/4 inches (44.5 mm) at nut 2-3/4 inches (69.9 mm) at last fret
Neck Wood: Select maple
Fingerboard: maple
Neck Finish: Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend
Neck Colors: Natural
Tuning Machines: Schaller BM, with tapered string posts
Truss Rod: Adjustable - no component or string removal
Neck Attachment: 6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
Electronic Shielding: Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminum lined pickguard
Controls: Single Pickup, 3-band active preamp; vol, treble, mid, bass
Switching: Single Pickup - 3-way lever pickup selector
Pickups: Standard - Music Man humbucking with alnico pole pieces and hum canceling phantom coil

A lot of people stay away from these because at face value it looks like a very simple no frills bass. This is simply not true. This makes for a great recording bass because of the very responsive 3 band EQ, so that's why my studio got one to use as a primary recording bass.


Pretty much everything on here seems to be top notch. I was afraid the bridge might be cheap but it's one of the best ones I've seen on a bass in this price range. The finish on the neck is pristine...I think gun oil and it makes it super super easy to play. I wish all my necks had this type of finish. The body shape and neck shape are great for sitting down or standing up playing. One thing I looked for when I was looking at basses was the comfort level and this was definitely one of the more natural players. It just feels more playable to me than the Fender stuff. Action and setup were a breeze. Plays great. I really have no complaints. The tuners seem fine. I really really like the look too. Nice and low profile. It's a players instrument.


I will admit I was skeptical about just how versatile this would be with just one humbucking style pickup. Sure, with all the eq flat it sounds nice, but it's very much its own thing. Fortunately if you tweak the EQ you can get about any sound you want from it. For those wondering, yes it can get that Chili pepper growl. But it can do a lot of stuff. If you want the sub bass thing it can do that very very well. It also gets a great mid heavy cut that a lot of basses just can't eq themselves into. It is probably the most usable active EQ I've ever had. If the strings get old this bass loses a lot of tone for some reason. So change your strings every 3 months at least.


I really like using this to record but I also wouldn't hesitate to take it on tour. Everyone who comes into the studio and plays it is really impressed with how smooth and comfortable the bass is, and usually they want one afterwards. The value is really impressive. This feels like it should be in the 2k range. Finish is very nice. Just an overall bulletproof bass. No issues.