#1
Hey all,

do any of you know anything about the Ray 34 made by Sterling By MusicMan?

Ive heard only good things about it and Ed Friedland from Bass Player gave it a great review.

It has literally all the same hardware and specs as a Stingray, the only difference I could find being that its made of Swamp Ash as opposed to just Ash...

Do any of you think that will make a difference in the sound? Or do any of you ahve stingrays or ray34s?
#2
The Ray34 is a solid bass, but it's still pretty far off from an actual EBMM. The Sterling line uses different electronics, cheaper quality wood, and the hardware is just designed by MM (Not actually made by musicman). So the quality will be lower on the SBMM, but by all means it is still a great bass if you don't want to pay for an EBMM.
#3
Quote by Fly-By-Night
The Ray34 is a solid bass, but it's still pretty far off from an actual EBMM. The Sterling line uses different electronics, cheaper quality wood, and the hardware is just designed by MM (Not actually made by musicman). So the quality will be lower on the SBMM, but by all means it is still a great bass if you don't want to pay for an EBMM.


Yes indeed. Both are great basses.
#4
I'm purchasing a RAY34 very soon. Mostly because I can't afford a real Music Man. I'm a big fan of anything Ernie Ball makes, except their strings. xD
The RAY34 is similar to a real Stringray but the electronics are different and the pick up isn't anything special. When I get my RAY, I'm switching it out with an EMG. I like the weight that RAY's have, they're body heavy and the neck is light so there's no neck dives. I've been playing for 5 years and I still find the RAY to be an amazing bass. But compared to a real Stingray, it's not that amazing.

And yes, the wood does make a difference in the sound. Swamp ash is a lot cheaper than normal ash, and it sounds a little thinner too.
PROUD VEGETARIAN!

Bass rig:
Fender MIM Standard Precision Bass (Ginger =])
Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II 700/50W Biamp Bass Head
Carvin 6x10 Cab.
MXR M-80 Bass Direct Box

Quote by Offworld92
Choice is a wonderful thing.
#5
Quote by Fly-By-Night
The Ray34 is a solid bass, but it's still pretty far off from an actual EBMM. The Sterling line uses different electronics, cheaper quality wood, and the hardware is just designed by MM (Not actually made by musicman). So the quality will be lower on the SBMM, but by all means it is still a great bass if you don't want to pay for an EBMM.

Hit the nail on the head. The Sterling Ray is about the closest you'll come to a Stingray (barring a SUB of course) on a budget. Comparing a Sterling to an MM is akin to comparing an MIM Fender to an MIA one. The specs are very similar, but the quality in just about every aspect is a big jump between the two.

EDIT:
Quote by Nolanrox
And yes, the wood does make a difference in the sound. Swamp ash is a lot cheaper than normal ash, and it sounds a little thinner too.

Swamp ash is just a variety of ash, its used on both the Rays and the real Stingrays (at least as far as I can remember). Its a stretch to say any one wood is "cheaper" then the other, as there are different qualities of wood. You could have a good piece of basswood cost more then its equivalent in cheap alder or nato/mahogany. The swamp ash used in the Rays is simply much cheaper then that used in the Stingrays.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
Last edited by Tostitos at Jul 19, 2010,
#6
Hey, Tosti. I found a used, all black Sterling SUB for $375.
Should I go for it?

Here are the specs:
Selling Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4 SUB made in San Luis Obispo, CA. The pre-amp was professionally upgraded to Bartolini NTMB-918F and the bass now has an active/passive toggle, Bass, Mid (toggle between two frequency ranges) and Treble knobs. Within the pre-amp is a gain pot and it runs on a 9V battery. Bass has wear but the neck, brigde and pickup are in excellent condition. Bass comes with hardshell coffin case (ok condition). Serious buyers only. $375 OBO cash.

PROUD VEGETARIAN!

Bass rig:
Fender MIM Standard Precision Bass (Ginger =])
Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II 700/50W Biamp Bass Head
Carvin 6x10 Cab.
MXR M-80 Bass Direct Box

Quote by Offworld92
Choice is a wonderful thing.
Last edited by Nolanrox at Jul 19, 2010,
#7
^ If you want, and its in good condition why not? The old MM SUB's are the closest thing you can get to a Stingray. They were designed as a stripped down, lower-end Stingrays, made in the USA to appeal to <$1000 budgets. Apparently they were discontinued because people were spending either less or more on basses, and less SUB's were sold every year. They're damn good though.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
Last edited by Tostitos at Jul 19, 2010,
#8
I just posted the specs.
And I found another one for $400.
Do you have AIM or something? I feel like I'm high jacking this dude's thread. xD
PROUD VEGETARIAN!

Bass rig:
Fender MIM Standard Precision Bass (Ginger =])
Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II 700/50W Biamp Bass Head
Carvin 6x10 Cab.
MXR M-80 Bass Direct Box

Quote by Offworld92
Choice is a wonderful thing.
#9
Quote by Nolanrox
I just posted the specs.
And I found another one for $400.
Do you have AIM or something? I feel like I'm high jacking this dude's thread. xD

I don't use any kind of IM service but feel free to friend request me and PM me. Asking a Sterling related question in here is better then starting another thread on the same topic, as long as its contributing to the discussion.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#11
As a proud player of a SUB, I definitely reccomend the bass. I got mine (Stock!) for $500. Although I'm not too in love with that preamp, you simply can't beat that deal. imo my instrument sounds better than anything out there in this price range, and barring a Warwick, MIA Deluxe, or, obviously a Stingray, in any price range.
My Instruments:
MusicMan S.U.B. 4
Ibanez SR500
Peavey BAM 210
Gallien-Kruger MB115 Ultralight
DigiTech Bass Whammy
#12
ive heard alot of guys on talkbass saying they literally couldnt tell the tonal difference between the two...

are we more critical over here?
#13
Quote by NCBass93
ive heard alot of guys on talkbass saying they literally couldnt tell the tonal difference between the two...

are we more critical over here?


Honestly the only complaints I've ever heard of the SUB is the terrible quality pickguard and some may not like the matte black hard finish. I replaced my pickguard with a pearl white Stingray one, which looks incredibly sharp.

The SUB was discontinued in the first place because MusicMan was LOSING money producing the SUBs with comparable hardware to the Stingray for much less. I think when it was released it was like $800 new.
My Instruments:
MusicMan S.U.B. 4
Ibanez SR500
Peavey BAM 210
Gallien-Kruger MB115 Ultralight
DigiTech Bass Whammy
#14
Quote by BassJayDunkin
Honestly the only complaints I've ever heard of the SUB is the terrible quality pickguard and some may not like the matte black hard finish. I replaced my pickguard with a pearl white Stingray one, which looks incredibly sharp.

The SUB was discontinued in the first place because MusicMan was LOSING money producing the SUBs with comparable hardware to the Stingray for much less. I think when it was released it was like $800 new.



ooooh i was talking about the Ray34's
#15
I tested out one of the Ray34's, and they're phenomenal for the price range. Definitely much better than any "average" line of big brands, like the MM Fenders, or even (imo) the Rockbass Warwicks.

That being said, I don't think it really sticks to the "MusicMan" sound too well. Not nearly as rich, because as was mentioned it uses a cheaper wood and less dynamic electronics. I feel like it's its own beast.
My Instruments:
MusicMan S.U.B. 4
Ibanez SR500
Peavey BAM 210
Gallien-Kruger MB115 Ultralight
DigiTech Bass Whammy
#16
Today at GC while my friend was selling some gear I decided to run the Ray34 next to a real Musicman Stingray. Granted the Ray did keep up pretty well in most regards but the one thing that would keep me from ever buying one is no matter what settings I used on the bass I could never get that deep warm growl like the real Stingray could get with a simple turn of a knob. Also of course it's going to feel a little cheaper than a $1500 Stingray as well. There is just something about the feel of the real ones that can never be replicated.

Also a suggestion, I ran an Ibanez ATK400 along side of them today as well and honestly it did more for me tonally than the Stingray did. It was overall more versatile tonally and with some tweaking could get a decent little growl out of it. Though I didn't like the feel as much on it as either the Ray34 or the real Stingray but what is comfortable to me may not be to you.