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Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar

Item #: 
127474188556194854
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It's a similar shape to the Sting Ray, but shorter and narrower. The neck is basically the same (34" scale, 11" radius). It also features hot rodded electronics: active 3-band preamp, a Music Man humb... Click To Read More About This Product

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Overview

It's a similar shape to the Sting Ray, but shorter and narrower. The neck is basically the same (34" scale, 11" radius). It also features hot rodded electronics: active 3-band preamp, a Music Man humbucking with hum cancelling phantom coil, and unique 3-way switching (both coils in series mode, single coil, and both coils in parallel mode). Schaller BM tapered-post tuners. Volume, treble, mid, bass controls.

FEATURES

  • Compact body shape
  • 34" scale
  • Active 3-band preamp
  • Music Man humbucker
  • 3-way switching
  • Schaller BM tuners
Pro Coverage
MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY
One year parts and labor warranty on all guitars.


  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Ernie Ball Music ManSterling 4-String Bass Guitar
 
4.8

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (3)
  • Good feel (3)
  • Good pick up (3)
  • Good tone (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Recording (3)

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-14

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(27 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Music Man Sterling A Great Performer

By StevenZ

from Orlando, FL

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

Experienced musician have a sixth sense -- you can tell that an instrument is a good match for you the first time you pick it up. I've owned few basses that fit this description; my new Music Man Sterling is one of them. I purchased a Music Man Stingray in March of 1978 and played it until the spring of 2006. The first time I played a Sterling, I knew that the Stingray's days were numbered. The difference? The Sterling was smaller, lighter, had an easier neck to play and greater tonal variety. In short, it bettered my vintage Stingray in nearly every dimension. If you're a Jazz bass fan, you'll love the feel of the Sterling?s neck. If you're a Precision player, the variety of sounds the pickup selector and active electronics provide will please you. The fit and finish rival every other bass I've owned. The bass doesn?t scream Heavy Metal, but it?s suitable for nearly every musical style. If you?re looking for a high-quality, well-made, versatile bass, you should consider the Sterling.

(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Don't overlook this instrument

By peeder

from San Francisco

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

While the Stingray may well deserve its place as a standard instrument (to go along with the P-bass etc.), the Sterling may be a better option than either of those for many bassists. I'm not a big guy and so the J-bass-style slim-taper neck is far more comfortable to play for long sessions. I also love the sound of this humbucker and each of the three positions, which provide me with single-coil sounds as well as round and raunchy tone. The active three band EQ's are also great for tone molding. The fit and finish of the instrument is well above average and mine has barely a scratch on it even after extensive gigging and studio use. Lovely looking and sounding woods and very solid, reliable hardware combine to make me thrilled with this investment. Definitely an upgrade for those considering a P or a J.

(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Sterling is the most versital bass around!

By jacqueslilavois

from Duarte, CA

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I first played the Sterling at guitar center and was blown away by the variety of sounds you can get from it. I bought one within weeks. It can handle rock, jazz, reggae, slap, you name it. Much more versatile the Stingray in my opinion, and I've owned both. Features: It actually has 2 pickups, just looks like one. The pickup selector switch gives you the option of parrallel, series or bridge w/phantom coil. Series is good for finger style while parrallel is good for slapping. I find the other position is good for cutting through if you do any soloing. The tuners and bridge are high quality and hold tuning and intonation for days. Also, the neck truss rod is easy to adjust and you DON'T HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE NECK to do it. Just stick a screwdriver in and turn. You also don't have to open up the bass or take out any screws to change the 9v battery. Comfort: It's also the most comfortable bass I've played. Smaller body, thinner neck, great for getting around the entire fret board. I've owned a '74 Jazz, a MM Stingray and other basses. This one tops them all in terms of variety of sounds and versatility across all musical playing styles.

(10 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

great bass, little too much power

By bryanonbass

from dover, nj

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I have owned 3 sterlings. 2 maple boards and 1 rosewood board. Every one arrived in perfect playing order. There is just something about the string tension on musicman basses that is just killer. The three position switch on the sterlings really didn't do much for me. I always kept it in the 3rd position which is both coils on in parallel mode. It just sounded the best to me. The three band eq is very versatile. However I found the pickup position to be somewhat limiting in the tonal spectrum. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but musicmans have a certain sound. Most session players include musicman in the top 3 or 4 basses that they would bring to a session. Jazz, Precision, MusicMan, etc. The feel of the sterling neck is amazing. It is super smooth, very fast and the jazz width (1 1/2") nut is great for people with small hands. It is very comfortable to play over the course of 3 hour long sets. The only issue I have is that these are powerful basses as far as the preamps go. I have blown 2 speakers on 2 completely different rigs. Both rigs were from other bands playing at the gigs and I did not touch there amps except for vol and gain. Plus i had no pedals. Just the bass straight in. I also never really liked the tone I got from the sterling when going direct. It was a little too processed sounding. That being said, would i own another sterling. Heck yeah. You really can't go wrong with them. I have owned a lot of basses in my life (over 130) so i am a little picky. As you can tell from their popularity that these are great, solidly built instruments and you can't go wrong. Plus the resale value on these is incredible for the used market, especially when compared with other bass makers.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

SHWEEEET

By FleaFanFitz

from Tulsa, OK

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I played it in guitar center for about an hour straight. It has a really awesome bottom end and you can go from funky slap to smooth and jazzy with just a small turn of a knob. The only problem was the D and G strings didnt really show up like the E and A did. The string tension is perfect, the neck is amazing, and overall, the tone is to die for. A well rounded bass, really.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Only Bass You'll Ever Need

By Ian Cheloveyk

from Deptford NJ

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

Worth every penny. The Sterling gets everything perfect: fast neck; fat, punchy tone; great tone for all playing styles; and its beautiful to boot! It is simply the best bass I has ever played, better than the Stringray, Warwick Corvette, and even the 4003. You will not be disappointed.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

sweet

By roel

from middleton,wi

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

i could't be any happier with this bass. it's simple and sounds amazing even with a cheap bass amp. i can play any style of music .not to mention the playability of this champ is excellent.the pick up is very powerful.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Awesome

By John Heck

from Akron, OH

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I returned my Schecter Stiletto Elite 4. I just wasn't happy with its sound. I found this Musicman Sterling on gc.com's used gear page. What can I even say about it? Its the best bass I have ever played, heard, held, or seen. The neck is smooth and thin. The neck has no finish on the back, which is BETTER than having a finish because your thumb doesn't get sweaty and slide all over the place. Its very comfortable to play. It definitely can be heard through the mix. It has a clear, powerful, punchy sound. Its durable as hell. This could seriously be the only bass I ever own in my entire life. (Modulus....maybe...) Its better than a J or P bass in every way. And i only have the single humbucker model. hell, at this point, I dont even want the HH version. I'll take my version and keep the extra room. The best part of owning this instrument, however, is experimenting with the Sterling's HUGE range of sounds. There's stuff this instrument can do that would never be appropriate to play with drums and guitar. This is the apex of bass technology. Unreal. It came from Outer Space.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing!

By Chase

from Boise, ID

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I bought this bass a couple weeks ago and I am in love. Everything about this bass is really great, the neck feels great, the pickup is really powerful and the range of sounds that you can produce are crazy. There were a couple of things I had to adjust, one was the pickup was too high so when I was slapping you could hear a popping noise through my amp when the string hit it, and there was a little fret buzz but I just raised the bridge a little and it is fine now. Overall I would suggest this bass to anyone who is looking to buy a really nice bass.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Bass

By Jonathan

from Fargo, ND

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

Not much more I can say than has already been said in previous reviews. I have been playing for 25 years and have played them all. Used to be infatuated with the "boutique" basses - not anymore, and why pay for them anyway?. The sterling is the most comfortable, lowest action, most versatile bass I've ever played. No need for all the tone producing pedals here. Get this bass, a compressor, and an effect or two you desire and you are set period. If you are considering a Sterling, just get it. It's rock solid, light, with a ridiculous great neck. Craftsmanship is top notch. Stop shopping and just get it, you will not be disappointed.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Not your average bass guitar.

By John Olrech

from Austin, Tx

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

The Sterling is the most comfortable bass I have played. The neck is perfect for smaller hands. I would compare it to a Les Paul, it plays itself. That can actually work against you because you can tend to overplay but is that so bad. A bass that is so easy to play that you have think, play less, usually its the opposite. The Low-end is incredible I have never heard low end like that. Who cares about the D and G strings. I will admit that it does have a digital vibe to it but it cuts. The pickups and selector, I would rate them as well as any, some think that they don't offer enough range but really, how many of us just have one position, we find it and go. This bass is capable of blending with any style. A great buy I have had mine for little over a year and it looks just like the day I bought it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Snappy, poppy, punchy bass

By welkers

from Colorado

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Fret Buzz

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

This is a great bass. However, I had to replace the low E and G saddles with smaller, Fender style barrel saddles so I could lower the action and adjust the action to the curve of the fretboard. Furthermore, I'm using tapered bass strings to allow for even lower action and more control. The stock set up would not even come close to allowing a low action. I also had to level the 20th and 21st frets since they were too high. Fret ends needed to polished up as well since they were sticking out a bit. After accounting for these adjustments the bass is killer. The neck shape is nice. The smooth unfinished feel is great. The tones are great. Bright and snappy tones.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Versatile, great tones, lightweight, superb neck

By SCOTT

from undisclosed

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Set Up

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

I'm totally sold on EBMM guitars and basses. The neck and frets are wonderful. However, after adjusting the out of the box action, which was too high, I soon realized that the bass could be set up with lower action than what the bridge would allow for. I replaced the Low E and High E saddles with a Fender saddles so I can lower the action even further. This is a complete shred bass for that reason, but it can get close. Otherwise, it feels great, its light weight body is welcome and the tones are very versatile. Active EQ and the 3 way switch really fire up lots of tones.

 
5.0

Best Bass I've ever Owned

By Bill59

from Los Angeles

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Recording

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling 4-String Bass Guitar:

    I bought my Sterling in 2005. I have played professionally since the late 70s and have recorded on hundreds of sessions. I own a vintage Fender P and J because you just have to if you are a studio bassist. Nothing compares to my Sterling and most of the engineers and producers I've recorded with love it as well. There are times I need to pull out the P with the flats or get that J bass sound, but I use the Sterling on 90% of what I play. Plenty of sound versatility and no bass on the planet plays better and I've played most of them!

    Displaying reviews 1-14

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