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Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar  

Item #: 
1332025614418697818
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The S.U.B. Series family of instruments introduce a new level of quality, features and value for the beginning or intermediate player. Part of the esteemed Music Man & Sterling by Music Man family of ... Click To Read More About This Product

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    $299.99 Top Seller

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    Ships By 1/27/17

Price:
$29999.00
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Overview

The S.U.B. Series family of instruments introduce a new level of quality, features and value for the beginning or intermediate player. Part of the esteemed Music Man & Sterling by Music Man family of instruments, Sterling Music Man feels all players should have access to affordable guitars and basses that feel, sound and play like a refined, crafted professional instrument.

The best components, hardware and designs all work in harmony to give you the best user experience as you discover your sound. Our goal is to deliver an instrument, at a price that surpasses your expectations.

The Ray4 and Ray5 basses are the cousins of the Music Man StingRay 4 and 5 basses. Classic, iconic instruments that defined a generation of bassists since the late '70s. Active electronics, low-noise humbucking pickups, rock solid hardware and a simple, uncluttered look that is instantly recognizable and respected.

Music Man starts with a solid hardwood body. Light, airy bodies full of tone are attached to a slim, easy to play full scale maple neck. A 38 mm nut width (Ray4) and 45mm nut width (Ray5) was created for easy playability. Medium jumbo frets allow for effortless fretting. The slim neck and narrow nut feels at home with small or large hands.

Features Neck
  • Shape: Info not available
  • Wood: Maple
  • Neck joint: 6-Bolt
  • Scale length: 34 in.
  • Truss rod: Yes
  • Finish: Satin tint
  • Pickups
  • Active or passive pickups: Passive
  • Pickup configuration: H
  • Neck: Not applicable
  • Middle: Not applicable
  • Bridge: Low-noise humbucker
  • Brand: Sterling by Music Man
  • Series or parallel: Not applicable
  • Active preamp: 2-Band EQ
  • Special electronics: Not applicable
  • Fretboard
  • Material: Rosewood or maple
  • Radius: 12 in.
  • Fret size: Medium-jumbo
  • Number of frets: 21
  • Inlays: Pearloid dot
  • Nut material: Info not available
  • Nut width: 1.5 in. (38 mm)
  • Neck width at 12 fret: Info not available
  • Body
  • Cutaway: Double cutaway
  • Construction: Solidbody
  • Body wood: Basswood
  • Top wood: Not applicable
  • Body finish: Info not available
  • Orientation: Right handed
  • Controls
  • Control layout: Volume, tone, and EQ
  • Pickup switch: No
  • Coil tap or split: Not appicable
  • Tone switching: No
  • Special switching: Not applicable
  • Hardware
  • Bridge type: Fixed
  • Bridge design: Fully-adjustable heavy-duty
  • Tailpiece: Not applicable
  • Tuning machines: Open gear
  • Color: Chrome
  • Other
  • Number of strings: 4
  • Pickguard: Yes
  • Special features: Not applicable
  • Case: Sold separately
  • Accessories: Not applicable
  • Country of origin: Info not available
Warranty

GUITAR CENTER'S PRO COVERAGE
Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

Pro Coverage includes
  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited repair
  • Free shipping (for returns or repairs)
  • 100% coverage for commercial use
  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
  • Repair authorization-toll-free by phone or via the web
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Sterling by Music ManS.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar
 
4.5

(based on 118 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (84)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (82)
  • Good feel (79)
  • Good tone (75)
  • Good pick up (61)
  • Solid electronics (61)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (9)
  • Craftsmanship (3)
  • Poor pick up (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (76)
  • Jamming (74)
  • Recording (62)
  • Small venues (51)
  • Rock concerts (42)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (61), Professional musician (20), Novice (14)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Above Average, not amazing

Some introductory information:
I've spent A LOT of time in guitar shops. My hobby is going through basses and getting a feel for their differences. I buy, fix, and sell a...Read complete review

Some introductory information:
I've spent A LOT of time in guitar shops. My hobby is going through basses and getting a feel for their differences. I buy, fix, and sell a lot of beginner basses also as a hobby. In other words, beginner basses are kind of my specialty. Now to the review:

I like to judge basses on 5 criterion: Feel, Sound, Construction Quality, Looks (more subjective), and Versatility (includes variety of sounds, balance, and weight).

Feel: There's nothing about the raw feel of the bass that will blow people away. Everyone has a different preference for what they like in terms of action, spacing, etc., but generally better basses should be easier to play for everyone. There is nothing about this bass that really seperates it from a VM Squier or similarly priced Ibanez or Toby Pro. There is nothing wrong with the feel, but there is nothing that would say "this bass feels like a bass twice as much." With that said, I did not feel that there was a huge gap in the feel between this and say the Ray 34, which does cost twice as much. The Ray 34 is better constructed, but the feel is much closer than I would have expected. I think that says more about my opinion of the Ray 34 than this bass.

Sound: This is the bass's strength. On one hand, I'm a believer in effects pedals and I think people overemphasize the "sound" of a bass, since that can be adjusted, but the sound on this bass is genuine. It obviously is no Stingray or Bongo and it isn't even a Ray 34, but I have never come across a bass for less than twice the cost of this bass that has this much "character." Normally, basses in this price range don't have a lot of personality, they're meant to suit as many customers as possible. This bass emulates that Musicman Sound way more than I was prepared for. It's voice is just so clear. (If you're not familiar, Musicman basses are known for their distinct tone, which is a very even and deep midrange). With all that said, if you're not looking for that particular sound, you're kind of stuck. The good news is that the sound can be used for almost any genre.

3. Construction Quality: Overall, I'd say that the bass's construction is average for its price range. For me, the squire VM jazz basses are the best constructed in this price range. My version has the rosewood fingerboard, which is "meh." The maple necks are a bit better in my opinion for the bass. The frets are relatively even, some are high (17th) especially. You do see the fret inlay lines from the side, though that is just a cosmetic concern. Other reviewers are concerned with sharp fret edges, but I did not encounter that. Controls and pickup are fine in construction. The biggest weakness is the overall quality of the body wood and the finish. I have the walnut finish and it feels like a very cheap veneer. The wood just seems...wrong. It does not feel appropriate to the bass. It's too "flimsy," hollow sounding, and cheap. You would expect that this would make the bass weigh less, but it still weighs a ton, which I'll mention later. Also, the pickguard is cheaply made, but that is pretty universal on basses in this price range. The bridge is about as cheap of a bridge you can put on a bass, not to say it's terrible, just unremarkable. Having the truss rod adjustment on the body end of the neck is handy. The bass does offer active pickups, which is the growing norm for this price range. It's only a 2-band EQ, which you don't see that often. Sound is clean, however the volume knob is too hot---goes from 0 to "woops" in 1/4 twist.

4. Looks: I've seen 4 of them in person. I purchased the Walnut Satin. I happen to love the oval pickguard look and mine shows that off well. I think some of the color combinations are odd (black on black?), but overall this is a good looking bass. When I was first learning to play, you wouldn't find a bass that looked like this for less than what I had in my bank account, but with the SUB series, the Ray 34, and the OLP maybe that association might be less for people now.

5. Versatility: The single humbucking style of bass has its particular strengths. The extra room is good for using a pick and slapping. For those that like to fingerpluck nearer the neck, the single bridge pickup can be an issue, but I have quickly adjusted. The tone is sharp and clear, but in this price range, pretty much any other bass you buy will be able to produce a more versatile sound, particularly a jazz bass. For feeling so cheap, the bass is heavy (about 10 pounds). A squire VM weighs about the same, but feels so much heftier. The weight makes long playing sessions difficult. Other reviews were complaining about neck dip. It's there, but it is not as significant as I thought it would be. Most basses in this price range are more balanced, particularly by Ibanez.

Final Thoughts: I really do like this bass and purchased it. It's fun to play and has a great sound. It does not blow you away with its quality, but it's fine for the price range. Definitely make sure it's a tone you like before you jump in.

Some alternatives and thoughts:
-VM Jazz bass by Squire is better constructed, better looking, and offers more variety of sounds for basically the same price. However, it lacks the musicman personality that makes this one a winer. It also only has passive pickups.

-Ibanez SR 250 and others is similarly constructed, a bit more plain, and offers 2 covered pickups and a 3 band eq. Also, lacks that personality. The Ray 4 is a bit smoother to play in my opinion, though you may be able to get a little bit lower action on the Ibanez.

-Epiphone Thunderbird IV: I hate thunderbirds, but it also has a larger variety of sounds and is more suited to those that just want to dial in a metal or rock tone. ESP and Jackson are also ones to look at if this is your angle.

-Tobias Toby Pro: Construction Quality on the Ray is a bit better. Tone is miles away better on Ray. Toby is easier to play.

-Schector Omen is another option. I've never liked these much. They might be a bit easier to play, but tone is so boring.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Descent bass,electronics garbage.

Electronic issues with pickup and volume cutting in and out.Poor warranty policy. Make sure you get pro coverage if you want guitar center to take care of any issues you might have. I had...Read complete review

Electronic issues with pickup and volume cutting in and out.Poor warranty policy. Make sure you get pro coverage if you want guitar center to take care of any issues you might have. I had issues under warranty but no pro coverage, so Sterling which is actually a Music Man design contracted thru Praxis music in California,was requiring me to pay to ship it to them for warranty repairs and will not authorize anyone else but themselves for warranty repairs. And no, you will not be reimbursed for the initial shipping. When i asked why they wouldnt pay for all the shipping, they responded "we dont do that".So don't expect any help from Music Man either. Bottom line,any costs incurred in warranty issues should be solely on the manufacturer,guess not with Sterling by Music Man contracted thru Praxis.

Reviewed by 118 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

Poor warranty

By Bob

from Fl

Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

Praxis is contracted to build this model for music man. Sub par electronics and poor customer service and warranty policys. Never buy another Sterling .

 
1.0

Poor electronics

By Jim

from Fl

Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

Praxis builds this guitar for music man. Poor warranty and customer service. Bad electronics, no help from praxis.

 
5.0

Great Bass, Great Price.

By MT/DC

from Harrisburg, PA

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    These basses are excellent, ESPECIALLY for the price. They sound like a StingRay should and play wonderfully. The neck feels excellent. No sharp fret edges and well set up out of the box. A little tweaking to my liking it this thing is ready to rock and roll. Fit and finish is excellent, well ahead of what you'd expect from a sub-$300 dollar bass. I can't find any issues what so ever.

     
    5.0

    LOVE this Bass

    By Nicholas

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    I've wanted this bass for a few years and was excited when I got it for Christmas.

     
    1.0

    Boooooo

    By Bob

    from Ga

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    Pickup and pots failing after 4 months. Poor customer service. 2 thumbs down Sterling/Praxis.

     
    1.0

    Absolutely not

    By Bob

    from Ga

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    Poor built pickup and pots, failed in less than 4 months of owning it.Sterling/Praxis, 2 thumbs down.

     
    5.0

    Great

    By Scott

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    Plays Great. I love it. Great value for the price.

     
    5.0

    Not Just for Beginner thru Intermediate

    By BassSick4

    from The Great Northwest and Northeast

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Beefy, "manly," deeply resonating body
    • Deep, gnarly, growly tone
    • Eye-catching color--mint green--invites U 2 play
    • Fun To Play
    • Superb tuners and big, bad bridge

    Cons

    • Mine is a heavy beast--is that pro or con?

    Best Uses

    • Anything--it's a versatile axe I take everywhere

    Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

    I understand why SBMM markets this bass as perfect for "beginner through intermediate." I'm a (former) pro bassist (from a Seattle-area blues/blues-jazz/rock ' jazz/rockabilly band) now a part-timer, and have played nearly all of the major brands. This bass performs as well as any of the Fender Americans I've had the privilege of owning. Its sound is very close to an Epi Thunderbird with bass rolled off and bridge all the way up. While I'd like to own American-made basses, I just can't justify it anymore based on the cost and recent quality advancements of Asian-made instruments (they HAVE been making quality instruments long before Columbus even thought about the Western Hemisphere). As I'm getting older, I've decided to downsize my arsenal and now own a Warwick fretless 5, a Yamaha RBX (for practice), and this baby, which is my "go to" bass for just about any use (jams as well as gigs), So, poo-poo on the "great for beginners through intermediate" marketing claim.

     
    5.0

    Very good entry level stingray.

    By Dom

    from Flagstaff Arizona

    About Me Professional Musician

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

      I use this bass for playing live and for band rehearsals. It's pretty easy to dial in different tones and the tone is pretty faithful to the musicman sound, though not exact but that's ok considering the price. The build quality is very solid. Everything is put together very well and there are no sharp fret ends. Overall the hardware is of average quality, equivalent to higher end squiers. This bass can get through long sets without needing to be retuned. The only flaws I've found have been on the paint. Found two spots of paint run, small but noticeable under close inspection. This bass is a very solid workhorse stingray that is good anyone looking to try a stingray without paying $1500 for a EBMM stingray.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Nice

      By Will

      from Indiana

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording

        Comments about Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass Guitar:

        Didn't go in expecting to buy it, went in for strings. I have a couple of 'Rays at home and just wanted to see where it sat as far as quality went. The finish was flawless. The maple neck was easy to navigate, very comfortable to play. I don't know about all the other Subs, but this one sings. If you're a bassist you know what I'm talking about. And if you sadly already know a boutique bass or an expensive bass doesn't always make you smile....try this one. I played it thru my Ampeg CL-300/8x10 when I got home last night. First thing I did this morning was run in to play it .

        Displaying reviews 1-10

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