NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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grayn
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NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by grayn » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:05 am

I went over to Frets Guitar Centre, in Cleveleys, this morning, to check out some Musicman Stingray RS's.
I'm not really sure what the RS stands for, possibly Re-issue Stingray?
Anyway, when Musicman Guitars started, back in the 70s, the Stingray guitar and bass were some of the first designs to be produced.
I think these were with the help of Leo Fender.
Although the guitar had some fans, it was the bass that really took off and became one of the iconic basses of rock.
In 2018, Ernie Ball Musicman brought the Stingray back, with some modernisation.
But what appealed to me about the model, is that it is a no nonsense rock guitar.
2 (alnico 5) humbuckers, one tone, one volume and a 3-way pickup selector.
No coil tapping or reverse phase switching, although the 21st century Stingray does have a modern tremolo and locking tuners.
The guitar's aesthetic is asymetrical or offset, with a retro, chrome control plate and a slab body.
It's business like, built for a purpose, yet it still has some charm and is just a little bit different.
There are a large number of colour options for the Stingray.
They had 3 in, at Frets.
Vintage Torquoise, Buttercream and a BFR (Ball Family Reserve) model, with a natural (gloss) mahogany body and gold hardware.
I played all 3 and liked every one.
EBMM guitars have superb necks (this'll be my 6th) and all 3 Stingrays played beautifully.
For looks, the roasted figured maple on the vintage turquoise's neck and headstock looked the nicest.
All 3 had the same, great pickups, that had a raw yet responsive and nuanced quality.
That may sound contadictory but that's how they seem to me.
The EBMM trem system is smooth, as always and my favourite tuners, Schaller locking, do their job, just how you'd want.
For feel and tone I'd have been happy to have brought home any one of the 3.
Firstly though, I discounted the BFR model.
It was only £350 more and it is by far the most glamourous of the 3.
But that extra bling for me, didn't go with the Stingray's overall aesthetic of no nonsense, rock machine.
Of course, the Stingray RS could be used in many different styles of music but I felt the BFR was just too posh looking for me.
I loved both the Buttercream and Vintage Torquoise finishes.
The Buttercream having a lovely, classic, retro look to it.
It was probably the gorgeous neck and head, on the Vintage Torquoise, that swung it for me.
I really like it's subtle, metallic flake finish, too.
Now home, I'm enjoying running through some somgs and riffs and finding that this new Stingray sounds really nice, clean and dirty.
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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by GreenKnee » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:10 am

Wow I love it, reminds me of the Pawn Shop Mustang Special, especially in that blue.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by pscates » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:25 am

I'm so out of the loop...I had no idea such a model from them even existed!

It's an interesting pairing of the pickguard/on-plate controls and then that lone, rear-routed toggle selector in the upper horn. You usually see guitars do one or the other: pickups, knobs, switches, etc. all on a pickguard and/or plates (Strats, Teles, Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, etc.) or those things all mounted from the rear and on the body (Les Pauls, PRS, Gretsches, Danelectros, etc. with no pickguard or a pickguard that is only that, and not used to hold any controls). I'm sure there are exceptions, but you get what I'm saying.

That chrome toggle sitting up there, all by itself. :D

It is a very pretty guitar, and it does look like that Pawn Shop Mustang Special from a few years back...the color, pickups.

I like the heel and neck plate.

Is that a removable bridge cover, or is it all part of a single design? Does it get in the way of palm-muting if it's the latter?

Those 4+2 pegheads they use...is that just kinda the company's established "look", or is there some sort of scientific/sound/tension/alignment reason they went that route? I've always liked them...makes for a smaller headstock than a 6-in-line, but the 4+2 gives it a different appearance. Eye-catching. Is it pretty much that...cosmetics?

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by ThePearDream » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:34 am

That's a lovely guitar. I think you made the right choice with the color and that gorgeous neck :?. A good two point tremolo with locking tuners is a really great combo too.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by grayn » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:53 am

pscates wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:25 am


Is that a removable bridge cover, or is it all part of a single design? Does it get in the way of palm-muting if it's the latter?

Those 4+2 pegheads they use...is that just kinda the company's established "look", or is there some sort of scientific/sound/tension/alignment reason they went that route? I've always liked them...makes for a smaller headstock than a 6-in-line, but the 4+2 gives it a different appearance. Eye-catching. Is it pretty much that...cosmetics?
The bridge cover doesn't seem to be removable, you can adjust intonation through the rear end of it.
I palm mute a lot and the cover does not intrude at all.
I've always liked the 4 to 2 tuner lay out.
The strings do go straight to the tuners, which is a very good thing, IMO.
Smaller head may also make overall balance, good.
EBMM know how to make amazing guitars and there quality is some of the best I have come across.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by HarlowTheFish » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:38 am

pscates wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:25 am
Those 4+2 pegheads they use...is that just kinda the company's established "look", or is there some sort of scientific/sound/tension/alignment reason they went that route? I've always liked them...makes for a smaller headstock than a 6-in-line, but the 4+2 gives it a different appearance. Eye-catching. Is it pretty much that...cosmetics?
IIRC they stem from some research Leo was doing in the Music Man days about how to get rid of dead spots in the neck of a bass. He found you could move where they were by changing the amount of mass on the headstock, and so he designed the 3+1 for the Stingray bass (with the original MM guitars still having a 6-in-line headstock) as a best-compromise sort of deal. Since that was the iconic MM instrument, when they started really pushing their guitar line, they did the 4+2 both as a way to reference that design and because on the Silhouette (which is a pretty small guitar already), it let them get away with a hard case that could be taken on a plane and put in an overhead compartment. So a little of column A, a little of column B.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by preservation » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:22 pm

that neck is MARVELOUS. wow.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:29 pm

grayn wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:05 am
when Musicman Guitars started, back in the 70s, the Stingray guitar and bass were some of the first designs to be produced.
I think these were with the help of Leo Fender.
It wasn't just "with his help." The Stingray guitar and bass were designed and built by Leo Fender through company, CLF Research, but sold under contract as Musicman instruments because he was still bound by the 15-year non-compete clause of his Fender sale to CBS.

The second that clause expired in 1980, he rebranded CLF Research as G&L Guitars and started releasing them under his own name.

These modern Stingrays use the same overall shape but their similarities end at that and the HH configuration. The 70's Stingrays had hardtail bridges and active electronics on a much larger control plate.

I've always liked the look of the modern ones, too, and this turquoise one is particularly gorgeous. Congrats!

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:37 pm

I've played this model recently and it was really nice. Sounded fantastic, and felt like a million bucks. Music Man USA have incredible QC. I've played a grand total of zero lemons over the years.
I don't like any of their guitar designs enough to own one, but I have an EBMM Bongo Bass, and used to also have a Stingray Bass.

Few things I disliked about this Stingray guitar Reissue:
I hate that they cut the control plate down so much so, that it barely passes the bridge. It looks super stubby and out of place.
They could have kept the toggle on the plate to keep some of its original length.
Also, I didn't like the narrow skinny neck, which they seem to use on a lot of their guitars. It has a somewhat narrow nut, as well as a strange carve overall, coming from a Fender.
I like that narrow feel on their basses, however I
I cant get used to them on the guitars.

I do love the feel of their necks. They use gun stock oil to finish their necks of the US models.
They feel incredible to the touch.

Oherwise, as I said, they feel and sound like they should cost far more dough. Music Man makes great stuff. I wouldn't rate them over G&L, but that's just design preferences.
They're every bit as good.
Both companies have been using roasted necks, and I think they look really good, especially with flamed or bird's eye Maple. The roasting really makes the grain pop.

Imagine, if Leo didn't have his health scare, and stayed with Fender.
No Music Man, G&L or BBE sound.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by 601210 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:46 pm

BoringPostcards wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:37 pm
They could have kept the toggle on the plate to keep some of its original length.
From an engineering/manufacturing perspective the toggle on the top bout is mildly infuriating. Additional hole, additional routing, and an additional plate to manufacture all cause the design guys wanted it there. Doesn't fit in with the rest of the asthetic, either.

I probably just can't relate, though, I don't like that switch placement in general even on LPs.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by algeriet » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:15 am

Killer guitar! I need to get one now, haha. I'd put two Strat or Jaguar single coils or WRHB's in it as I dislike the tonality of regular humbuckers.

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Re: NGD: EBMM Stingray RS

Post by Novae » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:05 am

I could stare at that fretboard forever... Beautiful guitar!

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