Since 1976 the StingRay bass has served as the gold standard of active electronic basses. With its famously punchy sound the StingRay defined the sound of slap bass that began exploding in funk and rock music in the mid-to-late-70’s onward. Over the course of its life the StingRay has become the soul of a whole line of basses with different electronics, woods, and configurations, some of which may seem difficult to sort out to the uninitiated. So we created this buying guide to help you choose what StingRay is right for you:

The StingRay:

This is the bass that started it all. Originally designed by Leo Fender and one of his closest collaborators Tom Walker, and beta tested by Sterling Ball, the StingRay bass features a uniquely powerful bridge position humbucker pickup, a 3-band EQ, an ash body, and a maple neck that is available with either maple or rosewood fingerboard. In single humbucker format StingRay Basses also have the option to come in a 2-band EQ variety. The StingRay is also one of the few EBMM basses that is available in left handed configuration (single humbucker 3-band EQ only)

Buy this if:

You love slap bass, comfortable bodies with iconic looks, superior craftsmanship, and the history of the first production active electronics bass.

Stingray HS/HH:

For years and years StingRay fans clamored for a bass offering with multiple pickups, so in 2005 the StingRay HS and HH models answered the long standing demands of bass players. Not only did these basses offer new tonal varieties due to the extra pickup, but EBMM offered unique switching capabilities not usually found on two humbucker basses such as coil split single coil sounds.

 

Buy this if:

You are a fan of StingRay Basses but require extra tonal versatility from neck position pickups.

Stingray Classic:

The Stingray Classic series took everything that people loved about the first production StingRay basses from the 70’s through the early 80’s. They feature strings through the body construction, a 2-band EQ similar to those found on first run StingRays which still allows for a versatile range of tone sculpting. The Classic series Stingray features a lacquered neck, a 6-bolt neck, and small profile nickel frets.

 

Buy this if:

You love everything about the StingRay but want extra resonance and sustain, and excellent upper fret access.

StingRay Neck Through:

The StingRay Neck Through design takes all of the great tone of the standard StingRay and pushes it further with the added sustain and upper fret access of a neck through design. Rather than following the set tradition of bolting a neck onto a body blank as StingRays had been designed since the beginning, the Stingray Neck Through takes a whole instrument length neck piece that runs from the top of the headstock all the way to the end of the body, and has two Ash wings that are affixed to the sides to complete the body shape.

Buy this if:

You want the comfort of enhanced upper fret access as well as limitless sustain, all in a visually pleasing package that provides potent punch.

Old Smoothie:

If you’re looking for a piece of StingRay history look no further. The StingRay 40th Anniversary model AKA “Old Smoothie” is a meticulous reproduction of the eponymous bass given to Sterling Ball by Leo Fender. Old Smoothie was the 26th prototype model of the StingRay that was being beta tested by Sterling at the time. Initially the StingRay was far too hot for most amps to handle, so in pragmatic Leo Fender fashion he decided to create a 10 pole humbucker that would set the magnets between the strings rather than underneath the strings. That bass became known as Old Smoothie, now 40+ years later EBMM is paying homage to the bass that started it all by providing a reproduction model as a way for the fans to get their hands on thee Old Smoothie.

 

 

Buy this if:

You want to go back to the bass that started it all. Old Smoothie’s unique 10 pole humbucker provides its namesake smooth sound and houses construction elements like the original “skunk stripe” neck and truss rod design, strings through the body, and a mute kit equipped bridge.

The StingRay bass has become the basis for a host of other instruments that either take from its history or move it forward into the future. The best players play StingRay basses, find yours today.

StingRay Bass Technical Specs and Comparison:

ModelSpecs
Size
StingRay13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
StingRay Classic13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
StingRay Neck Through13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
Old Smoothie13-1/2" wide x 1-5/8" thick x 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
Weight
StingRay9 lbs, 5 oz (4.22 kg) - varies slightly
StingRay Classic10lbs, 4 oz (4.65 kg) - varies slightly
StingRay Neck Through10 lbs, 0 oz (4.54 kg) - varies slightly
Old Smoothie9 lbs, 8 oz. (4.31 kg) - varies slightly
Body Wood
StingRayAsh
StingRay ClassicAsh
StingRay Neck ThroughAsh with maple through neck
Old SmoothieAlder
Body Finish
StingRayHigh gloss polyester
StingRay ClassicHigh gloss polyester
StingRay Neck ThroughHigh gloss polyester (Stealth Black is a matte finish)
Old SmoothieHigh gloss polyester
Bridge
StingRayStandard - Music Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles (Stealth Black finish features matte black hardware)
StingRay ClassicMusic Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with "Classic" stainless steel saddles and adjustable mute pads
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Music Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles (Stealth Black finish features matte black hardware)
Old SmoothieMusic Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with vintage stainless steel saddles and adjustable mute pads
Pickguard
StingRayStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
StingRay ClassicStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
Old SmoothieWhite
Scale Length
StingRay34" (86.4 cm)
StingRay Classic34" (86.4 cm)
StingRay Neck Through34" (86.4 cm)
Old Smoothie34" (86.4 cm)
Neck Radius
StingRay11" (27.9 cm)
StingRay Classic7.5" (19.1 cm)
StingRay Neck Through11" (27.9 cm)
Old Smoothie7.5" (19.1 cm)
Headstock Size
StingRayOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
StingRay ClassicOnly 8-1/4" (21.0 cm) long
StingRay Neck ThroughOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
Old SmoothieOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
Frets
StingRay21 - High profile, wide
StingRay Classic21 - High profile, narrow width
StingRay Neck Through21 - High profile, wide
Old Smoothie21 - Low profile, narrow width
Neck Width
StingRay1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret; SLO Special -1-1/2" (38.1 mm) at nut, 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
StingRay Classic1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
StingRay Neck Through1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
Old Smoothie1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
Neck Wood
StingRaySelect maple neck
StingRay ClassicFigured maple
StingRay Neck ThroughSelect maple neck
Old SmoothieSelect maple neck
Fingerboard
StingRayFretted - maple or rosewood; Fretless - Pau Ferro with or without inlaid fretlines; Stealth Black - Ebony
StingRay ClassicFretted - maple or rosewood
StingRay Neck ThroughRosewood; (Ebony on Stealth Black Package)
Old SmoothieSelect maple
Neck Finish
StingRayGunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend (Ultra-light satin polyurethane finish for Stealth Black)
StingRay ClassicHigh-gloss finish
StingRay Neck ThroughHigh gloss polyester (Stealth Black is a matte finish)
Old SmoothieHigh gloss polyester
Neck Colors
StingRayStandard - Natural; Optional - Matching painted headstock
StingRay ClassicNatural aged yellow finish
StingRay Neck ThroughColor matches body
Old SmoothieNatural aged light yellow finish
Tuning Machines
StingRaySchaller BM, with tapered string posts
StingRay ClassicSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
StingRay Neck ThroughSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
Old SmoothieSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
Truss Rod
StingRayAdjustable - no component or string removal
StingRay ClassicAdjustable - no component or string removal
StingRay Neck ThroughAdjustable - no component or string removal
Old SmoothieRear mounted adjustable - no component or string removal
Neck Attachment
StingRay6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
StingRay Classic6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
StingRay Neck ThroughThrough neck design
Old Smoothie6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
Electronic Shielding
StingRayChrome plated brass control cover
StingRay ClassicChrome plated brass control cover
StingRay Neck ThroughChrome plated brass control cover
Old SmoothieChrome plated brass control cover
Controls
StingRaySingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass; Dual Pickup, 3-band active preamp; vol, treble, mid, bass
StingRay ClassicSingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass
StingRay Neck ThroughSingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass; Dual Pickup, 3-band active preamp; vol, treble, mid, bass
Old SmoothieCustom "Old Smoothie" 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass
Switching
StingRaySingle Pickup - N/A; Dual Pickup - 5-way lever pickup selector
StingRay ClassicSingle Pickup - N/A
StingRay Neck ThroughSingle Pickup - N/A; Dual Pickup - 5-way lever pickup selector
Old SmoothieSingle Pickup - N/A
Pickups
StingRayStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Dual Humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Humbucking/Single coil with Alnico magnets
StingRay ClassicStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Dual Humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Humbucking/Single coil with Alnico magnets
Old SmoothieCustom "Old Smoothie" humbucking with 10 elongated Alnico magnets and split cover
Left Handed
StingRayYes
StingRay ClassicNo
StingRay Neck ThroughNo
Old SmoothieNo
Strings
StingRay45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
StingRay Classic45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
StingRay Neck Through45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
Old Smoothie45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)

 

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