Monday, April 19, 2010

Ernie Ball Musicman 30th Anniversary Stingray Bass

The 2006 Ernie Ball Musicman 30th Anniversary Stingray bass is a personal favorite of mine. These basses are the perfect Stingray and I have owned many of them over the past 4 years.

There were only 783 of these made, and there are some significant differences from the standard Stingray models of the same year. These include: mahogany body, figured maple neck with a poly finish, string-though the body bridge and the special logo on the headstock.

They were only available finished in transparent crimson with a single humbucker and the 3-band active pre-amplifier. Fretted models only came with rosewood fretboards, and fretless models were available lined or unlined with a pau ferro fretboard.

There were at least two that were specially-built with two humbucker pickups.

The plywood cases were made by G&G with a burgundy tolex and a black poodle lining. There was a 30th anniversary plate mounted inside the case.

These basses are more resonant than a the conventional models and are definitely the best-sounding Stingrays ever built.

The list price was $2500, and they were slow sellers at the dealer level. Guitar Center eventually sold their remaining stock at clearance prices as low as $800. Nice examples can be found on eBay for around $1000 today.

My only criticism about the bass would be its weight. Many were were around 11 pounds. The cases are another story. They are very fragile, and the basses fit very loosely in them. Many cases were damaged in shipping due to the bass moving around, acting like a slide hammer and wanting to escape out the end...

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