Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sterling by MusicMan RAY34 Silverburst Bass

Como estas?

Today we are looking at a Sterling by MusicMan Ray 34. This is a limited edition bass finished in Silverburst that they made for 2010.

The Sterling brand was introduced in at the 2009 Winter NAMM show, after the Ernie Ball Company made a deal with Praxis to sell imported versions of popular MusicMan guitars and basses at an affordable price.

If you are not familiar with these guitars, here is a little background for you.

Overall their products have been impressive, and these are very good instruments. They use nice woods, and good quality hardware and electronics. Best of all, they play very well and sound good too.

Sterling by MusicMan instruments have a more basic model line and choice of colors than you will find with MusicMan instruments. They include (with rough street prices):

As I said, this is a RAY34, meaning it is a Stingray bass with a 3-band equalizer and 4 strings. It has the limited edition Silverburst finish (mode code 34SVB). The finish is beautiful, and I wish Ernie Ball MusicMan would offer it on their instruments as well.

Other than the color, this thing has a lot of Stingray in it.

It has a contoured swamp ash body with a single pickup. The bridge does not have the MusicMan script on it, but it looks the same with the beefy bolts into the body. The battery box on the back is a little bigger too.

The RAY34’s six-bolt neck feels like it has exactly the same profile as the ones on the Ernie Ball Stingrays. These are only available with rosewood fretboards, as far as I know. The tuners seem a little lower quality than the ones on EBMM basses, but they hold tune well enough.

And, the overall quality is very good. The finish is smooth, the frets are well-done, and it came to me without a single flaw. And, by the way, it is pretty light for a Stingray, coming in at 9 pounds, 11 ounces.

When I plug it in, it sounds exactly like any other 3-band Stingray I have ever played. It has plenty of growl and is very aggressive.

The RAY34 is quite a bit cheaper than an Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray, with a list price for the Silverburst bass of $979, and a street price of $689. This price includes a nice padded gig bag and a one-year warranty.

The Sterling by MusicMan basses are a great value, and if you are not hung up on having a “real” MusicMan, you will not be disappointed if you pick up one of these.



  1. I have one :) It`s awesome alright!!!


  3. Cool blog. Should you decide to sell this silverburst Ray34 (or see one f/s someplace in this finish), please ping StayLow on TB. Thanks.