Friday, September 25, 2015

2000 Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray 5H Bass Review


Today we are looking a peach of bass I picked up from a local guy who had advertised it on Craigslist – a 2000 Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 5.

Ernie Ball started building fivers in 1988, and they have gone on to become the best selling 5-string basses ever made. It seems like every country bassist I have ever seen on stage has a Stingray 5. They have a relatively narrow (17.5mm) string spacing, so the neck is not too wide. Originally only available with a single humbucking pickup, Stingray 5s can now also be had with 2 humbuckers or a humbucker and a single coil. You can even throw in a piezo bridge and go fretless if you want to.

This one is a plain-Jane single humbucker bass, and it rocks. It looks to have been hardly played at all over the past 13 years, and the glossy silver metallic poly finish is in great shape with just a few nicks and dings.

It is all original, including the kick-ass hardware, which includes the high mass bridge (bolted to the body) and the Schaller tuners. This was made before the age of compensated nuts, so it did not get one. Do you really need a compensated nut on a bass? I don’t know.

The electronics are the stock ceramic pickup (alnico did arrive until 2008), with a 3-way selector switch. The positions are: series, single coil (closest to the bridge) and parallel. I am a big fan of the parallel mode.

I do not know what kind of strings previous owner put on it, but these normal gauge roundwounds really sing on this bass. I’m going to leave them on there for a while and hope they hold up.

Of course, my track record with 5-string basses has been horrible. Most do not stick around for more than a month or two, but I am going to give this one the old college try, and it is a great playing bass. We’ll see if this one makes it until my 1st quarter inventory update in January…


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