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The Music Man company was founded in the early 1970s by former Fender employees Tom Walker and Forrest White. At first, the company designed and produced tube amplifiers for guitar and bass. In 1975, Leo Fender was hired as president to design a line of guitars and basses, and moreover, to bring recognition to the company through his name. Leo's CLF Research company was contracted to build the guitars and production began in June 1976 with the Stingray and Sabre guitars, followed by the Stingray and Sabre basses in August 1976. In 1980, after five tumultuous years at Music Man, Leo Fender left the company to start up G&L along with George Fullerton. Music Man continued to have guitars assembled on a limited scale (by Jackson/Charvel) from 1980 through 1984 using parts that were left in stock, before the company was acquired by Ernie Ball. The Stingray guitar had a very progressive design which employed coil splitting and active circuitry. However, by 1976 when the Stingray was released, the genre of rock guitar was already defined by the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul. That, combined with less-than-desirable aesthetics, spelled failure for the Stingray. Like all of Leo Fender's creations, the quality of these guitars is very high. This particular guitar is a very early Stingray and one of only 500 made with a white pickguard. The Roman numeral after the model name denotes a fretboard radius of 12 inches.

MUSIC MAN STINGRAY I (September 1976)

Body:  Solid; 2-piece ash

Finish:  Natural,  nitrocellulose

Neck:  1-piece maple, bolt-on

Fingerboard:  Maple; black plastic dot markers

Number of Frets:  22

Pickguard:  White/black/white plastic laminate

Bridge:  Music Man, chrome

Nut:  Plastic

Tuners:  Music Man/Schaller, enclosed, nickel

Pickups:  Two, Music Man humbucking with non-adjustable pole pieces, active

Controls:  Master volume, master tone, 4-way pickup selector , pickup coil splitter

Scale Length:  25 1/2 inches

Neck Width at Nut:  1 5/8 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout:  14 inches

Body Depth:  1 1/2 inches

Weight:  8.8 lb.

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