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FACTOIDS & TRIVIA

Leo Fender had a contractual 10-year agreement with Fender Musical Instruments not to produce any guitars after he sold Fender Electric Instruments to CBS in 1965. So, in 1976, Mr. Fender began to design and manufacture guitars for Music Man. Of the two series that Leo designed during his tenure at Music Man (Stingray and Sabre), the Stingray Bass was the most popular instrument produced. It is highly regarded and sought after by players and collectors alike and is known for its excellent funk sound. The Stingray Basses were offered in five standard finishes and were available with an optional rosewood fingerboard. The most common Stingrays have maple boards and either natural or sunburst finishes while the rare ones have either a rosewood board or Inca Silver finish. The bass shown here is one of the earliest known examples to have a white pickup covers. These were normally used on basses with a natural finish beginning later in 1977. Of the four preamp circuits that Leo Fender designed for the Stingray Bass, this particular bass has the first one which is generally regarded as the best sounding circuit. The Stingray Bass has one massive humbucking pickup in the bridge position that gives the bass its signature sound. Many players argue that the Stingray only has one good sound while others find it very versatile. The Ernie Ball company acquired Music Man in 1984 and continued production of two updated Stingray Bass models which are very well made. These remain as popular as the original Stingray Bass. The Leo Fender designed guitars produced by the pre-Ernie Ball Music Man company are historically important as they provide a link between his guitars of the Fender company and his guitars of the G&L company. These guitars feature characterisics from both the Fender and G&L design periods.  The string mutes were a throw-back to the mutes found on the Fender Jazz Bass and Mustang Bass.

MUSIC MAN STINGRAY BASS (February 1977)


 


Body: Solid; 2-piece ash

Finish: Natural, nitrocellulose

Neck: 1-piece maple, bolt-on; maple headstock with decal logo

Fingerboard: Maple

Number of Frets: 21

Pickguard: Black/white/black plastic laminate

Bridge: Music Man, chrome

Nut: Plastic

Tuners: Music Man, open, chrome

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

Controls: Master volume, bass and treble controls

Scale Length: 34 inches

Neck Width at Nut: 1 11/16 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout: 14 1/2 inches

Body Depth: 1 9/16 inches

Weight: 9.5 lb.









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