MusicMan, StingRay Bass, 1977 - Luther Rabb


StingRay Bass
Serial Number: 
The Story Behind


About the Guitar(from Wikipedia):

In 1971, Fender employees Forrest White and Tom Walker, unhappy with the way CBS was managing the company, left their positions with Fender to start their own venture. First known as Tri-Sonix, Inc (often incorrectly referred to as "Tri-Sonic") and then later Musitek, Inc., the new company eventually settled on the name of MusicMan, Inc. by 1974. The company began producing a hybrid tube-solid state amplifier co-designed by Tom Walker and Leo Fender, who was participating as a silent partner to the firm due to a "no compete" clause in the sales contract Fender had signed when he sold his original company to CBS in 1965. After the clause expired in 1975, he was made president of MusicMan, Inc., and by 1976 his consulting firm CLF Research had begun producing instruments bearing the MusicMan name.

Designed by Fender, Walker and Sterling Ball (Sterling was a beta tester for the instrument), the StingRay bass appeared in 1976 and, though physically similar to a Fender Precision Bass, was a highly innovative instrument. It employed a "soapbar" humbucking pickup and an active pre-amp powered by a 9-volt battery. The early versions had 2-band EQ (i.e., bass and treble controls), and the range was later augmented by the addition of a 3 band EQ (bass, mid and treble) model, and then piezo pickups located in the bridge became an option with the 3-band model. The StingRay's 3-band equalization system made it possible to boost midrange frequencies as well as low and high. Along with its electronic improvements, the StingRay had physical attributes that set it apart from other Fender-inspired designs, such as a heavy satin finish on the back of the neck to allow players' hands to slide effortlessly up and down during play, a symmetrical egg-shaped pickguard and separate chromed "boomerang" control plate, and its distinctive "3+1" headstock (on which three tuning machines are situated on the top and one on the bottom) made it an instantly recognizable and distinguishable instrument.

Early models have through-body stringing at the bridge, which is fitted with adjustable string mutes. Later models omit both features, except for the 30th Anniversary model of 2006, which uses the string-through-body design and features a solid mahogany body finished in a Crimson Red Transparent finish.

In the catalog of the 1976 the MusicMan StingRay bass was presented to the world. The building of the StingRay Bass was bolt-on and had a distinctive arrangement of 3 +1 tuners that according to Leo Fender would help eliminate "dead spots". The bass had a single large humbucking pickup with a 2-band EQ.

This bass was owned and used by Luther Rabb during his stint with War.


If you have any questions, please contact us