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Cool and classic basses: Pre Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay

This was the first production line active bass and the Leo Fender influence is unmistakable, earning it the 'Active Precision' nickname on its launch. This was the first time we saw the unusual tuner placement but it cleverly provides a straight pull for each string and reduces the mass of the headstock, thus giving better instrument balance.

The truss rod makes use of the bullet adjuster at the headstock end and the classic 'elephant ear' tuners feature a very short stem. This early active circuit was covered in a black tar-like substance to prevent copying by other manufacturers. The classic Music Man humbucking pickup was a revelation, very powerful and with eight massive alnico pole pieces, it has become an icon in its own right.

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