Cool and classic basses: Music Man StingRay 5

When four strings aren't enough, you need a StringRay 5
When four strings aren't enough, you need a StringRay 5

With a much more contoured body and a larger scratchplate taking care of pickups and controls, the StingRay 5 is instantly distinguishable from the classic 4-string version.

With a shorter bridge plate that finally dispensed with the string mutes, it was the first newly designed Music Man bass to be manufactured by the Ernie Ball Company and took its inspiration from their Silhouette guitar.

The 3-way selector offered a choice of series and parallel pick up combinations, and in 1991 the StingRay 5 was given a ceramic pickup with a phantom coil to reduce noise. The dual pickup model was introduced in 2005.

This has either two humbuckers or a humbucker and a single coil in the neck position, plus a 5-way selector switch. In 2006 a limited run had through-body stringing, an ebony fingerboard and a 5-bolt neck plate. A return to alnico pickups in 2008 gave the 5-string a new boost as it sounded much closer to the original 4-string Ray.

Also like the StingRay 4, the latest versions offer a piezo-loaded bridge for an expanded tonal range plus a fretless version with a pau ferro board and optional fret markers. Our picture shows a Trans Teal StingRay 5 alongside a natural finish classic fretless StingRay 4.

Read our full Music Man StingRay 5 profile