Ernie Ball Music Man thinks that its new StingRay basses are a bit Special

Favoured by the likes of Tony Levin and Rage Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford, the StingRay is a bass guitar with plenty of heritage. So, how do you go about reinventing it for today’s player?

Ernie Ball Music Man has answered that question with two new revisions: The StingRay 4 and StingRay 5 Special. These promise re-engineered aluminium hardware, refined body contours, a 5-bolt sculpted neck joint, new and improved electronics and a newly designed 18-volt 3-Band preamp. The end result, we’re told, is a new level of playing comfort allied to that distinctive StingRay sound.

“To me, there’s no better piece of art than a beautifully designed and built musical instrument,” says Ernie Ball CEO Sterling Ball. “That’s what we’ve done with the new StingRay - it’s tailor-made for the most discerning players, a blend of stunning craftsmanship and well-executed technology.”

Tony Levin, meanwhile, who’s played with the likes of King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, says: “I love what the company has done with this bass. They’ve gradually changed it through the years while keeping the things that made the original bass really special. They keep adding features in subtle ways and sometimes big ways that improve it without losing that special rock oomph that we all want to hear.”

Street price starts at $1,999 for the Stingray 4 Special and $2,099 for the Stingray 5 Special. Find out more on the Ernie Ball Music Man website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.