“It’s just very playable. To me, it’s the best tone that we’ve had from a live show to date”: Sterling By Music Man debuts affordable new signature StingRay for Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz

Sterling By Music Man Pete Wentz StingRay
(Image credit: Sterling By Music Man)

Sterling By Music Man and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz have put their heads together for a new signature StingRay bass guitar that promises the vibe and feel of a high-end EBMM model but retails for just $649.

As Wentz says in the introduction video, his signature StingRay has been thoroughly road-tested on Fall Out Boy’s So Much For (Tour) Dust Tour, and it not only does this stripped down, punk-friendly StingRay stay in tune, but is giving him the best tone he’s had live to date. 

He is also teasing some limited edition versions of the instrument, but as things stand today you can order the Pete Wentz StingRay in Black or Fiesta Red, with a special signed pickguard edition available via Reverb.

“To me, it’s the best tone that we’ve had from a live show to date,” said Wentz. “For me, a bass has to stand up and be able to play a lot of different songs. On this tour, we’re doing more than 20 songs. These basses come backstage, they go out – I play at front of house or I go out and play near the lawn, and they’ve held up for all that. I treat them well, but I also am who I am on stage and they’ve held up under those circumstances.” 

The model is Sterling By Music Man’s first full-scale passive bass and seats an Alnico V humbucker in a solid nyatoh body. It has a roasted maple neck and fingerboard that joins the body with a six-bolt joint. 

There’s no fussing around with complex controls; here, you’ve got volume and tone, and that’s your lot. But then, if you’re playing pop-punk, emo, rock and so forth, what else do you need?

Wentz worked closely with Sterling By Music Man on the build. The hardware had to be black. The most noticeable detail identifying this as a signature model is the loon inlay at the 12th fret. 

As all you ornithologists will know, the loon is an aquatic bird native to the US, and one that Wentz has taken kindly to when visiting the unspoiled lakes of Vermont with his family. The loon, he says, is both beautiful and spooky. We’re not too sure about the latter; looks much like a duck with a sharp beak and an eye infection. Hmm… But then, from a distance, the loon inlay could pass for a bat. Either way, it’s pretty cool.

“A lot of my design references were watches or skateboards, and things that I am just attracted to design-wise,” says Wentz. “I’m a very visual person... I feel like starting with simplicity and the best ingredients is the way to go.”

Other specs to note: the bass has a 34” scale length, 21 medium frets, a 9.5” radius fingerboard and it measures 43mm wide at the nut. The bridge is by Sterling By Music Man Bridge. The pickguard is anodized gold. The tuners are open-gear and arranged in the classic 3+1 configuration on the headstock. 

As mentioned above, 50 of these are signed and available exclusively through Reverb. The regular models are with retailers now and are priced £896 / $649. See Sterling By Music Man for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.