Sterling By Music Man updates bass and guitar lineup with new and improved StingRay SR50 plus fresh finishes galore

Sterling By Music Man StingRay 34
(Image credit: Sterling By Music Man)

Sterling By Music Man has unveiled its first new models for 2022, with the ‘70s classic StingRay SR50 electric guitar upgraded, plus classy makeovers for Cutlass HSS, Majesty, Mariposa, Axis and StingRay bass guitar models.

Sterling By Music Man might be Ernie Ball Music Man’s more affordable range, but it too has comes with the wow factor, similarly refreshes the finish options annually, and caters to a wide range of players. 

Dream Theater superfans will be cheered to know that the Siberian Sapphire finish is finally available on the Sterling By Music Man Majesty, with John Petrucci’s signature model offered as a six or seven-string guitar, stacked with features, and super-shreddable.

Like the EBMM version, we have an onboard boost that packs 12dB behind a push-pull feature on the volume pot. Elsewhere, you’ve got high-output humbuckers, a modern tremolo and a rosewood fingerboard inlaid with Mr Petrucci’s shield inlay. His signature graces the headstock too.

Meanwhile, Omar Rodríguez-López’s signature Mariposa has been given an all-new look with Pueblo Pink joining Imperial White and Dorado Green as your finish options. 

Its distinctive retro-futuristic nyatoh body wears the new paintjob well, and there’s a matching headstock for good measure. As with the other Mariposas in the Sterling By Music Man lineup, this Pueblo Pink model has a pair of custom-wound humbuckers, a roasted maple neck, and a very cool vintage tremolo.

Sterling By Music Man StingRay SR50

Sterling By Music Man StingRay SR50  (Image credit: Sterling By Music Man)

Perhaps the most noteworthy updates however are saved for one of EBMM’s most underrated designs, the StingRay S50. The popularity of the StingRay bass tends to pull focus, but the SR50, with its dual-humbucker format and double-cut body, remains a guitar for all seasons, and a refreshing alternative to the Strat/Les Paul paradigm.

These now have roasted maple necks bolted to their solid poplar bodies, with a choice of roasted maple or rosewood fingerboards. We’ve also got a vintage tremolo system and locking tuners so you can go to town on the whammy bar.

Of course, the SR50 has a new look too, with SBMM offering it in Buttermilk or Firemist Silver, the latter with the roasted maple ‘board.

Long considered the Swiss Army Knife of Ernie Ball Music Man Designs, the HSS format of the Cutlass CT50 is now presented in Daphne Blue Satin and Pueblo Pink Satin. Again, like the SR50, they have solid poplar bodies, roasted maple necks, and come with the choice of roasted maple or rosewood fingerboards. 

With a humbucker at the bridge complemented by a pair of single-coils, and a control circuit featuring volume, tone and a five-way blade-style pickup selector, the Cutlass CT50 can handle pretty much anything from blues and funk to rock.

If the Cutlass CT50’s aesthetic is a little too retro, you can dial it up with one of the new Axis AX3QM models which apply Spectrum Red and Spectrum Blue gradient burst finishes to the quilted-maple top. 

The Axis might be long-evolved from its association with Eddie Van Halen but with its asymmetrical neck and its dual humbuckers, it remains a solid high-performance choice, splitting the difference between a Fender 25.5” scale and Gibson’s 12” fingerboard radius.

Lastly but by no means least – not when it is one of the most successful bass guitar designs of all time – we have the StingRay Ray, which has seen a comprehensive refresh of its short, 34” and 35” scale models. 

The Ray 34HH now comes in Purple Sparkle, Blue Sparkle, Seafoam Sparkle, Heritage Cherry Bust, Neptune Blue, and Dark Scarlet Burst Satin. The single-pickup Ray35 has Purple Sparkle, Blue Sparkle, and Dark Scarlet Burst Satin finish options, while the both the 34HH and 35HH are now available in Amber. 

Finally, the StingRay Short Scale RaySS4 comes in Black with a tortoise ‘guard, and is offers a most-accessible 30” scale that’s ideal for guitar players looking for a runabout in the bass registers, or indeed for players with smaller hands and those looking for a plummier thump in their sound.

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.