Music Man Old Smoothie - 40th Anniversary StingRay

Ernie Ball Music Man introduces the commemorative 40th Anniversary StingRay Bass, called the "Old Smoothie".

Ernie Ball Old Smoothie

Related Feature:
Music Man StingRay Guitar

The label Old Smoothie is derived from the prototype #26, one of the many bass guitar designs that Leo Fender came up with, and gave to Sterling Ball for testing.

This prototype was one of the many that Leo Fender, Sterling Ball and their associates worked on back in 1976, which eventually led them to the first version of the now popular Music Man StingRay. As such, it harkens back to the early days of Music Man, a fitting tribute to the now 40 year old bass guitar design.

What makes the Old Smoothie easily stand out is its 10 pole piece pickup design, which results in smoother and fuller tones, while retaining the clarity of vintage '70s era StingRays. This smoother tone became the basis of the prototype's label - Old Smoothie. Now this interesting design is being made available to the public in the form of a commemorative release.

This bass starts off with an alder body carved into the familiar double cutaway StingRay shape, finished in glossy chocolate burst. The middle part of the top is covered by the distinct pickguard shape that makes StingRay's easily distinguishable.

The neck and fingerboard is crafted from maple, following traditional Leo Fender bass designs. The scale length is 34" and it has a total of 21 low-profile thin frets. Nut with is 1-5/8" while neck radius is 7.5". All these follow after the playability of the old prototype, but with better consistency and reliability, thanks to improved modern guitar production methods.

There's no denying the popularity of the StingRay, thanks in part to artists from diverse musical styles that used the instrument. The list of artists include John Deacon (Queen), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), jazz great Marcus Miller, Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band), Mark Hoppus (Blink-182), Randy Jackson (Journey, American Idol), Benjamin Orr (The Cars), Carol Kaye (session musician legend), Lenny Kravitz and many more.

Ernie Ball CEO Sterling Ball concludes, "Since its introduction in 1976, the Music Man StingRay bass has been embraced as one of the world’s classic electric bass designs, and Old Smoothie was an interesting – and great-sounding – variation given to me by Leo Fender during the time I spent testing and developing the original prototypes back in the 70’s. We recently revisited the bass and were knocked out by its rich, deep, beautifully sweet tone. We knew we had to make it available to today’s bass players and celebrate one of the most iconic instruments of our time."

The new Ernie Ball Music Man Old Smoothie Bass is now available for pre-order, with an MSRP of $1,999, and it comes bundled with a hardshell case. For further details and to see its complete specifications, visit Music Man.

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