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515513 000001063

Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass Black Maple Fretboard

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The Sterling's shape is similar to the StingRay, but shorter and narrower, with a slightly smaller neck (34" scale, 7.5" radius). It also features ho...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 01-12-2018

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OVERVIEW

Known as the comfortable cousin of the StingRay, it's the Music Man Sterling with 2 pickups!

The Sterling's shape is similar to the StingRay, but shorter and narrower, with a slightly smaller neck (34" scale, 7.5" radius). It also features hot rodded electronics: active 3-band preamp, 2 MusicMan humbuckers with hum canceling phantom coils, and unique 5-way switching (individual humbuckers, both humbuckers, and selections of tapped coils from both pickups). Volume, treble, mid, bass controls. Includes hardshell case. Schaller BM tapered-post tuners.

FEATURES
  • Compact body shape
  • 34" scale
  • Active 3-band preamp
  • 2 Music Man humbuckers
  • 5-way switching
  • Schaller BM tuners
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Ernie Ball Music ManSterling HH 4-String Bass
 
4.9

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (3)
  • Good feel (3)
  • Good tone (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (3)

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-15

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(20 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Best Bass Around

By Where's My Mule?

from Second City

See all my reviews

Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

First, the description of the Sterling's neck here is not correct. It is not "basically the same" as a Stingray neck. In fact, there is a major difference! The Sterling's neck is both narrower, 1.5 inches at the nut and 2.5 inches at the last fret, and thinner than the Stingray's neck. That is why it is so comfortable to play! In addition, the Sterling has one more fret than the Stingray and a contoured heel at the neck joint unlike the Stingray. Don't call it a "Jazz" neck just because it has a 1.5 inch nut -- it's profile is 100x times more comfortable than a Fender Jazz bass (I know, I own one). The gun oil blend on the back of the neck is so much better than gloss, I can never go back. The Sterling uses ceramic pickups while the Stingray uses alnico, which are not as "hot" as the ceramic.

For me, this is simply the most comfortable and playable bass I've ever put my hands on. And to give you a picture of my reference points, I also currently own a Fender American Std. Jazz Bass, Lakland USA Joe Osborn, Music Man Stingray SLO Special, Lakland 44-02, Lakland Duck Dunn, Carvin SB4000, and a Music Man Sterling 5 string. I have owned numerous other basses as well. The Sterling just blows all of these other basses away. It's the sound that's in my head and because it's so comfortable, I can make the bass "do what I want." It's the only bass that I don't feel my hands is fighting with.

I am disappointed that the "Sterling by Music Man" line has created confusion and dimmish the cache of a genuine Music Man Sterling bass. To be clear, "Sterling by Music Man" are foreign made guitars and basses for "budget" buyers and the Music Man Sterling is the original bass made in the USA and designed as a more playable and versatile cousin to the Stingray. There is a major distinction.

I can't say enough good things about this bass. Try different configurations, HH, HS, and H and decide which one fits you best.
Put simply, the most comfortable bass I've ever played. Super fast neck. Blows Fender American Jazz basses away in the neck profile. And no gloss on the back of the neck to slow you down. Great heel contour. Fat, fat bass sounds and sizzling slap tone. Thick and meaty and cuts through the mix. Blows my Jazz Bass and even my Stingray out of the water.

Some people look at this bass and think it's a short scale. It is not! It's a full 34 inch scale, but due to the smaller body and neck profile, it looks smaller than many basses. But, it is a real deal full-size neck.

I prefer the HS version (Humbucker-Single Coil) because it gives you a good place to rest your thumb while still giving you room to slap and pop. The HH leaves less room for popping.
Unlike other manufacturers, Music Man's quality control never falters. Built like a tank with no detail left to chance. Fretwork always is amazing. Never a bent knob shaft, loose knob, misaligned pickguard, or popping frets. Opening up the case is like being in bass heaven!

I will say that I prefer DR Low Rider Medium strings on this bass for a stiffer, higher-tension feel for fingerstyle playing.
It's expensive for a reason. It's well-made, very playable, and provides all the sounds you'll ever need. I've never seen poor fretwork or any other flaw on Music Man Sterling (and I own three 4-strings and one 5 string Sterlings).

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best!!!

By Billys266

from West Virginia

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics
  • Tone Neck Workmanship

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Country Cross Over Band
    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    Hands down the best instrument I've played. I had a single humbucker Sterling and wanted more sound options. I looked at a multitude of other brands and came back to the feel of the Sterling. By adding the second humbucker and split coil options I get a multitude of different sounds with the same great neck and feel. Amazing instrument.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best bass I've ever played

    By FamousNateNat138

    from Claymont, DE

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    This bass is worth the money. I've played quite a few basses and this ranks up there as the best bass I've ever played. The neck is very fast, action is low, string spaceing is perfect, it's not too heavy, and it plays very well. I like the pickup shape because I play 2 finger traditional style and my thumb is very comfortable on the pickup. If you have the money, go for it. If you don't have this much money, try to stick with Music Man.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Sterling Limited Edition

    By GuitarMan-ILQMW

    from Germany

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    Okay, the limited edition looks great and I was impressed when I got it. Even the case is impressive. I finally got to play it with the band last weekend, wow was response. I had played a 100 graphite steinberger for 25 years and now I hear what I was missing. Of course you're limited by by amp and speaker, but with my EV and flight lite box with a hole in the back, and a simple Behringer amp I didn't feel limited. The bottom knob brings on a warmth, too much for playing, but for endings, just slowly crank it up and it sounds like the entire low end of an orchestra laying down the red carpet. Only critical thing I could say is the E string may not have the presence of the other strings which is inherant in wood basses (I was spoiled with my steinberger on that). The bass came set up perfectly though and I could tell someone that new what they were doing took personal care with this instrument. I will try raising the pickups under the E string to compensate or maybe try changing the string size of the E string. But I'm so happy with this bass, best purchase I've made in 30 years and I've spend over $300,000 in instruments and studios!

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best Sounding Easiet Playing Bass I've ever played

    By Jon Snow

    from Detroit

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I have a 1987 StingRay Trans Red/Rosewood and now a 2010 Sterling Honey Burst/Maple.

    There is a difference with the new pickup shape compared to my old Stingray. The new pickups have a scooped top to them. Anchoring my thumb on the scooped top of the pickup is akward as my thumb wants to slide down. The old StingRay pickup is flat all the way across at the top. As a result, I just keep my thumb at the corners of either pickup, where it's not scooped. This adjustment took me about two days to get used to.

    For the most part, I have retired my Sting Ray and will keep it as a collector's item. I get almost the same exact sound (it's actually a little better) out of the Sterling bass with the selector switch all the way to the bridge. My favorite sound is with the pickup selector switch second from the bridge (it growls) and awesome funk sounds are obtained with the selector switch second from the neck. I use this in conjunction with a Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout. You can't beat this American-made combo.
    I have the Honey Burst/Maple Neck version of the Sterling HH.

    This selector switch and pickup combinations allow for really great sounds out of this thing. A three-band active EQ is nice to have, though I just leave them all cranked. The maple neck gives it that snappy sound.
    These are American-made instruments. The quality is second-to-none. The finish is beautiful. The sound quality is incredible. Nothing is loose or second-rate.
    It's not really a value-shoppers instrument in that you get what you pay for. You pay a premium for the better quality American-made instruments. You just can't beat the sound and quality of this bass. I was definitely not seeking value when shopping for this bass. I was seeking sound, playability, and quality.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Sorry Fender

    By jazzman39

    from South carolina

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I have palyed a lot of basses in the last 35 years. I never, ever, thought I would quit performing with my favorite "other" bass. I bought a Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass. My fave Jazz has not left the house in 5 years. All I can say is play it....then you decide. Best money I have ever spent on any instrument or equipment ever. I paired it up with a SWR Goliath Senior and a WorkingPro 750 and I am no longer looking for "that sound" that I have always wanted.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    This is my first Music Man

    By Scott

    from Elon, NC

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I've been playing bass for over thirty years and mostly Fender bases. I've wanted a Music Man for about 15 years. The wait was worth it. This bass will be my primary bass replacing my Fender 60s Anniversary P. All the new Fender basses I got, always had some extra goodies with them, such as strap, cord, trustrod tools, etc. None of those type of extras came with the Music Man. ???? Bit it doesn't matter I guess.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome Bass

    By iiwii

    from Puerto Rico

    About Me Novice

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone
    • Sweet Neck

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues
    • Very versatile

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    Really sweet bass very flexible. I selected the blue and changed the pickguard from the standard black to white pearl and it really brings the color and makes it shine and stand out.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Nothing short of phenominal

    By AFTERGLOW

    from Upstate NY

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I absolutely love this thing, I use a Gallien-Krueger 700RBII with a 410 RBH cabinet and the possibilities are endless. The only thing you have to worry about with this bass is finding the right sound. The neck is so comfortable and the sound is so great that I'm having a Flying V bass built using the exact neck dimensions and all of the same electronics. It also came set up perfectly. If you have the budget, BUY THIS BASS!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Greatest Bass ever

    By Fathomless Embrace

    from Las Vegas, NV and Okaloosa County, FL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I made a good choice. The tone options are wonderful with this instrument. This comes with a sturdy case, polish cloth, and key to lock the case.It was very well packed when I received it. I have the Black cherry burst with the rosewood fretboard and it looks much better than what the picture shows it to look like on the site.Well worth the cash.

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Nice Bass

    By PickBass-BIdXX

    from Seattle

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    I test drove the regular Sterling and it sounded fantastic but the price was too high for me at the time. I'm still thinking about it though because that thing sounded sweet. Also I play with a pick most of the time and the string spacing was a little wide for that.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Nice Bass

    By Slap man.

    from Chicago

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    Just received this bass today. When I opened the box I was already impressed. When I plugged it in, it was "WOW, what a soun". I was happy. When I started doing funk, I noticed that my finger was hitting the sharp edge of pick guard and occasionally the screw which hold it. I am quite disappointed in that. Will take off the pick guard to see how it looks underneath. If it looks ok, I will probably keep it. Other wise I will return it. I guess I can live with a few screw holes in my bass but not sharp edges. After all, isn't this supposed to be a funk bass? Also the space between 1st pickup and the edge of the neck is quite small. It's somewhat small when you try to pop. Maybe I just need to get used to it. But I am not planning on modify my funk technique which I've been using for 25 years just to play music man. Plus, what's all the hype about these expensive basses? I say if you play good, you will sound the same on any bass. Just get an Ibanez or Schecter and be happy.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Bass

    By Bob The Bass Player

    from Huntington, NY

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    Hands down the sweetest bass I have ever owned. I have been playing for 25 years and own Warwick, Fender, Yamaha, Washburn and Schecter. The neck on Sterling is beautiful, much more comfortable than any Jazz bass that I hae ever played. Worth every penny.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    EBMM quality, new versatility

    By Steve-Gzr2r

    from Los Angeles

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    The Sterling you know and love, small body, nice neck, 22 frets, great hot pickups, now doubled. Insane versatility and great tone. Only small negative is lack of series/parallel

     
    5.0

    sterling hh

    By JayT-fYagj

    from Auburndale, Fl

    Comments about Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling HH 4-String Bass:

    this bass is sweet it has great sound and a lightweight design the overall design is good i deff. recomend it for thoes who really want to get great sound as long as your willing to pay the price

    Displaying reviews 1-15

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