Ernie Ball Music Man, one of the world’s premier guitar, bass and amp manufacturers, announced today that its 40th Anniversary edition of the StingRay, nicknamed “Old Smoothie,” is now available for pre-order. Named for a prototype from 1976 — designed by Leo Fender and gifted to Sterling Ball — and featuring a one-of-a-kind design and unique tonal characteristics, the bass features a rare ten (10) pole piece pickup design, resulting in a smooth, full tone that gives Old Smoothie its name and is reminiscent of the highly-sought-after vintage 70’s Music Man StingRay sound.
Watch Sterling Ball discuss the history of StingRay, his relationship with Leo Fender, and “Old Smoothie”:
The StingRay is an American classic, used over the last four decades by such diverse players as 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.
“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,” said Sterling Ball, CEO for Ernie Ball. “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 Ernie Ball Music Man “Old Smoothie” 40th Anniversary bass is a faithful reproduction of the original, with its custom-made ten (10) pole piece pickup design precisely reproduced. “We analyzed the original with a spectrograph, micrometer and other measurement tools and examined and re-created it to the smallest detail to deliver the exact tone of the original,” said Ball. All the other attributes of the original Old Smoothie have been duplicated, including its body, headstock and pickguard shape, 34-inch scale maple neck and fingerboard, frets, active electronics, hardware and exclusive chocolate-burst finish.
The Ernie Ball Music Man Old Smoothie Bass is supplied with a hardshell case and is now available for pre-sale at a U.S. MSRP of $1999.