New bass! My Powder Blue SLO Special StingRay is here.
THIS is the bass I’ve always been looking for.
I’ve owned 3 StingRays before (currently still have two of the old ones) and always loved the sound, the look, the oil/wax neck, really almost everything except the string spacing up by the nut. Because of that, I went back and forth between StingRays and basses by another manufacturer for over 15 years.
I finally tried a Sterling a few years back and loved the neck. I bought a 2009 Sterling 4 HS and it has been awesome. Love the neck. But still missed the StingRay look and sound.
After thinking it over, I special ordered a SLO Special at the end of May. By special ordering, I was able to pick the fingerboard I wanted, the pickup configuration, the SLO neck, and a really cool color.
I’ve read here and elsewhere that a SLO Special is like having a StingRay with a Sterling’s neck. That’s not completely accurate. This bass is all StingRay, it just has a narrower nut and the same string spacing you’d have on a bass with a 1.5″ nut. A Sterling, by comparison, has a smaller body and a neck with one extra fret, which combine to make it feel like the whole fingerboard is shifted a little to your left (if that makes sense) from where it’d be on a StingRay. Not necessarily any better or worse, just different. The SLO Special feels just like a normal StingRay, only with the strings at the same spacing you’re used to if you play 1.5″ nut basses.
Hopefully I didn’t mangle that description. For me, it means the SLO Special doesn’t mess with my slides due to the string angle, and my fret hand likes the ease of the smaller spacing up in the 1-5 frets range. Other than that, all StingRay.
The color is Powder Blue. I think it looks like a 50’s muscle car color, especially with that big StingRay banana-shaped chrome control plate. My wife thinks it looks like a robin’s egg. LOL.
I’ll attach a quick photo if I can.
It will take me a while to evaluate the HH vs HS question (one of my older Stingrays is an HS). I definitely like having dual pickups for thumbrest if nothing else. On my HS, I use the bridge humbucker 98% of the time. I use the bridge single-coil for learning songs off of CD’s – I find the thinner sound helps me nail notes quicker, YMMV. Doing a quick run-through of the HH settings tonight (this is my first HH), I thought position #2 has some promise, but again, that bridge humbucker is so hard to beat.
The bass is built flawlessly and plays really nice. Low action, fast neck. Oil/wax is so sweet, too.
Sorry for the long post. I’ll try to get more photos at gigs this weekend. The Powder Blue color tends to photograph a little lighter color that it looks in person, I took a few and most were whitewashed. Attached is not the greatest photo, but it shows the color most accurately from real life, I think.
It was worth the wait to get exactly what I wanted. This bass is #1 and might be forever.