Up for sale, a 1976 Music Man StingRay I electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. As the next landmark company founded by Leo Fender and George Fullerton after the sale of Fender Musical Instruments, Music Man offered an opportunity for this dynamic duo to further refine and build upon the innovation created at Fender. The StingRay I model was offered from 1975-1982, and this instrument features an internal preamp that preserves tonal fidelity at varying volume or cable lengths, as well as a preamp module with an active EQ circuit, two-way Bright Boost toggle, and four-way rotary pickup.
The two pickups have a double-coil humbucking design, similar to the Music Man StingRay bass, offering a range of thick and meaty sounds with plenty of woof and punch. The signal tightens up with an aggressive treble cut when sculpting the sound with the dedicated Bass and Treble knobs, and the out-of-phase pickup setting on the rotary switch is jangly, snappy, and squawky in equal measure. The ash body and maple neck (a tried and true Leo Fender tonewood combination) result in an authoritative natural response with subtle growl and great note attack, complimenting the meaty pickups. The guitar weighs 8lbs 12oz, professionally setup here at Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with lightly rolled fretboard edges and appreciable shoulder and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, offering a hearty handful from the 9th fret and beyond. The profile measures .785” deep at the 1st fret and .970” at the 12th. The maple fretboard features the original slender frets, leveled and crowned, and while the frets are quite low, the instrument plays effortlessly with notes that ring out clearly in every register. The scale length is 25 1/2", and the nut is a modern replacement, measuring 1 9/16" in width. The headstock retains the original Music Man-embossed tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The neck heel features a factory date stamp from November of '76.
On the body, the active electronics work as they should with untouched solder joints and CTS pots that date to the 37th week of '76. Controls include a Master Volume knob, Bass knob and Treble knob to govern the stock pair of large-pole humbuckers, a two-way Bright Boost switch, and four-way rotary pickup selector that functions as follows: Bridge / Neck / Both (in parallel) / Both (out of phase).
The bridge is a string-through-body design with height-adjustable Mustang-style barrel saddles for optimal sustain and stability, and the chrome plating on the hardware has plenty of shine and only light surface patina. The body has been refinished in a very thin satin with just a few scuffs and minor marks, primarily on the back and body edges. The original ambered gloss has been retained on the neck, with a few minor marks on the profile length central to the carve, not distracting to the palm while fretting. There are also some small isolated spots of wear through the gloss and into the maple on the fretboard.
A modern hardshell case is included.