Ernie Ball Stingray
This review is about 4 months overdue but it is post honeymoon so that's a good thing. First...the bad, Not much at all, very minor dislikes. Not crazy about the chrome control plate as I would have much rather had an extension of the tort pickguard lookswise. Would also rather have had the 3 way toggle switch somewhere in the pickguard/control plate area. All in all they're very minor niggles.
Now the good...where do I start? Ok, the neck! Just perfect for me...fits like a glove. A bit flatter than a modern Fender but not too much making both chords and riffs/solos easy. The assymetrical carve is fantastic filling out your thumb webbing area on the bass side while the thinner treble side really puts your finger in a good position to fly. Action is great...nice and low but no buzzing but still easy bending. And speaking of bending, the stainless steel frets feel incredible when bending...no gritchy resistance.
Ah, the tone! Exactly what I'm looking for in a humbucker guitar. I play through a Budda SD18 and the Stingray is a perfect match giving me a fat, gutsy tone that also cuts really well. It's almost like the bolt on 25 1/2 scale neck doesn't push the tone towards a Fender...it just does a great job clarifying your tone by adding and removing exactly the right frequencies.Outstanding! One more thing. The tone stays very consistent when the volume is dialed back...it doesn't get dull OR thin out. The tone control has a very nice taper as well.
Let's see...what else? The trem is great too and I'm a hardtail guy so I don't use it a ton BUT it is very smooth and returns to pitch really, really well. It comes decked which is great for me as I do a lot of oblique bends and overbends w/o any wavering and you can play on if you happen to break a string. Fit and finish are excellent, no flaws. The Stingray is not a featherweight like my PRS Mira but not a back breaker like my Les Paul either. Very comfortable to sling for a long gig. I own this, the LP and PRS just mentioned, a nice Tele, a Strat, and 2 Reverends and the Stingray is my favorite especially for gigging.
Have to mention Sweetwater also. I had a tremendous experience dealing with them! I was not satisfied with a guitar I bought just prior to the Stingray (not their fault). I should have bought the Stingray instead and told them that and they were very eager to make sure I was a satisfied customer. They exchanged the first guitar for the Stingray with no fuss or attitude whatsoever. A big thank you to Mike Morgan!