Ernie Ball announces 40th anniversary StingRay

Ernie Ball  Music Man StingRay
Ernie Ball  Music Man StingRay

Ernie Ball’s Music Man StingRay: Leo Fender made ‘Old Smoothie’ for Sterling Ball, who was a beta tester in the 1970s

One of the world’s most iconic and successful bass designs – nicknamed ‘Old Smoothie’ – is now available for pre-order

Bass and amp manufacturer, Ernie Ball Music Man announced 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 — the bass features a rare 10-pole piece pickup design.

The StingRay is an American classic, used over the last four decades by the likes of John Deacon (Queen), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Marcus Miller, Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band), Mark Hoppus (Blink-182), Randy Jackson (Journey), Benjamin Orr (The Cars), Carol Kaye and Lenny Kravitz.

“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.”

Watch Sterling Ball discuss the history of StingRay, his relationship with Leo Fender, and ‘Old Smoothie’ below. The Ernie Ball Music Man Old Smoothie bass guitar is supplied with a hardshell case and is now available for pre-sale at a suggested retail price of $1999 (approx. £1,375). For more information, visit:

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