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Stingray I & II Factoids


Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 10:25 am:   

Some Facts/opinions/ideas about these guitars:

Stingray II's have a vintage neck radius and nut width similar to a 50's Telecaster.

Stingray I's have a flatter, more modern radius.

They have Nitrocelulose Laquer finishes, which contribute (in my opinion) to how good they sound, and age/fade nicely.

I believe they are heavy guitars for 2 reasons: The bodies are deceptively large - the ass on the guitars is huge, and there's minimal routing - no trem to carve out, no contour carves like a strat, and the Ash that they used is for the most part pretty heavy.

Because the preamps are cast in resin, the are (as the prior posts can testify) un-repairable. There also seems to be no record of schematics or NOS pieces available. Mine went on my Stingray II about 5 years ago.

What I've done is remove all the electronics from the guitar (and kept them intact)and replaced them with a Gibson style 2 pickup/1 Vol /1 Tone w/ toggle switch layout and installed Duncan P-90s (it took some wood removal from the pickup cavities and a hole enlargement in the metal control plate where the pickup selector formerly was located, and a new pickguard from WD). I am happier than ever with the guitar, it's like a strato-jazzmaster-tele. If you are into pre-amped guitars there are many choices of active humbucker systems, or just preamps with the existing pickups you could try.

The chances of finding a NOS preamp unit are really small, and although these are quality vintage pieces now they aren't worth $10K or anything, and Leo wanted them to be played, so I say do it.

I also recently found a Stingray I on Ebay with a dead preamp and got it for a good price as it wasn't functional. I did as above with this one and this time used Duncan stacked P-90s and wired them in vintage/parallel. This axe has more of a Strat-like sound than the other modified Stingray, like a Steve Miller sound in the center position. I would also like to experiment with Jazzmaster pickups and Tele pickups in these guitars as well.