Build Quality:5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:5 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

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Sterling by Music Man RAY35-NT Bass


  • Classic Design with a Twist
  • Great Low Tones
  • Swamp Ash body


  • Bolt on neck
  • Weak high tones

Music instruments are not that much different from music, in the sense that the same item or piece of music or instrument might have several variations on it, with different results. The purpose of variation is to elicit a different emotional response out of the audience, achieve a slightly altered sound, or, in the case of an instrument, produce a specific type of sound. The Sterling by Music Man RAY35-NT Bass is a variation on the original, but at the same time, it is its own unique instrument. Let’s take a close look at one of the best 5 string bass guitars.

Body Quality

The Sterling by music man RAY series of guitars has a specific look that they have about them, one which is recognizable and rather enjoyable. The double-cutaway body shape with the rounded bottom is popular and useful, and rather beautiful. The Sterling by Music Man RAY35-NT does not stray far from this shape, though it introduces variation by introducing a new coloring pattern and a new pickguard style to the design. This a fairly interesting update.

The body of the guitar is made out of swamp ash, which is popular ash present in a lot of bass guitars. It is popular for a combination of reasons, the biggest being of course the sound the swamp ash resonates with. The tonewood has a powerful resonance with the tones in the middle range. These feel detailed and powerful, though the low end is not disregarded either. Overall a well-rounded sound, well fit for a bass guitar. The lightweight of tonewood and the turdy nature of it make it well fit for any guitar, especially a bass guitar.

The neck of the guitar is of traditional make, with the tonewood of choice being the traditional maple. The popularity of maple is in no question around the world, and being further reinforced by the fact that maple keeps proving itself as a superior neck material. Sturdy, warp-resistant, and good-looking, it seems like the tonewood will remain popular forever. The neck is bolted onto the body, and the fretboard of the guitar is made out of a very nice and smooth rosewood


The guitar comes with a music man designed for the bass bridge. This allows the guitar a standard for music man level of action with an acceptable level of string stability.

The nut of the guitar is made out of a moderate-quality material. This provides the instrument with an adequate string noise-resistant nut, as well as a nice harmony.

The tuning machine of the guitar is designed to look great on the instrument, which it really does. The tuning stability is great, so you don’t have to worry too much about tuning your guitar often.


The guitar comes with a single humbucking pickup located at the bridge. This means the guitar has a pretty solid even though not too flexible, sound. The single humbucker is powerful enough to provide strong output, with a nice level of dynamic range. The tonal range of the humbucker is limited, though it is not something a bass guitar would worry too much about, as the high tones are rarely overly employed by bass players.

The controls on the bass guitar are fairly detailed, providing the guitar with a nice level of customizability. The musician gets a single volume control and three-band EQs for the treble, mid, and low tones of the guitar.

Sterling Ray 35 Sound

The sound of the guitar is extremely well-fitted for some power metal and rock and roll performances. The mid tones of the guitar are expressive and interesting thanks to the presence of swamp ash in the body of the guitar. The true star of the show is the low tone of the guitar though, providing a powerful, interesting sound for the instrument. The tones of the guitar are extremely well-fitted for both dark and warm music.


This guitar has some great qualities about it that rock musicians will enjoy a whole lot. Overall a great instrument providing a nice variation in the Sterling by Music Man RAY series. Highly recommended for the metalhead.

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