Monday, 6 June 2016

1979 MusicMan Sabre fretless bass guitar

Here we see a beautiful example of the rarely seen, and some would say more aesthetically pleasing, sibling of the Stingray bass guitar, the MusicMan Sabre. This fretless example features two of MusicMan's own now legendary design pickups as opposed to the Stingray's single unit and also boasts its own unique preamp design, with Bass and Treble EQ knobs for both boost and cut, as well as a bright switch and a phase reversal switch, making for an incredibly versatile instrument. According to the seller's blurb, "the classic alder and maple tone wood combination [gives] this bass has a bell-like upper midrange and warm pleasing low end that translates well through the pickups, while the preamp allows you to dial in plenty of treble zing, or as much warm pillowy low end as you'd need, while also allowing you to dial back the bass for a tight, cutting, well defined sound."

Dating from 1979 means that this bass probably pre-dates Ernie Ball's acquisition of the Music Man company which happened at around this time. Certainly the headstock does not have the Ernie Ball logo (see pics above). The Sabre would have been designed by Leo Fender and Forrest White, who also designed MusicMan's other early period instruments, and the Sabre bass itself was produced between 1978 and 1991, but apparently was not a big seller.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $2,299.99.

G L Wilson

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  1. Well, I still prefer the stingray... But that's just a taste thing. There are cool elements to this design, but the shape of the guard has never worked for me. The metal control plate tho is awesome. I'm always too picky iwth little details... But I just can't help it!

    I've also never thought about this before, but I guess the tech and ideas that went into the sabre are a clear antecedent to the G&L ASAT Bass. They are very different, Leo never really repeated himself, but the switch based design and dual pickups are a clear break with the simplicity of the stingray and p bass format.



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