Paying tribute to the workhorse instrument of the longstanding AC/DC bassist.
After teasing the instrument via Guitar.com’s virtual event last month, the Ernie Ball Music Man camp have officially unleashed the Cliff Williams Icon Series StingRay bass.
Limited to only 26 units worldwide, the instrument is a pinpoint recreation of Williams’ own 1979 StingRay, dubbed by the rocksteady AC/DC bassist as ‘The #1 Workhorse’.
“We were in Alberts Studios in Sydney Australia, must have been 1978-ish, when George Young let me try his new Music Man Stingray Bass,” Williams says of his affiliation with the StingRay.
“I was used to my old ‘64 vintage P-bass and was happy with that until I came upon the Stingray. The neck immediately felt comfortable and the weight good, but it was the sound that got me hooked! I got my ‘79 and, apart from the odd short-lived sidetrack here and there, have played it ever since.”
The bass marks the first time Ernie Ball Music Man have recreated an instrument that predates the Ernie Ball take-over of Music Man, with the bass featuring era-specific appointments such as a three-bolt neck, bullet truss rod and original ’70s Music Man logo.
As per Cliff’s own bass, the instrument also forgoes a pickguard, allowing the Back in Burst finish to pop out for a stunning visual aesthetic.
Painstakingly analysed by the Ernie Ball Music Man to offer an exact recreation of Cliff’s original instrument, every single nuance of the original ’79 StingRay has been replicated on the new Icon Series bass, including the instrument’s unique body contours, neck carve and pickup construction.
Further emphasising the unique nature of this bass, the Icon Series Cliff Williams StingRay is also the first-ever Ernie Ball Music Man instrument to feature artificial ageing, with every single notch, scuff and scratch on the body, neck and hardware being applied to the StingRay.
Watch Williams chat about the new bass in the video below. It’s amazing to see the Ernie Ball Music Man team devote so much detail towards recreating such an iconic vintage bass – could this maybe signal a new direction for the brand’s approach to signature models?