• Music Man Sabre (1979) electric bass guitar
    Music Man Sabre bass (1979)


Brand name: 


  • bass guitars

Dates of manufacture: 

1978 to 1991

Music Man introduced the Sabre bass in 1978 to complement their successful single pickup Stingray bass. The Sabre was essentially a two-pickup Stingray but with some minor differences. It was moderately successful in the 1980s, but the Sabre never matched the Stingray's popularity and it was discontinued in 1991. Music Man reissued the Sabre in 2013 as the Classic Sabre model - looking much like the original Sabre but with extra electronics to deliver a wide range of sounds.

Music Man listed the following features when they launched the Sabre bass in the late 1970s:


  • Contoured body for added playing comfort.  
  • Deep cutaway allows access to 21st fret.  
  • Body employs brass inserts for bridge and pickup mounting.  
  • Available in natural, sunburst, walnut. black and white finishes.


  • Internal micro-powered pre-amp lor long battery life (one to three years).  
  • Pre-amp provides low-impedance output. Tone is unaffected by long cords or low volume control settings  
  • Separate bass and treble controls provide both boost and cut.  
  • Pickup selector switch allows choice of pickups or combination of both.  
  • Bright switch conveniently adds additional highs at player‘s fingertips.  
  • Phase reversal switch allows both in-phase or out-of-phase pickup connections  


  • Two humbucking pickups with eight 3/8 inch magnets each  
  • Low impedance of pickup winding preserves highs and adds upper register response  
  • Pickups have height adjustment screws at each end to aid in obtaining balanced response.  


  • One-piece rock maple Construction.
  • 34-inch scale with 21 frets to enable playing to E.  
  • Rock-hard Melamine nut for long wear and precise notching.  
  • Patented truss rod design has recessed adjustment at head  Improved neck tilt adjustment avoids use at neck shims. Unique head design contributes to better overall balance of instrument.  
  • Patented Music Man tuning keys (manufactured by H. Schaller), Tapered string post forces strings to be flat against head for better tension over nut.  


  • Heavy cast bridge housing provides full-bodied tone and excellent sustain.  Four bridge saddles are recessed in well of bridge housing to form a rigid assembly that resists vibration  
  • Bridge saddles are stainless steel to resist rust and corrosion Each saddle has height and string length adjustment. Height adjusting screws are recessed within the saddles to prevent interference with picking technique.
  • Bridge housing contains four individual mutes with manually-adjustable thumb screws. String damping may be custom-tailored to your own playing style 

Basic Design

  • The Sabre bass retains all the unique features that made the Music Man Sting Ray bass the outstanding success that it has become. The modern concepts of these line instruments employ the latest in technological advances to bring a new standard of performance to today's bass player.

Music Man described the Sabre bass as follows in their 1982 catalog:

"The Sabre bass offers tremendous flexibility to suit individual playing styles, action characteristics, and string selections. Incorporating many of the same quality features described with the Sting Ray, the Sabre bass is meticulously crafted to provide exceptional tonal range and control. As with the Sting Ray. each is registered, with the serial number stamped right on the bridge. The instrument body is also contoured to fit most players for greatest comfort. If the player takes a little time to master the various controls. he will obtain a variety of sounds not available on other instruments.

BRIDGE  The bridge is a heavy die-casting. The unique Music Man string offset design allows the strings to pull through the lower end of the bridge casting where they are offset to force the saddles against the bridge, resulting in a rigid. vibration-free assembly that yields maximum sustain. The die-casting has a recessed well that houses the 4 individual bridge saddles and eliminates side-slipping. A second well in the bottom of the bridge is embedded in the body and is designed to transmit the string tension to the end grain of the wood. anchoring the bridge to the body and further increasing sustain. The bridge saddles are made of stainless steel to resist corrosion and rust. In addition. there are two stain- less steel screws per saddle for individual height. and a third for individual string length. All screws are recessed within the saddle to avoid interference with picking or muting styles, and the entire bridge assembly is designed to eliminate jagged or rough edges.  

PICKUPS  Two hum-cancelling, high-output. shielded pickups are precisely mounted for lead and rhythm sounds. The pickups are tri-mounted to give a full range of vertical and tilt adjustments. Both pickups are individually sized to compensate for their positions along the diverging strings and thus locate the magnetic pole pieces directly beneath their respective strings.
The pickups use powerful Alnico-V magnets for high out- put and hand-wound lacquered coils for less feedback and better hum rejection. These wide-response pickups provide maximum sustain and a ’fat' or full sound. Together with the built-in preamp, Music Man pickups provide adequate levels to drive any bass amp or separate instrument preamp to full output.  

SELECTOR SWITCH  The pickup selector switch allows you to choose between the lead and rhythm pickup. or to use them in combination.  

PHASE SWITCH  Described simply, the phase switch puts the lead and rhythm pickups out of phase with one another so that a positive pulse from one is cancelled by a negative pulse from the other. This results in a thin, bright sound. On many basses the pickup selector switch must be set in mid- position for the phase switch to function. The Sabre’s phase switch works with the pickup selector in any position.

FINISH  As with the Sting Ray. a handsome and durable finish is applied to the neck and body. The choices of glossy finishes are. natural, sunburst (a 3-color burst). white, and black."

Specifications (22)


5 kg
Finish colorsblack finish, blue finish, natural finish, red finish
Finish effectssunburst finish, transparent finish
Made inUSA
Number of strings4 strings
Scale length34 inches scale-length


Pickup selector controls5-way selector switch
Tone controls2 tone controls
Volume controls1 volume control


Pickups brand and modelErnie Ball pickup(s)
Pickups configuration2 humbucker pickups
Preampactive preamp


Body materialpoplar body
Body shape featuresdouble cutaway


Bridgefixed bridge
Hardware colorchrome hardware
TunersSchaller tuners


Fingerboard materialmaple fingerboard, rosewood fingerboard
Fingerboard position markersdot fingerboard position markers


Neck jointbolt on neck
Neck materialmaple neck
Number of frets21 fret

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