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Tony Raven
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:25:09 AM(UTC)
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The obsession of the evening. Flapper

From a previous thread:
Quote:
An interesting educated guess ... . Apparently the short-lived Sterling series was indeed named for Sterling Ball. The current Music Man Sterling line is made by Cort. Huh

No wonder this Cort shows some unique touches, then. (Offset heel, rounded V profile, string-lock tuners, coil tap, very slim body, abalone dots.) ... Seems to have been an ancestor to both the X & Aero series, though I like the 3x3 head & the non-trem.

Considering that these tend to pop up in the under-$200 range -- I wouldn't be surprised to find one hanging at a GC or MGR for $100 -- it's a shred-worthy guitar waiting to happen. I'm thinking about setting it up with heavier strings & a first-fret mute to work on my tapping.

There's a distinct ear-popping lack of info on this line -- even my 2005 Blue Book skips it entirely.

Though my French ain't what it used to be, I enjoyed this guy's review of his h-s-h Sterling:
http://refractory.mercury.free.fr/Sterling.html
Sweet, eh? Elsewhere he mentions that the licensed Rose bridge monster is a Lo-Pro, something I don't see very often. I once had a Rhodes clone with a Lo-Pro; though it could be a total pain to set up, it was amazingly responsive, so there's a bit of sentimental value. Love

At MGR Online, I did spot a listed Sterling 1000 very similar to mine, though a center (blend?) knob instead of a Gibson-style 3-way toggle, & without mine's chrome pickup rings (which may be aftermarket but, at this rate, who can figure?). The axes of this family seem to show up mostly in gloss black, but I have seen one S1000 in red.

Using that model number, I check the Blue Book. Sure enough, there's the "S Series" of guitars, ten models + 2 variants (+ the SB10 & SB70 basses). Though a bit of a guess, I'll wager that "S" means "Sterling." Not unlike Washburn, the quality & gewgaws generally increase with bigger numbers, so the S400 is worth $195 in 100% untouched-by-humans condition, while the S2900 is worth double that in 80% shape. (There's always a gotcha, though: the S3000 is worth LESS than the S2800.)

The S series began mid-'90s & was phased out (pron. "killed") 1998-2000. At newest, then, mine's got 12 years on it.

AHA!! Sometimes the Blue Book website is better than the book itself:
http://bluebookofguitarvalues.c...d=CORT_ELECTRIC_S_SERIES
Hmm -- they say the S2550 is worth LESS than the S2500 (barely more than the 2100). I'm a BIG fan of the Wilkie VS50K trem -- super-low profile, non-lock, wonderfully sensitive for jazz but also pretty good for dive-bomb, sleek & distinctive -- so that's a selling point for me at least. (Then again, I'm still wondering at what point the line moves from 22 frets to 24. Mine is certainly a 1000 & does have 24.)

And according to this list, the only S with a Rose is the (ibid) S3000. Well, heck, if MGR or GC reads Blue Book, you could find yourself quite a toy for cheapness.

A major problem with calling the series "S" rather than "Sterling" is that it's a pain to Google -- model-by-model rather than just "cort sterling". Ah, well, maybe another day, to relax my jangled nerves.

Any input or sightings would be welcome, ESPECIALLY bargains to be had!!

Edited by user Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:08:52 PM(UTC)  | Reason: link repair


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Tony Raven
#2 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 6:04:05 PM(UTC)
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Ever had one of those moments where you are simultaneously thrilled AND disappointed?

I'm sittin' here with the Sterling on my knee, thinking what a solid axe it is, wondering if I can find any more info. So, off to Google cort sterling...

...and THIS THREAD is the Number One result.

>>sigh<<

But I did manage to trip over a small nugget. If the French site is any help, the model was also known as the Starlite; I once spotted one at MGR Online, & it's definitely similar.

Certainly, Cort is a sneered-at brand... which just increases the odds you'll see one cheap. They play well, they sound good, they're sturdy, & they look cool. Since that MGR sold the aforementioned hss Starlite for $238 -- only a few bucks less than what they'd ask for a MIM Fender Strat -- mebbe they know something.

Edited by user Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:03:37 PM(UTC)  | Reason: data fix


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Archtop
#3 Posted : Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:04:00 PM(UTC)
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Hi, I just joined the forum because of this thread.

I'm keen on the Cort Sterling model, I asked Cort several times during the decade about it with no answer.
Incidentally, I'm the guy who wrote the review mentionned in the first post :)

Few things can be found on the early Cort S series, recently a magazine ad was on sold on ebay mentionning the three s series 1000, 2000 and 3000.

It made clear the 3 ranges based on the bridge : fixed, fulcrum, floyd.

It also gave one interresting information on the body make : kalantas.
This timber was mysterious to me when I found this : http://www.gaskellguitars.com/downloads/90.html
It´s one of the toona timber (toona calantas) branded as mahogany for cheap guitars, this being also known as "Philippine Mahogany".

Please to meet you people .

Will Chen
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:06:48 PM(UTC)
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Welcome and thanks for joining! Re kalantas...I love it when companies get "scientific" with the wood names rather than lumping it into some generic family of "mahogany".
Axeman69
#5 Posted : Friday, August 16, 2013 10:03:41 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Will Chen Go to Quoted Post
Welcome and thanks for joining! Re kalantas...I love it when companies get "scientific" with the wood names rather than lumping it into some generic family of "mahogany".


It's an AUSSIE site, so you CAN trust it! BigGrin ThumpUp
Tony Raven
#6 Posted : Saturday, August 17, 2013 3:56:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Archtop Go to Quoted Post
Hi, I just joined the forum because of this thread.

Welcome aboard!! Your article was detailed & informative -- so much so that I was able to learn details (otherwise apparently unobtainable) about the Sterling line. Given the HUGE amount of nonsense & recycled nonsense on the Internet, that page stands out.

Could you perhaps correct a statement I made earlier?
Quote:
Elsewhere he mentions that the licensed Rose bridge monster is a Lo-Pro, something I don't see very often.

I now cannot find that comment!! Perhaps I am merely getting old & I credited you with someone else's statement.

I know you led a lively (if too-brief) discussion on this --
http://www.guitariste.com/forum...ling-starlite,12322.html
-- but I couldn't find the Lo-Pro reference there either.

Like many "smaller" brands, Cort suffers from myopia. They advertise & market as though they've got hordes of brand-loyal fans, then they do little or nothing to actually support a fan base.

In contrast, I am a fan of mid-range Washburn guitars. They have active company-sponsored discussion forums:
http://forums.washburn.com/index.php
There, the average player can interact with devoted pro & semi-pro Washburn players, Washburn collectors, even the occasional visit from someone in design or marketing. Questions get answered about approximate market value, chances of finding a particular model, known issues with some designs, & so on. And it's much more than just a clutch of "Nuno" owners -- the XB basses have kinda become my space, & the X Series guitars draw lots of discussion.

The company even makes an effort to help owners decode the serial numbers:
http://www.washburn.com/about/faq.php
http://www.washburn.com/about/

And there's a guy who not only answers many Forum questions, but has created an amazingly comprehensive site packed with info on Washburn instruments from ~1979 onward:
http://www.vintagewashburn.com/index.html
The site is constantly updated & expanded, yet has no ads whatever -- clearly a labor of love &/or dangerous obsession. When I was clearing out a bunch of 1990s guitar catalogues & adsheets around 2007, I'm pretty certain I sent a few Washburn pieces to this Darren guy.

Cort owners? The best they're offered is a "club" on Ultimate-Guitar.com, & another on TalkBass.com with almost 100 members. Aside from Wikipedia, nobody appears to be unifying the history of Cort/Cor-Tek instruments, much less giving actual fans a place to congregate. With signature players like Matthias Jabs, Billy Cox, Gene Simmons, & Gary Sinise -- didn't he play his Cort bass on an episode of CSI: NY??? -- not tomention metal & jazz players well-known in their own countries, Cort at least has a solid basis from which they COULD grow a true fandom.

If I'm correct about the S Series guitars coming from Sterling Ball, I'd wager some MusicMan fans would appreciate the connection.

Archtop -- should you return, perhaps you could assist me in another way. I own the S-1000 & an early Viva, & they share a problem: the bridge pickup is clearly NOT "Fender spaced," & the pole on the high-E string results in a noticeable muting of output. Do you think these are standard Cort pickups, or might owners be habitually replacing the original pickups with incorrect models?

Edited by user Saturday, August 17, 2013 4:00:06 PM(UTC)  | Reason: spelling, again


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Tony Raven
#7 Posted : Saturday, August 17, 2013 4:15:29 PM(UTC)
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Oops -- forgot toadd:

(1) I'd really love to play a Cort Artisan A-series (neck-thru) bass; beatiful axe,nothing but rave reviews, DOZENS of YouTube demos. (Doesn't seem like anyone disputes the quality of the upper-tier Cort axes.) The dealers within 250 miles are ALL of the "sure, we can order that for you" variety -- nobody stocks a clutch of new Cort instruments to get the brand out there, which reminds me depressingly of Washburn. At $1,000+ MSRP, I might as well try to find a deep discounter, then hand it off to a luthier for proper setup.

(2) The rounded-V neck shape & super-high (fret 10) horn still delight me every time I pick up the Sterling. However, I'm going through a single-coil fetish, & seriously tempted to put in a set of Dream 90 or Retrotron pickups. Anyone care to alk me out of it?

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Archtop
#8 Posted : Sunday, August 18, 2013 6:14:48 AM(UTC)
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Hi I can confirm the floyd rose is a low pro, very stable stay in tune. I may have stated it somewhere I cant find neither, maybe my review lost on harmonycentral .

The original pickup pole space is narrow, so the bridge doesn ´t fit the strings, it´s quite visible on the large pics of mine : a change for F spaced is a plus.

I plan to update my personnal site on some blogspot , including information i got like the body make and have reviews in english also to have more people adressed.

The ad:
Cort sterling

Edited by user Sunday, August 18, 2013 6:34:41 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Braindancer
#9 Posted : Sunday, August 18, 2013 9:11:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tony Raven Go to Quoted Post
...the Sterling. However, I'm going through a single-coil fetish, & seriously tempted to put in a set of Dream 90 or Retrotron pickups. Anyone care to alk me out of it?


I'll do my best. ;-)

I've got the Liverpool's on my cream thinline Xav Tele (strung with stainless flats) now, where they've found a permanent home. The Rick body style adds a bit more flavor to the tone, but the chambering of the Tele seems to give me just the right mix of solid/semi tone for what I want...I'm very happy with my budget Beatlebox. Strung with rounds, I'd definitely want the HOT Liverpools...the regular's are just a tad too bright on top and too thin on the bottom for use on a solid. (I think the regular's use alnico 2's, a5's for the hots, so it's a partially-correctable situation if you're sufficiently resourceful.)

I'm a big fan of the Mean 90 (Dream 90 with alnico's)...I can't seem to find love for ceramic/ferrite pickups anywhere but on a shredder or a MM-type bass. But I've heard from several players who tell me that they just don't have P90 vibe. (Seems a bit suspicious to me...I haven't seen a "real" P90 yet which wouldn't fit inside a PAF-sized cover...but I just don't have the ears that some guys have.) I've got an SD Phat Cat in one guitar, and Mean 90s (technically, alnico-loaded Artec SHC63's...same pickup, different top plate) at the neck in 2 others, and at the bridge in my thinline strat. I simply don't find the tone versatile enough to use it very often at the bridge; I ADORE it at the neck, and may eventually reload my Phat Cat with a5's just to bring it closer to the Mean 90 sound.

One other option you might want to consider:

VINTAGE TONE SET OF GOLD GUITAR HUMBUCKER -open design

The chrome version is long sold out; I'm only guessing your Sterling is goldplate. I bought a set of these for the store mainly for the look, but this set has a bright, slightly fatter vintage-LP-type tone (had a pair of these a year ago) and while I ended up putting a set of Giovanni's into my Kraken LP, I would have chosen the chrome versions of this pickup IF I could have found them just for the distinctive look and the slightly thicker tone. Guitarheads MIGHT have these in chrome...they carry a lot of Artec stuff under their own brand. Sadly, GFS does not offer the Mean 90 with a plain black top plate, or open-top humbuckers with black bobbins...but that's hardly surprising any more.

Wish I could comment on the Nashville's but I haven't tried them.

That does look like a sweet piece, Tony, and I love that top horn! I'm jealous.
 1 user thanked Braindancer for this useful post.
Axeman69 on 8/18/2013(UTC)
Axeman69
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 18, 2013 9:26:33 AM(UTC)
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To chime in, I echo Brainys' comments for the most part.

On the Nashville's, these are good, pickups, as I have got the 950 in the shop loaded with these.

HOWEVER, the caveat here is these are CERAMIC loaded! Not sure what type, GFS said some 'special' ceramic type magnets.

They DO sound good, the neck sounds great! Bridge is good too, VERY twangy, DOES that Gretsch thang quite well, but whack a bit of gain and it gets fizzy!

I too would recommend the Reg or Hot Liverpool's as they are essentially the same pickup but loaded with A2s or A5s instead, and would sound sweeter. BUT these ARE humbuckers!

The Mean90 is a great pickup. Err Brainy, as far as I knew GFS offer the Mean90 in 3 finishes including BLACK!!! d'oh!

Mean90 black

Anyhoo, thats my 2c!
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