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Given this climate, the Sting Ray guitar was quietly dropped from the line. Music Man's remaining physical assets were sold on June 1, 1984.

While none of these could compete against Fender or Gibson on sales figures, Music Man outpaced the competition by making 'players' guitars with quick change pickup assemblies, Teflon coated truss-rods, low-noise pickup designs, piezo bridge pickups, five and six bolt necks, sculpted neck joints, graphite acrylic resin coated body cavities and most importantly, consistently high quality fit and finish.Walker approached Leo Fender about financial help in the founding.Because of a ten-year non-compete clause in the 1965 contract that sold the Fender companies to the CBS Corporation, Leo Fender became a silent partner.The 1976 catalogue shows the first offerings: a two-pickup guitar, the Sting Ray 1, and the Sting Ray bass. The basses featured a distinctive 3 1 tuner arrangement to help eliminate "dead spots," while the guitars came with a traditional, Fender-style 6-on-a-side tuner array.The Sting Ray Bass featured a single large humbucking pickup (located somewhat toward but not adjacent to the bridge) with a two-band fixed-frequency EQ. Basses were produced in fretted and fretless versions.

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