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Leo's CLF Research company was contracted to build the guitars and production began in June 1976 with the Stingray and Sabre guitars, followed by the Stingray and Sabre basses in August 1976.
In 1980, after five tumultuous years at Music Man, Leo Fender left the company to start up G&L along with George Fullerton.
However, by 1976 when the Stingray was released, the genre of rock guitar was already defined by the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul.
That, combined with less-than-desirable aesthetics, spelled failure for the Stingray.
Leo Fender did not like the name Tri-Sonix, so the name evolved under Leo Fender's suggestion to call the new company Music Man.
In 1974, the company started producing its first product, an amplifier designed by Leo Fender and Tom Walker called the "Sixty Five".
The 1976 catalogue shows the first offerings; A two pickup guitar called the "Sting Ray 1" and the Sting Ray Bass.
Both instruments featured bolt on neck designs; the basses featured a distinctive 3 1 tuner arrangement that should help eliminate "dead spots" while the guitars came with a traditional, Fender-style 6-on-a-side tuner array.
In 1975, Fender's legal restriction had expired and after a vote of the board he was named the president of Music Man. He also owned and ran a consulting firm called CLF Research (Clarence Leo Fender) in Fullerton, California.
Music Man continued to have guitars assembled on a limited scale (by Jackson/Charvel) from 1980 through 1984 using parts that were left in stock, before the company was acquired by Ernie Ball.
The Stingray guitar had a very progressive design which employed coil splitting and active circuitry.
The Roman numeral after the model name denotes a fretboard radius of 12 inches.
The Music Man story began in 1971 when Forrest White and Tom Walker formed a company they would call Tri-Sonix, Inc (often incorrectly referred to as "Tri-Sonic").
Fender Stu Hamm, Jazz, Jazz Fretless, Status Graphite 5 String and now the Stingray.