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The original Manley Stingray was produced between 1997 - 2009.
It was replaced by the Stingray iTube® and Stingray II models.
Manley Stingray® Stereo Integrated Amplifier
Features & SpecificationsMSRPPhotosTech NotesDownloads

"CATCH OF THE DAY" - THE STINGRAY
STEREO INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER, FRESH FROM MANLEY LABS

It all began at the HI-FI '97 show, at the bar of course, where things like this seem to happen. J. Gordon Holt was with his traditional martini, and EveAnna Manley with her stimulant of choice, a cup of coffee. She was describing a new, integrated amplifier she wanted to build and sketched one of those legendary "bar napkin drawings". Gordon remarked, "It looks like a stingray!" (the fish, not the car.) And so, in honor of J. Gordon Holt, we call this catch of the day: "The Stingray". No stinger, but it sure does pack a punch!

EveAnna arrived at this distinguished chassis design after careful research of optimal component placement for the purity and symmetry of the signal path layout. She also set out to reclaim the rich midrange and silky top end of our vintage designs and combine it with a driving low frequency register which had not previously been achieved with MANLEY's smaller amplifiers.

The key to realizing this all-encompassing, driving spirit would be found in a new output transformer design which "Hutch" Hutchison and Michael Hunter set upon with great vigor. Armed with our extensive technical library and in-house transformer winding facilities, they returned to more traditional thinking with the clever twists coming along at the end. Measuring, listening, testing and tuning led to a decision to replace our venerable 15 year old input stage with an innovative and fresh contribution from Paul Fargo. The door to "true Soul" was unlocked and burst open wide.

Separate left and right silver-contact select switches (for the four stereo line inputs) deliver your music into the premium Noble® balance and volume controls before hitting the first 12AT7 input tubes. The advantages of a passive preamp driving an extremely short and low capacitance two inches of cable are well known: near-absolute transparency, no added noise, and extreme signal path simplicity. This is the perfect place to implement a passive preamp as it were.

Following the mighty 6414 driver/phase splitter, the trusty EL84 output stage can be switched between either around 20 watts of TRIODE or 40 watts of Ultra Linear mode push-pull operation. Individual bias for each tube is easily adjusted using the trimpots and test points, conveniently located on the top surface of the amplifier. The Stingray's power supply is extra-rugged and stiff, a MANLEY hallmark. It swims with the sharks: fast, agile, fluid, and with consummate authority.

With the Stingray, the MANLEY team has struck a remarkably harmonious balance in design which satisfies the sonic desires of the audiophile and the rocker, the artist and the musician, the student and the master, the yin and the yang. We invite you to experience the stunning sonic quality and visual beauty of the Stingray personally.

In Summer 2005 we added the following features to production. Stingrays designated with serial code MSTX### now include the following:

  • TRIODE - UL Switching
  • SUBWOOFER OUT
  • RECORDING OUT
  • TAPE LOOP (Insert) with Bypass switch

    Select between 20 watts of seductive and ethereal TRIODE mode or 40 watts more powerful Ultra Linear output tube operation.

    Subwoofer OUT a line level output that is AFTER the volume control so your powered subwoofer follows the same volume as your main speakers. These are unbalanced RCA jacks, line level. They feed the line inputs of your subwoofer, NOT the speaker jacks.

    RECORD OUT (aka Tape OUT) is BEFORE the volume control so you can record whatever input you have selected without your listening level affecting the level going to your recorder. These are unbalanced RCA's. It is UNbalanced RCA's and UNbuffered so check out the input Z to your recorder to make sure it won't load down the Stingray main input while it is plugged in. Usually with unbuffered record outs we recommend you only plug in your recorder only when you are actually recording...

    Tape LOOP: Also known as an INSERT point, the SEND or Tape Out comes off the selector switch as the Record Out option does going to your outboard EQ or Merlin BAM unit or tape recorder and then the signal returns (RETURN) to the Stingray in front of of the volume control so you can play tunes. A toggle switch selects whether the Tape LOOP (and whatever is plugged into the Tape Loop) is active or the signal goes straight through the Stingray as normal. If you have the Merlin BAM system, order your Stingray with the Tape LOOP option.

    Need more than four inputs? Get a SKIPJACK line switcher and run it into this LOOP RETURN: The SKIPJACK is perfect for adding more inputs to anything. So if you use a SKIPJACK's 4 stereo inputs plus the Stingray's 4 stereo inputs you'll get 8 stereo inputs total. The way to do that is to consider the TAPE LOOP: you can bring the SKIPJACK output into the LOOP RETURN, enact the LOOP ACTIVE switch and use the 4 x SKIPJACK inputs feeding the LOOP RETURN with the SKIPJACK controlling source switching for those 4 inputs. Then if you put the Stingray's LOOP switch to BYPASS you will be working with the 4 x Stingray inputs selectable on the Stingray. That gives you 8 total stereo inputs as shown below.

    Or if you do not want to use the TAPE LOOP feature (because you are using it for other purposes) or if you have an older Stingray without the TAPE LOOP, you can use a SKIPJACK to get up to 7 stereo line inputs by running the SKIPJACK's output into one of the Stingray's inputs as shown below:

    NOTE: The SUBWOOFER OUT, RECORD OUT, and TAPE LOOP are all passive. So are the BALANCE and VOLUME controls also passive. No active electronics or buffers are used in these circuits. The RECORD OUT comes straight off the input select switch. So whatever source is selected will show up passed through at the TAPE OUT, regardless of whether or not the Stingray is on or off. The SUBWOOFER OUT will also produce signal when the Stingray is off, but you can turn down the volume control if you do not want tunes coming out of it when the unit is turned off.

    With the Stingray, the MANLEY team has struck a remarkably harmonious balance in design which satisfies the sonic desires of the audiophile and the rocker, the artist and the musician, the student and the master, the yin and the yang. We invite you to experience the stunning sonic quality and visual beauty of the Stingray personally.


    Get the owner's manual for the Manley Stingray®



    Features and Specifications
    Manley Stingray®

    • 4 x Stereo Line RCA Inputs
    • TRIODE - UL Switching
    • RECORDING OUT
    • SUBWOOFER OUT
    • TAPE LOOP (Insert) with Bypass switch
    • Passive Noble Volume and Balance Controls
    • All-Vacuum Tube Lo-feedback Stereo Integrated Design
    • Output Tubes: 8 x EL84 Ships with Russian NOS EL84M (aka 6Pi14Pi-EB) (We are out of Ei 6BQ5)
    • Driver Tubes: 2 x 6414 Ships with GE or RAYTHEON JAN NOS USA or 6414W
    • Input Tubes: 2 x 12AT7EH Ships with: 12AT7EH large plate Electro-Harmonix Russian

      USING OTHER TUBES: Read FAQ #16 !

    • Maximum Output Power UL mode: 40 Watts x 2 channels 1.5% THD @ 1kHz
    • Maximum Output Power TRIODE mode: 20 Watts x 2 channels
    • Frequency Response: 15 Hz - 40 kHz, -1dB
    • Gain: 37 dB at max Volume
    • Input Sensitivity: 185 mV in = 50 watts out into 5 Ohms
    • Input Sensitivity Triode: 66mV in = 1W into 8 Ohms
    • Input Sensitivity UL: 53mV in = 1W into 8 Ohms
    • S/N Ratio: typically 87 dB A-WGT, 20Hz-20KHz
    • Input Impedance: 50 kOhm nominal
    • Optimum Speaker Load: 5 Ohms
    • Actual Output Impedance at 20Hz: 2.8 Ohms at 100Hz: 2.6 Ohms at 1KHz: 2 Ohms
    • Damping Factor: 5
    • Scratch Factor: Use pennies under pointed feet to avoid marring cabinetry. Try quarters if you are in upper tax brackets. The bargain performer would be nickels. Paper currency does not function as well. Euro coins work 1.54 times better.
    • Power Consumption Idle: 200W
    • Maximum Power Consumption at Full Power: 370W
    • MAINS Fuses: 100~120VAC operation: MDL 3 AMP / 250 Volt SLO-BLO 220~240VAC operation: MDL 1.5 AMP / 250 Volt SLO-BLO
    • B+ FUSES (2): MDA 1/4 AMP, 250 Volt SLO-BLO, Ceramic. (Located internally)
    • Power Supply: is factory set for 100V, 120V or 220-240VAC operation for original destination country's mains voltage.
    • Operating Mains Voltage: changeable with power transformer re-wiring on PCB and fuse value change.
    • Mains Voltage Frequency:
    • Power Cord: Detachable IEC standard. Appropriate power cord supplied for destination country
    • Dimensions: W= 19", D=14", H= 5 1/2"
    • Shipping Weight: 30 lbs.

    Specifications subject to change because they just might.


    Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

  • Manley STINGRAY®: $2,250 clams (USD $)

    Available Options for upgrading older units, for serial codes MST###:

    • Triode/UL switching available upon request for $250 extra NET.
    • RECORD OUT aka Tape OUT available upon request for $175 extra NET.
    • Subwoofer OUT available upon request for $175 extra NET.
    • Tape LOOP option available for $200 NET

    Yes these are all mods for BOTH channels, and the prices are for BOTH channels. A La Carte pricing is for adding these features to older units. To book this for your Stingray, please contact our service department. 2005 models with serial codes MSTX### already include those options.

    NOT AVAILABLE OPTIONS!


    24K Gold Plated & Stainless Steel version: No more left!

    Gold plated anything is NOT available. The first 350 or so units produced 1998 through 2001 had a stainless steel chassis with gold plated faceplate. We have run out of these chassis, and we will never do this 24K Gold Plated thing again! So sorry.

    Balanced inputs are not available. It's a single-ended input topology and so to balance it we would have to add chips or transformers. There is no power supply for IC's available inside and no room to fit more transformers or XLR's so please take the RCA's with a kind heart!

    Remote control is not available. There is no more space left in the unit. We don't have any logic or low voltage logic power supplies in the Stingray. The volume control is an analog Noble pot. It is not motorised. And there is no space for a motor. The input switching is via analog switches. There are no relays in the Stingray. There is no space in this existing design to add remote control. Maybe someday we'll change the whole design of this thing, but for now, we can not "stick" a remote control system in there.

    And no we cannot cram a phono stage in there...


    TECH NOTES
    TECH NOTE 4/2007: "Using Russian EL84M/6Π14Π-EB in older Stingrays"

    Conditions: If you are retubing an older Stingray built before July 2006, carrying serial number below MSTx803, that originally shipped with Yugoslavian Ei EL84/6BQ5, and you cannot get the current draw high enough when trying to retube with Russian EL84M/6Π14Π-EB, we have an Adjustable Master Bias Board available to retrofit which will allow for more bias voltage swing or adjustability so that a wider range of tubes may be used.

    The Adjustable Master Bias Board is available from our Service Department to replace the 6K8 Master Bias Resistor located next to the right channel B+ fuse. The Adjustable Master Bias Board contains a 10K trimpot in parallel with a 10K resistor, in series with a 3K57 resistor. Installation instructions will be given by the service department when you order the board (if you are installing it yourself.) You need to be able to solder. If you do not work on your own amps, then you can book your Stingray with Paul in our Service Department to have this board installed for you.

    After installation: For Russian EL84M/6Π14Π-EB, set the Master Bias Trimpot to number 10 on its dial and check each tube to be sure it can bias up to 300mV reading on the bias points. (Some Russian EL84s are too low to work, and don't draw enough current by birth, so select another one that draws more current.) Reset all individual bias pots to get a bias voltage reading of 250mV on each test point.

    TECH NOTE: Regarding which tubes to use in the Stingray in reply to an email

    Q: Help! I lost an output tube! What to do? I have already ordered replacements. Or should I look for some NOS? What are the best tubes to use in my Stingray?

    You can temporarily sub in any output tube that works and biases up properly to keep ya going. When your complete sets arrive, stick with the batch sets. Even though there is adjustable bias for each tube, we have found best performance when all 8 output tubes are pre-batched and yes, of the same manufacture. The only way you should mix brands/types would be if you had equal opposing push-and-pull pairs installed. In the Stingray, tubes 1&2 are one phase and 3&4 are the other phase for that channel. On the other channel 5&6 work together and 7&8 work together on the other phase. In the case you had to mix brand/manufacture, like in an emergency situation, (or I guess you could play with this to see what happens) I would install one type in all the odd tubes and the other type in the even numbered output tubes. Ei's and the NOS EL84M - 6Pi14Pi-EB RUSSIAN tubes are similar in the general current draw operating parameter department.

    I have observed in my brief history with them that the JJ's (and the regular russian EL84 (not M)) generally require slightly more negative bias volts to hold them down in the Stingray unless you have gotten them preselected for similar current draw/negative bias volts to where the Ei or EL84M/6Pi14 types generally fall. So if you had changed/lowered the Master Bias Resistor for the JJ's you'll need to change it back for the Ei or NOS Russian EL84M. Or if you had lower current draw JJs and did not have to change out the MBR, then just rebias when you get the new tube sets in there.

    General concensus is the Ei's are (WERE) the best choice for the Stingray. The russian EL84M 6Pi14Pi-EB are strong tubes. We use those in the MAHIs. And since the Ei factory has been asleep for the last few years, the current production Stingrays also use the Russian EL84M tubes.

    As for currently manufactured 12AT7 types, the Ei has the most votes for best sound in that amp if you can find them. As for other NOS exotica, we cannot acquire enough GOOD NOS 12AT7s to base production on, (hated those mid-80's Philips and GE's) so a good guy like Kevin Deal at upscaleaudio.com is a super source for delivering interesting cool old tubes to play with for those who want to play with input tubes.

    The 6414 driver tubes we use ARE NOS. We seem to be running low on the giant batch GE or Raytheon's we have been using for over ten years and have now moved on to another huge batch of NOS 6414W GE we have in stock. Nobody has reported any sonic difference on this. I would just leave the driver tubes alone.

    --
    Cheers, EveAnna Manley

    EveAnna triumphantly displays her Stingray at CES 2002

    Luther Ward of the Lone Star Bottleheads sent in this lovely picture of his Stingray!

    Might as well put the walls to work too.
    Stingray chassis invading Elias's silk-screening area.

  • Awards

    1999 Golden Ear Award Winner
    2006: The French HIFI magazine Haute Fidelite gave the Manley Stingray its "Best Buy" recommendation.

    Manley Labs Stingray
    Dick Olsher's
    Integrated Amplifier of the Year

    Reviews
    Word on the Street