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Musicman Stingrays - Overrated ?

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I owned one and didn't like it - the G string got completely lost in any mix. I'm led to believe this is a persistent issue with 'rays and probably part of the reason you see so many used ones for sale. I think there's a way to correctly use the EQ to counter this - isn't the Bass control boost only, but the mid and treble are cut/boost?

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2 hours ago, acidbass said:

I owned one and didn't like it - the G string got completely lost in any mix. I'm led to believe this is a persistent issue with 'rays

Are you saying you walked out into the audience and heard this effect or are you relying on the sound on the stage 2 or 3 ft in front of your amp and speakers? If the latter, that's a common issue with bass guitars generally and particularly in a loud stage mix.

I would very much doubt it was lost in the front of house mix. 

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10 hours ago, drTStingray said:

Are you saying you walked out into the audience and heard this effect or are you relying on the sound on the stage 2 or 3 ft in front of your amp and speakers? If the latter, that's a common issue with bass guitars generally and particularly in a loud stage mix.

I would very much doubt it was lost in the front of house mix. 

I've owned 3 stingrays over the years (a 2 band,a 3 band & a classic ) & all of them had a weak G string which no amount of eq or setup work could fix,including a Nordstrand pickup.

I never ever had that problem with any other bass I've owned in the last 40 years,it's no myth the 4 string single pickup stingrays do have a weak G string issue.

 

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50 minutes ago, artisan said:

I've owned 3 stingrays over the years (a 2 band,a 3 band & a classic ) & all of them had a weak G string which no amount of eq or setup work could fix,including a Nordstrand pickup.

I never ever had that problem with any other bass I've owned in the last 40 years,it's no myth the 4 string single pickup stingrays do have a weak G string issue.

 

I did have a weak G, not really weak but enough to bug me, I used to notice it especially in the intro to californication for v some reason.  I don't think anyone else ever noticed.  However EBMM changed their setup guide a while ago, so now you drop the E side to the pickguard and leave the G side close. Now it's fine but I don't like looking at the angle on the pickup!

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1 hour ago, No. 8 Wire said:

I did have a weak G, not really weak but enough to bug me, I used to notice it especially in the intro to californication for v some reason.  I don't think anyone else ever noticed.  However EBMM changed their setup guide a while ago, so now you drop the E side to the pickguard and leave the G side close. Now it's fine but I don't like looking at the angle on the pickup!

I tried that with all of mine but to no avail unfortunately.

My classic was a beautiful instrument but the G string was inaudible when played in a full band setting which drove me nuts,my band mates noticed it too.

Don't have this problem with any other bass.

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46 minutes ago, artisan said:

I tried that with all of mine but to no avail unfortunately.

My classic was a beautiful instrument but the G string was inaudible when played in a full band setting which drove me nuts,my band mates noticed it too.

Don't have this problem with any other bass.

Can't argue with experience - maybe they should be tuned B-D 😀

I remember when I was looking at this problem a few years ago now, mostly there were just the usual hardcore fans denying this problem existed.  Even the EBMM site was full of posts saying this was a myth (inc Mr B as I recall) and even getting abusive to anyone who asked for some help with the problem.  Lo and behold I noticed a year or later they changed their official setup guide from about 1mm height difference on each side of the pickup to drop the E to the pickguard!  Only took 30 years to admit the problem.

This youtube channel explains a fix I've have heard of a lot. Haven't needed to change the pole piece heights on mine, but its worth considering.  I guess if it just gets lost in the mix, this isn't going to fix it, but that's never been an issue for me.

 

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If it's not the weak G string issue which has been around for years its the amateur bridge saddles that they fit on their top end basses. There is a definite shortage of quality when it comes to EB Basses.

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25 minutes ago, No. 8 Wire said:

Can't argue with experience - maybe they should be tuned B-D 😀

I remember when I was looking at this problem a few years ago now, mostly there were just the usual hardcore fans denying this problem existed.  Even the EBMM site was full of posts saying this was a myth (inc Mr B as I recall) and even getting abusive to anyone who asked for some help with the problem.  Lo and behold I noticed a year or later they changed their official setup guide from about 1mm height difference on each side of the pickup to drop the E to the pickguard!  Only took 30 years to admit the problem.

This youtube channel explains a fix I've have heard of a lot. Haven't needed to change the pole piece heights on mine, but its worth considering.  I guess if it just gets lost in the mix, this isn't going to fix it, but that's never been an issue for me.

 

I did adjust the height of the pole pieces on my classic but even that made no difference unfortunately,it was a black with birds eye maple neck,absolutely gorgeous but the weak G meant it  had to go.

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3 hours ago, RedVee said:

If it's not the weak G string issue which has been around for years its the amateur bridge saddles that they fit on their top end basses. There is a definite shortage of quality when it comes to EB Basses.

I've never had or heard of any issues with the saddles?

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4 hours ago, No. 8 Wire said:

 

I remember when I was looking at this problem a few years ago now, mostly there were just the usual hardcore fans denying this problem existed.  Even the EBMM site was full of posts saying this was a myth (inc Mr B as I recall) and even getting abusive to anyone who asked for some help with the problem.  Lo and behold I noticed a year or later they changed their official setup guide from about 1mm height difference on each side of the pickup to drop the E to the pickguard!  Only took 30 years to admit the problem.

 

 

In one of the promo videos for the new Specials one of Sterling Ball’s sons talks about fixing the issues with the A and G string. I’ve never heard of the A string issue before though. 

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13 minutes ago, Chiliwailer said:

In one of the promo videos for the new Specials one of Sterling Ball’s sons talks about fixing the issues with the A and G string. I’ve never heard of the A string issue before though. 

I vaguely remember that video too.  Never heard of nor experienced the A string issue.  The saddle one above is a new one on me.  I've always thought the bridge was a strong point. Never had a hardware problem at all and my bass is 22 years old (I've had it for 14).

Really interesting that the Balls admit to those issues only once they have a new model to sell.....

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I think the saddle issue is about the hollow ones, which as well as being on the Specials have been on the Classics. Or so I read on TB. Some guys on TB are also getting longer screws for the A&D string on the Special to get a crazy low action. 

Edited by Chiliwailer
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It is not always crazy low action as you say, its just low action which you can get on any Bass. And the only way to correct it is to add a shim which you should not have to do on a Bass that costs so much and is supposed to be the upmost in quality. The saddles are the problem here as previously mentioned. This is a big negative and a poor showing by Ernie Ball.

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Some years ago I solved my weak G string issue by pushing the pole pieces in so they were flush with the pick up. The G string gap is 3.5mm and the E string gap is 5.5mm. Made a massive difference for me.

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These negative threads do amaze me. Several things Spring to mind:-

1) I'm guessing virtually no one in this thread has played an 18 volt neo pick up version? Try that before you moan. 

2) I use them more or less exclusively and have none of these problems. I don't think I'm just lucky across the number of basses I own - they are all set up correctly however (based on factory recommedation)

3) If you don't like them why don't you just go and play something else and stop moaning - not every bass suits everyone - I went off Precisions in the 70s and nothing has changed my mind since - my initial annoyance  was caused by hearing them disappear in front of house mixes or sounding very unrefined - I think they're actually grossly overrated unless you're playing music with a 60s vibe - do I start threads bemoaning them - no. 

4) I'm pretty sure that some people who berate these basses have other axes to grind - and probably poor home or after market set ups or string choices on their basses. Get a good set up from someone who doesn't think everything has to be set up as a Fender. 

5) Other people have played my Stingray Classic - normally they sound great but one in particular sounded awful - the only difference was the player's skill and style. (Limited or agricultural I'd describe it). 

6) Listen to recordings with a Stingray (eg Ed Friedland) - the sound balance across strings is fine - is he lucky or just skilled? 

7) If you really want to lose upper string sound on stage try playing an upright in a large band or a Fender Jazz with loud rythmn guitarist and left hand piano. 

I would wager everyone talking about string balance is not talking about front of house but directly in front of back line on a loud stage - probably rock music. And we haven't even talked about EQ settings - another area where some people get very confused!! (And turn everything up full)

Edited by drTStingray
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3 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

These negative threads do amaze me. Several things Spring to mind:-

1) I'm guessing virtually no one in this thread has played an 18 volt neo pick up version? Try that before you moan. 

2) I use them more or less exclusively and have none of these problems. I don't think I'm just lucky across the number of basses I own - they are all set up correctly however (based on factory recommedation)

3) If you don't like them why don't you just go and play something else and stop moaning - not every bass suits everyone - I went off Precisions in the 70s and nothing has changed my mind since - I think they're actually grossly overrated unless you're playing music with a 60s vibe - do I start threads bemoaning them - no. 

4) I'm pretty sure that some people Bemoaning these basses have other axes to grind - and probably poor home or after market set ups or string choices on their basses. 

5) Other people have played my Stingray Classic - normally they sound great but one in particular sounded awful - the only difference was the player's skill and style. (Limited or agricultural I'd describe it). 

6) Listen to recordings with a Stingray (eg Ed Friedland) - the sound balance across strings is fine. 

7) If you really want to lose upper string sound on stage try playing an upright in a large band or a Fender Jazz with loud rythmn guitarist and left hand piano. 

I would wager everyone talking about string balance is not talking about front of house but directly in front of back line on a loud stage - probably rock music. 

The title of this thread is "Musicman Stingray's Overated".............So obviously you are going to get positives and negatives on the subject which you will just have to accept. The points that have been raised are true so I cannot understand why you are getting worked up so much.

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11 minutes ago, RedVee said:

The title of this thread is "Musicman Stingray's Overated".............So obviously you are going to get positives and negatives on the subject which you will just have to accept. The points that have been raised are true so I cannot understand why you are getting worked up so much.

I'm not worked up. Just don't like such negativity. If you haven't tried a new one then you haven't lived to be honest. 

There have always been people with complaints about Stingrays - some of it is a boring rehash of oft debated subjects. 

For every moaned about EBMM bass I generally find about 15 with the opposite view. We just have to agree to differ. 

Many are saying the latest versions are the closest to boutique quality you can get in a production bass - I have bought two and I concur with that view. They are stunning - which is probably why they're selling so many 👍

Edited by drTStingray

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11 hours ago, No. 8 Wire said:

I did have a weak G, not really weak but enough to bug me, I used to notice it especially in the intro to californication for v some reason.  I don't think anyone else ever noticed.

*Sid James laugh*...

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20 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

I'm not worked up. Just don't like such negativity. If you haven't tried a new one then you haven't lived to be honest. 

There have always been people with complaints about Stingrays - some of it is a boring rehash of oft debated subjects. 

For every moaned about EBMM bass I generally find about 15 with the opposite view. We just have to agree to differ. 

Many are saying the latest versions are the closest to boutique quality you can get in a production bass - I have bought two and I concur with that view. They are stunning - which is probably why they're selling so many 👍

That is just hard luck.........Next you will be saying that they are Flawless LOL.

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15 minutes ago, RedVee said:

That is just hard luck.........Next you will be saying that they are Flawless LOL.

I doubt it. They're pretty good though but I doubt you have played one (of the 2018 models) hence me coming to a certain conclusion. If you do and still have complaints then fair enough.

Going back to the Scott Ball comment, I think he said he didn't expect people would find issues with the balance of the G string sound on the 2018 model - presumably the pre amp voicing, 18 volt electronics and neo pick ups see to that. There are a lot of detailed differences so you have to try one to pick up all the nuances - for me the new necks are the best I've ever encountered on a bass - the finish on the roasted maple really makes for a tactile and very playable feel. Mine have ebony fretboards so also look great. 

 

Edited by drTStingray

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I have at the moment 2 sterling subs, the cheap ones, £325 or cheaper. They are 2 eq and I can't really find fault with them.

I did think the G was weak but when I asked the "deck tech" he said it was fine, it's your ears that's the problem and he's probably right as I am a bit deef in my left ear so I don't worry about it now.

I bought a Real Stingray 2eq in about 2008 and sold it on here about 3 years later and have been trying to get it back ever since. But these SUB's are almost as good imo. I've been a Precision man now for quite a while but I'n finding the stretch between frets is an issue because my hands are arthritic.

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11 hours ago, No. 8 Wire said:

Really interesting that the Balls admit to those issues only once they have a new model to sell.....

Like I tell my staff, don't bring me a problem without a proposed solution!

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