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JJTee

Which after-market Stingray pick-up and pre-amp for the pre-EB sound?

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Hi all

Looking for opinions on which after-marker Stingray pick-up and 2-band pre-amp combination gets closest to the classic pre-Ernie Ball Stingray sound.  I've seen that Nordstand and Seymour Duncan both have after-market pickups modelled on early the early Stingray pickup.  And John East and Retrovibe both produce circuits based on the original early circuit.  Are there any other options?  Looking for that Bernard Edwards sound! (without his talent, obviously)

Has the dream-combination been discovered?!  Are they pretty similar?  All views gratefully received!

Thanks

JJT

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Bernard Edwards got his sound from thick, dead strings.  If you want to make your bass sound less lively, put something in the neck joint, like some paper, to decouple it from the body a little and get some old 45-105's.
 

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Thanks for this. Pretty sure it was the original flatwounds on his bass. Interested to know if anyone has replaced a post-EB pickup/preamp to get that older, supposedly more organic sound?

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He had rounds on his basses but he never changed them.  Forget about the mythology around electronics - for bass it doesn't really matter.  It's the construction which makes the biggest difference.  Think structural.

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13 hours ago, JJTee said:

Thanks for this. Pretty sure it was the original flatwounds on his bass. Interested to know if anyone has replaced a post-EB pickup/preamp to get that older, supposedly more organic sound?

 

What bass do you have?

The 2EQ preamp post-EB may have changed slightly a couple of times, but not enough to make the bass sound substantially different. Pickup? Same thing.

If you have a 2EQ Stingray, you already have the tools. If you have a 3EQ, it's different but you can still get that kind of sound. 

If you have any of the multiple 'copies' of the Stingray, some get you much closer than others, but you can always get in the ballpark of THAT sound with the right combination of strings/technique/settings. Even the old OLP basses I used to have could get that vibe even if they weren't exactly the same sound. On those, sometimes a new pickup helps. The Nordstrand MM4.2 is probably the closest I've tried to an original Stingray pickup. The Seymour Duncan SMB4A is a favourite of mine, but it has a different kind of sound, a bit more... 'airy' and powerful. I love it, but it's not exactly the 'classic' sound. There are lots of Stingray 2EQ preamp clones out there that even if they don't work exactly the same, they'll allow you to tweak the basic sound well enough. A Stingray with the preamp bypassed already has an unmistakeable Stingray sound. The preamp is just the cherry on top to give you access easily to other "Stingray sounds".

What bass are you using right now?

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On 17 July 2019 at 06:40, Kiwi said:

He had rounds on his basses but he never changed them.  Forget about the mythology around electronics - for bass it doesn't really matter.  It's the construction which makes the biggest difference.  Think structural.

Are you sure - I was led to believe Stingrays shipped with flats originally (GHS) but changed around 1978 - BE's Stingray is a '77 (fairly early '77 judging by the serial number John Taylor quoted in an interview). The other reason for querying, wherever BE popped the strings on 70s recordings (think We Are Family choruses) he got a certain sound - which I've never been able to replicate with a Stingray with rounds - until I tried it with a Classic 2 band with flats - hey presto, the exact sound. 

The rest of what you said is fine with me - but the electronics package and the rest (including the player and playing style) all contribute.

In regards to the original post, McNach has covered it - note also Agullar do a good version of the pick up and 2 band pre amp. 

If you use a 3 band MM preamp (pre 2018 version) note that the 4 string version of the bass needs the mid range rolled off a lot to get towards the 2 band sound - depending on your playing style you should get in the right ball park. 

 

Edited by drTStingray
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What you want to do would be considered vandalism with some Musicman fans.

A lot of what you hear is down to the player, and the particular way he plays. 

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Build your own preamp, use the Tantalium caps like the early ones and it will get quite close. Mine can’t have cost more than £10

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I've had Nordstrand MM4.2 and Aguilar AG4M. Used Nordy with John East 3 band preamp and with an original Stingray 2 band preamp. It has a nice, warm tone, but a bit too tame for my taste. You lose the big Stingray lows and get low mids instead, and it doesn't quite do it for me IMO. I preferred the Aguilar AG4M to it, sounded great with the original Stingray 2 band preamp. Nordy worked better with John East than the original 2 band preamp for me too, thanks to the sweepable mids where I could pinpoint the frequencies of the pickup and boost/cut how I'd need (usually boosting a bit of low mids).

I now how a 2 bander and a 90s 3 bander, stock pups and preamps. Definitely prefer them stock, but if I had to pick an aftermarket pickup, I'd probably go Aguilar AG4M.

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Very interesting stuff to ponder chaps. It was for a bitsa/DIY project I was planning, rather than fiddling with an existing Stingray. From more research, looks like the 2-band/3-band choice is probably more important, with 2-band being the pre-EB sound. Something about the extra resistor across the input in the 3-band creating the 3kHz resonance and ‘click’ to that preamps sound?

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I used to play " We Are Family" 5 times a week when I had only a Gibson RD Artist bass. I didn't sound like the record for sure ! How would Ox play it ? That sound seems so studio-compressed when he poped the strings. (Chic, that is ) Didn't Bernard  crank the e.q. mostly full-on ?

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