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NBD: MusicMan SUB USA

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I'm pretty sure my 2003 Sub 5 is parallel. I asked EBMM about these basses and they said they were all issued as parallel, and indeed that's also quoted on Musicmanbass.global also. I'm not sure about the US Sterlimg Sub but that didn't appear till 2004 - the Classic Sterling certainly had a 3 band EQ and series wiring. Maybe people modified these basses? Or maybe some got out with SR5 wiring. The SR5 is actually quite diffetent as it has a phantom coil for use in single coil mode. 

My guess is the sound derives from a combination of the body  wood (poplar) and the fact they have rosewood boards (unless fretless) and the 2 band preamp.

I have an SR5 which has a series setting, which does not produce the classic Stingray sound in that setting (when set in parallel it does). 

The 3 band preamp has two key differences - the mid range control (you need to cut it significantly to achieve the 2 band sound), and the bass control has a filter which cuts some of the boomier frequencies - so the 2 band has more apparent 'bass'. However as @ped says, running the 2 band with the controls set around the centre of travel gives a more balanced sound - I tend to use mine with the bass up towards full and the treble backed off towards centre then adjust occasionally if I need more mids for a specific song. The original manuals advised not using full volume as well - I must admit I've not really experimented with that and tend to play with the volume up - must check out the difference at stage volume if we ever gig again 😕

Edited by drTStingray

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8 hours ago, drTStingray said:

I'm pretty sure my 2003 Sub 5 is parallel. I asked EBMM about these basses and they said they were all issued as parallel, and indeed that's also quoted on Musicmanbass.global also. I'm not sure about the US Sterlimg Sub but that didn't appear till 2004 - the Classic Sterling certainly had a 3 band EQ and series wiring. Maybe people modified these basses? Or maybe some got out with SR5 wiring. The SR5 is actually quite diffetent as it has a phantom coil for use in single coil mode. 

 

 

The 5 string SUB seemed to be always parallel, indeed, it's only the 4-string ones that seem to be series initially. Stock, unmodified, series wiring from factory.

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11 hours ago, drTStingray said:

I'm pretty sure my 2003 Sub 5 is parallel. I asked EBMM about these basses and they said they were all issued as parallel, and indeed that's also quoted on Musicmanbass.global also. I'm not sure about the US Sterlimg Sub but that didn't appear till 2004 - the Classic Sterling certainly had a 3 band EQ and series wiring.

I had a 2004 US Sterling Sub and it was definitely wired in series.  I had the chance to compare it with a US 2013 Sterling and the sound was pretty much like the series setting; lots of punch. It didn't have the top end of the 2013 though so I'm assuming it had alnico rather than ceramic pups.

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I have a 5 string SUB arriving tomorrow. It has a Seymour Duncan Alnico pickup and Nordstrand Pre installed and is already strung with D'Addario Chrome flats. I just fancied trying one. If I like it I will likely strip the paint off (all black) and go natural with a tort plate or get all blingy and go metal flake blue with a white plate like this https://www.talkbass.com/threads/mm-bongo-hh-5-marty-bell-refinish-gorgeous.1369256/

 

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36 minutes ago, owen said:

I have a 5 string SUB arriving tomorrow. It has a Seymour Duncan Alnico pickup and Nordstrand Pre installed and is already strung with D'Addario Chrome flats. I just fancied trying one. If I like it I will likely strip the paint off (all black) and go natural with a tort plate or get all blingy and go metal flake blue with a white plate like this https://www.talkbass.com/threads/mm-bongo-hh-5-marty-bell-refinish-gorgeous.1369256/

 

Sounds great! Seem to remember reading somewhere that the solid colours on MM stuff often hid their less aesthetic body wood though, as they saved the prettier bits for the natural finishes so good you have an option if this is the case.

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50 minutes ago, owen said:

I have a 5 string SUB arriving tomorrow. It has a Seymour Duncan Alnico pickup and Nordstrand Pre installed and is already strung with D'Addario Chrome flats. I just fancied trying one. If I like it I will likely strip the paint off (all black) and go natural with a tort plate or get all blingy and go metal flake blue with a white plate like this https://www.talkbass.com/threads/mm-bongo-hh-5-marty-bell-refinish-gorgeous.1369256/

 

 

If this is the USA SUB the natural finish may not work well, bodies tend to be made of several pieces and not well matched aesthetically. I've seen a couple done, and one looked decent but the other was quite ugly and they ended up refinishing in a solid colour. Unfortunately there's no way to know until you strip it.

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Nothing a metal flake blue with matching headstock would not sort out :)

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Obviously I reserve the right to do absolutely nothing with it in the same way as all my other incredible GAS ideas wither and die.

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20 hours ago, owen said:

Obviously I reserve the right to do absolutely nothing with it in the same way as all my other incredible GAS ideas wither and die.

 

That's a familiar feeling :D

 

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I wish the USA Stingray SUBs had Jazz width nuts. It would have saved me buying a cheap Sub Ray4 and upgrading it. 

That said, the Ray4 with an Aguilar M4 pickup and soon-to-arrive John East MMSR 2 band should sound pretty authentic...

I did wonder about buying a USA SUB a while back and getting the neck altered, but it was prohibitively expensive/awkward; the Ray4 upgrade was a much easier prospect. 

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1 hour ago, funkle said:

I wish the USA Stingray SUBs had Jazz width nuts. It would have saved me buying a cheap Sub Ray4 and upgrading it. 

That said, the Ray4 with an Aguilar M4 pickup and soon-to-arrive John East MMSR 2 band should sound pretty authentic...

I did wonder about buying a USA SUB a while back and getting the neck altered, but it was prohibitively expensive/awkward; the Ray4 upgrade was a much easier prospect. 

This is my plan, might do a mint o ray like low end lobster on youtube!! now if only I knew how to solder.......

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2 hours ago, funkle said:

I wish the USA Stingray SUBs had Jazz width nuts. It would have saved me buying a cheap Sub Ray4 and upgrading it. 

That said, the Ray4 with an Aguilar M4 pickup and soon-to-arrive John East MMSR 2 band should sound pretty authentic...

I did wonder about buying a USA SUB a while back and getting the neck altered, but it was prohibitively expensive/awkward; the Ray4 upgrade was a much easier prospect. 

 

While the USA SUB is without question the better instrument, the SBMM SUB Ray4 ones are not bad at all. I always value playability first... so I like your approach, plus you get a much nicer bass to look at (sure, looks are secondary but they matter too). Your Ray4 will be a real beast, in the best possible way, you've chosen very good components IMO :)

 

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You’re very kind. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I love the Ray4 as it is - especially since it had a proper fret job and bone but, it’s just so sweet to play now. Light too. I think the Ray4 is a tremendous bang for the buck. 

Low End Lobster did an absolutely brilliant set of videos that I’ve mentioned before - but one thing that is absolutely clear to me from these is that a good pickup in the correct location gets you 95% of the way to the right tone; the EQ takes you the rest of the small distance that is needed. I haven’t seen another bass where I think the body wood matters less. Perhaps the maple vs rosewood debate applies here as well, I do think maple adds something at the top end, but really, those videos show very well that Stingray tone is hugely centred in the pickup/location. 

Cost of bass and mods becomes an issue when comparing my project to a USA SUB. I would recommend other people simply buy the USA SUB if the nut width is not an issue....By the time I’m done I will have spent £600 in total on buying my bass, fettling it, and modding pickups and preamp; obviously the resale value will never approach that. So buying a USA one is way smarter if it suits playability wise. 

Edited by funkle
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4 hours ago, funkle said:

I wish the USA Stingray SUBs had Jazz width nuts. It would have saved me buying a cheap Sub Ray4 and upgrading it. 

That said, the Ray4 with an Aguilar M4 pickup and soon-to-arrive John East MMSR 2 band should sound pretty authentic...

I did wonder about buying a USA SUB a while back and getting the neck altered, but it was prohibitively expensive/awkward; the Ray4 upgrade was a much easier prospect. 

If you can get the US Sterling SUB pick one up; it's basically a 3EQ US Stingray SUB with the same pickup and a Jazz neck.

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1 hour ago, martthebass said:

If you can get the US Sterling SUB pick one up; it's basically a 3EQ US Stingray SUB with the same pickup and a Jazz neck.

I’ve owned 2 EBMM Sterling HHs with the 3 band EQ, in the past. I previously owned an SBMM SB14 7-8 years ago as well. The problem I had was the Sterling body was too small for me! I loved their aggressiveness but could never get my right arm to rest where I wanted it to for stable right hand technique. So I sold them. 

I’ve had some lovely Stingrays in the past too; the issue then was my technique wasn’t great and I never could get sounds out of them I liked. In retrospect I probably prefer the 2 band EQ to 3 band as well. So the Ray4 project was, for me, now that I’ve developed better technique, a cheap way to get the Stingray sound, plus the Jazz width nut/comfort. 

@owen the only way to get a Stingray with a Jazz width nut rather than a Precision type width is to order a USA SLO Special Stingray. £££. None of the SBMM models have 1.5” nut width either EXCEPT for the Ray4. 

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2 hours ago, owen said:

Tell me about the USA SUB nut width thing?

It has a Precision sized nut, not a Jazz nut like the Sterling Sub.

Suits me fine, but not others.

Edited by BreadBin
Sperlung
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Everyday is a school day. Just as well my incoming one is a 5 then. I do not get on with Presicion nuts.

I thought I did until I realised that the 73P bitsa I own actually has a J nut.

Edited by owen
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You’re in great luck. The 5 string Stingray neck is my personal favourite every respect. Nut width, string spacing as it progresses up the neck, depth...it’s the ideal IMO

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2 hours ago, funkle said:

I’ve owned 2 EBMM Sterling HHs with the 3 band EQ, in the past.

@owen the only way to get a Stingray with a Jazz width nut rather than a Precision type width is to order a USA SLO Special Stingray. £££. None of the SBMM models have 1.5” nut width either EXCEPT for the Ray4. 

I own a USA  EBMM Sterling (late 90s when they first appeared) , single Pup, 3 band EQ, maple neck ash body and the neck is Jazz width and very skinny. The 3 position switch gives, series,  single ( with phantom coil ) and parallel. So the basic Stingray sound is easily dialled in but with the addition of a much broader range of pleasing tones. I have Fender Flats on it and is a very versatile,  easy to use bass. Best of luck with your project, I'm sure will achieve a bass that's very special.  

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And there we have it. It feels really nice. It does the flats thing nicely. It stinks of fags. I had forgotten that people smoke. I guess it will have to sit in the garage for a couple of weeks. Eugh.

I guess I will have to price up a metal flake finish now. That will sort out the smell!

16107115192408393140472646723222.jpg

Edited by owen
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Classic. I am now humming and hahing between metal flake blue or a nice lightly reliced sea foam green. 1st world problems. 

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15 minutes ago, owen said:

Classic. I am now humming and hahing between metal flake blue or a nice lightly reliced sea foam green. 1st world problems. 

Either colour would suit that lovely thing.

Frank.

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1 minute ago, machinehead said:

Either colour would suit that lovely thing.

Frank.

That is the problem.

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56 minutes ago, owen said:

Classic. I am now humming and hahing between metal flake blue or a nice lightly reliced sea foam green. 1st world problems. 

The metal flake idea is brilliant! Goes with the RHCP link and craziness of these SUB. basses. I’d love to do the same to a SUB Sterling but would be torn between blue and silver.

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