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ebenezer

musicman stingray...weak G...

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Posted (edited)

Whether pole alignment causes any difference depends to some degree on how close the pickup is to the strings. If the pickup is set lower, the magnetic field is weaker but more evenly spread. If the pickup is closer to the strings, the magnetic field is more concentrated and any string to string differences are magnified. Lowering the pickup can sometimes be a better solution for overall string-to-string balance issues rather than raising it.

Edited by ikay
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Posted (edited)

Well on the basis of some people's view on here, my Old Smoothie would be a silent bass 😂😂😂 because the strings go between the pole pieces.

image.thumb.jpeg.c344daa2ab89f4ab2a943619f4d31ada.jpeg

It most certainly isn't and is a slightly smoother sounding Stingray. This completely anhialates the pole pieces theory and the posting earlier in the thread of the 2 band frequency charts at different EQ settings explains why some people's G string prominence lowers. It is often down to EQ setting. If you're playing a 3 band Stingray, you can just turn the mid range up to avoid that issue, or boost your mid range on your amp a little if you're using a 2 band.

The worst problem I have ever had hearing the G string (indeed quite a lot of the bass) was a Fender Jazz through a Hartke combo with a very loud drummer and guitarist playing crunchy rock. The audience didn't seem to have the same issue. 

This is another factor - what frequencies other instruments are filling - play in a band with a heavily left handed keyboard player or a guitarist playing low end rythmn guitar and you may have a problem hearing certain frequencies of your bass as well - but remember this is 5 ft or 10 ft in front of your rig - FOH will sound very different even if you aren't through the PA. 

The pole piece alignment change applies to the neck pick up on dual pick up Stingrays, and is probably more an aesthetic change. I haven't seen any difference on the bridge pick up. However the pick up covers on the Special are different from the pre mid 2018 version and the new ones have neo pick up magnets. 

image.thumb.jpeg.b9d618ff2cb8eac5b34612f6f0001d15.jpeg

 

 

Edited by drTStingray
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I've had a fair few Rays and 3 Sterlings and I was only adversely affected with the weak G on one of the Sterlings.  That said it was in a live situation and a comment from an audience member and EBMM owner who think was looking for it.  Can't say I'd noticed it when playing and listening through the back line.  Changed the strings to status half-rounds and never had a comment again.  

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A little bit off on the E and G as it turns out (never noticed before), but certainly doesn't affect the tone or volume across the strings......😎👍

IMG_20200817_140543.jpg

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1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

Well on the basis of some people's view on here, my Old Smoothie would be a silent bass 😂😂😂 because the strings go between the pole pieces.

image.thumb.jpeg.c344daa2ab89f4ab2a943619f4d31ada.jpeg

It most certainly isn't and is a slightly smoother sounding Stingray. This completely anhialates the pole pieces theory and the posting earlier in the thread of the 2 band frequency charts at different EQ settings explains why some people's G string prominence lowers. It is often down to EQ setting. If you're playing a 3 band Stingray, you can just turn the mid range up to avoid that issue, or boost your mid range on your amp a little if you're using a 2 band.

The worst problem I have ever had hearing the G string (indeed quite a lot of the bass) was a Fender Jazz through a Hartke combo with a very loud drummer and guitarist playing crunchy rock. The audience didn't seem to have the same issue. 

This is another factor - what frequencies other instruments are filling - play in a band with a heavily left handed keyboard player or a guitarist playing low end rythmn guitar and you may have a problem hearing certain frequencies of your bass as well - but remember this is 5 ft or 10 ft in front of your rig - FOH will sound very different even if you aren't through the PA. 

The pole piece alignment change applies to the neck pick up on dual pick up Stingrays, and is probably more an aesthetic change. I haven't seen any difference on the bridge pick up. However the pick up covers on the Special are different from the pre mid 2018 version and the new ones have neo pick up magnets. 

image.thumb.jpeg.b9d618ff2cb8eac5b34612f6f0001d15.jpeg

 

 

Bloody good point regarding the Ol' Smoothie pup! 👏

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1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

Well on the basis of some people's view on here, my Old Smoothie would be a silent bass 😂😂😂 because the strings go between the pole pieces.

Although I disagree with the slightly offset brigade, I didn't see that anyone has said that if the strings go off the pole pieces they go silent! :D

1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

It most certainly isn't and is a slightly smoother sounding Stingray. This completely anhialates the pole pieces theory and the posting earlier in the thread of the 2 band frequency charts at different EQ settings explains why some people's G string prominence lowers.

It really doesn't. They are saying that if one of the strings is off the polepieces it will be quieter than the ones over the polepieces. Yours has all of them equally off the polepieces (the same as many fender basses), so they will all be of equal volume.

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Posted (edited)

The first 20 secs or so of this vid (not mine) demonstrates how vol/tone varies with strings directly over or between the polepieces. Smoother and slightly less volume between the poles (hence Old Smoothie), more focused and more volume when over the poles. When he pulls the pickup across the strings at 16secs it's clearer to hear.

 

Edited by ikay
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3 hours ago, acidbass said:

For me, the change is the way the string vibrates.  If it's positioned directly over an exposed pole piece, there is surely a certain amount of magnetic pull, whereas if it's off centre (or in the case of J and P basses, not over a pole piece at all), the pull will be less.  I'm no engineer, but this could certainly affect sustain or tone.

 

I hear that, and understand why you say it... I just don't hear any effect when I try to move the strings off centre until I am very far off, that's all.

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1 hour ago, miles'tone said:

Bloody good point regarding the Ol' Smoothie pup! 👏

 

Only if one string were between poles and the others were on the poles, surely ;) Having all between the poles doesn't really tell you that there's a difference between aligned and not aligned strings over the poles.

(not that it worries me, but if that's the point they're trying to make, this does not address it)

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Below is a copy of page 4 of the 1978 hang-tag manual the factory attached to new Pre-EB Sting Ray Basses. It describes how to adjust tone controls (and in particular the bass control) to avoid the loss of mid-frequencies. This would also apply to the Ernie Ball 2EQ (9 volt) Sting Ray preamp today as the preamp circuit is virtually the same as it was from 1978 onwards.  

cache_5896618.jpg?t=1537324894

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On 15/08/2020 at 16:03, ebenezer said:

Just for information, I myself dislike a mid-scooped tone... I like things mid present and rarely boost the bass much above flat, so the weak g is not down to the way I eq the bass.

+1 as thats the way that I like to set up a Ray. Cuts though lovely without too much the pic or finger noise, although there is a place for that as well.

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On 17/08/2020 at 11:11, acidbass said:

Why can't they change the string spacing on the pickup pole pieces, if this has been an issue since the 70s?  Seems the design can be improved upon.

They did it on new Special StingRay model...finally.

I had the same problem, tried everything, and finally sold the 2012 StingRay.

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Posted (edited)

I have a number of Stingrays from a range of eras and have never had any of these problems - i know many people who have the same experience and seemingly those bass heroes who turned me on to playing them didn't either. I seriously don't think I've just been lucky. Certain amp types do seem to have naturally scooped sounds and need different treatment. I'm not going to name them here but one type seems a particular problem. Maybe my playing is in synch with these basses as I've been playing them since about 1980. Maybe it's a combination of that with the set up and EQ?

Interestingly I played my 4HH Stingray Special at an outdoor gig on Saturday night and guess what - the bass sound (for me) disappeared for one entire song and most particularly the D and G string. The drummer was playing tom toms only on that song - and yes you guessed it that was cancelling part of the bass (and other instruments) from where I was standing, as the ambient sound of the drums at that point were louder at source. The same can happen with crunchy guitar (with any bass). The audience were able to hear it all mixed fine. 

My conclusion on this matter, and based on evidence (recordings, the EQ and frequency charts) etc etc is  this is not an issue with the bass but to do with player choices and combinations they create and the people who have described their issue have been given more than ample advice to overcome it. If they still don't like it there's a simple answer - sell your bass and buy something you like but please stop moaning about 'design errors'. 

This is a bit like saying BMW cars spin if you accelerate too hard through a bend or exit from a roundabout - well of course they do - its the laws of physics, a reasonably lightweight car with rear wheel drive and high power - but it's the way the car is being driven - basically fundamental operator error 😂👍

I have a particular problem playing a Precision - not only is the sound woolly and not as focussed as I'd like - I also get chronic blisters as I have to play harder to get the sound anything like focussed (I'm not talking volume - I'm talking attack - thump or whatever you wish to call it. My choice is to play basses I think suit my requirements better but I'm certainly not going to start raising bass forum threads on how to overcome design errors with a Precision bass (which are problems I encounter based on my own playing requirements). They basically don't suit me unless I choose to play with a very vintage (woolly) sound. 

Edited by drTStingray
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That’s a great point, and probably why although I loved the playability of the Stingrays I’ve had I just don’t get on with them that well, as I’m so used to playing a certain way to get that focused attack on passive basses.

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9 hours ago, drTStingray said:

I have a particular problem playing a Precision - not only is the sound woolly and not as focussed as I'd like - I also get chronic blisters as I have to play harder to get the sound anything like focussed (I'm not talking volume - I'm talking attack - thump or whatever you wish to call it. My choice is to play basses I think suit my requirements better but I'm certainly not going to start raising bass forum threads on how to overcome design errors with a Precision bass (which are problems I encounter based on my own playing requirements). They basically don't suit me unless I choose to play with a very vintage (woolly) sound. 

Ditto, I've tried many times over the years to use a Precision live but for whatever reason it just disappears into the onstage mix on me. This has got worse with encroaching deafness but a Stingray gives me the cut I need.  Ironically I don't have a problem using Mustangs?

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1 minute ago, martthebass said:

Ditto, I've tried many times over the years to use a Precision live but for whatever reason it just disappears into the onstage mix on me. This has got worse with encroaching deafness but a Stingray gives me the cut I need.  Ironically I don't have a problem using Mustangs?

I think that's the appeal of the P bass in general and why you hear it on 90% of recordings on the radio!  It just blends so well.

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8 hours ago, martthebass said:

Ditto, I've tried many times over the years to use a Precision live but for whatever reason it just disappears into the onstage mix on me. This has got worse with encroaching deafness but a Stingray gives me the cut I need.  Ironically I don't have a problem using Mustangs?

 

I was the same.

Then I started liking Precisions ("Forget me nots" is largely to blame, that slapped Precision tone is deliiiiicious) and I've largely bent my Precisions to comply with my desires. Now, Precisions work for me too and no longer get lost like they used to. I think @drTStingray is probably right in that it's a combination of the inherent characteristics of the bass, plus everything else we do to achieve our sound, from preamps, pedals etc, to the way we actually play. Bottomline is, if I need to fight a bass in order to get the sound I want from it... that's not a bass for me. So I get that some people get frustrated with their Stingray and move on (many people, judging by the number of reports on threads like these). It is a real issue for many. It's probably like the "Jazz basses sound too mid-scooped and get lost". It is partially true: you *can* get that kind of sound out of a Jazz... but as many players illustrate, you don't necessarily have to have that issue. The difference is that, for some reason, Fender Jazz lovers don't seem to react so aggressively to that kind of comments, while MM Stingray lovers are more likely to act offended in some way... I don't know.

PS: I am primarily a Stingray player. I love that bass, but I'm ok if someone else hates theirs. ;)

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, mcnach said:

 

I was the same.

Then I started liking Precisions ("Forget me nots" is largely to blame, that slapped Precision tone is deliiiiicious) and I've largely bent my Precisions to comply with my desires. Now, Precisions work for me too and no longer get lost like they used to. I think @drTStingray is probably right in that it's a combination of the inherent characteristics of the bass, plus everything else we do to achieve our sound, from preamps, pedals etc, to the way we actually play. Bottomline is, if I need to fight a bass in order to get the sound I want from it... that's not a bass for me. So I get that some people get frustrated with their Stingray and move on (many people, judging by the number of reports on threads like these). It is a real issue for many. It's probably like the "Jazz basses sound too mid-scooped and get lost". It is partially true: you *can* get that kind of sound out of a Jazz... but as many players illustrate, you don't necessarily have to have that issue. The difference is that, for some reason, Fender Jazz lovers don't seem to react so aggressively to that kind of comments, while MM Stingray lovers are more likely to act offended in some way... I don't know.

PS: I am primarily a Stingray player. I love that bass, but I'm ok if someone else hates theirs. ;)

 

Couldn't agree more. I remember it being discussed on here years ago that the Stingray owners tend to be a tad overprotective of their basses and any criticism of them.

Here's the thing, of the mass produced basses you can buy, the Stingray is absolutely my favourite! I've owned a few and I'd take one over a P or J or Rick all day long, but that doesn't mean they are perfect or without fault. Unfortunately a huge number of people have reported this issue, myself included, for it to be explained away as we're all wrong or don't have any idea how to EQ a bass (FWIW I have always had very clean amps, ran completely flat). I think even BP on the EB forum has discussed and confirmed this idiosyncracy before. 

My favourite bass full stop, is a Modulus Flea, I've heard them criticised by others, stating they sound 'sterile' and 'plastic' and somewhat gaudy. But you know what, If someone else has had that experience and that's what they took away, then that's absolutely fine by me. 

✌️✌️

Edited by 40hz
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Posted (edited)

I don't think most Stingray owners these days are over protective of the brand - now go back 15 yrs and there was quite a public spat on the internet between an independent forum owner who ran into difficulties and Musicman leading to some quite ugly behaviours from a number of people - there were people banned from the relatively new EBMM forum as a result (and also subsequently when further individuals spat their dummies out). That is the period (15 yrs ago) when some people posting on the manufacturer's forum tended to be somewhat over zealous - possibly because of the aforementioned spat. But notably some of those banned personages seem to have been responsible for trolling on other forums against Musicman (including this particular issue - I'm surprised they haven't thought to replace the faulty string yet 😂 or picked another bass which suits them - if such a thing exists in the universe).

Im quite happy for people to take whatever view they like but I do draw the line at inaccuracy. The frequency charts show the reality for a 2 band Stingray (see earlier in the thread). That, indeed was, I believe what Sterling Ball was talking about (although he'd been trolled on the EBMM forum for a couple of days before saying what he did). 

Anyway if you just don't get on with the type of bass then fine, just use something else and walk away. I've noticed the same people generally get involved in these threads. 

I don't think people do post threads about other basses (alleged design errors and faults) in this way generally (other than the daft Rickenbacker trolling that goes on in this forum (thankfully less often) with nil action from moderators (yawn)). 

It's interesting this thread started a day or so before EBMM announced the John Myung Bongo (another type of bass subject to regular trolling by buffoons - who get an instant ban on the major bass forum), with another thread running. 

Perhaps it's just coincidence, or maybe my natural Hercules Poirot glands are over active, but timing is quite interesting 😏 😂

 

 

Edited by drTStingray
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, acidbass said:

I think that's the appeal of the P bass in general and why you hear it on 90% of recordings on the radio!  It just blends so well.

I can't resist saying this but apart from your figure likely being very inaccurate - more importantly many of us have noticed a tendency for bass guitars to be rather inaudible in various radio and other settings over a number of more recent years - is this what 'sitting in the mix' and 'blends' means? It certainly doesn't help music genres where the bass takes a more fundamental role. So is the choice of bass part of the cause of this? 

Edited by drTStingray

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6 hours ago, drTStingray said:

Perhaps it's just coincidence, or maybe my natural Hercules Poirot glands are over active, but timing is quite interesting 😏 😂

 

 

 

Ah, the little grey cells n’est-ce pas? 

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I sometimes just open the case to have a little sniff of mine - there's something about USA basses (my 4003 is the same)............

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This is the reason I sold my Stingray a few years back. Adjusting the pickup height didn't seem to make any difference to mine. Adjusting the EQ did, but that was useless, as I was then limited to a sound I didn't like.

Real shame  as I loved everything else about that bass. 

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Just an update folks....I have got an Aguilar ag4m pickup which I will install along with the east mmsr pre and see what we have in terms of string to string balance... when I get round to it 😁.....oh, just to say, the pickup pole pieces are all flush with the cover.

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