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musicman stingray...weak G...

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7 hours ago, drTStingray said:

...apart from your figure likely being very inaccurate

I'm not sure there is an accurate figure for such a thing to be disputed, how would this even be available?  I don't think it can be argued that the Fender bass and more particularly the P Bass is the most recorded bass in history.

8 hours ago, drTStingray said:

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

I haven't noticed this myself, fair enough bass guitar isn't always used in modern music in place of synth but other than that I can't agree.  If anything, the way bass is mixed and processed by engineers nowadays can be much better.

7 hours ago, drTStingray said:

It certainly doesn't help music genres where the bass takes a more fundamental role

What do you mean by fundamental?  My reply that you quoted was in relation to the bass 'cutting through' which to me is not really what I want my bass to do at all, nor do many band leaders or engineers in my experience.  To me, a fundamental instrument forms the base of the music and allows the rest of the instruments to build around it.

8 hours ago, drTStingray said:

So is the choice of bass part of the cause of this?

I think so yeah, there's just something magical about the P Bass (and to an extent the J Bass) as it can sound unremarkable on it's own, but sit perfectly in the mix.  It's not an accident that engineers prefer it.  A bit like the SM58 vocal mic, it's easy to work with and sounds good in the majority of settings.  

Apologies for the tangent :)

 

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1 hour ago, acidbass said:

 

Apologies for the tangent :)

 

Granted - apologies for replying also but there are a number of innaccuracies in the statements made, most particularly some is a vast generalisation which is focussed on certain areas only.  

 

1 hour ago, acidbass said:

What do you mean by fundamental?  My reply that you quoted was in relation to the bass 'cutting through' which to me is not really what I want my bass to do at all, nor do many band leadersgTo me, a fundamental instrument forms the base of the music and allows the rest of the instruments to build around it.

 

I can best describe this with a description from a recent BBC programme I watched which puts this in a nutshell - Soul Divas at the BBC - from those performances shown from the early/mids 70s through, beyond the singers, the remainder of the music was largely led by the bass (it was extremely audible) and the bass did not sound like a sub laden mess. The processing had changed from the 60s (where bass had been less audible even when in the case of Motown it took an important role) because of improved recording techniques and most likely equipment, and in some cases improved bass guitars and a realisation that it performed a fundamental role. Of course many were using Alembic pre amps to boost the sound of instruments like the Precision by then. If you remove that from soul, R and B and dance music it's like removing crunchy guitars from Status Quo or Hammond Organ from Keith Emerson - it neuters the music making it sound more like late 50s early 60s Soloman Burle, for instance. More importantly part of the bass guitar's role is to link the rhythm with the harmony - if you can't hear it then it performs a different role entirely and other parts of the music are more prominent. In the 80s synth often was used because it's more focussed and can perform that fundamental role (and was popular - flavour of the month). 

In a nutshell it's often the difference between black music and white music - when reggae was first brought to a mass audience in the UK record company owners worried the bass would be too loud and prominent for mass tastes so in the beginning it was toned down for mass market releases. 

Ive seen many musical theatre performances of soul music - examples of bass guitars used have been active Sadowskys and Stingray 5s, and Fender Jazz. I'm sure they are used but not the Precision - as I said before they have a particular wooliness to the sound which can be improved with additional pre amp and/or aggressive playing. 

This is different with say pick played punk rock where they are popular - but ask a death metal fan whether he thinks Fender Precisions are on 90% of recorded work and I'm sure he or she would chuckle!!! 

All is not lost - it seems modern producers have grown out of their 60s throwback era as far as bass is concerned and have realised they're missing a trick - as much of what's played on radio (not classic rock stuff) is dance orientated with prominent bass cutting through - which I'm sure, if Bernard Edwards was alive, would be proud of 😏oh I'm trying to sound like him by the way, (back on topic)  hence the Stingray use (most definitely without a weak G string sound - indeed a much more focussed and fat octave pop you couldn't ask for - which you can't do with a Precision) - which has always been welcomed by everyone I've played with over 40 odd years 👍

The likes of Calvin Harris has always included prominent bass in his music. 

I once went to try out a Marcus Miller Fender Jazz and after hearing the style I was playing, the music shop owner and guy talking to him said have you thought of playing a Stingray 😂 I didn't let on haha 😀

Edited by drTStingray

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14 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

there are a number of innaccuracies in the statements made, most particularly some is a vast generalisation which is focussed on certain areas only.  

It seems I'm not the only one guilty of this having read your latest post.  Let's agree to disagree and leave it at that :)

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Well for what it's worth I have owned 3 stingrays over the past few decades,all 4 string single H.

3 band - quiet G string 

2 band - quiet G string - a Nordstrand pickup helped but still not perfect 

2 band classic  - quiet G string

Used in totally different genres over the years & every one of them had a weak G which just disappeared in a live mix,hence each was moved on fairly quickly.

I do like the look & feel of them,especially the classic,but they just don't work for me.

I do wonder if the new ones are any better.

 

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Just a random thought..

I've had a couple of Stingrays (one from 1986, the other a 2003) and both were fantastic. No quiet G. Was surprised to hear eventually that this was 'a thing'.

Another 'thing' I hear is that Fenders usually have dead spots thing. I've owned many Fenders over the years (and other brands) and have never experienced dead spots on any of my basses.

Either I've spent the last 30 years being incredibly lucky or I'm just completely ignorant to such things!

I hope I'm lucky 🤔😄

Right, as you were...

 

Edited by miles'tone

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1 hour ago, miles'tone said:

 

Another 'thing' I hear is that Fenders usually have dead spots thing. I've owned many Fenders over the years (and other brands) and have never experienced dead spots on any of my basses.

Either I've spent the last 30 years being incredibly lucky or I'm just completely ignorant to such things!

I hope I'm lucky 🤔😄

Right, as you were...

 

 

Me neither in 41 years,never had a bass with a dead spot & I have owned a ridiculous number of basses.

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Another question - is this just an issue with Stingrays, or does anyone have experience of the same problem with other models (e.g. Sterling, Bongo...)?

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8 minutes ago, Heathy said:

Another question - is this just an issue with Stingrays, or does anyone have experience of the same problem with other models (e.g. Sterling, Bongo...)?

I've had it on 2 4-string Rays (both 2-band) but NOT on my Ray 5 or either of my two Bongo 4 HHs. It's definitely a Stingray thing.

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2 hours ago, Heathy said:

Another question - is this just an issue with Stingrays, or does anyone have experience of the same problem with other models (e.g. Sterling, Bongo...)?

Yes - I had a pre CBS Precision - horrendous dead spots on the G string at C (fret 5), C# (fret 6) and D (fret 7). It meant I had to play lines involving those notes on the D string higher up (which seems to be how some of the 60s players got over the same problem on similar basses). This was not an EQing problem (as issues a handful of people with Stingrays have do seem to be).

However rather than periodically whining about their problem, why they don't just alter their playing style/position to avoid the issue, or simply buy a different bass - it really is reminiscent of young children moaning about something periodically (or constantly)....... 😬 and really just as irritating. 

I have to say that my Musicman Stingray Classic is one of the best bass guitars I've ever played - the quality of the whole thing is just superb. A pity you don't seem to be able to buy new ones any longer - but great for existing owners as the values will increase 😏👍

 

Edited by drTStingray
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1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

Yes - I had a pre CBS Precision - horrendous dead spots on the G string at C (fret 5), C# (fret 6) and D (fret 7). It meant I had to play lines involving those notes on the D string higher up (which seems to be how some of the 60s players got over the same problem on similar basses). This was not an EQing problem (as issues a handful of people with Stingrays have do seem to be).

However rather than periodically whining about their problem, why they don't just alter their playing style/position to avoid the issue, or simply buy a different bass - it really is reminiscent of young children moaning about something periodically (or constantly)....... 😬 and really just as irritating. 

I have to say that my Musicman Stingray Classic is one of the best bass guitars I've ever played - the quality of the whole thing is just superb. A pity you don't seem to be able to buy new ones any longer - but great for existing owners as the values will increase 😏👍

 

You're such a Stinging fan boy 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Are you Big Poppa 

Edited by artisan
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I had a Stingray 4H 3 band that I foolishly sold for far too cheap because it weighed a ton and I thought I wanted something 'fancier' electronically. I also possibly convinced myself that the g was quiet due to recieved internet wisdom.

Listening back to recordings, it doesn't seem as bad as I felt it was at the time. Didn't deep dive into amp eq's or anything either. Probably should have held onto it but we all have to learn lessons somewhere, right?

Flash forward and I have a lovely Big Al 5H which doesn't suffer from any quietness at all!

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13 hours ago, drTStingray said:

Yes - I had a pre CBS Precision - horrendous dead spots on the G string at C (fret 5), C# (fret 6) and D (fret 7). It meant I had to play lines involving those notes on the D string higher up (which seems to be how some of the 60s players got over the same problem on similar basses). 

 

13 hours ago, drTStingray said:

This was not an EQing problem (as issues a handful of people with Stingrays have do seem to be).

Oh, so your issue was real and ours is imagined? Got it. 

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1 hour ago, Jack said:

 

Oh, so your issue was real and ours is imagined? Got it. 

I'm sure yours was real as far as you're concerned (interested to know the model and year of bass you are describing and when you had it). 

Along with a large number of other people, I don't have a problem with G strings not sounding prominent enough on a Stingray. I have or have had probably as many Stingray basses as people who complain on the internet about this, and have not encountered this or indeed any great variability in them in any respect - indeed the quality of EBMM instruments is high. 

My conclusion is their perception of a G string on any bass not sounding prominent enough may be fundamentally different from mine for a big range of reasons, largely not to do with the bass itself - there are so many variables in this:-

1) Hearing issues (tends to affect the higher frequencies and accentuate the lower - mine are fine - had them tested very recently as what we subject them to regularly damages hearing).

2) Look at the science of the EQ of a 2 band Stingray - it's posted earlier in this thread - and clearly shows if you boost fully the treble and bass it scoops frequencies in the G string range. The 3 band EQ gives you more control over this. I hear people say 'but I set mine flat' - how do you know what's flat on a 2 band Stingray? It's not necessarily the centre even if you can work out where the centre is. 

3) Take care with your set up and your pick up height - follow the factory settings for optimum performance of the bass.

4) EQ - this is a mine field, especially when you add in EQ on the amp (and then the FOH). Do you engage amp filters that cut out some frequencies? 

There've been plenty of posts in this thread explaining how problems can occur and how to overcome them (even though some of us don't agree with some of the suggested solutions) - if you follow those then you shouldn't have a problem (presuming you don't have damaged hearing, don't engage certain amp filters that auto scoop everything etc etc etc) - but ultimately, if you don't like the bass's characteristics, then sell it and move on. 

That's what I did with the Precision with (to my perception and other band member perceptions) bad dead spots. Not an issue if you're constantly playing in E and A but major in C etc. 

 

Edited by drTStingray
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13 hours ago, artisan said:

You're such a Stinging fan boy 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Are you Big Poppa 

Definitely - they're my favourite basses and in my view, one of the best designs ever - helped (with a few other makes) drag people out of the sloppy 60s thinking, when recording was on 2 track and 4 track and major concerts were performed (either completely or partially inaudibly) using 30 watt back line amps and vocals through the building's PA system!! And the bass really was just boom (if heard at all). 

You'll have to enlighten me - who is this person or character you're talking of? 

Edited by drTStingray

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43 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

I'm sure yours was real as far as you're concerned (interested to know the model and year of bass you are describing and when you had it). 

Along with a large number of other people, I don't have a problem with G strings not sounding prominent enough on a Stingray. I have or have had probably as many Stingray basses as people who complain on the internet about this, and have not encountered this or indeed any great variability in them in any respect - indeed the quality of EBMM instruments is high. 

My conclusion is their perception of a G string on any bass not sounding prominent enough may be fundamentally different from mine for a big range of reasons, largely not to do with the bass itself - there are so many variables in this:-

1) Hearing issues (tends to affect the higher frequencies and accentuate the lower - mine are fine - had them tested very recently as what we subject them to regularly damages hearing).

2) Look at the science of the EQ of a 2 band Stingray - it's posted earlier in this thread - and clearly shows if you boost fully the treble and bass it scoops frequencies in the G string range. The 3 band EQ gives you more control over this. I hear people say 'but I set mine flat' - how do you know what's flat on a 2 band Stingray? It's not necessarily the centre even if you can work out where the centre is. 

3) Take care with your set up and your pick up height - follow the factory settings for optimum performance of the bass.

4) EQ - this is a mine field, especially when you add in EQ on the amp (and then the FOH). Do you engage amp filters that cut out some frequencies? 

There've been plenty of posts in this thread explaining how problems can occur and how to overcome them (even though some of us don't agree with some of the suggested solutions) - if you follow those then you shouldn't have a problem (presuming you don't have damaged hearing, don't engage certain amp filters that auto scoop everything etc etc etc) - but ultimately, if you don't like the bass's characteristics, then sell it and move on. 

That's what I did with the Precision with (to my perception and other band member perceptions) bad dead spots. Not an issue if you're constantly playing in E and A but major in C etc. 

 

Stingrays are also my favourite bass. I grew up with a guitarist dad and so I was more aware of makes and models and stuff than most non musicians. I also group up with the second wave of punk, and all my idols in Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish etc all played Rays or at least other EBMM models. They were the dream when I had my Squier P Bass and 80W Crate combo. It's also worth pointing out that, long before I was a member of an Internet forum to bias me, I noticed a quiet G on a shop model some very trusting salesman let child me play for some reason. I assumed it was a setup issue, but me and my then guitarist both heard it.

 

I've only owned 2 4 string Stingrays. Off the top of my head I think they're a 98 and an 07, but I checked on the EBMM forum so I can find out for sure if that's important. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my 05 Ray5 did not have this issue, nor did either of my two bongos. Several other ray 4 I've played that belonged to friends or shops have suffered too. I can't promise it was all of them, but it was definitely all of them that I can remember (and you think I'd notice if one didn't).

Because I really loved Rays so much I fought through the weak G. On my black 07 I angled both the pickup generally and the pole pieces as well. On my red one I changed the whole electronics package. I love the playability and the sound, will do anything to play a Ray still even now!

 

Honestly it's more than a little condescending to suggest that anyone who has this issue hasn't played enough Rays. More so to suggest that somebody hundreds of miles away, with guitars that you've never heard or seen, isn't experiencing what they say that they are and even more so to suggest that they have a defect like hearing loss or the inability to properly eq.

If its really us and not the guitars then I suggest you pick a technique, eq setting and rig that you like and ask someone to record it for you. Basschat is big enough that somebody will surely have that exact combination.

 

When it comes to the 'eq it away' suggestion, that doesn't work. If I boost the G string frequencies to make it as loud as the others then I'm also boosting everything above the 5th fret on the D, the 10th on the A, etc. Not to mention the overtones from the lower notes, and I'm changing the way I want my bass to sound. The ratio is still wrong, because no matter how much I boost that open G, the 5th on the D is still proportionally louder.

 

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1 hour ago, drTStingray said:

there are so many variables in this:-

1) Hearing issues (tends to affect the higher frequencies and accentuate the lower - mine are fine - had them tested very recently as what we subject them to regularly damages hearing).

2) Look at the science of the EQ of a 2 band Stingray - it's posted earlier in this thread - and clearly shows if you boost fully the treble and bass it scoops frequencies in the G string range. The 3 band EQ gives you more control over this. I hear people say 'but I set mine flat' - how do you know what's flat on a 2 band Stingray? It's not necessarily the centre even if you can work out where the centre is. 

3) Take care with your set up and your pick up height - follow the factory settings for optimum performance of the bass.

4) EQ - this is a mine field, especially when you add in EQ on the amp (and then the FOH). Do you engage amp filters that cut out some frequencies? 

5) The G string is quiet

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13 minutes ago, Jack said:

When it comes to the 'eq it away' suggestion, that doesn't work. If I boost the G string frequencies to make it as loud as the others then I'm also boosting everything above the 5th fret on the D, the 10th on the A, etc. Not to mention the overtones from the lower notes, and I'm changing the way I want my bass to sound. The ratio is still wrong, because no matter how much I boost that open G, the 5th on the D is still proportionally louder.

Can you not push the pole pieces up on the G string (is this the whole G string, or some part of it) while keeping the rest of the pickup low. I know that would not be a standard easy mod, but maybe with some other pickups?

Simpler than having individual string coils a la wall etc.

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32 minutes ago, acidbass said:

5) The G string is quiet

A possibility - but why would so many people not think it is. Nobody has ever produced any scientific evidence to suggest these basses generally have that characteristic - I had a Stingray in around 1980 and this was never considered an issue - the popped G string sound was as good as anything around and far and away better than the woolier sounding Fenders of the time.

I think the issue here is how some people are managing, through a combination of things, to achieve this. 

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54 minutes ago, Jack said:

Stingrays are also my favourite bass. I grew up with a guitarist dad and so I was more aware of makes and models and stuff than most non musicians. I also group up with the second wave of punk, and all my idols in Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish etc all played Rays or at least other EBMM models. They were the dream when I had my Squier P Bass and 80W Crate combo. It's also worth pointing out that, long before I was a member of an Internet forum to bias me, I noticed a quiet G on a shop model some very trusting salesman let child me play for some reason. I assumed it was a setup issue, but me and my then guitarist both heard it.

 

I've only owned 2 4 string Stingrays. Off the top of my head I think they're a 98 and an 07, but I checked on the EBMM forum so I can find out for sure if that's important. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my 05 Ray5 did not have this issue, nor did either of my two bongos. Several other ray 4 I've played that belonged to friends or shops have suffered too. I can't promise it was all of them, but it was definitely all of them that I can remember (and you think I'd notice if one didn't).

Because I really loved Rays so much I fought through the weak G. On my black 07 I angled both the pickup generally and the pole pieces as well. On my red one I changed the whole electronics package. I love the playability and the sound, will do anything to play a Ray still even now!

 

Honestly it's more than a little condescending to suggest that anyone who has this issue hasn't played enough Rays. More so to suggest that somebody hundreds of miles away, with guitars that you've never heard or seen, isn't experiencing what they say that they are and even more so to suggest that they have a defect like hearing loss or the inability to properly eq.

If its really us and not the guitars then I suggest you pick a technique, eq setting and rig that you like and ask someone to record it for you. Basschat is big enough that somebody will surely have that exact combination.

 

When it comes to the 'eq it away' suggestion, that doesn't work. If I boost the G string frequencies to make it as loud as the others then I'm also boosting everything above the 5th fret on the D, the 10th on the A, etc. Not to mention the overtones from the lower notes, and I'm changing the way I want my bass to sound. The ratio is still wrong, because no matter how much I boost that open G, the 5th on the D is still proportionally louder.

 

Thanks for this. Did the replacement electronics improve things for you? Another potential point of interest is whether you had 2 or 3 band versions and maple or rosewood boards? I have noticed the rosewood board versions sound darker. 

I also have Stingray 5s and a Bongo and agree with you - they don't have this characteristic (and the Stingray Special doesn't). 

Btw the hearing point was meant to be a little tongue in cheek - I did mince play in a band with a guitarist with serious hearing issues who used to complain about the bass being too loud - until he got a wireless device and listened from the back of the room at sound check - he never complained again and said he was astonished. His guitar sound was probably the most shrill I've ever heard - presumably because he couldn't hear treble. 

Edited by drTStingray

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16 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Can you not push the pole pieces up on the G string (is this the whole G string, or some part of it) while keeping the rest of the pickup low. I know that would not be a standard easy mod, but maybe with some other pickups?

Simpler than having individual string coils a la wall etc.

Please see earlier post, that's what I did on my black one. Fwiw this is one of Leo Fender's suggested solutions, along with adding some magnets to the G string pole pieces to achieve the same result. It works pretty well, although you don't half catch your fingers when you play over the pickup.

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20 hours ago, Heathy said:

Another question - is this just an issue with Stingrays, or does anyone have experience of the same problem with other models (e.g. Sterling, Bongo...)?

 

I've only heard people complaining about it on 4-string Stingrays

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15 minutes ago, Jack said:

Please see earlier post, that's what I did on my black one. Fwiw this is one of Leo Fender's suggested solutions, along with adding some magnets to the G string pole pieces to achieve the same result. It works pretty well, although you don't half catch your fingers when you play over the pickup.

A sorry, didn't really follow the thread, I like the stingrays but the neck is not for me.

there is the other option then, move the other pole pieces back and plastic top them, so that they are all still level!

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50 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

A possibility - but why would so many people not think it is. Nobody has ever produced any scientific evidence to suggest these basses generally have that characteristic - I had a Stingray in around 1980 and this was never considered an issue - the popped G string sound was as good as anything around and far and away better than the woolier sounding Fenders of the time.

I think the issue here is how some people are managing, through a combination of things, to achieve this. 

 

why do you keep insisting, every time there's a thread like this, that people complaining about their G-string are wrong or don't know what they're hearing/doing?

It is... weird to watch. 

If there are lots of people that don't seem to have an issue, great, good for them (I am one of them, I'm happy with my 2002 'ray) but how is that anything to do with anything? It's not a 'majority wins' issue. There are certainly enough people who do have an issue, why do you dismiss what they tell you they experience? :facepalm: 

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