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bubinga5

Suhr Jazz bass for an MM SR5.?

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Posted (edited)

Im thinking about letting my Suhr jazz go. I absolutely love its 70s spacing jazz bass sound but the punch and bass of an SR5 is hard to match. BUT im not sure about which SR5 model. I used to have an SR5 and it was great and i loved it for its neck and string spacing. Actually it was one of the best basses ive ever played. It was a single MM. Can anyone with more experience recommend the MM J model  and how the j pickup effectsthe tone. ? Also im not sure about the early pickup models to the more modern pickups. They seem to go for under £2000 used from what i can see. Weight im aware is an issue with SR5s so around 9 pounds would be a must. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Edited by bubinga5

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Only experience that mirrors yours with a 1990 Fretless SR5. Excellent bass.

Why not just go back to a single H SR5? 

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I haven’t owned one but the new special I tried seemed a step up compared to what I remember the standard being like. The most impressed I’ve been with a MM bass was the 30th anniversary SR5 but the price tag was and still is eye watering. 

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Posted (edited)

My only experience of ownership of an SR5 is single H, in fact the one I sold to you....

I’ve played a few however and can honestly say I don’t think I’ve found one as skinny as 9lb, the one I sold you was closer to 10lb.

Have you considered the double H SR5 special, these get less than 9lb and give you ‘jazz’ type pickup option via the 5 way switch?

I think Nick (‘old horse murphy’) has one for sale on here - edit...sorry just checked and it’s sold.

Edited by martthebass

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1 hour ago, martthebass said:

My only experience of ownership of an SR5 is single H, in fact the one I sold to you....

I’ve played a few however and can honestly say I don’t think I’ve found one as skinny as 9lb, the one I sold you was closer to 10lb.

Have you considered the double H SR5 special, these get less than 9lb and give you ‘jazz’ type pickup option via the 5 way switch?

I think Nick (‘old horse murphy’) has one for sale on here - edit...sorry just checked and it’s sold.

Yes, that one you sold to me I would dearly love back.Blue Pearl with a matching headstock. I traded it for a Fender. What a d'[;k move that was. Ive played a HH at Bass direct but it was too much. I was really thinking an SR5 special or a MM J SR5. I will keep looking. A natural rosewood SR5 would do me 

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There’s a definite difference between the H and HH models.
The H offers a 3-position coil tap with series, parallel and single coil, whereas the HH is a 5-position switch offering both coils of the bridge, inner coils of both pickups, all 4 coils, outer coils of both pickups and finally both coils of neck pickup.

If you really want the classic Stingray sound then the H may be better as I’ve found the HH tends to offer more tones, but a bit less like a classic Stingray. If you like to slap then the H or discontinued HS model may be better as the HH makes it harder as the neck PU is so close to the end of the neck.
Then there’s the year, as depending on which one you buy you could have Stingray with ceramic (like the current Sterling), alnico or neodymium magnets, and they each have a different tone.

A light SR5 is much more common since the Special range started in 2018 - they seem to be pretty consistently 4Kg or thereabouts. Older ones do appear but I’ve not played or owned either an older SR5 or Sterling 5 below around 4.5Kgs. 

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You’re going to need to keep the jazz and get a MM to compliment it. As soon as you have the MM you’ll miss the J. 😊

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1 hour ago, ped said:

You’re going to need to keep the jazz and get a MM to compliment it. As soon as you have the MM you’ll miss the J. 😊

What I was going to say

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How about some serious misuse of the Suhr? Turn the front pickup down. Down to zero. Use the bridge pickup only. Put some eq and compression and push the signal chain to its limits. And then some more gain. How close can you get?

It is true a 4 is not a 5. But try and push the boundaries.

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Posted (edited)

I got an MXR octave pedal. Plugged the Suhr in to it through the Genz Benz. just WOW.!!

Edited by bubinga5

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I've never played either but I hear so many good things about Suhrs that I question whether you're going to have sellers remorse if it goes.

I'm probably one of the worst for "the grass is greener" - and I've learned this isn't true to my cost.

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I've had a number of SR5's over the years and have generally had great experiences. They happen to be my favourite looking basses too.

The new ones are superbly built but recently I've really struggled with the lack of width of the fingerboard. I'm not sure if the newer ones are ever so slightly slimmer or the fret ends have been finished differently, but if I'm not careful the G string disappears off the edge with that horrible zing/clunk sound. I never seemed to suffer from this with older models so something has either changed in the construction or equally as possible, my technique has changed. 

I recently switched to a Sadowsky 5 String and immediately the problem has gone away. It's very frustrating as I really do love the SR5's. 

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Posted (edited)

I've had that issue with the G string zipping off the edge of the fingerboard on Musicman 5 string basses of every vintage. It is definitely a problem on the older Stingray 5s as well as the newer ones. It drives me crazy on any bass, so it is something I am acutely aware of.

Edited by Misdee
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Yes, I believe this is a fairly common comment. I think it’s down to the narrow (-ish) fingerboard and MM wanting to maximise string spacing. Ironically as we normally pull downwards it would have made more sense to space the low B close to the top edge instead of the G to the bottom edge. It happened to me occasionally when I first owned one but I adapted quickly enough and it never happens now - but then I’m not too fussed about string spacing or fretboard dimensions. I think this affects players who tend to “grab” the string on the fretboard a bit more, or those that use vibrato a lot, but I’d agree that it’s one of the tightest basses with the G to the edge of the fretboard.

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The only bass that I’ve moved that I wish I hadn’t was an old ‘Ray5.  At the time I felt I needed a 5 and listened to some all day, multi band festival on the TV and every time I noticed the bass tone being just right, it was someone using a ‘Ray5, especially Paul Turner with Annie Lennox (hardly scientific, but as good a test as any at the time). The reason I moved it on was one of those, ‘ooh, I’m only going to 4 stringers now’ periods :facepalm:. Predictably, I went back to fivers and, when trying out numerous fivers at The Gallery, the one that shone out above all the the others sonically that they had in my price range, was a used Sterling 5; a single/MM config and it had ‘that sound’. The problem was this wayward G string scenario (it was one of the newer compensated nuts) that I’d never experienced on my old ‘Ray. Obviously, Big Poppa will deny that this is an issue, even though it plainly is. Walked away with a Lakland Skyline 5502, which was eventually moved on as it was a bit ‘beige’ sounding live, got the job done, looked nice, but didn’t excite (should’ve changed the p/ups maybe).

As @ped said, keep the Suhr get a ‘Ray5 to go with it, maybe have the nut looked at if the G string is an issue.

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I’ve got a 9lb 5 string. It was 9.5 before I put ultra light tuners in it. It took me years to find a 9.5lb one. Most are well over 10lb.

 

I never play it though. I love the ray sound but it’s too heavy for me.

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Posted (edited)

I've been playing Stingray5 for the last 20 years as my #1 instrument. I own 2 ceramic era ones (1997 & 2003), which I prefer to the current alnico offerings. I've also owned a Sterling5 HS and tried innumerable HH models and I've found out the 2 pickup Stingray/Sterling thing simply doesn't do it for me. Both in the HH and HS versions the neck pickup is too close the bridge for my taste. I understand relocating that was not an option at design time as it'd end up right next to the "bridge" pickup (which, being the trad. MM position, is way further from the bridge than, say, a Jazz's bridge pickup), the way it is on $$ Warwicks. The neck pickup on those sounds more in mudbucker/neckside RIC than in P/neck J pickup territory. So I let that HS go (fortunately at no loss, as I had gotten it used too), gave up the fantasy of having a Musicman and a P/J in the same bass and ended up getting a much cheaper and much more flexible 2 humbucker bass (Schecter CV-5, basically a poor man's Roscoe Beck).

Don't get me wrong the Sterling5 HS I've owned was a great bass, it just was real good at the Musicman sweet spot tone. Only tone I liked using the extra single coil pickup was a sorta' "all open J" sound (that's still not there). This is a test of some all positions but the classic (humbucker in series) tone:

CLEAN

1) Single coil neck pickup (+ phantom coil)

2) Single coil pickup and bridge-side coil of bridge pickup (sorta' all open J tone)

3) All 3 coils (+ phantom coil)

4) Bridge-side coil of bridge pickup (+ phantom coil)

PICKED/SANSAMP

1) Single coil neck pickup (+ phantom coil)

2) NON DEFAULT SELECTOR POSITION, neck-side coil of bridge pickup (+ phantom coil, modded the bass -easy mod- to select default -bridge- coil or neck coil -phase changed so it still cancels hum with the phantom coil- with the selector lever all towards the bridge; I modded my Stingray5s for having this coil soloed too, my fave position)

http://andresdemarco.info/test-ST5HS.mp3

NOW, this other clip is from the only other HS bass I've owned (a 2001 MIK Ibanez ATK-405, MM+J).

ibanez-atk405-13961.jpg

I honestñy liked this bass much more than the Sterling HS, except at the strictly Musicman game, of course (and it's way lighter, while having the same sort of string spacing, skinny sharp C neck profile and 3 band EQ). Fragments you hear are these 5 positions in order. Position 1 sounds way more P-like and position 2 is a much more convincing all open J than what's available from the HH/HSs.

clip_image002-gif.1286567

http://andresdemarco.info/test-ATK405.mp3

Edited by andruca

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I know what you mean. I have a Sterling 5 HH and thought the same as you regarding tones, until I cranked both mid and treble to near max - all of a sudden positions 4 and 5 (outer coils,  and neck PU only) came to life. Strangely this did not seem to be the case with the Stingray Special HH I (briefly) owned. I’d probably attribute that to my preferring the series wired sound as it’s a bit more aggressive.. 

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