Stingray Pickup Transplant for Weak G String
I have a 92 EBMM Stingray 4 that suffers from weak G string. I've used a DBX Compressor, a fat finger, different amps and string changes but could not shake the problem. I purchased a Ray34 as a second bass and it did not display any of the dreaded weak G string issue. In fact, I now play the Ray34 more than my original EBMM SR4.
I decided I wanted to get my EBMM SR4 back in business. I considered buying a Bartolini, Duncan, or LP pickup to replace the original. However, I conceded that it could also be the preamp. I figured I liked the sound of my Ray34, and lots of folks seem to be buying them and upgrading the pickups and preamps. Thus, I figured I might find a TBer who would be willing to sell me their pickup and preamp. After about two months of looking, I got an offer. Deal was made, money changed hands and I received the pickup and preamp via priority mail yesterday.
The first thing you notice is that the pickup cover for the Ray34 is different than the SR4. So it is necessary to pull the coils from on pickup cover and place them in the other. Additionally, the Ray34 coils are screwed to the pickup cover and the entire assembly is glued around the perimeter to hold the coils in place and "protect" the wires that connect the coils together (see photo). I gently cut the glue from the perimeter. After working the glue loose and removing the screws, I was able to get the coils out of the Ray34 cover. In the process, I sliced/broke the two wires that connect the coils together. These are very thin wires compared to those on my SR4. I soldered two new heftier wire splices to repair the pickup.
In the deal, I received the entire chrome banana with all 4 control pots. This fits exactly on a SR4 (thank goodness). I soldered the pickup wires, battery leads, and ground wire to the proper places on the preamp. I used the jack from the Ray34 since it was included, but it is of much lower quality than the SR4. I replaced all screws, restrung it, and tuned it.
No more weak G string! So my gamble paid off. The new pickup/preamp seems to handle the G better. The only downside I feel is that the pots for Ray34 preamp are much lower quality and as are the EQ and volume knobs. There is a slight difference in shaft size between the pots, so it is not as simple as swapping the knobs. Bummer.
The only thing I did not do was to try the Ray34 pickup with the SR4 preamp and vice versa. That might be a good experiment, and I may do that as I tend to tinker with things a little. If I do, I'll be sure to post the results.
Thanks to the entire Talk Bass community. I've found the answers to most of my nagging bass related questions here.
Have a great weekend!