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Studio recording with electric basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PaulDB, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. PaulDB

    PaulDB

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    Hello all, firstly apologies for my noob questions! I have recently returned to electric basses after 7 years on double bass. Before I started playing double bass, I was a kid with no real idea what I was doing, so while an experienced player, I am a beginner in the world of electronics.

    I had a Hartke WK5, which when I took it into the studio recently was buzzy and clunky.

    I recently acquired a 90's Stingray 5 with the 3-way pickup. I love it live and assumed this would translate well to the studio. Not so! The sound is very boomy and growly. The engineer said that's just the way musicman basses are, but I'm not a fan, and very disappointed.

    He suggested a 2x9v batter (18v) mod to the pickups in order to give it more headroom, which would let the bass gain a bit more definition in the recordings, hopefully sounding a bit more like an old Fender than a precocious youngster. Would this be a safe mod for my bass, and do you think it would make a difference?
  2. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    I've never heard of an 18v mod for MM basses. I'm not sure the preamp can handle that much voltage (it's the preamp that is active, not the pickups).

    An older SR5 like yours is a very aggressive sounding bass because it's got ceramic pickups. You may want to consider switching them to alnico which will tame it a little. You can also consider converting it to passive.

    Unfortunately, it's never going to sound like an old Fender. Unless you count old MM basses as Fender.
  3. BassLife77

    BassLife77

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    running a Stingray preamp at 18v is a bad idea. The TL062 opamp in those has a maximum supply voltage rating of 18v. If it has the LF444 it's also 18v. Most brand new batteries are usually over 9 volts and you risk frying the opamp. since the opamp is not in a socket its a pain to replace. I run all my music man preamps at 18v but I only use opamps that can handle the voltage
  4. M0ses

    M0ses

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    If you want to sound like an old Fender, you shouldn't be playing a stingray. Nor an active bass of any voltage.
  5. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Boomy? A stringray?
  6. ex-tension

    ex-tension

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    Correction:
    Both TL062 and LF442 datasheets indicate ±18V max supply voltages. Which means it's safe to feed them up to 36V.
  7. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

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    ex-tension is absolutely right. The question is if the caps in the preamp are rated for over 18v. It is common to use 16v caps in 9v preamps. If that's what's in the preamp, you need 9v. If the caps are 25v or higher, then you'd be fine. The TL062 will handle over 30volts with ease.

    But more headroom may not clear up the growl problem. What are they using to get you into the board? The right DI might do the job.
  8. PaulDB

    PaulDB

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    We were using all sorts to get into the board - the studio has a serious amount of kit that I don't have a clue about, I just turn up to play the bass.

    The session after that, with a different band, we used a DI and mic'd up the amp I was going through, which gave a much nicer sound, but I still ended up using my Fender Musicmaster for two out of four recordings.

    I didn't buy this Stingray, it was a trade as I was having a very hard time selling one of my double basses, and I finally thought, "Why not, I've heard good things". I am very happy with the live side of the MM, but may have to start thinking about other options for recording.

    Thanks for all the advice.
  9. therhodeo

    therhodeo

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    You don't have all the EQ knobs dimed do you?
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

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    Tony Levin recorded all of the Peter Gabriel recordings with Stingrays running on 9 volts and got excellent recorded tones..... As did Paul Denman with Sade.

    You may prefer a different tone, but if you can't get a good recorded tone out of a stock Stingray, then you're doing something wrong and the 9 volt pre isn't your problem.
  11. PaulDB

    PaulDB

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    I had the treble, mid and bass all in the middle, brand new battery.

    It's hard to describe my ideal bass tone, but I suppose the holy grail for me lies somewhere between Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick and If You Want Me To Stay (Chilli Peppers cover).

    I've got a pretty good tone live, but don't have the money to be in the studio often enough to have experimented with the recording capabilities of this stingray!

    ...and yes, I'm pretty sure a great deal of it is my inexperience, Eric.

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