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Vintage StingRay pre-amp advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OOTB68, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. OOTB68

    OOTB68

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    I have a '79 StingRay that I have had for quite a few years and finally opened it up and realized that it does not have the epoxy coated pre-amp. I am therefore assuming that it must have been replaced. I am usually the kind of guy that like to keep things stock and appreciate the original bass as it was intended. I'm not opposed in any way to modifying, I have just very rarely chosen that path for one reason or another. Since this vintage StingRay has apparently already been altered, I am wondering if it might be worth possibly upgrading the pre-amp that is in it. I have no real complaints with it as is, and it seems to have a "standard" replacement StingRay 2-band eq pre-amp in it now. I thought I might see what some of you out there think or would recommend. Should I attempt a pre-amp up-grade or not? If so, which ones would you recommend I look into and why? Just looking for any and all advise.
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    79's werent epoxied. my buddy has a 79 and the pre isnt epoxied either.
  3. rad87gn

    rad87gn

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    Don't change it from anything but the stock 2-band pre-amp! Factory stock is best!!
  4. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: GK Amps / non compensated Warmoth Guitar and Bass Parts
    Keep her stock......
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    The black epoxy only lasted thru mid-78. So, your 79 is possibly original.

    No there is no "upgrade" from that 2-band pre, I love those the way they are!

    If you want to see the differences in the preamp details during the early years check out: www.musicmanbass.org
  6. OOTB68

    OOTB68

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    I thank you all for your input. I feel a little stupid now. Once i read that the expoxied pre-amps only went through mid '78, I did a little searching around on the web and wound up taking another look at what I have and I am now convinced that everything is completely original. My gratitude to you all for responses, and my appologies to you all for not looking before I leaped.
  7. danomite64

    danomite64 Supporting Member

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    Posting here with your concerns isn't leaping; it's a smart move. Those old Rays are wonderful!
  8. stuhammfan

    stuhammfan

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    Dont feel bad ootb68, i assumed the same thing once, and also did some research to learn the same thing.. I had always assumed the pre ernie ball stingrays all had the epoxy dipped preamps, but later found they stopped dipping them. My 79 isnt dipped either.. I love the 2 band eq by the way, i really think they have a superior sound to them as far as stingrays go... (Btw- a good reputable friend of mine who works on basses etc.. says that with a hair dryer and a little patience, that epoxy can be safely removed from the dipped preamps... )
  9. rottenramone

    rottenramone

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    Some pics would be lovely!
  10. AndyMan

    AndyMan Supporting Member

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    Are the current EB 2 band preamps in the new Stringray Classics the same as the original circuit, or a newer EB version?
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    The Classic is supposed to be the same circut EB has been using in a standard StingRay all these years, which is supposed to be the same circut since 79. The Classic I had was practically identicle in sound to the 81 preEB I had.
  12. air_leech

    air_leech

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    yes and no.

    the capacitors used in the pre-EB Stingrays and those in the later production MMs and the EB Rays are of a different variety (Tantalum Vs. Electrolytic, respectively).

    also, the circuitry is supposed to be the same but EB uses a large printed board where the pots are soldered directly to the board whille the pre-EB used a small printed circuit glued to the chassis of the bass and treble pots and connected to the pots' legs with wires.

    while I haven't opened up a Classic Ray's control cavity (yet) I'm pretty sure they share the same 2 band circuit as standard Stingray models since the design isn't really different from the original circuit, only more neatly packaged.

    my 2 band circa 2000 EBMM and my 1980 MM sound pretty different - the pre-EB has a more raw and open sound to it though I have no evidence that the differences listed above are responsible as the finish on the necks is different (Gunstock Oil was used on the 2000 model), the pre-EB has the thru-body stringing, the 20 years of difference and of course every piece of wood is different to begin with...
  13. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    Also keep in mind that pre-EB preamps can be very different from each other. Leo would change things whenever he wanted. Also the tolerances on the components wasn't very high which leads to more variance.

    My two pre-EB 'Rays, a July '77 and a mid '78, both with epoxy-dipped boards, had very different centers for the bass controls.

    John
  14. brocco

    brocco

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    I would have a hard time gettin by in life withoutmy Stingray ;)
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    I opened up an '07 regular Ray 2eq and a '10 Classic, and I was suprised to see they updated the shape of the board and are now using mini-pots. All the component values are all still the same though.

    '09 later (including the Classic) Preamp.
    [​IMG]
  16. air_leech

    air_leech

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    all models from 2006 onwards are supposed to have these. still, I'd be surprised if the Classics dont have an off the shelf 2 band preamp like the regular 2 band Rays.
  17. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    That's what I was getting at, the Classic has an off-the-shelf preamp.
    But the shape of the preamp and change to mini-pots had to have happened between 08-09 because my mid-'07 2eq Dargie still as the boomerang shaped circut board and old pots.
  18. dslapster64

    dslapster64 Supporting Member

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    Hey guys.
    I just took my epoxied 77 stingray to a tech because of noise. He took the preamp out and I am considering replacing with a stock 2 band preamp from MM. That should clear up the noise. I too am not too keen on changing it but it may be on it's way out. What do you think?
  19. MrRockne78

    MrRockne78

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    Sounds like there's some good knowledge here about Stingray history so I have to throw this out there: I have a '77 Stingray but the pre was replace with a 90's version and I have a repair guy who is restoring it for me and he has a vintage epoxy pre that is dated to around my bass. Problem is neither he, nor I can determine a fair value for it. He's a friend so I want to pay him a fair value and he doesn't want to rip me off so if anyone has any ideas please do tell. I've searched eBay and never seen a pre for sale!

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