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A Sterling preamp (with switch) in a Stingray?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Kristopher, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Okay, the deal is that I have a Stingray that has sentimental value to me, so I will never sell it, and I don't want to drop a grand to buy a Sterling. However, I'm pretty tired of the sounds I'm getting with my 'ray and I really like the sound options of the Sterling with its pickup switch.

    So I was thinking of buying a Sterling-type preamp and another control plate and drilling a hole in the plate between the mid and bass knobs for a small 3-position switch (instead of drilling the body).

    Has anyone done this type of mod before? I'm not very knowledgable about electronics so I don't even know if something like this would even work.

    Any ideas/suggestions?
  2. I don't see any reason why this can't be done...the sterling pickup is slightly different than the Stingray's in that it has a dummy coil under the two humbucking coils, so that when it is switched to coil-tap (single coil) mode, it is also hum-cancelling. But that's not entirely necessary...

    it's quite an easy process to install a series/single/parallel switch...I know nothing about sterling preamps (or even if you can get them), but you could probably install just about any decent preamp (like an OBP-3) to produce a very decent sounding and more versatile instrument.
  3. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Wow, I can't find a replacement control plate for a Stingray anywhere. They just don't seem to exist. :crying: I might have to drill into my current one, grrr.
  4. Z-Bass


    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    As a start and before ordering a new plate and electronics, I wonder if there is something that can be done with a pull up volume knob to switch between parallel and series. I believe the stingray is wired in parallel. You wouldn't have the single coil option though but not sure how important to you that is. At least you wouldn't have to replace the pickup and control plate. If this can be done, see if that is enough to provide more flexibility. I thought the preamps on the Stingrays and sterlings were the same but I may be wrong, however, if you need something different, as others have mentioned the OBP-3 preamp would be a good choice as that offers two different mid settings.
  5. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I'll definitely look into that. Also, I thought that I might be able to use one of the holes in the control plate for a switch and then use a stacked knob for the pot it replaces? Maybe.

    This will require much planning!
  6. +10,000 push-pull pots are pots with switches attached to them...the perfect solution for your problem.

    you COULD wire a second push-pull pot to get that single pickup, if it was absolutely needed ...
  7. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    For the pickup, you could go with the 3-coil MM replacement from Carey Nordstrand. You would have to route into the pickup cavity because the third coil is down below the other two coils, which requires a deeper pickup cavity.

    Follow this link to look at the MM 4.3 pickup, you can see the third coil. I think the stock Sterling pickups may be like this also. Nordstrand Pickups

    You can order a new control plate directly from Ernie Ball Music Man customer service. Give them a call, they even have a toll free number. Ask for Scott Ball.
  8. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I had a S'Ray that I had modded for series/parallel.
    I believe (and chime in if I'm wrong) the stock p/up is parallel, and when I had the mod done, in series mode the thing got real agressive and in you face. Almost P Bass-ish, but with the MM tone. (Am I making sense??). Not as smooth and lost some of the sizzle, but added mid growl.
    It was cool, I used it alot doing rock gigs.
  9. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    So you used the stock pup and pre and added a push/pull for the series/parallel switch? If so, that sounds like a pretty easy mod.
  10. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    I think the stock pickup is hardwired in parallel.