Am I ever glad I didn't sell off my Stingray... gigged her last night

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dave Campbell, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Dave Campbell

    Dave Campbell

    Jul 13, 2006
    My second gig with a heavy cover band last night (Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stoneage, Sublime, RHCP, etc).

    It was the first time I pulled out the '85 three-knob Stingray for a gig in a couple years... my oh my I forgot how much those basses have under the hood. It really is like driving a muscle car. After gigging mostly with a P bass and a Jazz bass for my go-to instruments I decided to go for the appropriate tone to play the RHCP's version of Higher Ground at the beginning of the second set, and kept it close for the rest of the gig.

    I came close to listing it here on Talkbass a few times, but after last night it is going to remain in the stable. Otherwise it would be an addition to a future "What Basses do You Regret Selling" thread.

    This may sound a bit shallow, but one of the main reasons I haven't been using it is because it's one of the only basses in my stable of 12 that has a rosewood board, and I've had a tough time seeing the side marker dots, it really has screwed me up at times depending on the stage lighting. This time around I took pieces of fluorescent clothing tag sticker and stuck them to the side of the board... perfect... until a few of them slid off while playing, but I'll find a more workable solution.

    Long story short, that bass is a keeper!

    One other thing I noticed... that instrument does have the weak D and G strings, and I recall a thread here on TB years ago someone suggested using flats and it worked perfectly. I completely forgot all about that and switched back to an extra set of rounds I had in my box, and noticed once again the significant drop in signal from those two strings. Very interesting. The flats really are a solution.
    rojo412, Sirui, Mastermold and 3 others like this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    There is nothing better than getting great results from a bass you already own.
  3. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Seems like you could raise the pickup under the D and G strings to improve the level of them. But if you are happy with the current solution, so be it.

    Otherwise, yes, that's a rockin' bass! I have a Precision and a Jazz and I love them both. And I play them when the employer (contractor of the gig, recording artist/producer, etc) request me to do so. But my Stingray has been my go-to bass for 16 months now. And I wish I had gotten one a long time ago. But no matter, I have one now.

  4. 95% of the time I don't need to see the edge of the fingerboard; but shallow or not, I gig primarily with a maple-board bass most of the time because they're easier to see in the dark (I must be getting old...). The rosewood-board basses only come out in the daylight or somewhere I know I will be able to see them.
  5. Splods

    Splods Guest

    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    I recently got a maple board Sub ray, as I wanted a MM for a while, and I only had my P bass as a maple board at the time. They really put out a lot of sound, and the neck works really well for me.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  6. bullie76

    bullie76 Guest

    Nov 19, 2014
    A friend of mine has one from the mid 80's. Still sounds great. He plans to keep it until the day he dies.
  7. Dave Campbell

    Dave Campbell

    Jul 13, 2006
    Mine's an '85, considered a transition era because Grover Jackson was building the bodies and necks.
    Translucent turquoise body... a real beauty, but has had the snot beat out of it from previous owners (and me too perhaps).
    Once I figure out how to download photos onto this site I'll have a photo up.
  8. Dave Campbell

    Dave Campbell

    Jul 13, 2006
  9. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    that's the same reason I don't like rosewood boards.
  10. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Funny, I never use my Ray at home but it's my go to bass for playing out. played that style of music in a very successful cover band for about 6 years. Went through many basses but always thought my Stingray fit best.
  11. LowEndWooly


    Sep 3, 2013
    NOTHING like a stingray. They will always be my go to. I can't make them sound bad. (well, unless I hit a wrong note.. which happens way more than I'm willing to admit)
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  12. groovatron


    Mar 11, 2010
    Love it!!! My first "real" bass was a '79 MM that was a loaner from my Uncle.......then an '82 which I received mint in '96 (best Christmas present ever..thanks dad!) and proceeded to beat the piss outta her on the road. She is now retired and has just enough fret life to be playable:) I would never sell her.......moved to a 5 string after I retired the MM.
    SilGarzaJr likes this.
  13. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I have a 97 Sterling with 3EQ...definitely a different bass, but interesting you mention the weak D and G because I have that too. I put flats on it and the D and G came to life.

    Now I'm thinking of getting a jazz bass to use for the roundwound must-have situations and keeping flats on the MM full time. I'm worried that I'll keep buying dedicated roundwound basses and decide they all sound better with flats!

    Would you say your Fenders are more even with rounds?
  14. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    For some reason this didn't get results for me, just got to the point where it was clipping out a bit. Aside from the flats I've just had to deal with it by adding compression and playing softer a la Jeff Berlin style which is actually not how I prefer to play. I can dig in a lot more since I put the flats on and get a robust sound.
  15. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    There ya go, then. (LOVE Jeff Berlin!)
  16. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    The way to fix that is to unscrew the pickup,flip it over,and push the D and G string pole pieces out a bit. There is a video on youtube on this. Easy fix.
  17. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I dont notice a weak d or g on my rays. I wonder if the years matter? Im sure ebmm got wise to the weak string output and tried to fix it some how right? Comparing my classic ray and my 3 band they made alot of changes over the years. The only one I wish they would have kept was the string through bridge with the mutes. In my opinion it looks alot cooler.
    handofseven likes this.
  18. You have everything with that bass - the individual 2eq Stingray sound, that bite and zing that cuts through the mix. Nothing not to love!

    I had a similar experience on Saturday - After gigging my Enfield quite a lot recently, I took my new Fender Rascal out on a job with the Classic Sabre. I loved how the Rascal fitted in, but switching to my Sabre for the second set just blew everything away - The massive wall of tone and the gritty top end sparkle just brought a smile to my face.

    I've experienced the weak G syndrome on previous Stingrays, but my Sabre thankfully doesn't suffer from that issue.
  19. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    Is that some kind of green? (like sherwood or something) That bass looks a-w-e-s-o-m-e!!!!
  20. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I wish I would have thought about that. I bought a Stingray back in '79 and I loved it. Use to play full time, 4 sets a night and the on board EQ came in very handy when going between finger style or when using a pick. Learned to get a good balance. But yeah, no matter what I tried that G string was almost non existent which was weird considering how much kick the other strings had, including the D string.

    Have they fixed that problem? I've read yes and no.