Anyone U-Retro'd a Stingray 5 yet?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rojo412, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    As always, GAS can get me anywhere. I happened upon a very mint Stingray 5, used. It's pretty, ash with rosewood. But I have owned 3 or 4 Stingrays, so the tone wasn't shocking to me. Played and looked great though.

    The other side of this is I have a Jazz Dlx with a maple board. It was nice until I put the J retro Dlx in it, then it was FREAKIN AWEOME... except the maple board, which lacks a mid that rosewood can get.

    I looked at the 'Ray and thought "I bet this would be a lot better with a U Retro". Then I looked at my Jazz and thought "You could be a stingray if I played my cards right."

    So long story short, I wanted to see if anone has put a U Retro Dlx into a 'Ray. I wanted to know what the overall result was. I want to know if there is a certain way to wire it up to the system with the Pan Pot or what mod may be required.

  2. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    I havent had any experience with one, but isn't the u/j-retro supposed to be very transparent?

    If so then it'll probably sound just about the same, maby a little more natural sounding because more transparent=less coloration right?

  3. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Actually, the biggest (and just about the only) complaint I've heard about the U/J-Retro's is that they aren't transparent, even in passive mode. They tend to color the bass's sound even with the EQ bypassed, so you don't maintain many of the tonal properties of the original pickup/preamp combination. A lot of people like this because the U/J-Retro's are very versatile, but people who are just looking for a little something extra out of their basses tend to not like them, just because they're so different. FWIW, I've played a few J-Retro's, and although I didn't have enough experience with the original instrument setups to know how much the J-Retro was changing the sound, I loved the way they sounded after the upgrade!
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Well, as a J Retro Dlx user and abuser, I know how they change the sound and how they add features beyond a standard preamp. I like the way they work and would likely opt for it on just about any bass.

    The SR5 is a relatively simple machine with simple controls and a large, passive pickup. If you ask me what I think of the standard preamp on a SR5, I'd say the high control is relatively unuseable, the mid functions okay, and the low is okay at best.
    The change that I can assume with the East preamps... Bass control will be about the same, maybe some subtle difference (yeah, it won't cut, but who amongst us wants to do that?); Mids will be a lot more useful with a freq. sweep as well as boost/cut; highs will be a lot more usefull, with a pull for when I want that stingray tone (aka sounds like the action's too low). In addition, I can run the passive tone control to soften the edge and active/passive op for shifts and giggles.

    But this is all theory, so if anyone has more specific details, fire away.
    As for the Pan Pot, the pickup, and the switch... well, I could run the 2 coils like 2 pickups, but that could suck. I could run the switch to the lead of the preamp, but then I have a useless pan pot (although that's not a big deal). I just wonder if such actions may turn up the suck knob on the tone.
  5. OBBM


    Jan 26, 2005
    Surrey, UK
    I've been considering the same mod. Where it all falls down is with the coil switching as some of it is done in the EBMM 3-band pre-amp. There is no single output from the switch with the series/parallel/phantom signal to feed into a U-Retro. To overcome this I have built a small circuit board to replicate the switching cicuit and it works fine.

    FYI. I also plan to try a 2-band Stingray pre-amp to see what that sounds like.