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Beginner: Just got a Ray34

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassischill, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. bassischill


    Jul 17, 2012
    Greetings everyone.

    I'm a beginning player using Roy Vogt's Teach Me Bass Guitar. I have just been lucky enough to obtain a Sterling MM Ray34 in blue sparkle and out of the box, it feels great, however, a couple of things that I have noticed are:

    1 - the E and A strings are MUCH louder than the D and G strings

    2 - The G string sounds like it belongs on a different instrument. You can barely hear it and it has a cheap sound to it. The notes just don't sound clear and crisp like the other strings do.

    I have an Ampeg 25 and have tried turning the knobs every which way on both that and the guitar and I just cannot get that string to sound in any way bass-y. It's so offputting to be going through the lessons and have notes on that string just sound so incredibly out of place.

    Is there something that can be done? Different string maybe? I'm reticent to start making adjustments since I really don't know what I am doing and while You Tube videos are nice, I don't want to mess with something unfamiliar and damage the instrument in any way. I do have another set of strings here that are the same gauge as the ones on the guitar. Should I swap the G and see if it makes a difference?

    If I take this in for a setup somewhere will that help me with this issue?

    Thanks for any tips.
  2. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    If you are using the strings that came with it, change them. I have NEVER left the original strings on a new bass (and I never will). Who knows what those strings are or what they have been through. Second, check your pickup height, the distance below the strings. And yes, if you take it in for a setup, all your problems should be resolved.
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Getting your instrument properly set up, by a competent tech, is the first thing that really should be done. That person should set neck relief, check nut slot depths, adjust action, check intonation, adjust pup height, etc, etc. Just my $.02
  4. xxx666


    Jan 12, 2008
    Endorsing Artist G&L Guitars
    Sounds like the Ray 34s are much like a real Ray :D
  5. :DChilis:D


    Dec 23, 2006



  6. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Hi bassischill,

    In terms of the D, G tone, xxx666 actually makes a good point in a funny way. But, you should be able to adjust for this using the pickup height, making the E, A side lower and possibly raising the D, G side a little to compensate.

    You won't hurt anything by doing this, so don't worry. Here are SBMM's recommendations for string height and spacing, available at http://www.sterlingbymusicman.com/support/setup-guide:

    Pickup Height
    Measured with the string pressed at the last fret, the distance from the bottom of the string to the top of the pole piece should be:
    Low E = 4 mm
    G string = 3mm

    Once the neck relief is set, The string action is set by measuring at the 15th fret, the distance from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret should be:
    Low E = 2.2mm - 2.8mm
    G string = 2.0m - 2.5mm

    Best of luck,


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