caught between a sterling and a jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ToddZilla, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. ToddZilla

    ToddZilla Guest

    Apr 12, 2004
    Okay, I need you guys to save me from myself on this one. Either that or send me down the bass swapping road...

    Recently I decided to get a new bass, after much trying, online shopping, reviewing, etc.... I settled on a MM Sterling 4 in trans red with the grey pearloid pg. In the store it sounded phenomenal, played well, the whole nine. For the first couple of weeks it was home with my Metro it still did. Now I can't seem to coax any warmth out of it....or when I do it's too much (ie boomy with little definition) Try as I may I can't figure out the eq to get what I want out of it (suggestions welcome here ;) ) So I find myself plugging in the ol' MIM Jazz....and suddenly it all sounds right again.

    Fastforward a bit, last weekend my guitarist/singer and I decide to go to GC and check out PAs (one of their many sales) while there what do I see but a used FMT Jazz with basslines in it (no clue which ones) I promptly fall for said bass but don't have the $$ available. Now I'm considering seeing if they'll swap the Sterling for it, much as I hate to sell guitars (back to that "one" yuo never should have let go).

    Help me TB your my only hope

  2. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I think you should keep it. Sterlings are wonderful basses, but EQing a Musicman can be very tricky business if you're not used to the sound. Just keep trying and you'll nail a good tone.
    Try switching to single coil mode (I can't remember which position it is) and then EQ the bass like this to start:

    Bass - flat
    Mid - flat
    Treble - cut

    Then go to your amp and dial in the best sound you can and work your way from there.

    If you're still not satisfied, There are a few companies that make very good sounding replacement pickups. Nordstrand makes one for the Sterling that is supposed to hace a more vintage 70's Stingray tone. This sounds like it could be your answer if all else fails.
  3. I've owned a Sterling for nearly six years and I agree, it's a tricky proposition to EQ the thing but trust me, after practicing for countless hours with it, my back and wrists are grateful for having it. It's light, resonant, and well-made, which are all understatements I must say. I never had to adjust the action, or the truss rod since picking it up and I'm serious.

    The variables in tonality it can yeild are stunning. I would say try a Sterling with Roto's and DR's to truly see the ranges it can hit but if you can't... just try both and I wish you the best.
  4. Musicfreak1988


    Feb 2, 2005
    I have a MM, it's a Stingray but it's a MM. I love it! But... (yeah, there's always a but) as said, a good tone is hard to achieve, but once you've got it, it sounds really great. I also have a Jazz, because I think a (passive) Jazz and a MM are very complementary to each other... But I'd definately keep the MM. You can always buy a J-type in the future.