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clacky, dull stingray tone, pickup height?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bovine mind, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    after having my amp retubed with a clean bill of health and feeling fairly certain my speakers should be in good condition, i think my stingray 4's tone is suffering.

    i've got GHS boomers on and play in a weird tuning: CACA, puns & all.

    tone i want:

    throbbing semi dubby yet VERY punchy in low mids, minimal to no fret noise, singing reasonably zingy mids.

    i play very aggressively with a pick, problematic tone is:

    very clacky/clicky, with little to no high mids, but with good thick low end. the worst is the midrange, i seem to only get either cardboard sounding dull mids or a harsh, nasally tone. the clack is so bad i can hear it even in a dense droptuned guitar mix. i have to turn the high mids up all the way on the amp to get a decent springy tone.

    i've tried EQing the bass and amp to death and can't find a middle ground.

    would adjusting the pickup height help at all? i've never done it myself. i assume tightening the screws to lower it would be a good shot?

    rig is stingray 4 > svt-cl > ampeg 810e. style of music is doom/ experimental. thanks.
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Adjusting the pickup height may help.

    Another thing you can try is different sets of strings.
  3. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    the clicking comes from our hard attack or low string height.
  4. Seems obvious, but always good to ask ... fresh battery?
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Also the agressive pick attack.
  6. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Might also be worth looking into flatwounds, as they tend to have more smooth/fat mids and less clack/zing on top.
  7. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    Stingrays don't have very good upper mids. They're better at lows and low mids w/ that treble sizzle. You can try adjusting the pickup height, but it may be that you want a new preamp. I know a lot of stingray lovers consider this heresy, but you are describing a somewhat common complaint of stingray owners- booming lows, clicky treble, but no mid presence. It's in the preamp, unfortunately, and adjusting the amp eq won't work (can't boost what isn't there in the first place). The mid knob is centered at 500 kHz, which is pretty low IMO, so cranking it usually will just get honking. So, to summarize, try the cheap stuff, but look into a new preamp. John East makes one with a sweepable mid control- a little pricey but check it out at bestbassgear.com.
  8. markdavid


    Jun 29, 2007
    Sounds like you need a different gauge of strings ,the clacking would be caused by strings hitting the frets due to low string tension , the lack of tension would also account for the lack of high mids , CACA is quite an unusual tuning , I would think to get good consistent tension you would need a set gauged around 120 , 85, 70, 40 (you will need to custom order strings of these gauges)
  9. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    Roll back both the bass and the treble knobs all the way. This will bring out the mids nicely. Might be to much, but it is a good starting point. Then bring in a bit of bass and treble to taste, but don't overdo it or you'll lose those upper mids. Just a dab of treble, and maybe a 1/3 turn on the bass (1/2 being center) is probably enough. Use the amps eq from there. This works wonders on my active SUB5. Its electronics are supposedly very simillar to the ray.

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