"clanky" Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bobalu, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I have a new (December 2006 actually) Stingray HH that I ordered and waited 10 months for. I love the feel, the sound, the look (natural with a tort. guard :smug:). But....it just sounds "clanky" no matter how I try and play it. By clanky I mean sort of rattly, but not the low action poor set-up kind of rattle. Just metallic fret noise when I play. Everthing about this bass is perfect btw, frets are awesomely polished and the neck is wonderful. This never happens with my Fender P or J, or even my Ric 4003. I tried changing the stock strings a few times to D'Addario XL's and most recently DR Sunbeams (I never had a problem with any of the previous string sets, btw, I was just desperate). It's bothering me so much so that I have been subconciously avoiding the Stingray to paly and am seriously considering getting rid of it. Is this a MM thing? Just the nature of the beast? Can my technique be that bad?? No slap and no thrash metal, just pop, blues and jazz playing for me. If it matters, I'm playing through a Mesa Walkabout Scout. I just don't know why this wouldn't happen with all my other basses if my technique is so bad.

    Any thoughts?
  2. doog

    doog Guest

    Jun 26, 2007
    Try flatwounds and see if that cures the problem
  3. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    All Sting Rays sound "clanky" to me, but you should be able to mitigate the problem by:

    EQing at the amp
    Raising the strings slightly
    Using a lighter touch
    Trying flats, as doog suggested.

    good luck!
    Sartori likes this.
  4. NachoFury

    NachoFury Guest

    May 28, 2007
    Montreal, QC
    Turn down the treble?
  5. Stingrays naturally have a lot of zing (it's what makes them cut through a mix so well) but you can tame some of that zing.

    Try turning the treble down on your bass. I keep my treble at about 2, and I don't get any clank. You may or may not like the tone, but give it a try.
    Try flatwound strings as doog suggested, or Elixirs. Elixirs will give you a dark tone for a round string, and they're thumpy too. You might also like DR Lo-riders.

    This is how I have the EQ set on my Stingray 4 with DR Lo-Riders:

    Bass - 7 or 8
    Mids - 7
    Treble - 1 or 2 :eek:

    This gives a Paul Denman-type tone. (Sade's Smooth Operator)

    Good Luck.

  6. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    i've gotten mine under control by switching to heavy gauge (50-110) DR lo-riders. even though they are SS, they have prominent mids which help to balance the sound IMO. also, setup is very important - just a slight raising of the strings can go a long way towards reducing subtle fret buzz - the MM electronics really magnify fret buzz and string noise, so you have to watch it more on these basses.

  7. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    Some good suggestions here, thanks very much all.....

    Yes, I was thinking about flats maybe. I also like the Elixir idea, but I have always heard that the coating starts to peel off very quickly (ie: they don't last long). I don't know how true this is though.

    Thanks again for your collective help! :bassist:
  8. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    Do you have a maple fret board on this bass? I had a Sterling natural ash black pickguard with a maple fretboard. It was gorgeous but same thing a lot of fret noise. I sold it and bought a honey burst Sterling with a rosewood fretboard and all is well now.
  9. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    No, it has a rosewood fretboard.
  10. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    If you're getting fret buzzing, maybe you need a truss rod adjustment.
  11. I play a regular SR5 as my main bass. Flats is a great suggestion (mine is wearing LaBella mediums now) but, at least for the single H, the mid EQ knob is the secret. When playing solo, or in a sparse arrangement, you can round off the sound a lot by dialing the mids down on board. When I played High Beams, I kept the treble down as well. 90% of the time with the flats, I run in series mode with a slight bass boost and modulate the mids for the song.
  12. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    I don't know if it is a generally accepted fact that Elixirs are dark sounding, but my experience with them on SR4's are quite a bit different. Elixir Nanowebs give me great treble and brilliance. I only use this brand and put them on all of my basses. They've always been very bright sounding IMO. +1 on using them on a MM. They'll get the job done and give you tone for a longer time than most brands of strings will.
  13. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I actually had this problem with the SR5 I used to own. The highs just felt to clanky and not smooth at all. I went and changed the PU and preamp and the sound became smoother. Mine had the G string a little weaker than the rest and sometimes the string just went off the fretboard when playing it. Don't know if I eplxained myself right. But I've read of a lot of people who had this same problem.

    I'm actually now Gasing for a Stingray 4. Go figure.:)
    joebar and murphy like this.
  14. ROON

    ROON Guest

    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I've been having a big problem with Stingray clank too. Are these settings on the Ray EQ or the amp?

  15. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    Stingrays are great at what they do (a sort of active clank), but if you want a warm organic tone try something else.
  16. I use Elixir mediums and they last quite a long time (a couple of months or so) before getting furry. Even then they still play OK. The only strings I like better are Fender Tapewounds.
  17. EarlSandwich


    Nov 13, 2007
    When I got mine, it sounded pretty clanky, but putting some old worn strings on it helped a lot. I've been thinking about maybe putting some tapewounds on, but I like to keep a bit of the twang.
    A tweak on the truss rod helped a lot too.
  18. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I have owned a few Musicman bass and the weak G string is a common problem for some reason but I love them anyway.
  19. These are the settings on my Stingray.

    On my amp, a Hughes & Kettner 250 watt 1 x 10 combo, all tone controls are at 2 O'clock, except the treble, which is at 9 O'clock. This does not apply to the volume, naturally. ;)

    Stingrays have a lot of upper mids and highs, and I think this influences a lot of people into thinking that this is the only sound they'll get from their 'Ray.

    Start with all tone controls flat, then slowly play with them all until you get a sound you like.

    That's my advice to every player with any bass.

    Mike ;)
    kkaarrll likes this.
  20. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX