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Deep Smooth Not-so-aggresseive tone possible with a Stingray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. I was thinking along to listening to Addison Groove Project (a great group) and was thinking about the bassists tone. He gets a great smooth tone from his Stingray, and I've played an Ash/Maple one and didn't like it at all. Too aggressive and trebley. The thought popped into my head that what would a Alder/Rosewood Stingray with flats sound like? Would it still be agressive and bright? How smooth and deep have you got your Stingray? How have you acheived this?


    P.S. Anyone have any soundclips of a Stingray with flats?
  2. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    That's sorta like adding a tow hitch to a racecar, you could do it, but why?
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    You know of Addison too!? They're pretty cool guys, but I'm not a fan of their music. I've seen them play a few times. It's a shame what happened to the bassist.
  4. What happened to their bassist?
  5. Cancer, just read it on their site.

    A real shame, he had some real talent.

    RIP John Hall.
  6. Read my first post. To get a smoother tone.
  7. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Wouldn't using old strings and cutting the highs do the trick? Also try plucking near the neck with a relatively light touch.
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    YES, you can get "deep smooth" tone out of a Stingray, lot's of people do it, flat wound strings not required(or wanted). I'ts been 10 years since I've gigged on a Stingray, so I'm apologizing in advance for errors:select neck section of pup, crank the bass and start rolling the treble down until satisfied. If it's mud tone you want then I agree with the "tow hitch on the racecar" comment.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    For smother songs, I alter my technique a bit too. The SR is very responsive to the plucking position. Pluck a little closer to the neck and enjoy the difference. Also, don't hit so hard. This applies to both hands. I deliberately hit harder when playing songs where trebly clicks that work well.
  10. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Way too many people think of the Stingray as only capable of great, slapping, wanky, trebley, Flea-like noises.

    I understand that the Stingray will do that, yes, yes, and you don't have to tell me things I already know.

    But I am an old-school thumpy caveman bass player, and I play Stingrays, and I try to only slap possums, and I get a nice, smooth, deep, less aggressive tone from my basses, including Bongos.

    Flatwound strings are part of the equation. My selection of amps/cabinets are another part. The way I play is maybe even more important. I don't think you need to go alder/rosewood to get that sort of tone.

    The tone you're thinking of - "Smooth Operator"? That's a Stingray, albeit fretless.

    Tow hitch, indeed.
  11. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I get those Deep/Smooth tones from my SR5 - although I did go for the Pau fretbroad and piezo options.
  12. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I am a student of the "Bovine School of Flats". I use TI flats and pluck with my fingers about halfway between the pup and the neck to get a smooth sound with lots of low end. I also have my switch set to the bridge position.
  13. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I get those deep lows from my Stingray - without flats. Never had flats on my 'Ray and I never will. I simply keep the highs in check w/the treble knob and adjust my playing style. I have a maple fretboard as well. Granted, I dropped in the Duncan MM replacement Alnico pickup and preamp combo which can still sting in the top end, but takes off the harsh edge of the stock EB circuit and can achieve a tighter and deeper low end than the orginal circuit, but even with the stock stuff (which I still have BTW) I could attain the same results. Listen to Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" - pretty tame for a Stingray, and that's an EXACT sound you can get from any Stingray if you really get to know the instrument and learn its nuances. A quick playing "one time...in a music store" ain't gonna get it.

    tlc1976 likes this.
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If I can get a warm, smooth tone out of my Modulus Flea, strung with 40-95 gauge Rotosound 66's, its definitely possible with a Stingray.
  15. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    As for clips of a smooth-sounding 'Ray, I'd recommend you give a listen to Peter Gabriel's "Lovetown" off the "Philadelphia" soundtrack. If I'm not mistaken, it's Tony Levin on a fretless Stingray 5.
    SteveCS likes this.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have owned several Musicman basses included my current SUB5 and believe me, it is a simple matter to turn down the treble, turn up the bass, and also move your hand closer to the neck away from the bridge.
    armybass and SteveCS like this.
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Wasn't Sweetest Taboo done with The Roots? And doesn't Hub play a jazz with EMG's?
  18. novo


    Feb 20, 2007
    Lowering your volume from the Bass would mellow down the sound, then add volume from the amp!
  19. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Flatwound strings on most of my EBMM Basses and don’t be afraid to turn the Preamp knobs. I used always run mine flat with rounds but discovered tonal nirvana with other strings and knob turning.
  20. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    AFAIK Tony's fretless is (or was for many years) a Sabre4, but that's neither here nor there - it amounts to pretty much the same thing. There are plenty of examples of mellow tones from a StingRay, and my main reason for playing them is the range of tones available just through technique without any knob turning. Sure they can be aggressive, but IME the StingRay is by far the most nuanced and responsive of all of the Fender-derivative basses. YMMV.