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Downside to more pickups? (stingray)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FalsehoodBass, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I'm returning to bass after a 7 year hiatus. I'd like to get a stingray like I had but now there are all of these pickup options. My question is this: is there any downside to the HS or HH vs. the H pickup option? I loved the tone from the single H back in the day, but versatility is always nice.

  2. SwagAttack


    Sep 14, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    From what I have gathered (as I was once interested in buying an HH), the HH has more tonal variety, but some of them are not that great. I also read that the HH can't quite nail the H tone since the pickup positions are different. I may be wrong, but the best choice is to go try both, shouldn't be too hard to find them both.
  3. I have an HH, and I may not be an expert, nor can I A and B since its the only ray I have, but it gets close enough to what I picture as the "ray" sound as I need, plus a lot more tones that get more "P" like, and I can get a pretty close to jazz tone by singling coils. all very versatile. On the flipside, it takes more time to fiddle around with and I dont use a good portion of the available tones all that much. They are really two different beasts, and a classic or single H ray is just a bit more simplified. Im sure to some purists there is a difference, but for all intents and purposes its not enough for me to give up the versatility even if I don't use it.
  4. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    The last HH ray I played was an SLO special that sounded perfect
  5. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I wasn't thrilled with the extra tones when I had my HH. For some reason I also got a bit of hum on one or more settings. Might have been in my head, but I felt the extra weight. I decided that all I really want out of a SR is the SR tone and the variations on that I can dial in with the 3bEq. My '05 LE SR4 H is my main player.
  6. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Thanks. I didn't realize that the H pu was in a different position than the bridge pickup of the HH model.

    How about things like reduced sustain or possibility of the strings contacting the poles of the neck pu? Any issues with these?

    I have yet to find a local dealer that stocks any of what I'm looking for. I live in Denver, CO if you have any suggestions. I was planning on ordering from basscentral, I assume they're still legit?

    Thanks again for the responses thus far.
  7. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I own, and gig a Sterling 5H and 5HH.
    The bridge H is in the same spot in both. When I solo it on my HH, it sounds pretty much identical to the H model.
    The only bass that the HH has different position than the H is the Bongo.
    I actually love the extra tones available from the HH, though that's not to say that the H is severely limited - quite the opposite. I don't get any extra hum or noise in any settings at all.
    I also don't notice any reduced sustain or issues when playing my HH. If you do end up hitting the pole pieces, it's probably time to lower the pickups ;).
    If you're a slap player, some people complain about the neck pickup "getting in the way". So far, I haven't had issues with that in the least on any of my dual pickup Balls, but that's me, not you.
    I think I might've answered your current questions and put to rest a misconception. Let me know if you have any others. :D
  8. I had a HH Stingray which I traded for my current H Stingray. I too thought the HH would be more versatile, but I was let down by the other sounds. I'm pretty sure the bridge pickup is in the same place as a normal Stingray, but it seems tamer than the single pickup model. Soloing the neck pickup gave an even further watered-down Stingray sound, rather than being Precision-like. The coil tap settings sounded decent, but were very similar (basically a Jazz tone, and a more mid-scooped Jazz tone). The center "all coils on" setting was just a muddy mess.

    If I had to go for a two pickup model, I would go for the HS. The single coil neck pickup would give a much more usable Precision-like tone, you'll get a Jazz-like tone from one coil-tap position, and a single-coil bridge setting from the other (since the corresponding neck pickup is underneath the pickguard or a phantom pickup, so it won't pick up on the string).

    Also, you already said you're going for a Stingray so this won't apply, but Sterlings and five string HH pickups are wired in series, not parallel, which would give you even less of the classic Stingray sound.
  9. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    The H pickup selector has 3 positions. The HH has 5. I believe it is case that 2 of the 5 positions on the HH are identical to 2 of the positions on the H. But, the other 3 positions on the HH are all different than the 3rd position on the H.

    In other words, the H has one position of the pickup selector that you cannot reproduce exactly on the HH. If that one position/sound is what you want, you will only get something "close" on the HH.

    I love my SR5 H and the only thing more I wish it had is the piezo pickup option.

    ps. I don't recall ever seeing a post where somebody said they had an H and wish they had gotten an HS or HH. Not saying it doesn't happen. But, I don't think it happens very often at all (if ever).
  10. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    Well, the time to buy is now...I was just tooling around the GC site, and they have 15% off EBMM products right now.
  11. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I run a SR5 H with a piezo and love the tone option the piezo adds
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Yep. I was just looking at GC, too. Unfortunately, they don't have any SR5 or Sterling 5s with HP pickups.
  13. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    They are in the same position on the Stingrays. They are NOT in the same position on Bongos.

    The HH will nail the H tone when the switch is selected to the bridge position.
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I had the SR4H and SR4HH and SR5H and SR5HH all at the same time. I know the rear pickup postitions are in the same spots as the single H's.
    But all that said, I simply prefer the original sound and simplicity of the single H Ray.
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  16. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    The downside? They're about $150 more expensive :p

    Seriously, there's no reason NOT to buy one of the 2 pickup models unless you want the old school Stingray sound and nothing else.
  17. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I had a 3 band StingRay 4 H, always wished it had a neck pickup.
    Tried the HH StingRay, didn't like it--all the extra parallel options sounded hollow to me, but I quite enjoyed the sound of the series-wired Sterling HH.
  18. Someone mentioned the 3-position switch. That's on the Sterling, not the Stingray, and that does provide some differences in tonal options (with the Sterling).

    IMO/IME, the HH stingray, played using just the bridge pickup, sounds the exact same as the standard stingray (I certainly couldn't tell any difference between them).

    The only problem I've really seen is some people find the extra pickup gets in the way, depending on your playing technique. Never an issue here, but may be for some people.

    How useful are the other settings? I find them very useful. I tend to use options 2 or 4 fairly regularly (a single coil from each pickup) and the neck pickup solo'd on a fretless is sweeeeeeeet! Both pickups on full isn't one I use often, it sounds nice in solo play, but not that great in a band situation (where the other options can be pretty useful).

    Will also add that I've not had any hum issues with either of mine.

    I do wish you could get them with the 2-band preamp. But that's another story :)
  19. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    The HS sounds pretty good, but imo the HH sounds terrible. The neck pickup is in a bad position and it scoops the mids way too much with both pickups on. I added a neck pickup in the Ric neck position (24th fret) and it sounds amazing.
  20. AuntieBeeb


    Dec 12, 2010
    Nope. Definitely not enough pickups.

    Try one of these:

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