Ernie Ball Stingray problems...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FiveOneSix, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. FiveOneSix


    Dec 10, 2013
    ok, so...
    bought a used EB stingray from a friend, he said it works sometimes and sometimes it doesnt (i used to be in a band with him so i know it did work and sounded amazing). cost $130 from a buddies music store to replace something and clean out the crap that had built up under the plate. worked fine for the past year.
    now i have 2 problems:
    1-something is loose (or something) under the plate with the knobs. at random times it will sound like a buzzing sound that goes up and down and faster and slower and cut out all bass sound (happened mid set). any ideas before i work a part time job just to pay for the repair?
    2-(and it may be the a noob so go easy on me lol) A (and lower notes on that string) are SOO much brighter and crisp/clearer then the same notes played on the E string. is this normal or will better/newer strings fix that?

    any help would would be rad and super appreciated =)

  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    1. sounds like an issue with the preamp.

    2. How old are the strings?
  3. FiveOneSix


    Dec 10, 2013
    1- forgot to say that last month the buzzing started, had input replaced and it stopped for a week. when it happens, i can hit the metal plate with the knobs and it will stop for a bit...then its back.
    2- little over a year

    thanks for your reply dude!
  4. bassplayer75

    bassplayer75 Bassplayer75 Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    salyersville, ky

    sounds like a ground problem to me ...
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sounds like something could be loose or starting to corrode.

    If you want bright, year-old, well played strings won't help.
  6. odarellmc


    Jul 8, 2012
    Trust rod..
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Nothing to do with the buzzing but definitely change those strings. If you want a bright sound you're going to need to change them much more often than that. Depending on how often you play, how clean your hands are, how much you sweat, the type of sweat, the strings themselves, etc. you probably would want to change them roughly every 3 months. Could be more or less depending on those variables.

    As for the buzzing noise. Have you tried a new cable? It could be that simple. I do agree that it sounds like a grounding problem though.
  8. FiveOneSix


    Dec 10, 2013
    im not sweating yet haha, not confident enough to go berzerker on stage yet.
    yeah man i tried the battery, new and old cables, different amps, etc.

    i appreciate the responses, any ideas on how to remedy the problems you guys are mentioning? or ways to count them out as the culprit?

    thanks again =)
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    You don't need to do anything other than play to have your hands sweat/release oil, dirt, or grime onto the strings.

    Do you have any experience with fixing electronics? If no, take it to a tech.
  10. FiveOneSix


    Dec 10, 2013
    i dont have much experience with it but only one way to get experience...thats why im here and not taking it to a tech...yet lol.
    im a very "hands on" person. =)
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If it were me, I'd have the electronics all yanked out and reinstalled properly with new pots. Have all the grounds and shielding redone.
  12. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    With regards to your comment about the E string, that's normal. I hear it too on mine, and I've owned several. It's actually there on all basses, but it's just more pronounced on a Stingray. IME, the A and D are brighter than the E and G strings. I've actually wondered if the "weak G" phenomenon (here come the flames) actually applies to the E string as well, but due to the size of the E string itself, the preamp, and the tremendous low end of the Ray, it's just not as noticeable. If you look at where those strings lay in relation to the poles, they are much more off center than the A and D. It's by design. Just one of it's quirks.
  13. FiveOneSix


    Dec 10, 2013
    DWBass...ok that i wouldnt tackle yet, any idea what a fair price for that is? :bag:

    Gasman...thanks for that! that actually helped me understand a lil better! :cool:


    Dec 3, 2013
    Call musicman!
  15. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Don't be afraid to take things apart and clean the components with alcohol and look for loose connections. One of the best things you could do for yourself as a musician is to learn how to setup and maintain your instrument. There's really not much to it once you understand how everything works.

    Buzzing like that is usually a problem with the cable input. Those things get dirty, break, lose ground connection, etc. Look for loose connections, dust, etc. Take the knob plate off and look around, clean everything with alcohol. If you do see a loose wire, get a cheap soldering iron and fix it youself. Again, not rocket science. Pretty simple to figure out. The Internet has all the info you need for that stuff.

    Get a new set of strings with fairly low tension like light gauge nickel round wound or light gauge flats (your preference). Those basses hate high tension strings. It will be difficult to intonate if there's a lot of tension. I'd personally recommend a basic string like DR Sunbeams light, EB Super Slinky, or D'Addario XL light.

    Which type of Stingray is it? Is it classic with one pickup? Those basses have weak G string issue where you can generally fix it by lowering the bass side of the pickup down to the pickguard level, and raising the treble side to almost as high as it can go. Make sure your string height for each string curves with the surface of the neck (i.e the G and the E looks a bit lower than the D and A). You can adjust this using allen wrench at the top of the bridge saddles.

    If you're still not happy with your string height, whether they're too high or too low to the fretboard, you'll need to adjust the neck relief. Turning the truss rod clockwise will bring the strings closer to the neck, counterclockwise will set them further away (you are adjusting the bow in the neck). You should only turn at most a quarter turn at a time either direction.

    Intonate your strings by checking if your tuning is the same between open string and 12th fret. If the 12th fret is sharp, move the saddle closer to the pickup (using the screw on the back of the saddle), if it's flat, move it towards the butt of the bass.

    Also, make sure you have a fresh battery. Those pickups are active and require 9 volt battey.

    Hope this helps.

  16. He's talking about a Musicman you know!!!! Musicman basses generally leave the factory in as near perfect condition as possible - my experience has been its users who alter them so they don't work properly - be it from their choices in tone control setting on the bass or their amp or a combination of both, or the way they set them up.

    Put a set of tools in front of many musicians (who are not techs) and you can almost hear instruments screaming!! It's the same with car users.............

    Anyway it may be worth you contacting EB customer services and ask their advice. They do care about these things.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Buying a new preamp from EB would probably be cheaper or close enough to the price of paying someone to replace all of the pots and resolder all the connections. The pots are not standard.
  18. joeri


    Mar 10, 2009
    Check the wires to the batterybox.
    Gigged my MM 10 years without any problems and then suddenly it started to buzz,made distorted sounds,...
    Checked all the intern parts and discoverd one of the wires to the batterybox came loose.
  19. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini

    Feb 25, 2004
    Open the plate and look inside. Anything loose, disconnected wires, old battery? May be something obvious; if not take it to a qualified tech.
  20. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Anything anyone tells you here without actually seeing it is just a guess. Take it to a qualified repairman and get it done right.