G-String on Stingray 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SamHD, May 16, 2005.

  1. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004

    I have an EB Stingray 4 on Rosewood w/3EQ, and I'm finding the notes played on the G-String to be somewhat "invisible" at times. I've read that this is somewhat of a common thing on SR4s.

    Without changing the pickup and pre-amp (which seems to be the ultimate fix), is there a string combination I can try to bring that string "up front" with all the other strings?

    Should I use a fatter string on the G? Would using Flats instead of Rounds make any difference?

    I'm using EB Super Slinkies.

    Any help on this is greatly appreciated.

  2. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I find that EB strings have a G string that dies super quickly. I've found that the best strings for longevity and tone are DR strings (Medium or Heavy, IMO), but you should check out the String Section for that stuff. Go try out other string manufacturers as it may very well be that easy of a fix.

  3. coldtrain


    Aug 19, 2004
    Middleburg, VA
    1) Use a heavier G -- .050
    2) Raise the pup on that side *just a little*
    3) Raise the action of the G *just a little*.
    4) Change your strings regularly.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Good suggestions.

    The imbalance of the G string is one of the things you have to live with for the authentic 'Ray tone. Some players have went as far as replacing the pickup with an aftermarket Bart or Basslines.
  5. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    Ok, thanks for the Replies. I think I'll try some different strings with a .50 G, and bump the action up on it a little.

    I might try the EB Regulars for this time around, which bump all stings up by .05.... either that, or I'll see if I can just buy the .50 (G) and keep the rest as is...

    Thanks again,
  6. Wouldn't you want to lower the G string? It seems like it needs to be closer to the pickup to get a higher output. Unless you raise it and then just play really hard on that string.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Well yea i think that by raising the pickup, you need to avoid choking the string by having not even clearence in the pickup, which can make the sound muffled or worse.
  8. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Had this problem on 4 previously owned 'rays. Two weeks ago I played a '96 Sterling, the G sang for days, loud and bright. I went back last week and bought it, I had to have it! It's hands down the best ray I've ever played. Don't know if it being a Sterling has anything to do with it (probably not). IMHO the weak G is the only flaw a MM has. I tried everything with my previous basses, nothing worked. My '91 ray had a different pre and alnico pickup, G string was close but not perfect. If it is a major issue (it was for me) you'll probably end up selling it, only to find yourself later lusting for another one. The GAS never ends...
  9. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio

    I had the same dealio a few years back with a Stingray and sold it for a much-ashamed price to get rid of it. Even sent it to EB and had them "fix" it, but the issue was still there after as well. Tried heavier strings, rewiring the pickup to series, etc... It appeases me now to know this is a common trait of the bass. Same here about the G-string on my Sterling....rings loud and proud compared to its older brother. I did notice the Stingray might have had some more depth than my Sterling.
  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    It might not be a route you want to take, but compression could be your answer. By compressing the lower strings which seem to have a higher output, that would effectively bring the G string to a closer overall volume with the other strings.
  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    It is a real problem, mine suffers from this. I've heard the 3-band EQs (like mine) are especially known for it, but this isn't the whole answer as you can hear the effect is "there" even with the bass unamplified. You don't notice it THAT much when playing on your own, but with my band I was really caught out by it. Every time I moved to the G string I just seemed to drop right out of the on-stage sound. Doesn't happen with any of my other basses! I would love to know how to cure it, because my SR4 is one of the nicest instruments I have playing wise, but I haven't gigged with it again. I think I'm going to experiment with different strings (mine still has EBs on it at the moment) and gauges to see if I can minimise the effect as far as possible.
  12. When I purchased my new 'Ray it suffered the same problem.

    I measured and adjusted string heights so that BOTTOM of each string was almost exactly the same height from the pickup as the next.

    This is done by raising/lowering bridge saddle heights a very small degree as required and will result in a slight arching of the string profile across the board.The result...BEAUTIFUL even out put across all strings and a well defined G string.

    Once this process is completed you can make minor adjustments to the pickup height to suit the degree of output you want.

    It is a time consuming process and requires a fair degree of patience, but you will end up with a beautifully set up instrument that will do justice to the most experienced tech
  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    You may also want to consider having the pickup wired in series instead of the stock parallel configuration. This has been offered numerous times on this board as a solution.
  14. I have to agree.

    I bought my 3 band 'Ray new in 2001, and I have never noticed a weak G string. And I've changed the strings about 6 times - I even had Labella flats on it for about 8 months.

    Maybe Joshua and I are lucky? :confused:

  15. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I had a beautiful '92 ash/rosewood StingRay 4 that had weak D & G strings amplified. Acoustically the strings were loud and proud, just like the E & A. The problem is the way the pickup was installed: on my bass (and apparently many others), polepieces are squarely beneath the E and A (and sometimes D strings) but the G just barely had the edges of the polepieces beneath it. If I bent the G so it went toward the center of the polepieces it got as loud as the other strings.

    Coupled with the tuning of the bass/mid controls on the 3 band preamp, which add a lot of weight to the notes in the lower octave of the bass (but not above) this was really annoying. Trying a bunch of different strings (a Dean Markley nickel light bottom/heavy top set worked well) helped a bit but didn't sove the problem.

    The real fix would be for EB/Music Man to make a pickup that actually matched the string spacing, or to have a bridge that let you adjust spacing. I had thought of moving the pickup over a bit, but due to the pickup mounting (machine screws into threaded inserts) this wasn't possible. Solution? A Bartolini MME pickup with blade polepieces. String balance was perfect and the awful (IMO) click of the stock pickup was gone. Sounded really good in series mode, then I realized I didn't like the stock preamp. Didn't want to spend more money so I cut my losses and sold it.
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I like the idea of blade pups to try and put this right. Anybody out there like to comment on the Bartolini MM4CBC "Classic Bass" pickup? Or how about the Nordstrand MM pickups (not blade style I know - just curious).
  17. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    this is interesting stuff.. could someone please make a quick list of all the "drop in" aftermarket pickups that fit SR4's & SR5's?
  18. I really thought this was about some porn or something. I was like" how do you put a G-string on a stingray?"
  19. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    Man, I'd really hate to change the pickup... I really love the sound as is, except for that one string...

    Anyway, I changed my strings, raised the pup and bridge a bit, but I can't really tell if that helped or not because I'm just playing through a little practice amp at home. Tommorow is one of my practice days and I'll be able to tell for sure.

    I'm curious about the Bartolini. I read somewhere that it changes the Sound overall to more of a Jazzy sound... nothing wrong with the Jazz sound, but I bought a Stingray for the Stringray sound... gosh-dingo-de-dongetty :hyper:
  20. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit
    I wrote about the D & G string issues just about a year ago when I got my new Sterling. Great bass, love that neck and E & A string but, even after lowering the D & G string and rasing the pick up,there still is a noticable volume difference between the strings.
    I've run it in all switch modes and usually just boost the mids to hear those two strings better....or just play everything on the E and A! It's good to know I'm not alone.