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Has Anyone Replaced Their Stingray Pickup And...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassSurfer, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Noticed a change in their G-string's output? I know this subject has been beaten into the ground numerous times, but I just received a beautiful SR4 from Ebay and I love everything about it EXCEPT that thin/weaker sounding G-string.

    To echo the title of this thread, has anyone replaced the stock MM pickup with something else? I REALLY don't want to sell this bass due to its construction/overall sound. I have tried adjusting the pickup height, different strings, EQing the amplifier and the bass - everything else that has been mentioned, I tried. Would replacing the stock pickup with a SD or something of that nature alter the sound dramatically?

    This thread is NOT meant to argue or debate this topic in any way. I have seen some people deny, defend, and insult those who disagree with this notion.
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    No personal experience but I know Nordstrand PUs are highly regarded by many.
  3. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I've only ever seen a few people replace their stock pickups for the G-string reason, but in every instance, the G-string output issue was resolved.

    Can't comment on the tone, but I imagine it won't be a big difference, or at least not enough that you can't EQ it back to the stock sound.
  4. odineye


    Dec 29, 2011
    Bear DE
  5. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    You know, that's actually not a bad idea. I kind of want to buy a 'Ray now to give it a shot.
  6. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    I'm interested. If anyone tries this... please, please post your results.
  7. Hey guys,
    So i just tried it and for me it didn't actually do much... the G is still low... :(
  8. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I did exactly that and have improved the response of the G to a more normal level.

    I bought a new Sterling in '94 and the weak G string gradually drove me nuts! I saw that it was a result of the string not being centered exactly over the pole piece.

    I replaced the pickup with a Duncan Custom Shop MM with Alnico magnets. This was the very first aftermarket MM that copied the original Stingrays. It was special order and not cheap. Great pickup, but the round poles did not correct the problem - the G was still slightly off center and sounded as before. I knew I had to get a blade type.

    I bought a Lane Poor (from Lane) that not only solved the problem but sounded great. This is the setup I have now, along witn an OBP-3.

    If your G is weak, is centered exactly over the pole piece and still sounds weak you may have other issues. This is not an uncommon problem with MM's though, and I was able to correct it with a blade type MM pickup.

    Attached Files:

  9. Thank you so very much for this extremely valuable information. I think that is what I need to do as well. I was at a rehearsal the other day with my Stingray and EQed my GK 1001RBII to produce a very low, thunderous, bass heavy sound, and the d and strings sounded like they were not even "on." It was/is driving me insane and prompted me to return to my Fenders. I LOVE MM basses, their craftsmanship, color selections, its beefy, cutting tone.. but this one issue is the only thing that is just not perfect.

    Will have to look into a pickup like the one you got. Is it for sale online? Or do you have to contact Lane directly?

  10. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I have 3 MM basses:

    1) Classic 5, I have not noticed any problem with the G string.
    2) Parts 5 stringer with Nord MM pickup... No G issue, I believe this was one of the intentions of Nordstrand.
    3) Fretless Ray 4, tilted pickup without messing with pole heights and, Voila! Problem solved.
  11. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    My issue was due to the G string not centered over the pole. Is this the issue for you? Have you tried lowering the bass side and raising the treble side (tilting)? Remember - if you EQ your amp to boost the lows and low mids, that's what you'll hear the loudest regardless of whether the D & G are weak or not. Those boosted frequencies will not affect them.

    Lane went out of business years ago, but one of his former employees has restarted the line.

    There are numerous excellent pickups out there for replacing the MM's. Just get a blade type. This could fix your problem, but may alter the signature MM sound. It may be a tradeoff you're not willing to make. Also check TB's own SGD Lutherie - I understand Dave's work is excellent as well. Speak to him about your concerns.
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I make several pickups in MM shells. They all use blades, so you don't have weak G strings.

    My ND3 humbuckers have a fuller tone than a stock MM when wired in series, while still having a bright crisp top end, but in parallel can sound very similar to the stock pickup. But the high strings are never thin sounding.

    The SW4 Sidewinders are based on a Lane Poor design with improvements by me. They are fully shielded so there are no noise issues, a bit louder and fuller, while still having the open extended top end.

    Here's a set in the usual Jazz bass positions:


    Another thing that might help a MM pickup is to stick a steel plate under the pickup between the two G string magnets. That should beef up the tone a bit. You wont be able to have the spring under it, but I would remove the springs and go with foam anyway.
  13. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    Beef up the tone, or the perceived volume? Those mean two different things to me.

    Just trying to make sure I understand - I know guitarists play with baseplates to changes the magnetics of, say, Tele pickups... usually the report back is that it changes the tonal character (usually in the mids.)
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It would be fuller sounding and louder.
  15. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    My EMG MMCS in the classifieds solves this issue!