Help with building a Fender Stingray (project bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Da LadY In Red, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Hey, I'm in the middle of creating a real cool project bass and I'd like some advice on what I'm doing. I've had the Seymour Duncan Stingray Replacement preamp and pickup lying around for no reason, so I've decided to put them to good use.

    Here's what I'm planning on using/have in the inventory for the project:

    Seymour Duncan Stingray Replacement pickup and preamp (have)
    Fender MIM Precision neck with elephant style tuners (have)
    Warmoth P bass body (swamp ash) with rear cavity routes
    Gotoh 201 chrome bass bridge
    Warmoth 72ish' white Tele bass pickguard

    For the painting, I plan to use's aerosol painting system, using the color Dakota Red.

    The basic principle of the bass is to use the MM pickups in a bass with similiar specs to the actual Stingray, while having a Fender look. This will be done by using a bass neck of the same measurements (1 5/8 inch at nut), similiar pickups/preamp, and the same body wood.

    However, I'm not completely sure about the body wood. The Ernie Ball site has selected hardwoods as the body wood, but I'm pretty sure it's Swamp Ash, is that correct? Also, to make things easier, I'm using one of Warmoth's bridges (for bridge routing purposes, etc). That means I can either get the Gotoh 201 or 206 bridge or Schaller 463 bridge. If you had a choice, keeping the goal in mind, what would you use?

    Anything else that I should make sure to include? Thanks a ton for the advice!

    Da LadY
  2. bump, please help!
  3. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I think Stingrays are made of Poplar usually. At least that's what I was told once.
  4. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    EB uses a few different harwoods for their stingrays, that's why they only mention "selected hardwoods" on their site.
    Yes, swamp ash and alder are also used. As for what wood to use, don't bother about that, use the one you like best. If you plan on finishing it with pigmented lacquer (reranch dakota red) then swamp ash or alder is fine (take warmoth's cheapest alternative) Swamp Ash has to be grain filled though where Alder doesn't.

    That's a pretty straightforward project if you buy most the the parts pre-built from warmoth or others. Make sure you've read reranch's 'finishing 101' until you know it by heart before you start finishing.

    The toughest part of building an instrument is to set it up properly. Dan Erlwine's Guitar Player Repair Guide is the best manual out there for that. Nothing sucks more than spending all that money building this to end up with a crappy action because you don't know how to set it up well.

    What other tips you need? PM me if you need more
  5. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    The person who told you that was wrong.
  6. Thanks a ton for the help.

    So about the body wood. If the Swamp Ash will get me closer to a real Stingray tone, I have absolutely no objections to using grain filler or paying the 10 extra dollars for Ash as opposed to Alder. I understand that MM basses are a mixture, but which is closer to the sound? Alder or Swamp Ash?

    And don't worry, I'll read the refinishing 101 plenty times before I even touch the bass. Also, I'm decently competent at setting up a bass (pickup height, truss rod, intonation, etc), so that's not a concern either.

    Again, thanks for the help!
    Da LadY
  7. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    You should have the stingray sound without any problems if you're using your SD pickup and preamp as you mentionned and if the pickup is placed at the same position on the body. The sound the wood makes is minimal.

    If you want to test this theory, go to a big guitar shop, grab two Fender jazz basses of the wall with the same specs but take one with an alder body and one with an ash one. Try them both. Tell me after how much of a difference in tone there is.

    There will be slight tone differences but the sound will still be a Jazz bass sound. Same with a Stingray. It will be a Stingray tone.
  8. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    You said you were wondering about your brigde. Get it routed for the 201, which i believe is just regular fender. But buy a Bad Ass 2 or 3 or whatever number they are on now.

    Honestly, the body wood is going to be 100% opinion. If you want swamp ash- get swamp ash. I have a swampash bass body from Warmoth, I absolutely love it, so light, it's awesome. However recently Koa bodys have been mighty tempting to me. But thats besdie the point.

  9. The 201 is NOT a drop in Fender replacement. Badass are the only bridges that are drop in replacements.
  10. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I think the 'Rays can be strung thru-body. Never had one myself, so I can't comment on how much or if it affects the sound, but you might want to look into a bridge which gives you this option.
  11. Well as far as wood is concerned. EB uses Alder for solid colours and Ash for transparent colours, just like Fender. Also, whether the bridge is string thru or anchored, I'm not sure. I would assume string thru b/c MIA Fender are like that too. To be sure, just go to and take a look at some pics. Good luck!
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Current Stingrays are not string through body, vintage ones are. Using alder and ash for solids and transparents respectively.

    And for the record, a Gotoh 201 is a drop in Fender Replacement.
  13. I've used both the 201 and 206 bridges in Warmoth basses and both have some problems, although I think it's more a question of the way Warmoth routes the neck pocket and bridge, respectively.

    With the 201 I have to lower the E an G saddles as far as they would go to get an action that's still a touch higher than I like (my normal setup is the standard Fender values, 6/64" bass side, 5/64" treble side, measured at 17th fret). We're talking maybe 0.01" too high which is no big deal, but I guess such a standard action value should be roughly in the middle of the adjustment range, not at one end. I've had a similar problem with the 5-string Takeuchi TK-5 bridge they sell. I think they should either route the neck pocket with a bit of an angle or simply not as deep.

    With the 206 I can get the right action but the problem is intonation, the E saddle has to go as far back as it would and yet the intonation on that string is very slightly off. This one is easier, I think they should just do the routing slightly further back. Besides it's a very solid bridge but a bit of a pain to adjust because of the locking screw on each saddle which you have to loosen and tighten every time you move the saddle, since doing it changes slightly the saddle height / angle (i.e. you can't just do the adjustments with it loose and tighten it at the end).

    For the record I use D'Addario ENR 71 strings (half rounds, 45-65-80-100) and 0.03" neck relief, all pretty standard values. I'm actually going to e-mail Ken Warmoth about this.
  14. Micolao


    Sep 7, 2005
    Go with a Schaller 3d bridge ;)
    Listen to me...