Is a Stingray the Third Point of the Tone Triangle?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bgavin, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. My RB5 (jazz) and P-Bass are opposite ends of the tone spectrum.

    Question: is a Stingray (SR5) a 3rd distinct tone point?

    Or, is an SR5 too close to a J tone? If so, what would be the 3rd point of the tone triangle? A Wal?
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    A Rick?
  3. i think those are what most people consider the 3 tones - P, J, and MM.

    i'd put a 4th point into that triangle though - alembic. only because you can't say it's a "jazz on steroids" or "can get the P and MM tone" or whatever - you CAN'T refer to it's tone as a function of those other 3 basses. there are other basses out there that are similar, but alembic is the one that stands out in my mind.

  4. I've been searching long and hard for anything other than a genuine P that can nail the P tone. Nothing does it that I've seen so far.

    But... I have a P now, and it nails the P tone. Bummer on being a 4-string, but if I can string BEAD successfully, that will be mostly a non-issue.

    I'm trying to find out if there is a 3rd distinct tone such as the MM or Wal. Or if Fretless is the distinct different tone.
  5. This a very tough question. Off the top of my head, I'd agree with Oysterman and say a Rick. But, although there aren't many of them out there, think about a Gibson type bass with a humbucker right at the neck. If you've ever heard an EB-0, EB-3 played at low to moderate volume with acoustic instruments it's something you can't forget. True, they do loose definition as the volume goes up and the room gets bigger, but, low and in an intimate setting, they'll take over the room.

    I own a fretless Jazz and a Stingray. While they don't sound a lot alike, they are in the same category. If you're really looking for a third tone, get a fretless Jazz. Put Rotosound 77s (or your favorite flatwounds) on it, and roll some treble off and play at about the 18th - 20th fret and have your fingers gently strike the fingerboard as you play; it sounds reasonably close to an upright. Use just the bridge pickup. After about a year of not playing it, I'm getting back into my fretless. ;)

    Oh, BTW, a flanger goes so well with a fretless it should be illegal.

    Mike J.
    You know, no one brought up ABGs like Ovation yet.
  6. Mike, how does the flanger sound with a fretless? Do you have any sound clips? I've been looking at the flanger for my next pedal.
  7. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    i'd think it like diamond shape:


    P-bass J-bass


    musicman would be somewhere near the middle (the diamond was screwed by the posting system but you get the idea?)

  8. Hey GhaosGwar, what's up? A flanger sounds similar to a phase shifter except that a flanger kind of weaves back and forth in a straight line with its swooshing sound, whereas a phase shifter sounds like it's rotating like a spinning speaker. A flanger is much more useful as far as bass is concerned, IMHO. I have a Boss flanger, and it has 4 controls on it. Moving any of them just a little changes the entire feel of the sound. It sounds good with a fretted bass, but, ten times better with a fretless.
    If you get one, get an analog flanger, not a digital. They just don't sound authentic to me. If you're thinking of checking one out, they have sound clips in the effects section of M/F. I would strongly suggest getting one, they sound great.

    Good luck,
    Mike J.
  9. Other than the BOSS (BF-3 $110 @ MF) what else is good? I'm trying not to max out my MF platinum card. :D

    The Danelectro is probably only for guitars, and at only $30 makes me skeptical as to the quality.
    I'm loooking more at the DOD for $60 (not too hard on the wallet), but would it even work well with a bass? The Ibanez pedal is chorus/ flanger for $70.
    MF also has an Arion and a Rocktek flanger pedal that are priced low. I've never heard of these companies before. I know most FX pedals are made for guitar, and the ones made for bass and grossly expensive.

    Thanks in advance for any input/ feedback on these pedals.
  10. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    "If you've ever heard an EB-0, EB-3 played at low to moderate volume with acoustic instruments it's something you can't forget. True, they do loose definition as the volume goes up and the room gets bigger, but, low and in an intimate setting, they'll take over the room."

    This is so true. I bought a '65 eb-0 because i loved the sound of it. the problem is that i really can't play it with my band, because when you turn it up loud, it is so "bassy and mumbled", you can't even hear the pitch.
  11. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i definately think a stingray needs to be in the mix somewhere. go for the 5 for the different toggle options. also i have some of those dano "happy meal" pedals and the actually are pretty cool on the bass but suck a big one on guitar. as long as you're not expecting the milkshake to compare to a tc electronics you'll be happy.
  12. Not trying to start a fight, but I believe you're painting yourself into a corner with this whole concept. Triangle, diamond, whatever, it seems kinda odd to try to discover, or construct, or invent, a small finite number of bass sound archetypes. What's the point, and what's the practical utility? It's sorta like starting with the assumption that, say, Ford and Rolls Royce represent two ends of the "auto spectrum," and then wondering what other car (Fiat, Honda, BMW?) would make up the other part of the "auto triangle." The implication being that all other cars can and should be understood in relation to this primal triangle, which doesn't seem to me a very useful way of thinking about why cars are the way they are.

    No offense, but this kind of artificial limitation of catgeories just seems like a good way to give yourself a headache without achieving anything practically useful.
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Gotta agree with Richard, here. Your premise is way too limiting and not really useful, IMO. There are many tones in the bass world; a whole sprectrum, really. And when you get into high-end stuff, your triangle idea really seems limiting. Ken Smith, the graphite basses (Zon, Modulus, Status), Roscoe, Conklin; it goes on and on.
  14. RJ


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    A older Warwick, a Thumb perhaps?
  15. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    If somebody was to draw up a chart with bass tone classification on it(non subjective). It would be invaluable as a tool for describing tone. It would also help countless newbs in there search for a bass they want. Just as classifing anything only servers to help understand it better. Now we all know that people agreeing on bass tones is nearly impossible. It would have to be something like the periodic table of elements, and take somebody just as smart to figure out how to make it.
    I can say this is pretty impracticle but I can not say that classifing things is pointless.
  16. I wouldn't either, and in fact, I didn't. I just think this particular classification is pointless. The vagaries of tone production on a bass are so many that such a scheme IMO can't work and is more misleading than useful.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I agree, Richard. Put a Stingray in five different bassists hands and you'll probably get that many different sounds. You'd have to decide what a "general" P bass sound is... is it Duck's or Paul Jackson's or Louis Johnson's, etc. version? How many Jazz bass sounds are there?.

    The problem is there are way too many overlaps. Lots of people swore Geddy was recording with a Ric when he was actually using other basses.
  18. Likewise, the Flea Effect, where people think he recorded certain albums with a stingray when it was actually an alembic.

    I'm not sure I even understand this. Tone Triangle? Sure different basses have distinct tones, but there are so many other factors involved in tone: the player and the player's technique, strings: roundwound or flat wound? new or dead? Nickel or stainless? then there's eq, pickup selection (bridge pup? Neck pup?), amplifiers, speakers.

    I think there's just too many factors to owe it all the bass. And there are so many different basses out there to narrow anything down to 3 absolutes. Of the basses listed, I used to have a p-bass, and currently have a Jazz and a Stingray. The J and the Ray can give me a wide variety of tones. Not as many choices with a P in terms of onboard eq/pup selection, but far from a 1 trick pony none-the-less.
  19. Gee Richard, no offense, but all those words above telling me I'm a dumbass for asking this question, *is* picking a fight. You're certainly welcome to your opinion, but this is my thread, and I wanted to ask this question. If you don't see merit in my question, then be silent instead of publicly rubbing my nose in it.

    I'm interested in comparing bass tones, not cars. And, I'm certainly not looking for ridicule by asking this question.

    I'm thinking of the various bass tones as different colors on the color wheel. There are the three primaries (red-green-blue) and each of these points forms (duh) a triangle. I'm looking for opinions from other owners that might help me place 3 widely different tones, similar to the color wheel.
  20. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Actually there are four primary colors, red, green, blue, yellow. :D It's true you can fool the eye into believing anything using only RGB, but the way the eye really works is closer to (red/not green)+(yellow/not blue).


    Anyway, sorry for the hijack.

    Back to the thread ... I don't equate the MM with a Jazz sound much at all. So I would definitely say that the P, J, and MM are "orthogonal" tones. Thing is this space has so many dimensions I don't think they could be considered fundamental (they don't form a basis ;) ).

    P.S. bgavin - I can see maybe taking RL's comments a bit that way, but remember: you asked. RL's post was effectively a wordy way of saying "No". :)
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