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Looking to upgrade...Stingray 5?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sleestak, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I’ve been playing bass since 1983 when I bought my used Fender Bullet Bass Deluxe and never owner another bass in all that time. I’ve been out of the loop for a while, my last band dissolved about 7 or 8 years ago, been playing for fun in the meantime.

    Well I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade, so I’ve been trying to play as many basses as possible to get a feel for which manufacturer and which bass is going to end up coming home with me.

    One bass I keep gravitating back to at the music store is the Stingray 5. Having never owned anything other than a 4 string, I love the versatility the extra string brings to the table, and I love the look and feel of the SR5.

    A couple things I can’t seem to find answers to:

    What exactly is the Piezo option? It sounds like it’s some sort of active pickup option?

    I love so many of the color combos, I’m wondering how difficult it is to swap out the pick guard with a different one. Also, what do the pick guards cost?

    Since I’m so picky about colors, how tough is it to find the exact color combo you want? My local guitar center had exactly one of the SR5’s in stock, so I’ve only seen like one or two in person.

    One last thing, what is the main difference (besides color) on the maple and rosewood necks?

    I play all types of music, from heavy stuff to surf music and everything in between. Looking for a solid bass that has a good tonal range and has a nice feel to it.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    The Piezo option is sort of a "Pickup in the Bridge" the saddles have sensors that pick up string vibrations just like a pickup, but they supposedly "Just add string noise" , i wouldn't know because i've never tried a Piezo Bass. The SR5 is already an active bass. It's fairly easy to swap out pickguards, and i see them around the $30-$50 range. Some say the the difference between maple and rosewood is that maple is more punchy and bright, and rosewood is mellow and calm. The SR5 is a great choice, but i would say go with the maple board, to me it sounds alot different than the SR5 with rosewood board. Good luck.

  3. To answer almost any question you might have, go here: www.ernieball.com

    Click on the F.A.Q. icon. It'll tell you all about the necks, and a lot of other stuff.

    Then, click on the Music Man icon, and then click on the "Build an Instrument," icon. You pick which model you like, then pick all the options to see what it looks like. Then, you can click on "Find it." You put in your zip code, and the computer will find the dealer closest to you that has the exact instrument in stock.

    Good luck.

  4. Jodaka


    Jun 28, 2001
    Riverview, FL
    fwiw, i have the sr5 w/piezo, and i've never had an extra string noise...

  5. The piezo pickup operates using crystals as opposed to magnetic pole pieces to detect the string vibration. The sound of a piezo pickup is generally very mellow lacking defning highs, however you can blend them very nicely with the stingray's mag pickup to significantly mellow out the sound when needed. I feel it adds a TONE of versatility because the stingray's brightness can be difficult to tone down, however it comes through nicely on the piezo 50/50 with the mag pup.

    I think you will find the SR5 works well with almost any music. I even saw it on a country set once and it sounded fine. I WOULD suggest getting the piezo if your budget can afford it because as I mentioned it adds even more versatility to this great instrument.
  6. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I've got a StingRay5. I'm probably one of the younger members with one [i'm 17-i paid for it, i saved my hide off]. I use it in everything from Marching Band to First Edition Band to Show Band and Jazz Band. The bass is versatile. The one thing that has come up is trying to make it sound to my ears muddy, to my directors ear less aggresive and bright. The reason why i wanted a Ray5 so much was because it had a really aggresive, bright tone that cuts like none other [ok-there are others but you get what i mean]. If it's a matter of color preference check out www.basscentral.com and talk to Gard or see if you can special order from your local dealer. That's what i did-they had a Rosewood Boarded Ray5 in Cherry Sunburst with a black guard, but i wanted a Maple one-so rather than just buy rosewood-i special ordered. I got mine for $1400 w/all the gooides and a StingRay t-shirt. That's all
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    As romeoarmada says, it's a pickups in the bridge saddles. I've never tried the MM piezo's but a friend has a Ibanez ergodyne with piezo's and the bass sounds so much punchier and snappier with it activated. But piezo's are a AUS$700 extra on a SR5 so they're not cheap.

    In Austr an Original MM pickguard is $55. Try HERE

    CLICK HERE Simply tick your preferences and build the virtual instrument.

    Apparently the difference that Maple is slightly brighter. But Maple does tend to look a bit worn and dirty on older Stingrays, something that isn't an issue with rosewood.

    I often dep for cover bands so I'll be playing System of a down one minute, then Celine Dion the next. The SR5 can does all that, despite what people will tell you. It is particularly sensive to plucking position, which means you can get several different sounds just bu plucking a bit closer/further from the bridge - and that's before you even start playing with the pick-up selector or on-board EQ.

    Enjoy! I know you will!
  8. This is a point I forgot to mention; it is one of the most sensitive basses I have ever played. You can drastically affect the brightness and bite of the bass depending on where you play it, and let's be honest any bass with a 3 band EQ is going to be at least marginally versatile. Well this bass is that and so much more.

    No offense to your friend, but every piezo I have tried on Ibanez is crap compared to the sound of my SR5's piezo, esspecially in the mix with the mag pup.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My ray sounds better than that Ibanez and I don't even have Piezos :)

    I didn't mean to sound like I was comparing the Ibanez to the Ray. I was comparing the ibanez to itself.........
  10. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Hello, my name is Jack and I have a Stingray problem.

    I love these basses, and usually have at least four or five MMs. One of the comments was about toning down the top end, and I understand this because I'm definitely more old-school thump than modern zing.

    I get a lot of comments on my tone and I think much of it can be attributed to the fact that I use flatwounds on my 'Rays. It tames the top without muzzling the classic growl, and I feel no need whatsoever to switch out the pickups or preamp - the strings do the job.

    Put some TI Jazz Flats on that Stingray and see if don't agree.
  11. Great, great info, thanks to everyone for posting.

    Now if I could narrow down the 10 or so choices I keep going back to for body and pickguard color, I'd be set!

    I did talk to someone at Guitar Center and they said they could order me any color combo I wanted, since nothing I put together shows up in anyone's inventory around here.

    I was thinking of holding off my decision until NAMM to see if they have any crazy show colors or have something special cooked up. Trying to grab a pass to the show, never been fortunate enough to go in the past!

    Thanks again for the info, this place is great!

  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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