Major Mod For An EBMM StingRay Special

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oldskoolskatedad, Jan 1, 2021.


  1. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    I've had my first Stingray for just under 2 weeks. It's a brand new Charging Green 4H Special and I am very, very impressed with it in many ways. The fit and finish is excellent, I love the roasted maple neck, it's fairly light at 8lbs 11oz and doesn't have any dead spots or buzzing issues that have been reported with the Specials.

    So far I am quite enamored with this bass and can't think of anything about it that requires "improvement" per say, but alas it's not "exactly" delivering the classic Ray aggressive tone I was hoping for. Being well aware of the conflicting opinions regarding the Specials and how tame or not they are due to the new preamp voicing and neodymium pups, I decided to give it a chance and have no regrets.

    But... I want my cake and eat it too. This may seem ridiculous to some but I have decided to swap out the preamp and pup for a Nordstrom MM4.2 pup and John East preamp with both being based on the original pre EB designs. I completely understand how many Special owners prefer the new tone and it's lack of harshness but I'm hoping to get that signature aggressiveness as well as the upgrades to the body, neck and tuners. I will be "downgrading" to 9 volts but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. Should be interesting.
     
  2. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    We need clips! Before and after, if you please. :)
     
    Bassaga, Peter Torning and Staccato like this.
  3. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    I'll see what I can do, no promises on the quality of the playing nor recording and I have yet to order the pup and preamp.
     
  4. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Neustria
    I don't know this brand. Did you mean Nordstrand?
     
    MMiller28 likes this.
  5. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central FL
    Save your money and go with the John East preamp and the original pickup. That’s what I did and found out that the secret sauce is in the preamp. Pickup not necessary.
     
  6. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Why? The East pre can be run at 18V.
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  7. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Yep, thanks for catching my brain fart typo. Nordstrom shows up in my auto complete and I didn't notice.
     
    Vinny_G likes this.
  8. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Good to hear, it was my intention to start with the preamp. EBMM were quite emphatic about the the new preamp being designed around the new pickup so I figured to go classic "under the hood" an alnico pickup was probably going to be my best bet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  9. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Excellent, I haven't decided which East pre I'll go with so haven't dived into the specs.
     
  10. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Did you do this on a Special?
     
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    East preamps are life changing. So if you don’t have what you need in the OEM that’s a good option.
     
  12. Benny4P

    Benny4P Supporting Member

    The new preamp (or pickup) of the special really emphasize the low mids. I have found a slight cut at 500 Hz and a significant boost at 4K and 8K Hz with a graphical EQ gets me very close to the pre-special sound.

    I really like the special peamp frequencies of the mid and high eq controls. Very musical. I play mine with DR Hi Beams, mids and bass set flat and highs cut all the way. I also play with a Sunn 2x15 Cab Sim. Sounds incredible.
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  13. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I really like my East 3-band. I replaced the original MM alnico pickup with a Delano ceramic and the two work really well together. I have the 3-band 3-knob since I replaced an original EBMM 2-band with top-mount output jack. I think for the Special you will need the 3-band 4-knob version. There is no difference other than the separate knobs for mid and sweep.
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  14. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    The 3 band 4 knob would be the obvious choice for a Special but I'm toying with idea of a 3 band 3 knob and installing a series/parallel switch in place of the output jack. I would also get the Bright pull option like on the Sabre. Not sure how feasible this would be but a guy can dream.
     
    MAXSPINRUN likes this.
  15. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Sounds like a really good idea. I have a similar notion to replace the volume knob on mine with a push-pull to do the same thing. In your situation I would probably drop in a rotary switch and reuse one of the chrome-domes...
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  16. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Oh I like the way you think
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  17. I loved the new pickups in teh specials, but you can obviously always switch back/keep 'em in the even of resale.

    sounds interesting though!
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  18. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    It's not a rare vintage piece, mod to your liking.
     
  19. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm sure John could even include an extra matching knob...
    @John East ?
     
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  20. oldskoolskatedad

    oldskoolskatedad

    May 18, 2014
    Exactly. I enjoy so much about the Special that makes it special but sonically I want a Ray that is able to be overly aggressive. I have other basses that are plenty versatile, I want my Ray to be a Ray.
     
    wizard65, Fun Size Nick and Egm93 like this.
  21. 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.

     
    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page