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MM Stingray - 3-Band / 2-Band Follow-Up

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kro, Jan 30, 2018.


  1. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Alright, so I'm guessing that everybody still remembers how much fun we all had with the recent Cort vs. SR5 blind test thread. There was one nugget in that thread that I found fascinating:

    There was a good bit of discussion in that thread as to whether this was accurate or not, with @Wood and Wire even pulling some legitimate older quotes from Sterling Ball himself on the topic to back him up. To summarize, it did indeed sound like Sterling was saying that in his mind the "classic" tone of a 2-band is with the onboard EQ full-up - with him then stating that to get a similar tone out of a 3-band, one would have to max bass and treble as Wood and Wire noted above.

    Despite that pretty irrefutable evidence, I still felt a bit skeptical, but without a Stingray classic to compare it to, I did the next best thing – and just did a few recordings with my 3-band, ceramic StingRay 5 centered, and with the described boosted setting.

    Disclaimer – please forgive my playing, I had a drum track at-hand from a song currently in the works, and just decided to play over it a bit for each sample in the midst of a bunch of knob tweaking. I actually recorded a good number more samples than these, but these that I'll post were the ones that used easily reproducible settings and kit that probably a number of TBers would be at least somewhat familiar with.

    Without further ado, this is what I sound like with each of those settings being recorded directly from the bass (you may sound different/better), and with that I open the floor to discussion.

    SR Centered


    SR Boosted
     
    king_biscuit and Wood and Wire like this.
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    So while I was at it, seeing how both of those bass settings sounded recorded, I figured I might as well fiddle with some knobs from the rest of my gear. While many do of course record direct, many use some sort of preamp to help shape their tone, as I do with my VTDI. For this purpose, I decided to pick a familiar, ubiquitous, and likely infamous setting for my VTDI as a point of reference - the SVT setting from the manual, and ran both of the SR5 tones above into it to see how they'd sound.

    Yes, I'm well aware of how scooped the Tech 21 recommended SVT setting is. Trying to pair that with the scooped tone of my SR5 with the boosted setting above was part of the fun! :D Enjoy!

    SR5 Flat > VTDI SVT-Style


    SR5 Boost > VTDI SVT-Style
     
  3. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Alright, one final post - actually the first recording that I did before I started futzing with my settings per the exploration above. This one is my control, and was my personal choice for the tone I planned on using for the song to be paired with that drum part. It's unique in that it incorporates my SR5 (EQ centered as it were), my VTDI set to my personal taste (minimal EQ), and then is run through my 1001RB-ii preamp.

    While I'm not in any rush to crank my Stingray's bass knob full up, I have to say I am considering maybe giving the lows a bit of a boost after listening to all of the other samples above a bit. Obviously I'd have to test and adjust it in the mix, but what do you guys think? Which Stingray tone do you guys like best of the lot? Any thoughts? :cool:

     
  4. wizard65

    wizard65

    Sep 1, 2014
    Yeah, out of curiosity I tried that setting with my 3 band....mud.
     
    Kro likes this.
  5. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    I'll have to check this out at home with my headphones, but I'll say that I never dimed my 2 band USA SUB, I used the EQ more sparingly (bass slightly above half, treble slightly below half). I have a 3 band ray now, and I usually keep it all flat, or boost mids a bit. For certain tones I cut treble a bit and boost bass a bit.

    The differences I mostly found were that the 3 band has less sub bass (due to the high pass filter). My drummer commented on that right away when I first had band practice with it, he liked that. There's still more than enough bass IMO. Mids are also IMO a bit more pronounced (hi mids). I tried boosting bass and treble and cutting mids, I guess it's similar to a dimed 2 band, but I think 2 banders go lower and go higher frequency wise which is why people tend to say that they sound fatter. I like both, and would love to add a 2 bander back to my stable.
     
    Kro likes this.
  6. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    This all matches exactly with what I found doing my research on the topic, not having a classic 2-bander to compare to.

    Given the various stages of my personal chain where sub-lows are filtered out, I doubt you'd hear much difference there with my rig, but who knows. I'm with you though, my Stingray 5 3-band's bass knob has more than enough boost to it IMO. In fact, I've said in the past that it can be downright dangerous to cabs in high-power, high-volume situations because of just how much bass boost you can get out of it.

    I typically run mine flat and get additional flavoring and coloration elsewhere, which is why it surprised me so much to hear that the treble/bass full boost could even be a usable setting, let alone the setting.

    I suppose it could be usable if one's style is more of a thumper, with a light fingerstyle touch. For me, using a pick and a heavy attack, I don't think it works. YMMV.

    One last thing, I did find it a little interesting that the boosted setting recorded directly on my bass was actually pretty similar to the end tone of my bass flat through my VTDI with the recommended SVT setting (both samples above). I think that's telling, as far as it being a desirable tonal profile (for some things) - and that some players might be happy to get that type of beefed tone with EQ just from their bass.
     
    mouthmw likes this.
  7. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    I actually like this recording best. Nice bite in the tone and clearer upper mids.
     
    Kro likes this.
  8. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Thanks! Good to hear that the tone I'm actually leaning towards is preferred by even one person. ;)

    I was messing around with it a bit more last night and tested beefing up the lows just slightly to potentially better balance the high-mid harmonics and provide a better foundation when sat in the greater mix. I know this wasn't the original intended purpose of this thread, but I did still use my 3-band Stingray 5 for it. :D I'd be curious to hear your thoughts, do you think it's an improvement on the one above, or if it muddies up the clarity a bit too much? I'm still deciding myself.

     
    eastcoasteddie likes this.
  9. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    This one sounds slightly less aggressive but still keeping the bite in the mids. I dig it. Kind of depends on what you’re Looking for in the song, but I believe you’re headed in the right direction.;)
     
    Kro likes this.
  10. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    NH
    Classic has Alnico pickups and not ceramic. So you have another variable there besides number of EQ bands.
     
    Kro likes this.
  11. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US

    Excellant SR tones from both!
     
    Kro likes this.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Agree, and why I bolded that detail in my initial post. If anything, that should make my tone crisper though.