MM Stingray Electronics Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassNugget, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. Hey Y'all. I was asked to do a jam at a friend's house party. I brought my MM Stingray 4 string, built in 1999. Throughout the first part of the gig I was getting some static sound from the bass. Then nothing. Changed the battery, nothing. Opened up the battery compartment and saw that the black wire has completely separated from the Gotoh battery box. OK. No problem. My buddy has a soldering iron. Added a short length of wire and re-soldered. Should be good to go. Nope. Nothing.

    Removed the battery, turned up the gain and master all the way. Can just barely hear the bass being amplified. Way lower volume output than if you just remove a battery from a Stingray and try to play (it will work passively, just sounds bad and has low output).

    Replace the battery and still no sound. If I shake the bass, I get a static sound. If I rotate the treble, mid, and bass knobs, I get static. So....power is getting to the board, and to the output jack, but no sound from the pickups when the signal is routed through the preamp board.

    Pulled the controls and board out. Looks like all connections are good. Output jack connections look good, including the battery connection part.

    So... The preamp board does not look too complicated, but it is beyond my ability to test it. Does anyone know what happened here? And:

    Is this a situation where a local tech might be able to fix it, or does this have to go to Ernie Ball Music Man?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
  2. Photos

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  3. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You verified with a multi-meter that power is making it down the battery wires after your repair?
  4. Negative. I also didn't check the box for integrity. I think this is the second Gotoh box put I to this bass. I don't have a multimeter anymore. Damn.
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  5. I'll have to remove the box completely. I'll take it out, bypass the box and see if it changes anything. A new Gotoh BB04 I can install myself. If the problem is with the board, it's beyond me to troubleshoot.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
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  6. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I was once tasked with a 79 Stingray with no output. After I checked and verified the battery connections, I simply called Music Man and ordered a preamp that (they said) was for the basses of that era. I did have return the old preamp, but the new one was a snap to install and the old Stingray sounded great!
  7. OK. This is good news.
    groooooove likes this.
  8. I pulled the box, unsoldered the battery connections and jury rigged a snap connector from an old pedal. Yep, the preamp is getting power but I just hear static and some whines/beep tones from the output jack. Wholey unpleasant sounds.
  9. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Time to call Ernie ball customer support. They’ll help you out.
  10. I would try to by pass the preamp (like a passive bass) in order to check every component by itself. If the pickup works right passively, the problem is the preamp ☹️ …or just a potentiometer? My 87 MusicMan has lots of statics from those pots…I will use a contact cleaner soon.
    BassNugget likes this.
  11. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    I’d go straight to an experienced luthier/tech for this. I had a similar issue with my US Lakland bass (bartolini preamp) and he was able to repair it no problem.
  12. Is that something costly?
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  13. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    I honestly don’t remember what it actually cost because he did a full setup as well. It wasn’t dirt cheap, but it was crazy expensive either.
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  14. SC Bassboy

    SC Bassboy Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Birmingham, AL
    Did you verify the cable and amplifier were good? Would be a crazy coincidence if two things failed at the same time but it's possible
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  15. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    I had the same problem and replaced the battery box and wires with a fresh new one ( Gotoh)...Problem solved
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  16. Mrtoodamnsabre

    Mrtoodamnsabre Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2021
    wire might be shot, that would be my guess, those battery wires get twisted a lot or kinked

    if the preamps toast musicman will sell you a new one, it’s like 60 dollars or something and you have to turn in the old one.

    I’d take it to a tech, it’s a 60 dollar repair most likely, if it isn’t a preamp, just be sure to tell your tech that if it is a preamp you can get the part from musicman and that there’s no need to try to repair the actual preamp
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  17. tubatodd


    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Please tell me you brought a second bass to this house party. This is why I bring 2 of everything (except cabinets) to a gig.

    I don't have anything else to add that wasn't already stated. To me the most interesting part of the story was the bass was working, but static-y at the beginning. So, something seemingly simple failed. The battery, battery box and grounding are the first things that come to mind. I've received basses that were brand new and shipped to me that had a single faulty ground that caused all kinds of chaos. It was a simple fix.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
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  18. Yes. I used my five string for the rest of the gig.
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  19. Yes. I had my five string as a backup.
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  20. OK. Hopefully I can get it to a tech next week. Let him or her diagnose the issue. If it is the board, I'll decide if I want to change the sound or order a new board from Ernie Ball.

    Spoke to Billy at Music Man. New preamp board is $100.00 and you have to send in the old one first, then they will order you the new one. Only problem is....this takes time.
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.