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MM Stingray weak G

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by u84six, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Has anyone had the weak G output problem that some classic Stingrays have? I just bought a new classic Stingray and it has this problem. Here's what I've tried:

    - Adjust bass setup to match Classic Stingray spec. Result: no difference, the G is still weak.

    - Raise the pickup under the G. Result: G got a little louder, but now the A and D strings are a little louder too, which cancels the change.

    - Lower the pickup under the E. Result: Not much of a change because that side of the pickup is already low based on specs.

    - Mess with the EQ. Result: it doesn't matter, the G is always producing less volume.

    - Change the strings. Result: no difference other than tonal changes. G still has less volume.

    What I haven't tried is adjusting the pickup poles. I was hoping to avoid this because then it wouldn't be setup according to the specifications on the website. I also didn't try adjusting the saddles individually. But it looks like I'll have to experiment with this and see if I can fix this problem.

    I know it's not frequency response or eq related settings, because I've tried everything, and my other 5 basses of various makes do not have this problem.

    If anyone has had this problem and has resolved it, I'd like to here what worked for you. Thanks
  2. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    This had been talked about at length. This seems to occur in Rays and Sterlings with some regularity. I had the same problem with my Sterling and my solution was getting a blade pickup (Lane Poor).

    Look around - I'm sure you'll track it down.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    People either have this problem, or they deny they have this problem in my experience. It is like the guys who have Rics that don't neck dive and guys with 34" B strings that don't get overtones as you fret up the neck, they just refuse to accept the truth.

    I personally do not think there is a fix for it outside of changing parts.

    Here come the flames.
    Frenchy-Lefty and petrus61 like this.
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    My rudimentary understanding of how pickups are made basically make this difficult. Pickups are put together with pole pieces. I'm sure that EBMM uses all the same poles pieces for whatever string position (I doubt they have a separate bin of G string pole pieces), then the wire is wrapped around ALL the pole pieces so that each would have the exact same number of windings and the wire touches all the pole pieces. Then there's the magnet that is attached. Now, can the magnet be made to be stronger on one end rather than the other? If yes, is the magnet marked this way so that it's not assembled backwards so that we have a weak E string?

    Someone with more knowledge about pickups, please explain how it could be.

    Does the preamp filter out the frequencies of the G string?
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Wondering why MM won't go to a blade design pickup. I put an EMG in my cheapo Stingray.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    The weak G string is the main flaw in the stingray design. Stingrays have really good low B and low E strings and a great overall tone.

    Probably the best solution is to get the 2 pickup model ... HH or HS.

    I have one of the few SX stingrays that were made. It really cops the stingray tone. Especially after I put in the Seymour Duncan MM preamp. But it also has the weak G string. I am going to add a 2nd pickup to fix the problem.
  7. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I had an '05 (stock, black body, maple fretboard, 3-band) that had the weak G. However, my current '05 (Nordstrand pickup, sunburst body, rosewood fretboard, 3-band) does not have the weak G. Maybe the Nordy' solves the problem?
  8. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    I have the 5 string classic and I have a great G. I wonder if it's on 4s only, and if so, why?
    villis likes this.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    My Sterling HH5 has fine output... but its not as loud as my Jazz. Its almost part of its tonal profile. The G sits back in the mix with the Sterling while on the Jazz it jumps out of the mix.

    With my Bongo HH5 my G is pretty strong

    If you're wailing on solos up on the G string, its probably just not the bass for you. If you're going there occasionally & rocking out. I dont want my G string jumping out of the mix
  10. Canberk


    Jun 26, 2013
    I don't have any "weak g string" type of problem on my MM Stingray. But if it really bothers you on your Classic Stingray,

    Search "stingray g string problem" on youtube. Watch the first video(Musicman Stingray Bass weak G string fix). That should help.
    villis likes this.
  11. there's no false denial going on by some musicman players.

    I don't own stingrays but do own 2 us made sub 5 strings. essentially identical (other than cosmetics, body wood and bridge mutes) to, made on the same machines and to same specs as, and using the same electronics as, stingray classics.

    neither of my musicmans has a weak g. it's exactly the same output level as the other 4 strings. identically so.

    Sterling ball has publicly posted on the subject that it may in fact be due to the preamp design.

    I can imagine, without much thorough thinking through admittedly, that the narrower gauge of the g string combined with a likely dip in output at it's frequency range (which is the natural effect of the stingray preamp) combine to make a noticeable drop in output. it takes 3db to be humanly audible, and 3db output difference isn't a huge difference. 6db would be VERY audible but I find it highly unlikely the difference is that big or there would be a lawsuit going on.

    again - nothing like this is wrong with my two musicman basses. proof is easy if you pop by my place in maple ridge bc sometime, but if that isn't practical (LoL) then I could try and record samples to demonstrate sometime this lack of phenomenon.

    Not all stingrays have this problem. it's that simple. In fact I've never played one that did, but I've only played 5 or 6 in my lifetime, most of which were only brief encounters on other folk's basses in session recording gigs.

    PS - I'm certain it DOES exist for some folks - but it is absolutely not there for everybody despite what someone earlier claimed.
  12. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Yes, I've done all the searching and did come across the video where he pushes down on all the poles other than G string. I might have to give this a shot but I was hoping there was an easier solution. Also, how to you raise the saddles on these basses? Are there hex screws in the holes? If so, I can't really see them. I tried a few allen wrenches last night and none of them was able to adjust the height. I'm thinking I can remedy this problem by adjust individual strings in combination with what this guy does in the video:

  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Try taking a stingray to a band jam session and see how it sits in the mix. It is very different than by itself. I never noticed the issue until I took mine to practice for the first time.
    joebar likes this.
  14. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Does your basses come with a 2 band or 3 band eq?
  15. 2 bands on each just like the classic. which I would have thought would scoop the g more but I've never found that at all. my subs's poplar body wood is the only other important difference between them and a stingray.
  16. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    That's exactly where I notice it too. At home, plugged into headphones or something, it's not as noticeable. All of my other basses don't have this problem in the mix. In fact, even the E string is slightly louder than the rest in the mix... but I suppose I can live with that.
  17. I'm wondering that too since mine are 5s without that issue
  18. Canberk


    Jun 26, 2013
    You know what, that's a great idea. Only the individual strings thing; for example, 50-65-85-100 or something like that? You can even go for something like 50-60-80-105 (because the poles higher on A and D)

    Just trying to find a way other than messing with the pickup.

    And for the saddles adjustment, I'd recommend visiting ernie ball forum.
  19. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    I like to play slap bass, and there's nothing worse than a G string that's lower than the rest when playing that style. I need to hear the "pop", but it's very weak. My Fender P has perfectly even volume across all strings in the mix.
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If you do go to the EB forum don't mention changing parts. I would also be surprised if even one person believes the weak G exists over there. Seriously, I did not a have a fun experience on that board. Bunch of hardcore fanboys.
    joebar and villis like this.