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MM Stingray won't slap

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Laguna J., Mar 24, 2003.

  1. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    I have a pretty much brand new Music Man Stingray 5, and yet I just can't seem to get a slap tone out of it. When I first got it, it wouldn't slap at all, and just made a a dull but loud thud combined with a harmonic, but popping on the D and G strings sounded passable. So, I lowered the action and the problem was the same. I then thought that perhaps it was the strings that I had on, so I changed to Marcus Miller Fat beams. These didn't help at all, and actually seemed to produce no treble whatsoever. Then moved onto Elites Strings, but 40-125, instead of 45-130. These did seem to help slightly, as popping was now much more pronounced, and the slaps had slightly more twang to them, but they still sound nothing like they are supposed to (that is to say, what could generally be considered a slap tone) and I have managed to get a much better slap tone from a cheap Ibanez than this Stingray, which is odd.

    Another oddity is that fingerstyle sounds like the traditional StingRay tone, so it's not an electronics problem.

    The only thing I can think of is it being a set up problem, but I'm not an expert in set up by any means, so I don't really know what I'm supposed to do.

    (the string height above the 12th fret on the E-string is 2.2mm)
  2. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    What amp are you using? How are you eq-ing it? How do you use the eq on your bass? There's a small chance that the problem might be there.
  3. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    Laney 300 Watt combo, and I boost the treble and the bass, and cut the mids. But that doesn't matter, because it doesn't sound right unplugged either.
  4. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Wow a Stingray that can't get a good slap tone!That's pretty unheard of.I usually leave the mids flat on my amp and boost the mids on the bass a tad past halfway.Bass and treble are boosted slightly more but not too much.Some guys like to take out all of the midrange but I actually like to hear a little of the mids in there.String height or any other setup problem should have nothing to do with it.Here's a sound clip of my Stingray5 direct from the clean channel of my GK 2001RB.
  5. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    ok, well mine sounds nothing like that. It sounds completely dead in comparison when slapped. I thought it was a setup problem because it seems the strings don't really bounce off the frets, they just clack against them.

    May I ask what strings you're using?
  6. weird stuff man. maybe the stingray slap tone isn't the slap tone you hear in your head? its definately a different sound than a marcus miller type tone.
  7. Try raising the action. 2.2mm is not even 1/10 of an inch. The strings need to vibrate and it seems like they could be getting "choked" with that kind of action.
  8. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    I don't mean that I get a slap tone and it sounds wrong, I mean get a noise that's quite objectionable. I may as well just be banging my thumb on the neck without any strings, it'd probably be as effective :)

    Does anyone with a stingray 5 have any suggestions as to what a good action is?
  9. Danny R.

    Danny R. Gold Supporting Member

    Well why don't you take it to a tech. to do a set up job? is the neck straight? Like cantstandsya said that's pretty unheard of, i just traded my Ray 5 for a Marcus Miller Jazz Bass but i never had that problem, my Ray sounded real funky, the only problem i had with it is that the string spacing is too tight IMHO;)
    Good luck.
    sabasbass likes this.
  10. you know, i'm going to be honest here. you say that the fingerstyle tone of your bass sounds like an authentic stingray. if that's the case, then i can't imagine how the slap tone of your bass wouldn't sound like an authentic ray. it just doesn't make sense. you've tried DR's, which IMO are one of the easiest sets of strings to get a useable slap tone out of. if your fingerstyle tone is raylike with this bass, then i would say your technique may be at question here. obviously, i haven't heard you or seen you play, but i'm just speculating based on the info you've given here.
  11. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    fingerstyle tone is much less affected by string height and such. I am not getting a slap tone at all, as I said, the strings aren't vibrating and are just banging on the frets. I'd possibly agree with you about it being a technique problem, but I've given it to people much better than myself and they can't get it to slap either.

    All I can tell you is that the action is low, and the strings seem to be very close to the pickups.
  12. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    dont screw with the bass yourself. take it to a pro.
  13. sounds like you should take the bass in to get a proper setup.
  14. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    This is just off the top of my head since sound is so subjective.

    Your pickups may be so close to the strings that they are being magnetically damped. You might try opening the spacing up between the strings and the pole pieces.

    If that doesn't work, I agree, let a repair person take a look at it.

  15. If all else fails, you could check your technique, you might be doing something slightly wierd.
  16. Laguna J.

    Laguna J.

    Dec 10, 2002
    Liverpool, UK
    No, it isn't a technique problem.