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Mods for a Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Subculture13, Mar 14, 2005.


  1. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    After much deliberation I have (almost) decided to go the route of a EB/MM Stingray, but it the Sterling has some features that appeal to me too, I am wondering if anyone has performed (or heard of) these mods being done.

    I like the ability to select the pickup config with the Sterling, can a Stingray be modded for this with the addition of a toggle switch?

    I will likely get the model with the piezo, as it offers the greatest flexibility (for a couple hundred more, already at that price, why not). I have yet to get the chance to A/B the 2 side by side, but am working on it, but by most accounts the 2 band EQ is the way to go for me, but it doesn't seem to be an option with the piezo.

    So therefore, can anyone accurately confirm or deny whether or not the preamps are essentially the same between the 2 models, with the exception of the additional mid control? If not, how easy is it to modify the 3 band circuit to sound/act like the 2 band? One option that has crossed my mind is to replace the mid pot with the pickup switch if I can make that mod, so no holes need to be drilled. It would convert it from a 3 band with piezo to a 2 band with piezo and pickup toggle.

    Oh, and before anyone interjects with "You could get that with a Bongo, they are more flexible" Thanks, but no. I wouldn't be caught dead playing one of those hideous monsters. The look and feel of the Stingray is what I want, I have played all the options to be assured of that, its just some of the feature set that doesn't add up to perfection for me. Any help would be appreciated, but please, Stingray/Sterling only.
     
  2. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I was almost going to answer this.
     
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Typically you would think so, but there's something going on in a Sterling that keeps the volume levels pretty even when you're changing between series, parallel and single coil operations. Just adding in a toggle to go between the three will leave you with some pretty noticeable jumps in volume (especially when going from single coil to series). Perhaps if you could gut a Sterling and put its electronics into a stingray.... although... you could just get a Sterling...???
     
  4. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    That would work (gutting...) anyone have full Sterling electronics that they would part with if I went that road?

    I don't want a Sterling if I can avoid it as I prefer the look (chrome control plate, pickguard shape, etc) and feel (thick neck etc) of the Stingray, but that has crossed my mind, and isn't entirely out of the question.
     
  5. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    No problem...with the stock pickup, you won't have hum-cancelling in single-coil mode (a change to a 3-coil aftermarket pickup from Nordstrand or Bartolini would fix this), but no reason why a tech couldn't install a 3-way mini-toggle to allow you to switch between series, parallel (the stock config), and single-coil. Series will be considerably louder. Note: the Stringrays with switching (SR5 and Sterling) also have a "differential input stage", used in series and single-coil modes to reduce/eliminate noise and clear up the sound (something about isolating the coils from one another).

    The 2-band and 3-band are different animals. I believe the 3-bands on the SR4 follow the same design as the SR5 and Sterling, in which case not only does the 3-band have an extra mid freq, but also has a low-cut/high-pass filter that rolls off the low-end below 30Hz.

    Caveat: I'm not sure if EB designed the 3-band for piezo models differently, so this information may not apply to the piezo-equiped models.

    I'm with you on this one... the Bongo is not for everyone. IMO, not only does it look atrocious, but the front pickup is much too close to the end of the fingerboard for me, gets in the way of fingerpulls and double-thumbing. I think Bongos sound great, however I just don't enjoy playing 'em... I would love to see Ernie Ball come out with a 2-pickup version of the Stingray, i.e. a re-issued Sabre.
     
  6. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Personally, I'd put in a Jazz pickup in the neck position...I've been wanting to do that, but I haven't had to the time, or resources.
     
  7. FireAarro

    FireAarro

    Aug 8, 2004
    austr-
    I thought the Stingray pickup was hard-wired in parallel and you'd have to get an aftermarket pickup (best be something triple coil) to get yo' switch on.
     
  8. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I have heard that rumour too, which is why I asked. Does anyone know if this is true? Also... with that exception, are they the same pickup, or a different model/winding?
     
  9. Chrisrm

    Chrisrm Bass Virtuoso Wannabe

    Feb 10, 2002
    Colchester, CT
    Yes, it is. I'm looking at mine as I type this. Two wires coming off the pickup, black and white. The leads between the coils are exposed though, but rather short. So, if you were adventurous I imagine you could modify the stock pickup to suit your needs.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    Ain't gonna happen. :meh:
     
  11. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    ,and you will have dismal results,as others have tried to do this with the EB SR4/5's,and Sterlings.
     
  12. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Thanks guys, you all have been a big help. One question about the Sterling... Does the knob pattern and spacing match that of the Stingray? In other words, can I buy a Stingray's chrome knob plate and install it on a Sterling?
     
  13. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Really? Why didn't they like the results?
     
  14. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    Because it's more to it than just adding a jazz pickup to the bass,mainly due to the positioning of the pickup on were it is placed,(supposedly the pickup positioning on the Jazz bass is ideal,and this is mainly why they get that signature growl from the neck pickup.) Although my 79 Sabre had 2 refrigirator styled-humbucking soapbar styled pickups,it had an array of tones(especially a true Fender Jazz tone-if needed) because both of the pickups were placed in the Jazz position on the body:the "sweet spot" if you will,but it still was also able to maintain it's MusicMan character too.I think with the SR4/5 the bridge pickup sits so far back toward the bridge that a jazz pickup is useless,because of the pickup spacing.
     
  15. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    My take on it would be to ask Sterling users where they played the switch at 90 percent of the time. Probaby would find no need to torture a beautiful SR4.

    tk
     
  16. FireAarro

    FireAarro

    Aug 8, 2004
    austr-
    You can put a Jazz neck pup in it's original position on a MM bass though... hm?
     
  17. Boozy

    Boozy

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    For the record, I too would love to see a 'Ray with an extra humbucker, jazz or even P pickup, but at the same time I love my 'Ray the way it is :)

    I just absolutely love to looks and feel of StingRays and I think it would be great to have a few of them, each capable of different tones/styles (bright/funky, dark/knocky, smoothe/growly, etc)..

    Anyways, back on topic!

    Head over to the dude pit (Bovinehost is the moderator there in the Music Man forum) and look through the threads or search for 'Fran Diaz'.. if memory serves me right, he has done several different mods to a number of different StingRays and I'm sure he can answer any question you have about them.. He is a member here too I think so you can try searching for posts by him here and see what you come up with... Check out the Bass Forums over at the Ernie Ball site too.

    like to The Dude Pit Music Man forum: http://p096.ezboard.com/fthedudepitfrm30

    cheers :)

    PS; I appoligize if it wasn't Fran Diaz who has done these mods, there are a few usernames that I remember always comping up when I was looking into this subject, I am however positive that I have come accross all these answers at either the dude pit, talkbass or ernie ball.

    Bebop.
     
  18. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    Yes you can,but it won't have that J type growl (which is the reason a player would want to have a J pickup on it ala Lakland)that he would like to have.
     
  19. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Wow, awesome advice, thanks alot Boozy, I'll have to check out that forum later on.
     
  20. and I know exactly what you would say too. :D