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Music Man Stingray Fretless help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nofretz, Jan 2, 2017.


  1. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    If you've ever owned one, please help:

    As a long-time Pino fan, I always wanted a SR fretless. I finally bought a 2010s model recently. I was very disappointed because virtually the ENTIRE G string was a dead spot. I tried clamps, Fat fingers (2!), and even really heavy strings. Nothing helped. I ended up selling it :(

    Has anyone ever had (or heard of) such an issue with one of those basses? I never hear those dead spots in the old Pino videos/records. Are newer MMs that much inferior in quality compared to the old pre Ernie Ball models?

    Would I be better off to try one of the Ray34 fretless models?

    Lots of questions here haha.
     
  2. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Stingrays in general have a G string that's a lot quieter than the D, A, and E. There's a lot of debate on this, but after owning a bunch of them over the years and hearing them played by others, I can't be convinced that this isn't an inherent quirk in these basses.
     
    NeverDropTheBass likes this.
  3. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    Hmmm

    Also, I tried lowering the bass side of the pickup. That helped a little, but still, on stage anytime I played a note on the G string you literally couldn't hear it.
     
    TMARK likes this.
  4. TMARK

    TMARK

    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    I think it's the pre, the 3 Band in particular. It might be something else, but I've found every 2 band and every HH or HS I've handled didn't exhibit the missing G string problem. My Old Smoothie doesn't have the problem. The Classics don't have the problem. The problem is, however, real.

    I had a fretless Ray and I sold it because it had a dead spot in the usual place, C on the G string. It drove me nuts. I can usually deal with a dead spot but on a fretless it's so noticeable as the mwah just dies. I recorded a track for a producer, and the C major sections of the track required playing on the C dead spot. I didn't want to play the C on the A or D. I ended up playing while pressing the headstock against the amp. It sounded glorious. I traded it in at Sam Ash the next week.
     
    MD Stingray and Matt R. like this.
  5. TMARK

    TMARK

    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    I think it's the baked in EQ of the three band. Maybe. I've heard people say that a pickup and Pre swap brought back the G.
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I have owned two band Stingrays that have a non existent G string too so I don't think it's tied directly to the preamp unless it's settings dependent.
     
  7. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    Yeah my fretless in question was a 2 band.
     
  8. TMARK

    TMARK

    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    Perhaps it is settings, then. To me it's too big of an issue to deal with. It's a strange problem, as it seems random.
     
  9. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    Maybe I just had a lemon and need to try again. I may try a Sterling Ray34CAFL this time. I've see a lot of good reviews one those (none mentioning dead spots--let along entire strings). I'll post the results here if I do get one.

    Glad to know it wasn't just me, though!
     
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I've owned a handful of Stingrays over the years, including a fretless. Definitely a try before you buy bass.
     
    TMARK and nofretz like this.
  11. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    I think this is my answer. Thanks to everyone.
     
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Sorry the one you have didn't work out. I walked into Chuck Levin's in DC about 10 years ago to buy an amp and just picked up a lined Fretless Stingray for the hell of it. I didn't even play fretless. I wound up buying it and it was my main instrument for a couple of years. Easy to play, zero adjustment from fretted and no dead spots or strings. I wish I'd never sold it.
     
    Nomogram and nofretz like this.
  13. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    Well I wish I'd bought it :)
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Indeed. My 3 band SR5's don't have the issue at any setting.

    I kinda doubt the Sterling is going to be any better. The US made stuff is all top notch.

    The G string "issue" frequently comes up. EBMM and die hard players deny it and others can't seem to agree whether it's a problem or not, let alone the cause and solution.
     
  15. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    I'm sure the Sterling would be inferior to the EBMM overall, but I'd take a Sterling without the dead string issue if I found one. After all, it wouldn't be my main bass.
     
  16. Not exactly the same thing, but I have an early 2000s US-made fretless SUB with passive controls - bass and treble cut only, I believe. No problems with string resonance at all.
     
    nofretz likes this.
  17. johnson79

    johnson79

    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I find that the G on my RAY34 is weak. I have been playing with the EQ, but need to adjust the pickup and maybe some different strings. I've read that flats may help, not sure what you're using.
     
  18. nofretz

    nofretz

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rome, GA
    I didn't try flats, but I tried 55s!
     
  19. I've got a late 90's fretless stingray with 3- band preamp. No dead spots on mine, luckily. Sounds great up and down the entire neck on each string.

    Wonder if a set up tweak might help? Maybe try that before moving on?
     
    Sweet Willie and bobunit like this.
  20. bobunit

    bobunit I'm here. Now what? Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Idaho
    I owned a 1994 fretless Stingray for several years. While I didn't have the output issue you've experienced, it did have a dead spot on the G string (D). Drove me nuts.
     

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