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Music Man Stingray minus 9 volt battery

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lichtaffen, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    So my battery ran out last night and I didn't have any others in the house. I decided to take it out and try to play the bass without a battery. It worked. It sounded kinda weak, but usable for practicing. My question is if you take the battery out, does it essentially make this bass passive? If so, is this what a P bass would sound like? Believe me, I'll be buying a bunch of 9 volts tonight, but I was just curious.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Bump for a post that I too am curious about (buying a Stingray tonight, actually). I had no idea they had active pups/preamp.
  3. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    I'm not sure what is going on electronically with a Stingray with no battery, but there is absolutely nothing P bass about a Stingray -- battery or not.
  4. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Curious here as well.

    Also curious if anyone has modified the pre to have an active/passive switch?
  5. All the Stingray's I've owned had no signal when the battery was removed.
    Waltsdog likes this.
  6. Jared92


    Nov 1, 2007
    Fairfax VA
    Yeah. No signal over here.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  7. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    There was definitely a signal. The tone controls were very weak sounding. The low bass frequencies were non existent. Sounded kinda cool though.

    Funkmetalbass, I highly recommend this bass to anyone. I love it and the active electronics give you so many tonal options without even touching your amp controls. My amp is usually set pretty flat and I just use the tone controls to shape the overall sound. Good luck with you purchase, worth every penny.
  8. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Never tried it without a battery but now I'm curious. I'll have to check it out.
  9. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I should mention that it is a 2008 model.
  10. G2K

    G2K Guest

    Jul 21, 2008
    Simcoe County, ON. CA.
    I have seen posts that say that the SR works without the 9V, having said that I cannot remember if it was the 2 band EQ or the 3 band EQ or both. The same posts also mentioned that the EQ did not work without the battery only the volume.
  11. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    If it has 4 knobs, does it have the active electronics? I'm buying it used and I can't tell from the lighting if there's a battery compartment or not.
  12. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    All stingray's are active. If it has 4 knobs, it has a 3-band preamp.
  13. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    ^^ Correct. The battery compartment is on the back.
  14. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    ^ Good to know.

    It's a black body on a maple fretboard.

    I want to install a green pearloid pickguard like this: stgb_5328gr.
  15. monocase.com


    Mar 13, 2009
    I've had this happen as well, but the battery compartment was fully unwired. The signal is pretty weak, and I am not sure if it was designed to be a passive pickup. My bass is a 96' and I have often wondered if I should go passive.
  16. My stingray works with no battery, SR4 3EQ, the output is low but if I turn up the input volume on my amp to get the same volume as with a battery it sounds the same as with the eq knobs flat, by the way they don't work with no battery but the volume does
  17. I tried this tonight. I also have a 2008 3EQ Ray. I pulled the battery out and it still had sound, albeit much quieter. Only the volume knob works without the battery. It still sounded like a Stingray, just set totally flat. Kinda cool in its on way.
  18. Pablo Cavallo

    Pablo Cavallo

    Oct 9, 2012

    I just tried it with my 2015 Classic Stingray 4, here are my observations:

    Without the battery:
    • Pickup output is about 25% of the "active" output. Boosted amp gain to match.
    • Bass and Treble controls still affect the signal but in a very subtle way. The preamp seems bypassed at a first listen, but then when tweaking around I noticed when both Treble/Bass were at 0% it sounded darker than both at 100% (it is a slight difference when compared to the "active" results of using the Treble/Bass controls, but it is noticeable).
    The overall tone is what you would spec from a passive Ray:
    • More organic but retains punch.
    • Direct but with a smoother top end and attack. Not so much to get rid of the usual "clank" in the more treblier settings.
    • The low end is also less dramatic, not so full and direct as the "active" lows.
    • A little anaemic at times.
    I am pretty sure this is not meant to be a "passive tone option", but it could save your gig with some tweaking at your amp.
    It also helps predicting how a "proper passive option" would sound and I believe it would be a usable tone if done correctly (avoiding the preamp and using the right pot to start with).

    Between this and the coil-tapping options available via modifications, I am starting to think Musicman is missing out on some flexibility here, they could keep a "classic" ray with no fancy stuff and then make a "super modded" version with active/passive + coil tapping.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.

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