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Musicman Sterling replacement preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thomashawk, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. thomashawk


    Jun 29, 2010
    New York, NY
    I am tiring of my Musicman Sterling's sound, but I still really like the feel, so I am considering some changes.I am 99% sure that I am going to buy the Nordstrand MM4.3 pickup. I really liked the sounds I heard on BassTasters.com.

    Can anyone share any experience with different on-board preamps in a MM Sterling (basswood)?

    Many thanks.
  2. thebisch


    Sep 24, 2006
    I don't have any insight for you, but if you do this, and want to sell the original pickup and preamp, let me know.
  3. dasto


    Sep 15, 2007
    I put a John East BTB MMSR 3 band preamp in my MM SR 4HH. I like it very much. You can dial in a lot of different sounds. For me the stock 2 band preamp was to harsh.
    You can listen to it here:

    Hope it gives you an idea.

    Attached Files:

  4. Shegmaface


    Jun 25, 2010
    I have a MM sterling HH and a John East MMSR 3 band 4 knob for installation. I was wondering if someone could post a couple clear pics of an installed MMSR 3 in a Sterling for my reference. I'm a visual learner and it would be helpful for my install. There is a 4 week wait for a pro install here in Toronto but I wanted to try it myself. Thanks.
  5. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    I replaced the pickup on my 93 Sterling for a Nord MM4.3.

    It sounds amazing with the original preamp. Felt no need to replace the preamp

    However if you want a complete change I'd suggest the John East preamp.
  6. Shegmaface


    Jun 25, 2010
    I have a Nord MM4.3 in my Sterling SB14 and love it. I also have a John East MMSR 3 band pre to install in my other bass, a MM sterling HH. I need someone to pop the cover and snap and post some clear photos of an installed MMSR to aid in my installation.

    I can't find any good installation instructions anywhere. I've been searching for weeks.
  7. I'm assuming here that you got the pre used without documentation, as the instructions supplied with JE items are very good.

    Have you tried asking John East?

    Providing you phone during UK working hours(!) it's highly likely John will actually answer the phone & is well known to chat away to his customers for quite a long time.

    I suspect if you can get on to him, he'd be extremely helpful.
  8. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Nordstrand MM 4.3 is discontinued. If you can find one GET IT NOW. I think Carry should offer this pickup at a higher price instead of canceling production of it. He now offers the 4.4 as a replacement, which does not have the coil below the pickup. I would expect it to sound different as well.
  9. Shegmaface


    Jun 25, 2010
    Before I changed to the Nordstrand 4.3 in my SB14, I recorded some audio with the stock MM pups vs Nord, to hear the difference. The nord has a more pronounced mid and less highs.
    I should post the clips.
  10. Shegmaface


    Jun 25, 2010
    The John East pre-amp has been installed. I don't know what I was thinking. It was an easy install. I initially bought the pre-amp for my SB 14 which has a different tone circuit. I thought the MM sterling had the same circuit. I was wrong. I love the sound of the John East. It has a lot of different mid range possibilities and the bass is mega smooth. I do notice a bit more noise then the stock pre but it's probably due to the increased high end that comes with the John East.
    Ballin'bass likes this.
  11. Ballin'bass


    Jun 16, 2014
    Madison, WI
    So you had the John east installed in your sterling? I'm confused as to how to install them with the whole 3way coil switch. Because they aren't designed around it. I really want one in my ebmm sterling but don't know how it should be installed.
  12. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I had the weak G string issue on my 97 3-band Sterling. My buddy got me the SD Basslines replacement pickup so i had it installed with the stock preamp. The pup sounded great, much smoother than the stock pickup and even across the strings, but there is a loud hum; apparently the Basslines pup is not compatible with the EBMM preamp. As of now I have the stock pup back in.

    Does anyone have the part # for the Basslines Sterling 3-band tone circuit? SD won't return my emails or phone calls and for some reason I can't find this info online. I'd be interested in upgrading the tone circuit for a matched pup/preamp set. Or....

    Is the Nordstrand mm4.4 compatible with the EBMM 3-band? I really like the EBMM preamp, but the pickup needs to change so it might need to be replaced too.
  13. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic

    "What’s the difference?
    The STC-3M3 and the STC-3M4 are exactly the
    same preamp. The only difference is in the wiring
    harness. The 3M4 has separated bass and treble
    pots (for basses with four knobs), while the 3M3
    has the bass and treble controls stacked onto a
    concentric pot (for basses with three knobs). The
    circuit boards are identical, and the harnesses
    are interchangeable."
  14. Funkgong


    Feb 28, 2018
    What's the news in 2020 about this ?
    I want to change the ceramic for alnico on a Musicman Sterling 4 H made in usa.
    it's working for that like this one :
    Seymour alnico, Delano, Nordstrand, Aguilar..
    I'm looking for a more vintage sound
    Thank's 4 the answers :)
  15. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    Vintage? The Sterling bass has more of a “modern” tone. For a “vintage” Sting Ray tone I’d search a Nordstrand pre and pickups.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 5, 2021

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