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OBP-3 In the Sterling..

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by popinfresh, Jun 28, 2005.


  1. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hey guys, i've had an Aggy preamp sitting around for a while, and was just thinking if I should put it in my Sterling.

    I'm after the most growl I can get, with a deep full bottom, punchy and growly low mids and a cutting top end.

    So, should I put it in, or leave it out? What sort of sound is it going to give me? I may be selling it on for a Warwick Stg II or similar for that sound i'm after, but in the meantime I thought I might as well put it in if it'l give me what I want.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What's wrong with the preamp that's in it?
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yup, I'd agree here. What don't you like about the current sound?
     
  4. Prbly not what he's looking for. sounds like he wants it to have more growl/ fuller.
    If your thinking about selling it 'cause it doesn't have the sounds you want. Install the aggie pre, but keep the stock pre incase you still sell it. Doesn't sound like you have much to lose.
     
  5. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I've yet to hear a stingray or sterling improve with modification--there's a reason almost nobody ever does it.
     
  6. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, I am looking for a more fuller, I suppose bigger, sound with a bit more growl.

    I've heard good things about putting in a Nordstrand pup as well, anyone got any other feedback on that or the Aggy?
     
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    IMO growl comes more from the combination of wood, pickup and pickup location than the preamp. Do you not get growl you like using the series switch setting?

    The nordstrand pup is great, if you do a search you'll find plenty of reviews. The Aguilar preamp is great also, I'm just not sure if that's what you're looking for. When you say 'fuller' and 'bigger' do you mean more bass, more mids or what? Is your current preamp a 2 band one?
     
  8. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I think all stock Sterlings are 3-band. The mid knob isn't all that useful tho. You either bumb the treble up or down a tenth or bump the bass up or down a tenth. That, plus the three-way switch, describes the useable range (for me) of the electronics. Don't get me wrong--it sounds great!
     
  9. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Yeah, it's 3 band.

    It's kind of hard to explain.. But when I say fuller/bigger, I pretty much mean that. I don't want more bass, so that's it's boomy/muddy, not too much treble as it gets harsh (I leave it just over half on my bass) and i'd like a little bigger sounding mid range as I have the mids maxed on the bass, and it's not that much.

    To put it this way, the bass sounds 'thin' alot of the time, even when I boost the bass, it just gets a boomy low end, and everything else still sounds thin. Apart from that, it sounds great.

    I do get a fair bit of growl out of the bass when it's in single coil mode, i'd just like to get a little bit more when I dig in (Without overdriving my tubes), if it's possible.

    The thing i'm worried about with the Aggy is that it will give me a bigger sounding bass, but perhaps make it sound smoother, and not so edgy/aggresive with growl? I like the Warwick growl... but i'd rather not sell the Sterling for one (And i'm not expecting the warwick sound out of it either).

    Any other preamps I should look at then? Would the Nordstrand work for what i'm after? I will keep all my stock stuff, so if I want to change back, it's easy enough.
     
  10. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Popinfresh;

    Just fer the heck of it, why don't you try putting one of Nordstrand's pickups in it first (instead of gutting the electronics) and see if that helps?

    On a more related note, While I'm not particularly a fan of active basses, I recently played one of Mike Lull's Jazz basses which had a 2 band Ag preamp in it and I like the midrange that came out of it. Maybe it's the way it was voiced. For what it's worth to you, I'm more concerned with mids than a lot of bass.
     
  11. What kind of strings do you use and how old are they ?

    I recently restrung my bass with a different brand (but same type) and the difference is HUGE !
     
  12. Boozy

    Boozy

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    i'd also recommend trying different strings as i always find they make a huge difference in both the midrange area and the general fullness of the tone.

    i thought dr sunbeams were really growly. Ernie Ball power slinkies sound huge. i'd type more but i'm tired. :)
     
  13. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    And since we seem to have migrated to strings, I'll mention that I've recently installed a set ot TI Superalloys on my Lakland JO. They are well balanced from string to string with neither a thunderous E string nor a weak G string. I think they work very well for mids. YMMV.
     
  14. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    Yeah. Let me jump on the dogpile here.

    What you describe as the issue is really a pretty common view of the Sterling's inherent tone. If you do a search, you'll find a lot of people who say basically what you just said. We all sort of take that as given and then decide whether that tone works (first) in our signal chain and (second) with our bands. For me, it's exactly what I want. Others need a P-bass to get that rounded bottom.

    I think you kind of have to look at the situation as follows:
    1. To a certain point, you can't change the MusicMan tone--based on wood, pickup PLACEMENT, etc.
    2. There are things you CAN do that will have an effect on the margin

    The things you can do are:
    1. Change strings to a brand that emphasizes low midrange (Bass Player's Strings Issue has some graphics that are useful on this point)
    2. Consider a different pickup--I've yet to hear a Nordstrand, but Carey says it's good.
    3. Mess with your amp's EQ settings--try backing off highs and mids, as opposed to increasing the bass.
    4. Consider adding a parametric EQ in your signal chain if the amp's not doing it for you

    These are all easily reversible decisions, in case you find you still don't like where you are. I just offer this advice, because a Sterling ain't a "blank slate" upon which you can realize any tone in your head. If you want that, try something like a Lakland 44/94 or 44-02. That's a more flexible arrangement.

    And if you look around, someone might trade you a Skyline 02 series for the Sterling, straight up. It's a totally fair trade.
     
  15. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, thanks for the help guys.

    Strings: Either using D'Addario Pro Steels (bright, but nice growl and attack) or Rotosound 66's. I'll shop around a few more strings and have a look at that bass player thingo if I can find it..

    I like the Sterling sound alot, and the feel of the bass. I always realised that they did have that slightly thin characteristic, but I would still like to try and get just a little 'more' out of it.

    I have considered a parametric EQ for a little while now, seens that the V8 only has bass mids and treble. I'd like to mess around with low mids a little more, as this is my favourite EQ section.

    Bass wise, I have considered swapping it for a Warwick mainly, as I love the Warwick sound. I'd be looking at a Stage II/I or Dolphin most likely (If not thumb). Other basses that interest me have been Modulus Jazz bass's and perhaps even a Lakland... I'll see, I do love my Sterling though.
     
  16. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    If you don't like "thin" sound--stay AWAY from the Modulus jazz. Otherwise, sounds like you're on the right track. Enjoy.