Old Smoothie vs Ray HS

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CereBassum, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. I've got a EBMM Stringray 4 HS - love it.
    View attachment 2887905

    I play a lot of jazz and old school blues/RnB so I've got it strung up with GHS pressure wounds and play mostly solo off the neck pup or with the neck pup and half of the bridge HH (two top positions on the 5 position switch). I keep the treble off, mids at about 3, bass at 5. With this combination I get no zing or clang at all - nice deep smooth sound. I play small venues at lower volumes in an acoustic trio or quartet with a Roland combo - controls flat, a bit of compression - bars, restaurants etc - this sound works great for me.

    Now I happen to be gassing for an Old Smoothie. It's got only the bridge pup, but with strings through body and the mutes, I'm wondering how it might work with GHS pressure wounds or maybe EB cobalt flats. How would that compare to what I get now with the Ray HS?
  2. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Of course it’s best to try the Old Smoothie for yourself if you can.

    I would imagine that you would play it differently from your current bass. You are going to have to approach it differently than you would a bass with 2 pickups .
    Can it work .... sure. It’s just a matter of are you able to adjust your playing technique to get what you want out of it .

    If can afford both , I would say get it and see if warrants having both. If not , let one go.

    Me, I’d take a mint green Old Smoothie .
  3. LOL - that's what got me lusting for one - that mint green...

    But I love the black ray too. I wouldn't have to change my technique much, my right hand isn't up by the neck - it's about halfway between the two pups - probably about the same place I'd play the smoothie - away from the bridge. I have the switch mostly on the two bridge pup settings, but my hand is not up by the bridge pup - hardly ever.

    That mint green together with the string dampers is going to suck me in - I like simplicity....

    Nice couple:
    View attachment 2888534
    View attachment 2888506
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    lowdownthump likes this.
  4. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    No harm in owning both !! Get it :D
    CereBassum likes this.
  5. I've become a dyed in the wool MM fanboy - I think having a Smoothie is an obligation for me...
    lowdownthump likes this.
  6. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    The neck pickup on your current bass picks up a different part of the string's vibration than the bridge pickup, so if you're favoring that, I don't think you'll get quite the same vibe from a single pickup. Not to say you wouldn't get a good sound, it's just that a neck pickup delivers a very different tone/color than a bridge pickup.
    CereBassum likes this.
  7. Yeah I know - that's my hesitation. I need to play a Smoothie first - I'm hoping that with flats and the string dampers and strings through body I can keep it dead and mellow enough for my use. I got an HS specifically so I could work that neck pup. I use the bridge pup only if the volume gets high and I need more edge to cut through, or in certain types of electric blues. Even then I generally don't use both coils on the bridge pup.
    fermata likes this.
  8. jcidulka

    jcidulka Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Chicago IL suburbs
    I have an Old Smoothie with TI flats on it and it does old school r&b and blues with major bootie. Move up off the pickup and it gets very fat. It’s amazing, actually.

    The TI flats provides a ton of great tones.
  9. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Im sure this has been asked, but is that a special pickup or did they just put a 5 string pickup on it?
  10. Well...when Leo first came up with the Old Smoothie, there was no 5-string pickup...or any common idea of a 5-string bass. He made a pickup that would center the string between two magnets, like a P or J pickup. I’m sure EBMM reproduced the pickup to Leo’s spec...down to the black tape he used to keep the right and left pieces of the two 4-string pickup covers he used to house it.
    In the present, it sure looks like a 5-string (wide-spacing) pickup...
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.
  11. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006

    OR, some guy in R&D put a 5-string pickup on the 4-string, liked the way it de-emphasized that MM cut, and said, "Hey, lets concoct a story about Leo to try and sell a new version of the wheel" :D

    ^I'm just kidding (I hope) :) ... thank you for the verification
  12. I think the history is in this video:
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.