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Passive Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by russpurdy, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    What can you tell me about your passive Stingrays (if anyone has one wired that way)? Why did you do it, how does it sound, which pickup?

    Any clips or sound samples?
  2. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    i considered having mine wired passive but was told no tone controls no good!Reason was to get rid of the ultra highs.
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    They made a Limited Edition for Guitar Center that had a push-pull active/passive switch. I think there's even one for sale in the Classifieds. Maybe somebody with one of those will respond.
  4. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The SUB (I mean the original made-in-california series) was available in a passive version, as is the Ray34, I believe.

    I read somewhere here on TB that the low impedance of a stock Stingray pickup makes it a pretty bad candidate for passive wiring. It seems to me that wiring it in series would fix that, but it would also change the sound considerably.

    See if you can find a passive Ray34 at a local GC and take it for a test-drive.
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    When I bought my '78 Ray is was wired up with a passive switch. I hated it! It sounded so weak and low output in passive mode.
  6. Mtnman


    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have a passive EBMM SUB. The pickup had so much hiss that I ended up replacing it with a Bartolini. It is now among my top 3 basses.
  7. The stock Stingray pickup works just fine without preamp. The preamp adds a variety of tones, but that's about it. Also, the preamp does not make it much louder either.

    The parallel (stock) vs series is interesting. I love the series configuration. It still sounds unmistakeably Stingray, but it is a little louder with more low mids, punchier.

    I have a bypass switch in my 2002 Stingray. I never really use the passive option, 'though, as I like the preamp options, but it sounds pretty good passive too.
    I have also two active (2-band) EBMM SUBs. The 2003 one has the pickup wired in series, the 2005 one in parallel. The 2003 one is a beast, as the extra mids complement the 2-band beautifully.

    If you must go passive, remove the preamp (and keep it, so you can restore it), and add passive tone control and a series/parallel switch, for extra awesomeness ;)
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The Stingray pickup is actually passive, the pre-amp is active. I have never bypassed my preamp but I have heavily debated it, I honestly imagined it would very quiet. I still might try it one day, I personally don't care for active and the hippie in me would love to save the batteries.
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed - I have rewired all 3 of my SUBs for series, and it made a significant improvement, IMO...

    - georgestrings
  11. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC

    There's a reason why an active EQ is the standard for that pickup in that spot. It needs one.
  12. With regards to its volume, just look around at how many passive basses use an MM style pickup. They're hefty, those things.
  13. :)

    No, it doesn't.


    Place a Precision pickup, for instance, where the MM pickup is, and they're just about as loud as eachother. With the variety of P and MM pickups available, I'm sure some will be louder than others, for instance a SD SMB4A in series is quite hot, and compared to a vintage style P, may seem louder. But a DiMarzio Model P might sound louder perhaps than the SMB4A, and probably more than the Nordstrand MM4.2... I have used all pickups, but not in direct comparison, however... as all I wanted was to see what P pickup sounded like at different places, but that's my impression re: volume.

    I have done that on an old OLP that I used to experiment with pickup positions, expanding the pickup rout under the pickguard.

    The Stingray preamp is also not really making the bass louder... BUT I need to clarify this: if you boost bass and treble it can sound a LOT louder than without the preamp. So if you normally boost the signal a lot, yeah, that's going to be hotter than passive, but the passive sound is not quieter than any Jazz or Precision, typically.
    If you have a preamp bypass switch, and balance the tone controls to get a similar tonality than you get with the bypass switch engaged (i.e: finding its "flat" configuration), then there is not a significant volume difference (at least with the one bass I have a bypass switch installed on). My normal sound on that bass results from boosting bass a tiny bit above flat, leaving treble untouch and bringing some mids up a bit... so my signal is hotter than in passive form, but not much and only because of my boosting...