Quick question involving Sterlings, weak G, Basslines>>>

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rayjay, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I'll keep it brief, sorry but I just can't seem to find the answers here or elsewhere online....

    I have a 97 EBMM Sterling 3-band (obviously active). Weak G syndrome.

    A while back a got the Basslines SMB-4D. Great mellow sound but loud hum. I had the stock pickup re-installed.

    Recently I revisited this issue; apparently the wrong pickup. I need the SMB-4A (I think)

    *Can someone confirm that the SMB-4A is compatible with the EBMM stock 3-band preamp? I'm not sure if this is an active or passive pickup. (SD won't return calls or emails)

    Also opinions if anyone did this upgrade...sorry to bring up a much-discussed topic, but I'm having a hard time finding Sterling info, almost all Stingray...

  2. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    so i had a 97 EBMM Sterling. You actually need the 3 coil SMB-4A. http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/bass-pickups/music-man/4string/smb4a_5a_3coil/

    SMB-4A will be warmer. They also make a 3-coil version of the ceramic version if you custom order. Nordstrand makes a 3-coil replacement for this bass as well with alnico pickups. I preferred the Nordstrand over the Duncan. Sterlings are Ceramic pickup magnets, Stingrays are alnico.

    I had a weak pickup problem with my sterling and found that after 15 years, the glue holding the ceramic magnet had separated from the bottom of the pickup and the dummy coil was hanging there underneath the top coils. I glued this back on and my problem was resolved. Probably not your issue because EBMM has a notorious reputation of having a slightly weak G. Make sure you don't put the pickup too high as well, that will choke the string and make the problem worse. Best way to balance it is to get the pickup close enough to the G to not cause the string to go sharp, and then back it off a tiny bit. Then make the E string balance against the tone of the G by lowering it some. This will for the most part solve some of the weak-G issue.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
    Rayjay likes this.
  3. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    Was that the Nordstrand MM 4.3? Did it work with the Sterling's preamp? I do like the stock preamp but I'm not opposed to changing if I need to. I know my Sterling would sound really sweet with nico pups...I go for that Jamerson / Carol Kaye tone...
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  4. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    It's definitely different. I went from stock to a Nordstrand in both a Stingray and a Sterling. HUGE difference in the Sterling. Much warmer, fuller, and way less aggressive.
    Rayjay likes this.