Replacement Sterling Pup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by belair57, Jun 4, 2001.

  1. I just got a new musicman sterling and I'm wondering. Are there any good Sterling replacemant pups that sound better than the stock ones.
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    is there something you dont like about the stock pickup?

    i tried out a bartolini in my sterling and i absolutely hated it. series mode got a more boxy sound to it. the single coil mode was about the same and the parallel mode lost about half the output which made it unusable. i put the stock pickup back in after 10 curious to see how the seymour duncan pickup sounds but for now the stock setup on the sterling is what sounds right.
  3. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Someone posted about switching pickups to Nordstrands and was pretty happy with the result.

    click here
  4. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I bought my Sterling new in '94 and the only issue for me was not the sound on the pickup per se but the weak G string because it didn't line up right over the polepiece. Otherwise it sounded great. If they had shifted the pickup slightly towards the E string it would have been fine. I knew I needed a pickup with blades vs polepieces.

    Tried a Duncan Custom Shop with Alnico magnets (at the time they were special order) and same results. I tried a Bart (bright version) and hated it. Finally, I was lucky enough to get a Lane Poor direct from him and that's been in there ever since. Totally awesome sound across the board.

    I don't know if this is really your issue. If so I suggest the new EMG MM over a Bart. If not, what are the shortcomings you percieve in the original pickup? What are you looking to improve?
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My '97 is perfect in every way and sounds great. Maybe your amp is worth looking into?
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I had a Sterling pup (not in a Sterling bass) and it was at least as good as any of the rest. That 3rd coil on the bottom was a pain so it went out the revolving door. All the MM's I've tried (see Dimento's MM experiment) were actually very close in tone except for the Barts which are definetly different. Haven't had an LP MM but I've got an LP soap and the soap's closer to a Bart than any other pup I've had. Also ran across a piece that stated a Bart CB MM sounds very much like an LP, and I wouldn't be suprised if that's so.

    I prefer the Alnico MM's over the ceramic myself. There's not a major difference but there is a subtle one that's noticeable - the Alnico's not as bright with more rawness. It's my understanding the Sterlings are ceramic and the Stingrays Alnico. I've had the Nord 4.2 alnico which was decent but not different enough from the other alnico's to mess with. In fact I kept a Carvin alnico and sent the Nord packing.

    One thing to be aware of is original MM's are staggered pole with the A & D elevated. I assume that an MM bass has quite a redius on the neck as a result. Replacement MM's are not staggered poles. So the poles will be closer to the E & G strings if the strings are properly setup for the neck.