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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BIGEJ2, Jan 24, 2019.
I'm glad they do not have this in a 2 tone burst with a roasted neck. I'd be out some money
Anyone care to pop the hood and post a photo of the wiring, so we can try to determine what the bass boost is?
I'm tempted to do just that. Maybe tomorrow. I was assuming that it was more or less just a "clean boost" when engaged and that it wouldn't really be all that useful for me. But as I've been playing around with it (now I'm listening through good studio-grade headphones), it seems it may be a bit more than that. What I'm hearing when I engage the "boost" is definitely a level boost, but also a little bit of a revoicing. It could be that I'm just reading too much into it, but it sounds to me like it also "fattens" the sound up a bit. If I engage the boost and turn the level on my audio interface down to match the level it was before engaging, it just sounds a bit different to me. When I play it live, I will mess around with it a bit more and try to see if I'm just dreaming here or if it really does slightly change the EQ curve. It could be that my ears are just tired after messing with the bass all afternoon and evening. We'll see tomorrow.
Well... it looks like a pretty straightforward circuit as far as Music Man basses go, but as I suspected, any "secret sauce" is going to be hidden in that circuit board. Then again, maybe not. That's for you electronics wizards to decide. If it is anything more complicated than a P-bass or J-bass... I'm done.
I've been playing this thing all afternoon. Talking about a great bass! It plays like butter--very fast and easy neck. I've compared the sound with all my other basses and it is the clearest sounding of all of them (even my active J elite, although I certainly have more tone shaping capability with the J, since it is active--but set flat on the J, the SS Stingray wins). The SS Stringray just has a "full spectrum sound" that can be shaped and prodded with the tone control (I like it at about half to three-quarters most of the time) and the coil switching (I see myself using the single coil mode most of the time). Tonight the bass sees its first band practice. I bet everyone will love the sound.
Not sure about secret sauce but I can tell they’ve used quality parts and done a great job wiring that thing.
Wish they’d hurry up and ship some Raspberry Pearls to the UK
Yeah, the wiring is impeccable and components top notch. Very clean control cavity. Definitely not a "bang 'er out and let's go get drunk at 5pm" kind of a job. Class act all the way.
Weirdly enough I was going to come back to Talkbass to post what I would like them to change for the Stingray ... that following NAMM they changed EVERYTHING (and more) that I wrote down! Rather than a short scale I'd rather see a LH StingRay Special, and a Pau Ferro fretted fingerboard (CITES exists for a reason...).
Well, as suspected, this bass is the clearest and most defined sounding short scale bass I've ever had or played in a group setting. Very well-rounded sound with plenty of lows, mids, and highs. The tone knob is wonderful and I find it easier to get what I want to hear than with a 3-band active circuit. With a three band, I generally have the lows cranked up pretty good, the mids slightly rolled back, and the highs down a bit. But when I want to change sounds for different songs, I'm fiddling with all three knobs. No need with the SS Stingray. Crank the tone for the "Stingray sound" and roll it back for more of a motown or country vibe. I found myself using the single coil and parallel mode the most, but I used series on a few harder rock songs. The ultramarine blue looks great under bright lights with the "sugar sparkle effect." Man, I'd love to see one in the aqua sparkle the Stingray Specials have, too.
So, this baby has everything I need and want in sound, looks, and playability. I could actually live with having just this bass. Of course, that ain't going to happen with a gear slut like me, but I'll just bet this bass takes over the "number one bass" position and bumps my Mustangs back to number two. My Mustangs won't be happy though. Hope they don't try to buck me off next time I play one of them.
I never saw anyone so much on the same page as you are with me and my feelings regarding this (or any bass). I could say pretty much every single thing you've said in all of your posts here. Completely on board!
There's something incredibly special about this thing.
I really hope for the sake of the rest of the bass playing world they make many more.
Wow, what a nice thing she did. Congrats.
I can't help but to imagine the people down a MM saying the inside of that bass must be impeccable!!!!! You know the nerds at Talkbass are going to be dissecting it and posting their pix all over the place.
That said, I bet this thing packs a mean punch. I played a Special and the new Pup was impressive. Between that and the short scale I am sure this has serious low end. Just wish the marketing job would have been a bit tighter.
Wow. Just came across this bass via Google result, didn't know it existed till today! Years ago I asked folks on the EBMM forums if they'd ever consider making a short-scale and I was basically yelled at / laughed at. I guess first they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win?
Wish it came in more colours / options though -- a nice sunburst and/or some metallics would be sweet
My ultramarine blue looks great, especially under bright lights, but yes, I would LOVE to see one in their aqua sparkle color with a maple fingerboard. THAT would be an automatic must have.
Quick follow up...
Got to put it in a band setting again and was able to fiddle a bit more with the controls.
Disengaging the bass boost is excellent for pick usage. And series mode (with boost) works great when the band starts getting ridiculously loud, as well as with bass in your face tunes (worked well in Uptown Funk). It really is like the knob that goes to 11 though. Its good to have if and when needed in a pinch for solo stuff, or when you just need the extra oomph, but I think its going to see the least amount of action on my bass.
I still get warm and fuzzy thinking about this thing, and honestly haven't been this ecstatic about a bass in a very long time. I feel like I'm at home. AND, as I think I already mentioned - I too wish there were different color options. Not sure what pushed MM to these 2 choices, but if they come out with a variety of colors, I'm in trouble. My bass color preference is black and white these days. I don't really like anything else. Starting to seriously consider busting out for a paint job, but not yet ready to part with it. A metallic black kinda finish would be awesome.
I'll add also that the tone control is also super friendly. I don't really get what's up with Fender and their tone controls, but they make a big deal of the difference between the grease bucket and regular tone control, and I don't notice any difference. On both my Mustangs I only use the tone to roll off the highs (it stays set between 7-10). With the Stingray, the bass stays musical throughout. I used the tone from around 2-9 all night, and I liked knowing that I still had some tonal headroom on both sides. One of the first dances Saturday was Mango Tree by Zac Brown, and with the tone rolled off it sounded beyond awesome.
That song also made me a Zac Brown fan. I didn't listen yet, but googled some info and read that they did an entire album in a bunch of different genres, and did them all just as convincingly as they did this. I can't NOT be a fan. Listen, if you never heard it. I hadn't before last week.
Sorry for the derail but I think its worth it .... not what I was expecting from the Zac Brown band:
Yeah, I am so in love with this thing. I got away from shorties once I discovered medium scales but I had to take a chance on this because Ive always been a StingRay fan but never wanted to deal with batteries and I imagined them to be on the heavy side. Well this certainly addresses those issues and my main problems with ss, lack of focused bottom end compared to my 32s and 34s, and weak G string volume compared to my other basses. Thats not to say I havent heard plenty of great sounding ss basses being used over the years, Ive used them myself. But when I would switch between them, the differences would bug me. Not a problem with this one.
I like the single coil and parallel settings and can see them being very usable for funk or a Jaco type sound, but the fatness of the series setting is where its at for me. This is the most expensive bass Ive ever bought in almost 40 years of playing but I am not regretting it one bit.
So can you cop an active, modern Stingray tone with this guy? Or does it sound more vintage by default?
I tried it with flats today - sounded great when slapping & plucking but I didnt like them as much with pick or fingers. Not that they sounded bad, it just seems way more versatile with rounds. Which is pretty much my general view of rounds vs. flats anyway.
I'll take a stab (only my opinion, mind you): a lot of that "modern tone" comes from active electronics and most folks associate that sizzly top end as "modern." The short scale Stingray, in my opinion, has plenty of high end, but a different kind of high end--it is not that sizzly hi-fi top end. So in that regard, I'd call it more "vintage." BUT... the bass definitely sounds like a good stingray should. The parallel setting is pretty much dead on except for the fact that the highs are not as "sizzly" as an active Ray. It's also not quite as "scooped" a tone. That suits me just fine because on all of the Stingrays and Sterlings I've had over the years (I've had quite a number of them), I've almost always run them with the treble backed way off (nearly all the way off much of the time). I don't have to worry about that now. The tone control takes it from a good solid Stingray sound when full on to a more beefy/dubby sound when full off, as any good tone knob will do. Comparing the two, I actually prefer this tone knob/coil switching to the normal Stingray 3-EQ control.
I can't really compare it to a lot of players who use Stingrays, but I will say that it does not get as sharp a tone as, say, Louis Johnson. On the other hand, I can get a dead-on copy of Paul S. Denman's (Sade bassist) Stingray sound and close approximation to Bernard Edwards' tone (when he used his Stingray).
I love this bass. As much as I also love my Mustangs, other short scale basses, and J-bass, the short scale Stingray has quickly become my favorite bass. I even like it more than my short scale Spector, which is a hell of a bass (and very "modern" sounding). The Stingray wins out over all of them.
Then again, even though the SS Stingray kicks complete butt... I'd doubt it will do anything to curb my PJ Mustang collecting addiction, though. (it's just all those damn colors!!! Sherwood green? How could anyone resist a sherwood green Mustang??? Or the black/ebony??? Irresistible. )
I haven't tried flats on it and probably won't. I think I'd feel about the same. Some of my basses work with flats, but I generally prefer rounds anyway.