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SR5 sounds different than 4 string Rays?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tupac, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I side by side'd them at the store, and it sounded like the SR5 had a different tone. A better tone IMO. It had less of the classic Ray twang, but more of a low, distorted thump. Kind of like Tim Commorford's Evil Empire tone for comparison. Delicious.
  2. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    the pickup on both is listed as being alnico. the SR5 also has the series/single/parallel switch. perhaps you were playing it in series?
    when i still had my SR5, series was my favorite setting. super chunky tone.
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    I was always told that SR5's were a completely different bass than SR4's. Not just an SR4 with a 5th string but built from the ground up so to speak.
  4. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    from what i was told, the SR5 is modeled after the sterling; it is different from the SR4
  5. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Don't like the SR5 for precisely this reason.
  6. for a number of years the 5er used a ceramic magnet in the pickup
  7. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    You have it backwards, but otherwise correct, I think?
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep. They switched back to Alnico in 2008 I believe.
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Depends - the OP didn't specify... For example, the regular SR4 and SR5, or the Classic series??? Personally, I prefer the ceramic pups on the Classic series and Sterlings over the alnico pups on the current SR4 and SR5...

    - georgestrings
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    According to the EBMM site, the classic Stingrays have Alnico pickups.

    The ceramics are on the Sterlings (4's & 5's). So, if you want the pre 2008 SR5 tone, get a Sterling 5.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I had a SR5 for some time and I never cared for the tone. It in no way sounded like an SR4. That said, apparently I was wrong and Funky Monks was recorded with a Ray5, and that's one of my favorite tones. Go figure. Mine never captured that tone, either :meh:
  12. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    What year was it made? Was it ceramic or alnico pickups?
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I got it new in (I think) '09 which probably meant it had the same magnets as a regular SR4. Weird, huh?
  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Yeah, but then again it's wood and that does affect the tone. I like the series/singlecoil/parallel switch but haven't heard it with the alnico pickups yet.

    I'd like to be able to A/B them next to each other.
  15. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Flea had a nice tone with his SR5 on Blood Sugar. Check it. The bass I picked up sounded just like this, so it must have been pre 2008. Blood Sugar was in 91, so that means ceramic pickups. Interesting. So the SR5s now sound the same as the 4 string Stingrays? I liked the old 5 string sound much more than Stingrays.
  16. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    No SR5 has sounded as good as any of the SR5s I've tried. Really wish the B was stronger on the Ray5's ive tried/owned.

    Either way, the tone on the SR4 IMO absolutely kills. Maybe I should get one and convert it to BEAD.....
  17. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I thought Blood Sugar Sex Magic was recorded on a Wal.
  18. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Not so fast! If you're sure it was an SR5 and not a 4 stringer, then it could have been alnico. AFAIK, the SR5 was introduced in '87 with alnico pickups. Sometime in '91, they changed to ceramic. Then in 2008, back to alnico. So, Flea's SR5 could have been alnico. Also, some of the early SR5's didn't have the phantom coil so there was hum when in single coil mode.
  19. bigsnack


    Aug 24, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Same here! Back in the day I bought an SR5 for the same reasons, and was just as surprised as you. Brendan O'Brien has been responsible for all of my favorite recorded bass tones, and he always blends DI and amp tones together. To my ear, the majority of the tone on BSSM is the amp and the way it was recorded.
  20. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    Let's not forget that in the case of BSSM ... it has a lot of studio magic thrown in it

    As for the bass ... well to me it is kind of obvious ... the shape of the SR5 and SR4 is different also it didn,t have the same magnet for a very long time. So I think those two things is why the sound is different.