Sterling by MusicMan Bass Mods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RollerPunk, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. RollerPunk


    Sep 10, 2014
    Bogotá - Colombia
    Bass Player from @JohnnieFaker
    Good night bass fellas.

    I need some advices from you.

    I have a Sterling by Music Man Ray 35. Somebody have experience with this bass??
    I really like this bass, but since some time I'm not feeling comfortable with his sound (not so growly) and I want to modify it. I've been looking modifications and I'm not sure for where to start.

    I am thinking about install an Active / passive switch with a tone control.

    I heard that the preamp is a cheap (not even economic) version of the Stingray preamp, so, I get the schematics of the stingray and a engineer friend of mine go to manufacture it (he has a lot of experience designing effects pedals).

    On the other hand, I heard that the pickup is a very good piece of equipment, but I can buy here an Aguilar AG5M. Is it necessary this change of the pickups? What do you think about stock and those pickups?

    Hope somebody could help me with this "problem".

  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Have you tried good strings and a setup?
  3. Leaux-b


    Mar 27, 2011
    Chromes made a huge difference in the growl factor on mine.
  4. metermech

    metermech SMOOVE ONE

    Mar 17, 2008
    OP I did like Kinbass and put some flatwounds(Chromes) on my Ray 35 and it made a tremendous difference. Took the harshness right out of it and made it sit better in a full band situation. It was too harsh for my style of music until I changed to chromes. I found no need to mod anything...Good Luck with your decision..
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    My understanding is that the preamp is the same as the real ones. Or same exact design. As mentioned above, try different strings.
  6. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Different strings as mentioned by all, a good set up. Play around with the EQ setting on the bass & leave your amp flat to get the true bass tone, you can always boost/cut whatever you need on your amp & bass afterwards (unless some people would rather go for the set your amp to a preference & fiddle around with the bass circuit to each their own).

    IF you're still not satisfied, look into swapping the pickup for a seymour duncan MM 5 humbucker. they have the alnico version & ceramic version (not sure which would be your preference. But either is a good choice i guess. Good luck
  7. liveburning274

    liveburning274 Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    Strings. I played with Sadowsky flat wounds on this bass for years and LOVED it! Tamed the high end and made this bass so usable for many genres of playing. The preamp and pup were fine IMO.
  8. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    When I first got my Ray35 I looked into changing the pickups and I think what I was told by the dude at BestBassGear is that even if you find a pickup with the same string spacing at minimum you will need to modify the pickguard because the pickup cover shape will be different (Musicman doesn't sell their pickup covers or allow others to use the design).

    So I got a good setup done and have the D'Addario nickel roundwound strings on it and I get compliments on my tone all the time now. My lesson learned is I think the electronics in it are fine but I seldom touch the knobs and leave the switch in the middle. If I want more growl, I can do that with pedals and EQ.
  9. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Wantage, New Jersey
    Ernie Ball Slinky Flatwounds. I just put them in my US Sterling and they growl for days but still have some warmth when you need it.