sterling by musicman Ray34 - EQ question...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sterlingray34, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    Hi there,
    I just got started with bass playing, and bought myself a sterling Ray34.

    I have a question regarding the EQ (3 band):

    I assume that the EQ affects specific frequency ranges, so the exact same note played on different strings should be affected by the EQ in the same way, right?
    Now, when i turn down the treble, my g string gets muted drastically and the same notes played on g and d strings sound very differently.

    since the notes are the same frequency, they should sound more or less the same.
    (obviously the same effects occur with mid and bass knobs, but with treble it's most strikingly different)

    can someone explain to me what's going on?

    thanks ;)
  2. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    The harmonic content of the note varies between strings/frets due to different length and density/gauge and the diffetent position of the pickup relative to the sounding length. You should notice these differences even without messing with the EQ. As you go to higher frets and thicker strings the notes take on a fuller, richer or thicker tone. This is what the EQ has to deal with. It can't put in what isn't there to begin with. What you are hearing is a natural phenomenon, and certainly nothing unique to the Ray34. As you become a better player you will start to use this to your advantage - choosing a note to play is far more about where and how you play than just the basic pitch.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  3. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    Yes, that makes sense. Thanks!

    I was hoping that dialling down the treble would give my bass a 'warmer' sound, but given the impact it has on the g-string presence/volume, that won't work.
  4. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    It might be worth checking the adjustment of the pickup height. Just +/-1mm at either end can make a huge difference to the tone of the G string and the overall string-to-string balance.
    BradH likes this.
  5. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    I have been going through all kinds of adjustments so far.
    changed the string action, checked the impact of pickup angle and distance
    and i even adjusted the saddles to achieve decent alignment of the strings with the pickup magnets
    (some people on several forums pointed out that the alignment has quite an impact on the strings' volume on this particular bass)

    i think the setup of my bass is now pretty decent, but it will keep changing during my learning process and getting used to the instrument.
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    by saying you adjusted the string action, do you mean you adjusted the neck relief via the truss rod?

    adjusting the saddles and sometimes the nut - that would be adjusting the action.

    did you change what strings you have on the bass and give the new strings several days to lose the new string sound? i find different strings can make a huge difference in tone.
  7. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    oh no, I have not messed with the truss rod. Just lowering/raising the saddles for action
    i changed the strings maybe a week or two ago. (rotosound swing bass)

    i am overall very happy with the sound of the instrument (using DI on my audio interface, or an external amp modeller with headphones)

    and now i am trying to understand the EQ of my bass a bit better ;-)
  8. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    You probably already know this - The tone knobs on those types of ACTIVE (Active meaning there are batteries that power the EQ/Pickups, etc.) basses (bass, mid, treble) usually have a center notch (called a "detent") where the knob stops in the middle of it's full travel. That is the "flat" setting. No frequencies are cut or boosted in this center position. Turning the knob one way from the detent (usually clockwise) will boost the frequency assigned to that knob, turning the knob the other way from the detent (usually counter-clockwise) will cut what frequency is assigned to that knob. Tone knobs on PASSIVE (no batteries) basses basically bleed treble off and that's it. Bass-ic stuff but some folks may not know this information.
  9. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    oh yes, I know that
    Cave Puppy likes this.
  10. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    For a “warmer” sound on the D and G strings, you may want to look into a compressor. Most basses sound a bit “thin” on the D and G because, as mentioned before, the length/density/gauge is much smaller on those strings. I have noticed my compressor helps this issue quite a bit. Although, if not used properly, a compressor can drastically reduce the dynamic range of your playing which isn’t always a good thing, just depends on your playing style.
  11. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Please try new strings. You should get a louder g string just cause they’re new.
    Put on new strings, truss rod adjustment, then action adjustment via bridge.
    Personally, I’m proficient at truss rod adjustments but I stink at string heights so if that’s involved, I bring to my setup guy.
    It might pay to get a pro setup which is unlikely at a big box store. Maybe visit your fav club band and talk it up w the bass player.
  12. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019

    that's a good point! thanks
    707GK likes this.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    get an acoustic guitar and play the same note on different strings and you will notice a difference in tone and overtones
  14. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    The trick is to start in the center and boost or cut to get the tone you crave.
    Instead of cutting treble, try boosting bass.
    It took me some getting used to this, as I'm usually a crank it to 11 guy.
    sterlingray34 and mbell75 like this.
  15. Robscott


    Mar 20, 2017
    Tonbridge UK
    Yeah, you can't do that with a Stingray, your eyeballs will come out
    johnson79 likes this.
  16. Don't forget that Stingrays are a little notorious for a dinky sounding G. Relatively common.

    I honestly thought it was not really a thing after reading about it until I started playing a precision.
  17. Here's what I do if I want a warmer sound:

    -dial down the treble (as you have tried).

    -play mainly on the E and A strings (or B if you have a 5 string). Notes sound fatter on these strings and you avoid your aforementioned issue.

    - play closer to the bridge side of the fretboard, 5th fret and above instead of going the next higher string.

    - pluck closer to the neck.

    - mute the strings at the bridge with my palm (or you could stuff some foam under there).

    - pluck with thumb vs fingers

    Besides not costing anything, I find some combination of the above gets me close to a useable, "warmer" sound.
  18. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    yes, initially it annoyed me, but i think i have it sorted now. main thing was to align the strings properly with the magnets.
    (then again, I am a newbie...)

    comparing the two, do you prefer the precision sound?
  19. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    All great advice! thank you.
    Will try all of the above.
    TakeABreak likes this.
  20. Absolutely not.

    I am a Stingray guy through and through, and as soon as I am able to get another Stingray, I will.
    sterlingray34 likes this.