Sting Ray Replacement pickup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jeff Collett, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. Hello, I have a Music Man Sting Ray 5 string.....I was recently thinking about getting a Bassline Replacement pickup for it. Does anyone out there have one of these or know of anyone who does? If so is it worth it?:D

    Any input would be great. Thanks.

  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Beware, the Duncan Basslines pickup for the 5 string will NOT work with the stock preamp. You will have to buy the Duncan preamp as well.

    If you are going this route, get the alnico version, its better sounding.
  3. This is utter nonsense. I have a basslines PU in my SR5 and it works just fine with the stock preamp.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    You must have an old Stingray 5 if it worked for you. It will NOT work with the newer models made within the last 9 years. I attempted to install one about a year ago (yes, the one that's supposed to be a direct musicman replacement), with dismal sonic results - it sounded like an AM radio. Attached is an e-mail response I received from Alex Semple at Seymour Duncan/Basslines when I inquired about the problem:


    Dear Eric,
    We are sorry to hear that you're having problems with your Musicman Pickup. I hope the following will help clear some things up for you:

    Apparently all Stingrays 5 strings manufactured after 1993 had the 3 coil pickup and level switching preamp. This set up in not really directly compatible with our two coil 5 string pickups for several reasons:

    1. Their color code does not match ours, so hooking our pickup up color to color will produce unpredictable results.

    2. Their pickup is a three coil and ours is a two coil. The three coil offers a stack mode of operation that ours does not have.

    3. The preamp uses a custom 3 way blade switch to gain shift and compensate for the level differences between the different modes of operation. This function works in conjunction with their 3 coil pickup and cable wiring. Our pickup was designed to work in the original Musicman 5 string bass which had a two coil pickup and a standard 3-way Tele type switch. The two systems are very different.

    For the short term, and actually the best long term solution, you can replace the preamp as well as the pickup with our system. The stock MM 3 band preamp all have anemic low frequency response and sound too thin. Our preamp will increase your gain make a marked improvement in the overall sound of your bass.

    Therefore, to get the most out of your Musicman bass and new pickup, it is recommended that you purchase our 3-band Music Man preamp (model# STC-3M4) and a standard Tele-style three way blade switch.

    Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. Thank you.
  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I think you should leave in the stock pickup. If you like the tone you are getting now especially. You won't have a musicman bass once you change it. It will sound nice i'm sure. but it won't give you that musicman sound. I know some folks may diassagree with me... but i've played a musicman with lane poor pickups ( I think thats what they were... maybe they were basslines..) and it didn't have the "tone" i was looking for...
  6. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN

    i totally agree
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Interesting. It's not so much about the preamp but the initial wiring it sounds like to me. I don't know why, if you hooked the pickup directly to the preamp (forgoing the switch for now), it would sound "anemic" and "thin". Unless the original MM pickup produces massive low-end and the preamp compensates?

    I think the guys at SD were just in more of a mood to sell you their preamp than explain how to hook up the old one right.
  8. My SR5 is less than a year old. I installed the pickup myself, using the existing switch and it works just fine. It has just as much or more low end than the stock pickup, better midrange detail and clarity and really smooth top end. So, in my experience the SD works just fine with the stock preamp. Maybe something's changed in the last year?
  9. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    what is the difference between this pickup and the stock ones. i have an early 90's sr5 and someone told me the ones from this era had a different "better" pickup in it. the poles are a bit rusty so i thought i might replace it.
  10. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I think that that pickup in the older 5ers is alnico, while the pickup in the newer ones (the ones with the phantom coil) is ceramic.

    keep groooovin'
  11. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    As long as we're talking Stingray pickups, I've got a question. Why the hell do the newer stings have that annoying pole set up? I don't really care for the A and D poles being that much higher than E and G. The people at musicman told me that's just what "works best". Is there any way to adjust them? You'd think they would at least match the finger board radius a little more closely.

    Has any one here had problems with those big magnets screwing up your sound with the higher strings? I rest my thumb ( it's a heavy one) on the pickup and after a couple of gigs, the pickup raises slightly ( pickup compresses slightly into body, tension is relieved on screw, vibration moves screw). I notice it when my D and G strings start sounding "funny"

    Finally, I'm thinking about throwing a Bart in. I want something a bit warmer, but like the overall characteristics of the Sting. Any thoughts.
  12. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    FWIW: I have a very early Sting Ray 5 (1989 or so) and I am using the SD MM preamp with the original pup. The preamp is really nice and I highly recommend it. Leave the stock pup in it though. That's the Music Man sound IMO. If you could, by some extreme twist of fate come across an early SR5 pup, get it!