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Stingray: 3 band, 2 band, or...no band!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by birminghambass, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    My beloved Stingray recently went under the knife and I'm loving the results. I've never been a huge fan of the stock preamp so I found an oem 2 band. I liked it, didn't love it. So I took it all out and put in standard jazz wiring. Front coil volume, rear coil volume, and tone. With all knobs full on it sounds like.....a Stingray! Solo the neck coil and it sounds fuller, deeper. Turn down the tone slightly and it approaches a P tone. Solo the rear coil and it adds some high mids and loses some bass, great for that twangy Skynard tone. The volume is only slightly less than it was with the preamp and the single coil hum when you solo a coil is no worse than any of my jazzes. I'll try to get some sound clips up soon.
  2. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    thats how OLP copy basses are wired. The problem being the OLP pickup wasn't very good. since real Stingrays have great pickups you have a nice platform to work with. you could make one of the pots push/pull for series wiring for another tone option
  3. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I've wired many newer stingrays, (the 5's especially, with the 3-way switch), with passive switching or fully passive. They are generally AWESOME like this. If you have one with a three-coil pickup (the extra coil is underneath for hum-cancelling in the single coil setting), get your tech to suss a switch that has a setting with the back coil and the dummy coil in series instead of the factory parallel wiring. It's a really punchy woody almost warwick-ish tone, plus its hum-cancelling...

    Also try the main coils in series. This is a hotter and fatter tone, but can be slightly muddy if your strings are old.
  4. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    played everything ebmm stirling had and settled on the stingray classic5
  5. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    A really awesome idea! You are very smart! I'd love to hear a Stingray minus the active electronics!
  6. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Played it for a set last night in my country rock gig. Really liked the neck coil soloed. I'm thinking of adding a 2 band eq and wiring it v-v-treble-bass.
  7. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    About 10-12 years ago, I had a call from a friend who is a session player. He loved his stingray 5, but he asked me to remove it's finish and respray it with nitro. I asked him why. He said that even with the tone pots all in the middle, there was just something artificial about the sound. He couldn't get to the woody heart of the tone, even with his very nice valve amp and speakers. He only used one of the settings of the 3-way switch, and even that was lacking something. And after reading all the forums etc he thought this was the best way to find it's true tone. After a long discussion, I managed to convince him to come over with his amp, and I'd bypass the preamp for free. He just couldn't bring himself to believe that such an expensive bass could have an over-engineered, tone-stomping preamp. When he heard the bass with the pickup wired straight to the jack, he couldn't stop smiling. I put a simple passive circuit in there and for a few weeks we tweaked this up to include a simple fet preamp, but the passive switching remained. If memory serves, this is when I first found the series trick with the dummy coil. You have to cut a wire or two at the pickup, so you need to know what you are doing, but there's definitely some great tone lurking behind that factory pre...
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    this is an old subject.

    if it's working for you guys then cool, but the music man design is different than just stuffing a preamp into a jazz bass or whatever; the preamp is the whole point!

    the stock pickup is deliberately bass-shy both in design and in placement on the bass, so as to generate plenty of treble clarity; the dedicated preamp is very not "flat" or "transparent", it's there to add back the missing low end, so that the result is a sound with extended hi-fi highs and big fat lows.

    the pickup was never meant to be used without that specific preamp.
  9. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    That's a shame, because it sounds great passively.

  10. Indeed it does. There is nothing bass shy about it
  11. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I've been writing on these guitar forums for 15+ years, and as soon as there's a sniff of stingray electronics talk, there's always some one who chimes in with that sort of predictable comment. I'm surprised it took as long as 25min...

  12. REV


    Jun 18, 2006
    If it sounds good, who cares? I have owned four Stingrays and one fiver in my life. I love the way they play... but that clanky clicky tone just drives me crazy. Especially when recording. This may be the answer.
  13. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    There is no lack of low end in passive. And the passive tone control tames the clicky high end better than turning down the treble knob ever did.
  14. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I've always wanted a custom bass with a MM pickup. This wiring sounds like a fantastic way to utilize it without needing a preamp. Cool! :bassist:
  15. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Just dropped in a Nordstrand 4.4, holy cow! More full range, less clank. Sweet sweet Stingray goodness!
  16. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    Glad I saw this thread. Was just on here looking for advice whether or not to convert my MIA p deluxe to passive. Different bass I know but don't feel as bad gutting it now! LOL
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    now this is a bass with a logical need for a passive option; P pickups were originally designed to sound good without a preamp.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if something is true and common knowledge, then it's hardly a surprise that somebody's gonna point it out, is it? ;)

    and it is true that the whole point of the original stingray design was an integrated system, with a pickup designed from scratch and located on the instrument to have its shortcomings compensated for with a preamp.

    again, if it's working out passive, great; it's just not gonna be as universally useful as a passive P or J setup, and the mod is tricky with the way MM has all the pots on that one big circuitboard.

    i guess that we could expect passive to be more useful these days, as modern bass amps have more powerful and flexible EQ that can essentially recreate the onboard EQ curve.

    (although if you do go passive, i vote for series wiring to get some low end back and tame the clack.)
  19. Wow, that's really interesting, especially because you could add an inverting opamp with a 50k gain knob in order to keep the advantages of the higher output signal that the active Rays have.
  20. Why do you think that? In what way do you think it's not as useful as a P, for instance?

    A MM pickup at the Precision spot does not sound exactly like a P bass, but I don't hear it lacking in bottom end or anything.

    I don't thing there is anything "magical" about the MM pickup. It's just another passive pickup design that sounds pretty good by itself, and I love it with a Stingray preamp, but just because of the tonal variation it allows.