Stingray Pickup Pole Spacing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fakeneckplate'65, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Why aren't Music Man Stingray's strings aligned with the poles of the pickup?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    It's because they are?

    I'm confused. Lots of Stingrays in my house and they're all aligned.

    Are you referring to Old Smoothie?
  3. musicman_old_smoothie_pickup_highlight_649.jpg

    Real bad.

  4. ubernator


    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I wasn't as into the smoothie, the attack and snap I love about stingray style pickups just wasn't there. It is a very un stingray stingray.

    I have had 3 stingrays (Ernie ball) that I was unable to afford, an eldorado gold classic, a natural 3 band H and a BFR HH 3 band, and the strings were aligned to the pole pieces.

    My remaining 4 "stingrays" which I have had since 2000-2001, are an OLP and 3 warwick FNAs. When I can afford a stingray again, or reach the Timmy C stage where Ernie ball is throwing basses at me, I will surely rock one again, personally I don't want to pay that much for maple and ash, hence I played fender and Warwick, but I really appreciate a real stingray. Of course that was also before a few fender price increases, Ernie ball prices have not gone up as high as fender prices have, respectively. Fender is catching up price wise, so new fenders are not on my radar anymore either. I won't even mention the exponential price increase of new Warwicks!
  5. I've looked at many photos of Stingrays & never seen the strings cutting the pole in half. The string may slightly pass over the magnet, but not the center. My G nearly misses the pole entirely.

    It seems to me the pole spacing is wider than the point at which the strong crosses it.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Strings don't need to be perfectly over a pickup pole for the bass to work properly.

    I just through Google Images and couldn't find any that were as you're describing.
    Do you have any examples?
    Pics of your bass?
  7. Ed Wood

    Ed Wood

    Jul 21, 2020
    Sorry to wake a necro-thread, but I too was looking for this answer and found:

    Dave W had it right. The pickup poles are only like that on the "Old Smoothie" model. The "Old Smoothie" was the 40th Anniv model based one of the 1970s prototypes. Meant to have a totally different sound than the regular StingRays.

    "...Dudley Gimpel, Ernie Ball Music Man’s production manager and master luthier, says the iconic bass’ cool nickname is Old Smoothie, because “its sound is very fat and smooth, with the typical punch of the StingRay, but a little more subdued and much mellower tone.”

    1976 Music Man StingRay Prototype Old Smoothie
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